22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2016 9:04 AM by David Chiles

    PDM Standard Workflow and revisions

    Ethan Kay

      I'm new to EPDM / PDM Standard and trying to set up a workflow with revisions.  I've done this on Workgroup and in Smarteam and it should be simple but doesn't seem to be.  I'm seeing that Solidworks PDM uses a field called "Version" for sequential number independed on revisions as a way to track the order in which files are checked in.

       

      The revision scheme we use is primary and secondary numbering so the first check in of any file (EPDM version 1) will be A.00.  The secondary part of this will be incremented from 00 to nn until release, this should happen any time a file is checked in/checked out.  On release the secondary revision is dropped off and the file becomes Revision A.  When the ECR process is started for a released part the revision should become  B.00.

       

      Below is the workflow I have set up. When I add a new file the revision is blank and the EPDM version is 1.  When I check in and out the version increments but there is no change to the revision.  If I run through the process on release the revision changes to A and when I move it through the ECR transition it stays at A until I check it out from the work in process node.  Then the revision becomes blank.   When I run through the workflow again to release the revision is again set to A.  So after a few passes through the process I am on file version 5 that has been released to rev A three times.  For clarity in our process the "Approved" state should be "Prototype", an the "No Approval Required" is for off the shelf parts.

      pdm workflow.jpg

        • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
          Faur Arama

          Hello,

          First of all a revision increment must be done in a transition. I you want add a revision on first checkin you must add a new state before work in progress and an automatic transition to work in progress that will add first revision.

          As far as know there is no method, out of the box, to increment revisions on every checkin.

            • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
              Ethan Kay

              I was thinking I could just have it update a custom property on check-in but I can't see any way to do that but the state has a revision numbers tab so I was trying to use it.  On top of that no mater what I do the revision number is cleared when I check the file out then back in at the work in process state after the ECR process so then next time it goes through the process it gets assigned rev A again.

               

              Also so since this is SolidWorks PDM standard there is no Automatic Workflow so I will need to add a state and workflow that is just for initial check-in.

                PDM state revision.png

                • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                  Craig Schultz

                  I don't know what you are able to do in the standard version with revision schemes, but here it goes by my guessing....

                   

                  Under "revision number components" have your Alpha rev component set to the A,B,C....  In your numerical rev set it to "Value from list" with line 1 blank, line 2 = 00, 3 = 01, etc....

                   

                  Then set up your "revision number" with [alpha component][numerical component]

                   

                  Under your "revision numbers" tab in the transitions you have shown above:

                       New Version/Reject Changes/(add another transition from Design review back to WIP) - increment the number component by 1, leave alpha blank.

                   

                       Release transition - Set numeric to 0 (it should just be blank), leave alpha blank.

                   

                       ECR - Increment alpha by 1, reset numeric to 2 (should be 00)

                   

                   

                  Also set a new initial state with the transition (automatic if possible) going into WIP where the revision tab sets alpha to 0 (should show A, if not try 1) and the numeric set to 2 (shows 00)

                    • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                      Jeremiah Davis

                      Hello Ethan,

                       

                      Here are a couple of quick questions.

                       

                      Where do you have your transition actions Increment Revision and Set Variable?

                       

                      You can only have 2 revision schemes in Standard. So that would be an Alpha (A, B, etc.) and an Alpha Numeric (A.00, A.01, etc.)

                       

                      Based on what you have described here, it sounds like the system revision is being modified (as it should) but the revision variable is not. When you release a document and use the Incrememt Revision, it will set the System Revision to A (assuming that is your revision scheme). However, when you check that document out and back in, the new version of the document no longer has a Revision Flag, so the system revision is dropped. However, it will retain the Revision Variable, if you have the workflow setting this.

                       

                      Is this helpful?

                        • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                          Ethan Kay

                          Hi Jeremiah,

                          It seems that the documentation for some of the necessary settings is lacking on this, especially since either the UI is different from EPDM to SolidWorks PDM standard or there was a UI update sometime between 2013 and 2016 but most of the documents I found are 2011 or 2013.

                           

                          I have one revision scheme working (almost) with the two components as Craig mentioned.   What isn't clear anywhere is what this is showing me and why i need to tell it to show me a field is updated.  In the chart below the action of "Set Variable" (Revision) updates the line in this table named Revision.  When I run through the transition state both (Gold Nugget-Revision) and (Gear-Local revision) get set to the same Value, but then I check the file out and back in (Gold Nugget-Revision) doesn't change (and Gear-Local Revision) changes to "No Revision" even though I did not tell it to delete the local copy. Also (Gear-Local Version) increments so I know there is an update query that added a line to one or more table which is why probably why (Gear-local Revision) cleared, although I don't know why (Gear-local state) didn't unless the program is specifically telling it to update (Gear-local revision) on check-in.

                           

                          FYI: I couldn't find any definition of what the Gold nuggets and Gears stand for in the admin or user document so?

                          variable table.png

                           

                          Next question: when I set the variable, do I want "Next Revision" or "Revision"? Is this dependent on if the Set Variable action comes before or after the Inc. Revision action?

                          SV transaction.png

                            • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                              Craig Schultz

                              1st pic - I get the same thing.  I don't know why it does that either.  There was much time spent by me trying to figure it out which led to no rhyme or reason.  My revision variable for the model/part was correct, so I have ultimately learned to ignore the "No Revision" tag.  Just pay attention to your Gold Nugget "Revision" variable.

                               

                              2nd pic - Next Revision

                               

                              Inc. Revision is to bump the version if I'm remembering right.  Basically drawing a line in the sand of a point you can roll back to.

                                • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                  Jeremiah Davis

                                  Increment Revision bumps the Revision in the revision scheme. So if you are using an Alpha scheme, currently at B, the workflow transition action Increment Revision bumps the System Revision (Gear) to C. The Set Variable using "Next Revision" sets the variable Revision (Golden Nugget) to match the system revision. Assuming they are used in the same transition.

                                   

                                  Doing this will create a new version of the document, that version will have the Revision flag (which can be seen in the history of the document). Creating a new version (check out, make change, check in) creates another new version that does not have the Revision flag. Which is why it shows up as "No Revision".

                                    • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                      Ethan Kay

                                      Jeremiah,

                                      Does it make any difference what order the "Set Variable" and "Inc. Revision" actions take place in the same transition? Do I always use the "Next Revision"

                                       

                                      Next question:

                                      Do I need to use the "Set Variable" command for anything that I want to pass from PDM system to the file/file card?  I'm thinking of Checked by, checked date, approved by, and approved date pushing to file properties.

                                       

                                      Thanks

                                        • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                          Jim Sculley

                                          Ethan Kay wrote:

                                           

                                          Jeremiah,

                                          Does it make any difference what order the "Set Variable" and "Inc. Revision" actions take place in the same transition? Do I always use the "Next Revision"

                                           

                                          Yes.  Inc Revision should be last.  "Set Variable" actions will do a checkout/checkin behind the scenes.  If you increment the revision and then set a variable, the version will increment as a result of the 'secret' checkout/checkin and the revision will be lost.

                                    • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                      Jeremiah Davis

                                      Hello Ethan,

                                       

                                      You will want Next Revision.

                                       

                                      But the difference between the Golden Nuggets and Gears is not exactly obvious. The Golden Nuggets are file variables. When you create the variable and it has that check box "Show in Explorer", that means it will be shown here as a Golden Nugget. The Gears are system variables, things you can't change, like System Revision, Local State, etc., that you have no control to directly change.

                            • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                              Steven Dod

                              You should be able to use Dispatch to update the property after each check out so it will show while the person is working on the file.  Take a look at this link and see if you can use some form of it for your needs.

                               

                              http://blog.inflow-tech.com/inflow/2013/01/display-the-enterprise-pdm-file-version-in-a-solidworks-drawing.html

                               

                              https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/98980

                                • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                  Ethan Kay

                                  Hi Steven,

                                  Unfortunately Dispatch is only available for PDM Professional, PDM standard does not allow for any automation, although it is supposed to still read and write SW file properties as far as I know.

                                    • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                      Wayman John

                                      Ethan,

                                      Did you ever crack this?

                                      I am trying to implement a similar (A.00, A.01, B.00, etc.) release scheme here in a trial vault and I am seeing many of the same problems. Even after reading this thread!

                                      Particularly, I am finding that my part is at 'Version Number 1/1 at first checkin, then, when I release it, it changes to 2/2, with a local revision of A

                                      I want it to be at 00, 01, etc. until it is approved for release, when I want it to be A.00.

                                      The help is a little, shall we say, vague, in my opinion.

                                      When I did a similar thing using Pro/Intralink, it took me a couple of days, but I have been messing with this for longer than that...

                                      I know the VAR's want to sell consultancy days to configure this stuff, but I can't see why anyone would cough up unless they were reasonably convinced that it would do what they wanted. Without a trial setup, how can we be sure?

                                      I am surprised nobody has posted an 'idiot's guide' to setting this software up, step-by-step.

                                      At the moment, I am trying one set of settings, creating a part, logging in as an approver, approving it and seeing what happens. Then repeat with another set of settings. It's a long-winded process.

                                      I would be grateful for some advice here.

                                      I can't help thinking I am pretty close, as you were earlier, Ethan. I just need a final nudge to the point where I realise just what the good points and the limitations of the software really are.

                                      It certainly looks as if it might be more capable than Workgroup PDM, at least in terms of workflow/release scheme.

                                      I'll find out about the rest later.

                                       

                                      SW2016, SP1

                                       

                                      Cheers,

                                       

                                       

                                      John

                                        • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                          Ethan Kay

                                          Hi John,

                                          I got what I was trying to get to working, although it is a little annoying without the automatic transitions.  I'm not entirely sure I follow how your workflow would work but it sounds like you have two revision schemes which is not supported by PDM standard. I think overall the revisions in PDM standard a slightly more customizable than Work-group but still too chopped down compared to most paid systems.  It sounds like what you want is:

                                           

                                          00

                                          01

                                          02

                                          Release (Is this A or A.00)

                                          A.00

                                          A.01

                                          Release (B?)

                                           

                                          The "Version" is just a database field for PDM to keep track of the progression of a file from every check-in and operation.  If you have anything that is setting a variable on the file during a transition then it is going to increment the version, also check in and check out increment the version but do not change the revision number.  The revision only changes when the file is moved through a transition in the workflow which I find to be really frustrating since I would rather it incremented on check-in/check-out.

                                            • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                              Jim Sculley

                                              Ethan Kay wrote:

                                               

                                              The "Version" is just a database field for PDM to keep track of the progression of a file from every check-in and operation. If you have anything that is setting a variable on the file during a transition then it is going to increment the version, also check in and check out increment the version but do not change the revision number. The revision only changes when the file is moved through a transition in the workflow which I find to be really frustrating since I would rather it incremented on check-in/check-out.

                                              Slight correction.  The version is only incremented on check in, not on check out.  Also, if revisions happened on check-in/check-out, you could increase your potential for lost work since you could not check in the file periodically, if for example you were working on a very complicated ECR/ECN affecting many different files.  Remember, all your changes happen locally.  Until you check it in, you are at the mercy of your hard drive reliability.  Best practices would have you checking the files in at least daily, so that there is a copy of your latest work in two places, you local cache and on the server.

                                                • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                                  Ethan Kay

                                                  Hi Jim,

                                                  I guess I should have been a bit more percise.  I usually combine Check-out/Check-in as one action when referring to versions since you can't check in without first checking out, but yes you don't create one each time.

                                                   

                                                  In referance to revisions on check-in my comment is that you can't force any part of the revision number to change on check-in without an automatic process.  When I was running SmarTeam every time you checked out the part it would increment the secondary revision number so A.00 would become A.01.  This actually functioned the same as versions in PDM Standard except they were tied to the revision rather than in SW PDM they are continually incremented.  The problem with the way PDM standard works is that I had to add a state in the workflow for "Sent for quote" in order to increment the secondary revision to track what version was sent for quote.  Not updating on either check-in/check-out requires two additional states in the workflow. "New File" and "Sent for Quote"

                                                   

                                                  Workflow with quote.jpg

                                                    • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                                      Jim Sculley

                                                      Ethan Kay wrote:

                                                       

                                                      Hi Jim,

                                                      I guess I should have been a bit more percise. I usually combine Check-out/Check-in as one action when referring to versions since you can't check in without first checking out, but yes you don't create one each time.

                                                      I would think of it the other way around.  You can't check a file out without first checking it in.  After all, when you first add a file to the vault, it isn't checked in.  And, when a file is checked in, you can check it out, make a bunch of changes and then undo the check out, discarding all your changes, and the version won't increment.  Can you mark up your image with what revision number you would like to see at each state and how they would increment, leaving out the states you say you had to add to get it working the way you want?  Mark it up as though you had a test file you were sending through the most complicated path. 

                                                • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                                  Wayman John

                                                  Thanks, Ethan.

                                                  That helped it make a bit more sense.

                                                  I am definitely making progress here. I can make the objects cycle through the workflow I want now, given the proviso that you mentioned, that there cannot be the initial .00 state.

                                                  I'll keep plugging away...

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  John

                                            • Re: PDM Standard Workflow and revisions
                                              David Chiles

                                              Ethan and John,

                                              First, thanks for sharing your experience.  Like you guys I find the documentation lacking and I imagine there will be many WGPDM to PDMS transition'ers that will find this post helpful.  There's just not much out there.

                                               

                                              So, I too am trying to replicate the WGPDM  revision scheme. I'm stuck between using two revisions schemes or one.  What did you guys end up with?  I'm thinking I should use one revision scheme and increment or not increment the desired Alpha or Numeric value as needed, but I'm not sure.  Currently I've been testing with two - an "Intermediate" (an Alpha-Numeric revision used for non-Released documents, and a "Release Revision Scheme" (Alpha revision only).  My Alpha Revision uses List values starting with PRE, -, A, B,C...).  My Numeric is using Format string Number 00   I've add the "New File" state to "Check In" transition to flag my first revision using the Intermediate .  My desired revision scheme is to look like this:

                                              • PRE (on initial Check In).  Could be PRE00 if need be but this is not our current WGPDM scheme.
                                              • PRE01, PRE02, PRE03...  (on Changes Required back to WIP)
                                              • -, A, B, C... (on Release)
                                              • -01, A01, B01 (on Revision Required back to WIP)

                                              I kinda have things working, but not quite.  The Local revision (Gear) updates but the Revision (Golden Nugget) does not.  I am still really fuzzy on when to do what on the transition "Revision Numbers" tab (Increment by, Reset to) and/or the State "Revision Numbers" tab so this may be my problem.  Any help is appreciated.

                                               

                                              Capture.JPG