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How to prevent broken references being checked into a SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault

Article by Justin Williams created/updated August 28, 2017

Nobody enjoys being greeted by this error message when opening an assembly in SOLIDWORKS.

Open Summary

Open Summary

It usually means there’s a broken reference…

Broken reference

Broken reference

Yup definitely broken.

Within a SOLIDWORKS PDM environment this can happen when migrating files via explorer into the vault.  When dragged into the vault, no reference are evaluated.  This allows you to add files in any order you wish.

They key step is the initial check-in.  When the files are checked into the vault the references are written to the database.

If everything is accounted for at this point then the vault will do its magic and maintain the file references as they are moved or renamed within the vault.

The initial check-in crucial…the vault can only track what it can account for therefore broken references happen if the assembly reference is not found or is outside the vault at the time of initial check in.

The good news is that there’s a warning when this is about to happen;

File not found

File not found

Or the following message:

Outside SOLIDWORKS PDM

Outside SOLIDWORKS PDM

With the appropriate permissions we can turn this from a warning into a STOP action via the PDM  Administration Tool;

  • Administration Tool > [Vault Name] > Groups > [Group Name] > Warnings
    • Affected Option = Check In
      • Check the boxes for ‘File not found.’ and ‘Outside SOLIDWORKS PDM’
Warnings Options

Warnings Options

Thus stopping an assembly with broken references being references being checked into the vault;

Check in blocked

Check in blocked

I strongly recommend implementing this as a preventative measure to adding assemblies/parts/drawings with broken references.

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Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a Data Management Applications Expert based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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