EPDM – Troubleshooting Workflows – User/Group Permissions

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated August 30, 2013


Troubleshooting Workflows can be complex and time consuming. In this article I have put together a few tips and tricks, that I have used in the past to resolve permission issues in Workflows.

It is highly recommended that any testing be down in a sandbox/test vault. Please refer to my blog EPDM – Sandbox Vault to learn how to create a sandbox/test vault.

Workflow issues are generally related to permissions and Workflow/Category Conditions. Conditions is covered in a separate blog.

Resolving permission issues is a matter of selecting each State and Transition and ensuring that the user has sufficient permissions. Files inherit access rights from previous states, if a user is given a permission in one state, but that permission was denied in a previous state, the user will still lack that permission.  For example if a user was denied Read file contents in a previous state, that user would not be able to see files in the current state, even though that permission has been granted. To override permissions from a previous state, check Ignore permissions in previous states.

ignore state permissions


If permissions are granted at both the user level and the group level, this can lead to conflicts in permissions. If groups are used, permissions should only be set at the group level. To see if permissions are being set at the user or group level, open up the user from the User node of SolidWorks Enterprise Administration and examine the various permissions.. A group permission  is denoted by an icon with two people.

group permissions

A single person,  or check mark, indicates that the permission has been set at the user level. If you see both the double person ad single person icon , then the permission has been set both at the user and group level. Depending on the version of EPDM you are using, having permissions set at both the user and group level is denoted as shown in the below image.

permissions user and group

To prevent conflicts the, User permission should be unchecked.

In complex workflow copies of the workflow can be saved and each loop can be tested individually. Instead of creating complex workflows simple workflows connected by Workflow Links may be an option.

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Joe Medeiros, CSWE

Joe Medeiros is a SOLIDWORKS and PDM Certified Expert. He has been helping SOLIDWORKS users with training, mentoring and implementations since 1998. He combines industry experience with a thorough understanding of SOLIDWORKS products to assist customers in being successful. He shares his experience and expertise through blogs; one of which has been incorporated into the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training manual.