It’s one of the worst feelings when deadlines are bearing down on you. As you’re browsing through the directory of your current major project, you can’t find a file. Maybe someone deleted it or moved it. Or you open a file but it only gives you a message that the file cannot be opened. Murphy’s Law states that these scenarios always occur hours before your deadline. A little preparation and investment will turn these panic attack moments into a save the day hero moment.
First let’s look at a few scenarios. Did another user move or delete the files? Do you have a way of tracking these changes? Can you bring back a file that was deleted by accident? What if someone overwrites the file with a version that is missing a bunch of information? Can you open a previous version?
What about a file corruption? Although this is rare, it is something to be aware of and understand how to prevent it. Corruptions usually occur during the saving process. If there is an interruption as the data packets are being saved to the disk, a few missing ones and zeros may turn an awesome design into hard drive filler. Saving your files directly over a network has a much greater chance of corruption as there are cables, switches, routers, wall jacks, etc that can all introduce interruptions. See Chris’ post about how networks differ from local drives.
And finally the worst nightmare. A hard disk failure, a fire, a theft. All your data is lost.
Now that I’ve struck fear into your hearts and minds, use this to your advantage! Create a plan to ensure that no file is lost!
- A PDM system is the best solution as this keeps previous revisions of your files, tracks who makes changes, work locally then transfer the files to the network vault to centralize data for easy backups. For more information, see Eric’s post about Enterprise PDM.
- If you are unable to enjoy the advantages of a PDM system, you should always still backup your files. Use the SolidWorks backup tool (http://help.solidworks.com/2013/English/solidworks/sldworks/hidd_options_backups.htm), copy the files to external hard drives, do whatever you need to do so your files will still be there when you need them most.
Changing the value of a variable in the Folder Card may not propagate to File Card, even though the File Card is set to inherit that value from the Folder Card.
The “Update Values in Files…” utility can be used to update the values of a variable for multiple files within a folder.
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There are frequent situations where you need to export some sections (nodes) of your vault. You may want to export a card to re-use it in another vault. Export a template for testing in a test vault or at the request of your VAR (Value Added Reseller).
To export a node, right click on the node and select “Export”. .
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The SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Report Generator can be used to search in a selected file vault for information that you can specify in one or more queries.
A number of sample queries are distributed with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and can be added to the report generator. The sample reports can be accessed on a client, by clicking on Report Examples 1.crp in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM installation directory. The sample queries include ‘File Details’, ‘List all Referenced Docs’, ‘List Work Flows’, ‘Group Members’, ‘Documents in Workflow State’, ‘List Assembly Tree’ just to mention a few.
When you double-click on Report Examples 1.crp, you will be presented with a series of screens that allow you choose which users have access to each Report Generator queries.
Provide user access to a report
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The ping test can be used to troubleshoot communication errors between the server and client computers, as well as between replicated archives. The attached video illustrates how to do this along with the optimal settings to use.
I frequently get asked, “What do all the icons mean?”. This legend is in the EPDM Help file, but it can be difficult to find. Below is the table from the help file, listing the meaning of the icons.
NOTE: If you are having problems seeing the entire table, click on it to open it up fully.
There can be a number of reasons for this message, some of which can be controlled by good Vault View management, others can indicate permissions issues, while other still can indicate problems with file(s).
In many cases this issue can be overcome by:
- Copy or save the file that can’t be saved outside the vault.
- Do an Undo Check-out on the file (you may need the help of your EPDM administrator for this step)
- Check out the file.
- Copy the file from Step 1 back into the vault overwriting the one you checked out.
- Check-in the file.
This should allow to check in the file without loosing all the work you have done since the last successful check-in.
A “grey” file or folder in the vault view means that there is a cached local copy, but the logged in user either does not have read (read file, view working version) permission to that file, or it has been deleted, moved or renamed.
There is a user setting that can be enabled to remove “grey” files or folders that are left behind after the folder has been deleted, renamed or moved. Right-click on the user(s) node, settings, explorer tab, enabled “automatically delete local read-only files that are not part of the file vault”.
In SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2011 many of the commands that I used from the right-click menu, in Explorer Vault view, were moved to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM menu bar. I missed being able to right-click and quickly “clear the local cache”. Luckily in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2012, menus can now be customized to include my favorite commands, including adding “clear local cache” to the right-click menu.
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When Enterprise PDM is set up to use the Windows Active Directory for user logins, the EPDM users’ passwords will match their Windows passwords. But what about the special “Admin” user account? This special account is automatically created for each new vault and cannot be deleted or renamed.
With EPDM set to use the Windows Active Directory, the “Admin” user password cannot be modified in the EPDM Administration Console on the user’s workstations.
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