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Intuitive BOM Configuration in Teamcenter using Active Workspace

Siemens Valued Contributor Siemens Valued Contributor
Siemens Valued Contributor

If you’re looking for a better way to manage your bill of materials (BOMs) or product configurations, or if you are extending the BOM configuration information to a broader audience, it’s worth taking a closer look at Teamcenter with the Active Workspace user interface.  Existing and new users will appreciate the intuitive interaction to manage and configure their BOM.


intuitive BOM_scale.PNGMuch like our customers using our software to engineer world-class products – we too must balance opposing forces. An aircraft component both lightweight and strong.  A garment comfortable and durable. Our configuration management software must be both intuitive and comprehensive, offering advanced capabilities with fast performance.  With a discoverable navigation experience, your user community can focus on execution and collaboration to solve the challenges of customer and consumer demands for complex tailored products.


Active Workspace delivers intuitive BOM management

We deliver with a web client for Teamcenter, Active Workspace.  Active Workspace brings the power of the Teamcenter platform to new and existing users through a reimagined user interface.   Extending the value of product definition information has never been easier.  No client installation is required and full capability including visualization is a hyperlink away with any HTML5 capable web browser. The server deployment and administration makes PLM easier as well. (Read Easy PLM? Take a closer look at Deployment Center.)  As your company needs to extend collaboration more broadly across the enterprise to make better, faster decisions you can bring more of your organization together in Teamcenter.   This increases the value of information and Teamcenter is a more efficient platform for collaboration to this broader community with Active Workspace. 


Suppose your company has a mix of engineered to order (ETO) and standard offerings for industrial equipment such as pumps and valves.  Your engineering practices will depend on where each product lies in a range of variability .  If only your engineers worked in Teamcenter. they would likely need to export data or communicate by email to respond to a purchasing counterpart responsible for acquiring the appropriate stock material.  With Active Workspace, they could find and view the relevant product data for a customer-specific solution and decrease the time to delivery and decrease material costs by handling these logistics concurrently with the engineering process rather than starting upon the completion of engineering.  Since these business functions are working in close collaboration in the same environment it can streamline the business.

Easy, intuitive fundamentals to more advanced BOM capabilities

The practices and utilization of Teamcenter vary across industries and companies but there are common and universal needs.  Our focus and philosophy is to make the fundamentals as easy and intuitive as possible and progressively expose more advanced capabilities to the user as they require additional information.


For structures, the first priority capabilities were to configure and view content.  Use cases to visualize content with some customers involved exporting particular configurations and loading them for visualization outside of Teamcenter - early releases priority was the carrying of these offline users into full collaboration in Teamcenter.  Now a user can view any configuration (not just those exported) and all of their content is up to date (rather than what was exported the night before).  The emphasis of workflows is to bring the user to the correct BOM configuration information they need as quickly and intuitively as possible.  Simple searching within context, intuitive navigation and a progressive exposure to data help users find the information they need without being experts of the Teamcenter data model or applications. 




Once find necessary information and collaborate in Active Workspace, editing and authoring abilities are natural to perform in place.  Active Workspace is our strategic client for Teamcenter intended to meet all needs from the basics find and view to advanced BOM configuration capabilities.  To briefly illustrate the fundamentals – most authoring needs are in place.

  • Structure editing – add, remove, revise, replace
  • Property editing – table and tree view, fill down (shown below)
  • Extended authoring – link requirements to parts, attachments documents



Of course, there are so many other capabilities – systems engineering, supplier collaboration, material management.


As always with Teamcenter, we continue to adapt and advance releasing more capabilities in every release.  If you and your company were not aware of Active Workspace or were watching and waiting – it is time to take a closer look.  We’re ready for you and look forward to sharing more of what we have to offer.  And from there you can reach out to your account representative to implement Active Workspace to your companies team an intuitive BOM configuration management experience.


About the Author 

heinrich.jpgMark Heinrich is currently a Product Manager for Teamcenter Bill of Material Management. Drawing upon over 20 years of experience in aerospace, automotive and machinery engineering organizations, he has been an engineer, CFD analyst, test engineer, manufacturing planner, software developer, solution architect, and manager. It helps to have walked a few miles in your shoes.



Very nice article


I am currently using the teamcenter active workspace and i wanted to know if there is any possible configuration that can be made to obtain the BOM view in active workspace?





Valued Contributor

Thanks for the insights @MarkHeinrich!


Adding/removing various BOM Line properties (mapping Part Revision Properties) in Rich Client is straightforward.

Can you please point me to the documents where I can find ways to configure the BOM Line properties column within Active Workspace? 

Eg., Element Name, Quantity, Unit of Measure, Release Status, Precise, etc.


All I can see is to add custom properties in Awb0Element Business Object in BMIDE. Is that the only option/way to add more BOM Line Properties/Columns in BOM/Content View in AWC?

Please advise.

Siemens Valued Contributor

Thanks for the positive feedback and I am glad to hear you are using Active Workspace. 


I will give my answer in two parts:

First, we are excited that in Active Workspace 3.4 we have a new very helpful mechanic called Dynamic Compound Properties.  Now to add additional properties to the others already available you can configure them for your site in the column configuration XML.  For instruction in the application documentation in Chapter 2 of the "Configuration and Extensibility" document for 3.4.  There are also instructions for exporting, editing and importing the column configuration information for the site.


Second, there are some feature limitations with Dynamic Compound Properties - for example structure index based search and filter.  If these capabilities are needed for your additional properties they will need to be mapped.  The steps for doing so are in Chapter 3 of the same document.

Once either of these points of configuration have occurred the stylesheets throughout the client showing structure content can display these properties and in the table views the user community will be able to turn on a column with the properties.

Valued Contributor


Perfect, thanks so much.

I am in the process of upgrading AWC to 3.4 for "Pack/Unpack", "Visualization-local graphics card" & other office integration features. Once upgraded, I will surely make use of Dynamic Compound Property.




Hi Mark,

It's been quite some time since we worked together and hope you are doing well.  I found your articles on BoM Management to be excellent!  I'm working at a client who recently migrated from Tc9 where they managed their precise CAD BoM's and at some point, conducted alignment to their discreat Part BoM.  Now that they've moved to Tc11, they're working from a holistic Part / CAD BoM as Imprecise.  This afforded them several benefits, but invited some pain as well.  One Group needs the ability to compose and freeze specific BoM constructs that may use Latest Working / Latest Released, except for specific elements within the BoM where they need to precisely declare a specific Revision of a component (which may actually be 3 Rev's back).  This BoM may be used for communication with their customer, and may or may not necessarily manifest into an actual Build.  They're currently using Snapshots to satisfy this need, but this requires a lot of extra work and doesn't necessarily give them the flexibility they're ultimately looking for. Do you have any ideas of other ways we could attack this issue?




Thanks Randy.  That is basically what they are doing now for a work-around.  Thank you for the links as this will afford me the opportunity to remain abreast of new functionality with the latest release.


Best Regards,


Ken Pasini