I’ve spent a lot of time working with Teamcenter’s BMIDE over the past year. When I use a tool a lot I start thinking of ways to improve it. So I thought I’d share a few of the ideas that I’ve had. None of these would require changes to Teamcenter itself. These are all simply changes to the BMIDE interface. I’m currently using Teamcenter 8.3. I haven’t looked at Teamcenter 9.1 yet, so it is possible that some of these are already available.
I don’t claim that any of these suggestions will revolutionize the BMIDE, but I think they’d improve it for me. Maybe they’d improve it for you too. Please take a look. Give me your opinions on these. Even better, make your own suggestions.
- Inherit name of compound property source When I create a compound property I usually give it the same name as the source property. The BMIDE should give me the option of automatically inheriting the source property’s name instead of having to manually type it and triple check it to be sure I got it right.
- Create multiple Compound Properties at once Usually if there’s one property I want to map from one object to another, there’s at least two. After drilling down through the types and relationships to get to the correct source object I should be able to multi-select multiple properties to map at once.
- Don’t require a connection to Teamcenter I’m creating a new data model for a new instance of Teamcenter. I want to configure Type Display rules. The BMIDE forces me to connect to my instance (which doesn’t yet exist) so it can determine what the organization structure looks like. I’m stuck. The only option other than waiting is to edit the XML files by hand. The BMIDE should allow me to manually enter the group names to use in the Type display rules.
- Comments People forget why they did things the way they did. People leave their jobs. Work is done by consultants. There should be a way to add comments throughout the data model so that people could understand why and how things were done
- Automatic Extension File Organization I like to break my data model up into several separate files. I like the modularity so I can compare similar types, check for changes, and generally just navigate the source code. My wish is that whenever I create a new Business Object that the BMIDE would automatically create an extension file with a matching name and populate it with the Item, Revision, Master Form, and storage class definitions. I also want a separate file for my LOVs, another for my Conditions, etc. etc. This could be optional behavior to accommodate those who prefer one monolithic source file.
- Setting Project Properties anywhere In Teamcenter 8 you have to select the Navigator view in order to edit project properties. This seems like an unnecessary restriction.
- Prominent Consistency Stamp I learned from a commentator on a previous post about the Consistency Stamp that acts a
checksumfor the data model template. It’d be nice is this was more prominently displayed in the data model properties and it was made more apparent what it is.
- Flat List View Toggle We should have the option to list Business Objects and Classes in a simple flat list. Tree views are great for understanding the inheritance structure of the data model but sometimes related types are scattered throughout the tree. For example each Item Type has several related Business Object definitions, the item, the revision, the item and revision master forms, etc. There has been many times I have wished that I could have just had them all listed together. The search dialog already does this, but of course that only lasts until you make a selection. The same option should be available in the Extensions view too. Just show me all of the Conditions, LOVs, Naming Rules, etc. in one alphabetically sorted list.
- View Filters I’d like to be able to configure filters to select which types are visible. Types of filters I’d like include:
- By wildcard string DOJ9*, *Drawing*, etc.
- By Template Show or hide objects based on which template they come from. This goes a step further than search’s ability to filter by COTS/non-COTS.
- By Type In the Extension view in I want to be able to select exactly which type of extensions are visible (LOVs, Naming Rules, Conditions, etc.)
- Operations in UML It’s great that the UML diagram shows data members. Now let’s see the operations defined for each class.
- Navigation by UML Let’s be able to click on class block in the UML diagram and go directly to the property page for that type.
- A better warning when reloading a modified model I’ve talked about this before. This dialog drives me nuts. Every single time I have to stop and read the dang thing. Carefully.
Editing The Data Model
What are twelve ways you would improve the BMIDE interface? What are your favorite suggestions? Which ideas don’t you like? Share them below!