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Teamcenter Glossary

Below are definitions of various terms relevant to Teamcenter and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). This document is very much an ongoing work-in-progress. I make every attempt to define the terms correctly, however the definitions are my own. Sometimes I may be wrong and sometimes I may do a poor job of explaining the term. The point is, this is a resource, but it is not authoritative. If you have business-critical decisions to make that hinge on the definitions here, I suggest you get a second, independent, opinion.


0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



One of two possible architectures for Teamcenter client installations. The two tiers are,

  1. Client tier. The user’s local machine
  2. Resource tier. The database and volume data servers.

In a 2-tier configuration there is a server process, tcserver.exe, which runs locally on the user’s machine and communicates directly to the database server. This configuration is only recommended when the client and the server are both on the same LAN.

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One of two possible architectures for Teamcenter client installations. The four tiers are,

  1. Client tier. This is the user’s local machine
  2. Web tier. This is a web server which routes communications between the client tier and the application server tier
  3. Enterprise tier. This consists of one or more application pool servers which run the Teamcenter server processes.
  4. Resource tier. The database and volume data tiers

Because the Enterprise and Resource tiers are generally co-located with a high-bandwidth, low-latency connection between them, this architecture is preferred for WANs or any time when there is a high latency between the client and the resource tiers.


Action Handler
A workflow handler which performs some sort of action. See also, Rule Handler.
Alt Rep
Alternate Representations. In the Unigraphics integration with Teamcenter, alt reps are additional datasets which describe the design described by the UGMASTER dataset. Alt reps are alternate representations of the geometry. A significant limitation with alt reps is that they cannot be assemblies.
A persistent property of a business object. Attributes are columns in a database table.
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Assembly Structure


Bill of Materials
A listing of parts and documents which make up a deliverable product. For a CAD model this may be referred to as its assembly structure.
Business Model Integrated Development Environment. A stand-alone program used to define the Teamcenter data model.
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See Bill of Materials.
BOM View Revision
The BOM for a specific item revision.
BOM, Imprecise
A BOM structure in which the components are Items, not Item Revisions.
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BOM, Precise
A BOM structure where each component is an Item Revision.
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Business Object
Business Object, Primary
A business object which uses its own, dedicated, storage class which has the same name as the business object and which is at the same location in the class hierarchy as the business object is in the business object hierarchy.
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Business Object, Secondary
A business object which uses the same storage class as one of its ancestor business objects in the type hierarchy.
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See BOM View Revision


See change notice
Cache Server
The BOM generated by a CAD tool. Typically the CAD BOM might not contain non-geometric items, such as adhesives and paint, and may contain different representations of the same component, especially when the component is deformable and is shaped to fit in different installations.
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Change Notice
Change Request
See Storage Class
An element of an assembly. May refer to piece-parts, which do not have any components, or sub-assemblies, which do.
See change request


A workspace object which is an abstraction of a file stored in Teamcenter. A dataset typically contains one or more named references, which may be files stored on the volume server or forms.
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Dataset Tool
An object that defines which applications, based on MIME type, will open named references in a dataset, based on file type.
Deep Copy Rule
A configuration option for Item Revisions which defines how related objects, such as datasets and BVRs will be handled when a new revision is created. Typical options are to not copy the related object, to add a reference to the existing object under the new revision, or to create a duplicate object under the new revision.


Engineering BOM. The complete BOM of a Part, which can be used for ordering and building the part. See also, CAD BOM, MBOM.
Electronic Data Systems. A software services company which used to own the Unigraphics software product.
Enhancement Requests. Placebo pills given out by GTAC when your IR has been declared to be working as designed but you insist that things shouldn’t be designed that way. In theory, ERs may eventually be implemented in the application, although reports of this actually happening are generally considered to be apocryphal.


A workspace object used to collect related objects together. Folders in Teamcenter are similar to folders in Microsoft Windows with one key difference, objects may belong to multiple Teamcenter folders.
Folder, Pseudo
A virtual folder which shows a relationship between the folder’s parent object (usually an item revision) and zero or more objects which are related via a common relationship. The most common of these is the view pseudo-folder which appears underneath item revisions to show the components of the parent revision.
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An object used to gather and display a certain set of properties. The most commonly seen forms are item and revision master forms, although others may be created and used in a variety of ways.


GRM Rule
Short for Generic Relationship Management Rule. GRM Rules define the cardinality (e.g. 1:1, 1:Many, Many:Many) for relationships between different types of objects.
Global Technical Access Center, the product support help desk for Siemens PLM products.
website: http://support.industrysoftware.automation.siemens.com/gtac.shtml
Phone Number: 1-800-955-0000



A CAD application developed by SDRC, which was merged into NX when Unigraphics Solutions acquired SDRC.
The old name for the software application which was eventually renamed as Teamcenter Engineering.
1. Abbreviation for Item Revision
2. Abbreviation for Incident Report, used for tracking calls to GTAC. Calls are initially classified as IRs, but then may be turned into PRs (Problem reports) or ERs (Enhancement Requests).
Abbreviation for Item Revision Master.
The basic object used to track a single, revisable, piece of data. Typically used for drawings and parts, it may also represent manufacturing data, parts list, or other types of data.
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Item element
Item Master
A form object attached to every item containing fields which may contain extra properties about the item. Prior to Teamcenter 8 this was the only way to store extra properties in iMan or Teamcenter Engineering. See also, Item Revision Master
Item Revision
A specific revision of an Item.
Item Revision Master
A form attached to every item revision containing fields which may contain extra properties about the item revision. Prior to Teamcenter 8 this was the only way to store extra properties in iMan or Teamcenter Engineering. See also, Item Master
Information Tool Kit. The API for writing server-side customizations for Teamcenter in C or C++.
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Item Type
Business object type for a business object which inherits from the Item business object.





Master Form
Depending on context, this refers to either a Item Master or a Revision Master form.
Manufacturing BOM. A BOM organized for the benefit of the manufacturing unit.
The old name of the application that was eventually renamed to Teamcenter Enterprise.


Named Reference
The contents of a Dataset
Naming Rule
One of the more common configuration options for items which allows administrators to define validation rules for string property fields, typically item ID, which must be met in order to create a new item. Naming rules can also be used to configure sequences of identifiers which will be automatically generated for the users.
A high-end 3D mechanical CAD application produced and sold by Siemens PLM


A specific instance of specific component within an assembly. Occurrences have position, quantity, and notes that are specific to a particular instance of a component within a particular assembly.


See Product Data Management.
PDM Server
An API interface used for invoking ITK code from an NX Open application.
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See Product Lifecycle Management.
PLM Connection
The annual PLM World users’ conference.
PLM Dojo
The world’s best, independent, web site/blog dedicated to Teamcenter and PLM, bar none. (okay, I may be a bit biased here).
PLM World
The Voice of Siemens PLM Software Users Worldwide, an independent users group for Siemens PLM software, such as Teamcenter and NX.
Website: http://plmworld.org.
POM Object
A persistent object in the Teamcenter data model. POM Objects are represented by entries in database tables.
See Product Structure Editor
Problem Report filed with GTAC. Congratulations, your IR didn’t have a simple answer and wasn’t decreed to be, working as designed. You actually found, and got SPLM to acknowledge, a bug in their software.
Primary Business Object
An instantiated instance of a workflow template.
Product Data Management
The process of managing the design data for products, typically the CAD data. PDM is a subset of PLM.
Product Lifecycle Management
The problem which Teamcenter exists to solve. In theory, a fully implemented PLM system would manage product data from initial requirements gathering, through the design and manufacturing stages, and through sale to the customer and maintenance in the field.
Product Structure Editor
The Teamcenter Engineering application used for managing product structure. In Teamcenter this was renamed to Structure Manager
A field associated with a Teamcenter object.
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Property, Compound
A special type of property which is shown on one object but is actually stored on another object. In order to display a compound property there hast to be chain of relationships between the two objects.
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Property, Persistent
A property which persists between Teamcenter sessions. These properties are stored in database fields.
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Property, Reference
A property which refers to another object. The other object is referenced by its tag value.
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Property, Relation
A property which refers to a relationship between two different objects.
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Rich Application Client. See also: Rich Client
A record that stores a references to two, or more, different objects. Relations are subject to cardinality as defined by GRM rules.
See Item Revision
Revision Rule
A tool used by Structure Manager, and other tools that manipulate BOMs, that determines which revision of assembly components to display based on a defined set of rules.
Revision Notice
Rich Client
A java application used to interact with the Teamcenter database. See also Thin Client
See revision notice
Rule Handler
A type of teamcenter workflow handler that evaluates some set of conditions and returns value indicating if the workflow may proceed to next task or not.


A software company which was acquired by UGS and which produced the IDEAS CAD application, which was merged into NX, and the Metaphase PLM application, which was renamed Teamcenter Enterprise and then merged into Teamcenter.

Secondary Business Object
See Business Object, Secondary
Storage Class
The underlying record that stores persistant data for a particular object. implemented as one or more database tables.

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Structure Manager
An application within Teamcenter for managing BOMs. This was formerly known as the Product Structure Editor in Teamcenter Engineering.

An XML dataset within the database which controls how an object’s properties are displayed.
Service Oriented Architecture. An software design methodology used for connecting separate systems. In Teamcenter it is used to connect various clients, such as CAD integrations, back to Teamcenter.


In ITK programming, tags are how you manipulate objects. They are #typedef‘d as integers. They may, or may not, refer to a memory address.
A single step within a workflow template.

A product lifecycle suite of software, sold by Siemens PLM, and the reason we’ve all gathered together here today. Teamcenter has evolved out of two other software products, Teamcenter Engineering, and Teamcenter Enterprise.
Teamcenter Engineering
The application formerly known as iMan, which was eventually folded into Teamcenter.
Teamcenter Enterprise
The product formerly known as Metaphase, which was acquired by UGS in a merger with SDRC, and eventually merged into Teamcenter.
Teamcenter Unified
A name commonly used when referring to Teamcenter, although the name is not an official one. The Unified refers to the unification of Teamcenter Engineering and Teamcenter Enterprise into one product.
Thin Client
A web-based user interface for Teamcenter. It supports many of the functions of the full-featured rich client, however it does not currently support administrative functions or integrations with other applications.
This is what Business Objects were known as in Teamcenter Engineering. Having both “Type” and “Class” as terms that meant two different, though related, things was confusing as hell.
Type Display Rules
A configuration option, set in the BMIDE, that controls the object types users may select from when creating new objects. It does not limit user’s abilities to work with object which were created previously.


Unit of Measure
An property of items, abbreviated as UOM, which specifies in units in which the item is purchases. When unset the value is assumed to be each, meaning the item is purchased in whole units (2 brackets, 4 screws, etc.). It is not the units in which the item is modeled and dimensioned. Examples of non-Each UOMs are tape, 6.5 inches or adhesive, 0.5 ounces.
See Unigraphics.
The software company which developed the NX, iMan, and Metaphase software products before being acquired by Siemens and renamed to Siemens PLM. Formerly known as Unigraphics Solutions.
The dataset type used for alt reps
The old name for NX, before Unigraphics Solutions bought SDRC and merged its I-DEAS CAD program into Unigraphics to form NX.
Unigraphics Solutions
One of the previous names of the software company responsible for Unigraphics and iMAN which was spun off from EDS and later acquired by Siemens.

Abbreviation for Unit of Measure
The source of ½ of all of our problems (the other half being the software), and the reason we have jobs.


Volume Server


Workspace Object
The base business object type for all persistent (POM) objects
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Workflow Template
A definition of a predefined process which will be carried out upon some type of data. Typically this is used to review and apply status to item revisions and their attached datasets.
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Workflow Handler




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