SOLIDWORKS PDM Look for Variable in Configuration Options

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated August 30, 2018


When defining a BOM in SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration.



There are a number of options for choosing which Configurations to grab the Variable Value from.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Look for Variable

Look for Variable options

In this article, we will review the following SOLIDWORKS PDM Look for Variable options:

  • Look for variable in all configurations – This option will display the first Value, of any Configuration. There are conditions regarding which configuration are chosen, but none can be defined by the user.
  • Look for variable in given list of configurations – This Option will look at a user specified, list of Configurations. This Option works well, if a known and consistent, convention is used for naming Configurations. PDM will search for a Configuration Variable, starting with the first Configuration on the list and work it’s way down. With this Option selected, the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons are used define the order in which the configurations are searched.
  • Look for variable in all configurations – This option will look for the variable, in the configuration of the component, that is being referenced in top level document such as an assembly. As an example, a component has two configurations, one called Long and the other called Short. An assembly is using the Long configuration of this component. When viewing the BOM, the Variable Value that is displayed, will be that of the Long configuration.
  • Look for variable in referenced configuration, and, if empty, in custom properties – This option is similar to ‘Look for variable in all configurations’, but with this option, if the Variable Value does not exist in the Referenced Configuration, PDM will take the Value from the  components Custom Properties, if possible.
  • Look for variable in active configuration – This option will display the the Variable Value, of a components Active Configuration. The Active Configuration, is the Configuration that was active, when the component was last saved.
  • Look for variable in reference specific values – This option allows a user assign and see a specific reference, between an assembly and its components. As an example,  the same configuration of the same component, is referenced in two assemblies. If the configuration specific property was being referenced, then the same value would show in each assemblies BOM. Using reference specific values, different values could be shown in each assemblies BOM.
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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.