SOLIDWORKS PDM Rollback Alternative

Article by Justin Williams updated August 31, 2017

We have talked about the SOLIDWORKS PDM Rollback feature before and saw some of the enhancements made to the feature for SOLIDWORKS 2017.  In learning about it we also saw the warning; This function should be used with caution as it permanently deletes file versions.  Personally I’m not a big fan of deleting anything (seriously I’m a data hoarder).  With the following example scenario we’re going to look at a SOLIDWORKS PDM Rollback Alternative method that achieves the same result, without deleting any files.

Example scenario

Here is my simple part;

Sample SOLIDWORKS part, two versions

Sample SOLIDWORKS part, two versions

There are two versions; one with slotted holes (version 2/2) and one without (Version 1/2).  It’s still in the design phase and there’s been a change at a higher level which makes the slotted holes unnecessary, and I need to revert to the previous design (version 1).  Using rollback version 2 will be deleted, but I need to keep it as we may go back to that design.

Rollback without the rollback

WARNING: Make sure the file is CHECKED IN before starting the process to ensure no changes are lost.

  • Via Explorer select the file then;
    • Actions > Get > Version 1
Get previous version

Get previous version

File is local

File is local

This caches version 1 in your local view;

  • Then via explorer copy and paste it outside of the vault to your local machine (ie desktop etc)
Copy and Paste the file outside the vault

Copy and Paste the file outside the vault

  • Then back in the vault check out the part (which forces a Get Latest, overwriting the cached version 1 with version 2)
Get the part

Get the part

  • and copy and paste the locally saved version, replacing the vault version

  • Then check it back in.
    • Although not always required, its important to leave a comment explaining what has happened.
Check the file in

Check the file in

  •  This creates an exact replica of version 1 as version 3.  Leaving version 2 available if we ever need go back to it.
Replica created

Replica created

This is also a useful method if you don’t have rollback privileges within the vault.

Although nothing is being deleted there’s still a need to be cautious with when to use this approach, as it doesn’t work in every scenario.  The example used references a part that’s still at the In Design state and no revision has been assigned.  It this was completed to a file with a revision it would remain at the same revision.

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Justin Williams

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