14 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2016 3:16 PM by Bill Stadler

    File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry

    Jim Sculley

      Over the Christmas holiday, I remoted in to work to kick off the file version upgrade for our 70,000 SolidWorks files.  Everything went fairly well, but now that I am back at work I have been looking at the log files from the client machines used in the upgrade and I am finding that all the files (that I've looked at so far) that failed to upgrade were part models with imported geometry.  When I open these models, a dialog asks if I want to start feature recognition.  I suspect this dialog may be interfering with the FVUT.


      So, if you have a lot of EPDM files with imported geometry, you may have problems when you use the FVUT.

        • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
          Jory Blagden

          "So, if you have a lot of EPDM files with imported geometry, you may have problems when you use the FVUT."


          THIS ^^^^^ is not making me any happier right now as probably 25% of our junk has some form of imported geometry. It is bad enough that it never imports without a bunch of errors and missing faces and gaps and yada yada yada. Then if you can't get the parts to heal the drawings won't section properly.

          • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
            Tim Webb

            Unless there is a significant gain to doing the FVUT, like faster model opening or rebuilding, I don't recommend it. My standard approach is to touch fix.

              • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                Jory Blagden

                Hey, Tim. Long time, no see. I agree. I think we will just update them as we go as well. SW2016 is like meeting a new girl at a bar. You want to kiss her but there is no telling what you'll catch. Everyday some new fails with this new release.


                It's just like the dangling carrot. We all want the newest, coolest stuff, and the salesmen know it. They show us all the neat stuff....then we upgrade....and it's a massive failure. Of course I want the increased speed of the newer files...but not sure I want to risk the computer HIV to get it.

                • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                  Bill Stadler

                  How does one determine if there is a significant gain?  How does touch fix work when you have over a 100 users and couple of hundred thousand SW files in EPDM.  Assemblies referencing tens of thousands of parts and sub-assemblies.  Do they open their assembly, check everything out everything, save and check everything back in?  What about the next assembly referencing many of the same components?  Do the same?


                  Also please enlighten us to why not only VARS but SolidWorks as well preach that for performance and stability reasons that it is highly recommended?    Why does SW provide how many files have not been converted to the new version in Assembly Expert?


                  I am sorry but this hits a nerve and is one of the biggest pains of going to a new release.

                    • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                      Tom Cote

                      Files in older versions of SWx have to be converted to the new release EVERY time you open the assembly which ultimately has an effect on assembly performance.  So to help you know which files still need to be upgraded SW built it into the Assembly Expert tool (now called Performance Evaluation in SWx 2016).

                      • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                        Charley Saint

                        The reason it's so important in EPDM is that you have to check out the files to update them to the new version, which isn't possible in many cases. For instance if you've got a bunch of off the shelf parts, or files in a released state a user generally has to move the files to an editable state, check them out, rebuild and check-in, then move them back in the workflow. The FVUT helps admins get around that so the users don't have to think about it. I usually recommend only running this on parts, it's the least likely path to screw anything up. I also use it to occasionally check the health of the vault since it opens every files and logs errors in them, see this thread for a script I wrote to parse the output log:


                        Assembly File Missing References

                        • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                          Tim Webb

                          Hi Jim, Jory, Bill, Tom, and Charley! Full house on this post!



                          Frustrations understood guys. SolidWorks has made claims that there has been an improved performance with open and rebuild times in the later versions of SolidWorks.


                          Disclaimer: Trust but verify. I am skeptical My standard recommendation is begin planning for touch fix on "active projects only" to avoid any issues with your data. Read that, "YOUR DATA" spoken with my best James Earl Jones voice. I don't trust technology claims unless I can verify it works myself. Take this seriously.


                          Starting with a touch fix plan isn't where you stop planning though, which is why I mention "unless there are gains". Every business will end up doing something different because they all use the tools differently. Agreed, the touch-fix upgrade workflow Charley mentioned above means taking files out of release or finding referenced files in various states along with other complicating factors. And agreed, the FVUT does appear to work well in most cases but like Tom and Charley also mentioned, there are constraints. This decision should be weighed against processes for the organization, project workload with the organization, availability of experts to consult with, stakeholder comfort level with the risks, legacy experiences, what is being said on forums, what the VARs are saying, etc. There is never a good time for an upgrade.


                          The best thing you can do for your business is NOT be a victim (not saying anyone here is), come to YOUR OWN conclusions about using the FVUT or touch fix by staying informed, finding a solution partner or consultant to advise, form a strategy, and then own the process like a BOSS!


                          If touch fix isn't going to work for your organization, I recommend making sure there is a complete backup of (E)PDM, copy your entire (E)PDM system (if you need assistance, contact me) to another server (virtual maybe), and install SW there. Remember, it is YOUR DATA. Again, ALWAYS make sure you have a current backup. ALWAYS. SolidWorks testing includes (not limited to):

                          • Running some time comparisons for the open and rebuild operations in SolidWorks for old version and new version of SW
                          • Standard daily design / drafting operations your team uses
                          • Printing or converting to PDF
                          • SW macros
                          • 3rd party tools or add-ins
                          • etc.

                          Then with (E)PDM, the testing includes (not limited to):

                          • Compare transition times between old and new versions
                          • FVUT
                          • Checkout/in operations
                          • Test any custom add-ins
                          • Test file conversions
                          • Test your dispatch scripts
                          • Test any other 3rd party tools you use
                          • etc.


                          All the while watch for errors and instability as well as improvements and enhancements. Write the results up in a report and share it with your team of stakeholders so there is not a single point of failure and rests on many shoulders, not just one. This isn't about being perceived as not being able to do the job alone or about pride, it is about your business's time, money and data management.



                          Be vocal, talk with your VARs or solution partners, develop your strategy for the touch-fix or FVUT, and remember there is not a blanket solution that will fit every organization because every business uses these tools differently. If this type of a backup can't be done, touch fix active projects only until you can focus resources on testing. But keep looking and moving ahead.


                          Come to your own conclusions BTW, I did find that open and rebuild times in SW2015 were faster than SW2014. Haven't tested SW2016 yet.


                          Hope this helps,


                            • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                              Tom Cote

                              Well written Tim,


                              It's the same philosophy that I use with customers too.  As you said every company is different but so far what's worked pretty well for me is a combination of both.  Use the FVUT but realize that it's going to skip probably about 25% of the files for some reason or another.  Using the report we then decide if these become a touch-fix now or if they wait until a change to the file is needed.  A common approach for the files that didn't upgrade is to not touch them immediatly but instead when opening assembly models look at the Assembly Expert (for pre 2016) / Performance Evaluation (2016) and look for files in older version of SWx and upgrade them as needed.  This approach spreads the workload out over a fairly long time.


                              Also; I typically do not use the FVUT on SWx drawings, I figure those are typically only getting opened if you are making a change so the "hit" to convert the drawing to the current version of SWx is only once.


                              As Tim wrote though there is no one size fits all approach to upgrading SWx &/or (E) PDM.



                              • Re: File Version Upgrade Tool Chokes On Imported Geometry
                                Bill Stadler

                                Fair enough.  We do backup and have a replicated test vault for testing.  I have been very vocal with our VAR and directly with SW about this for at least the last 15 years.  I will be speaking directly with SW at SolidWorks World this year again as well.


                                The problem lies in the EPDM upgrade tool being unreliable when it comes to large datasets.  In the past years I had 10 to fifteen computers converting files only to wake up a 2AM in the morning to find thousands of files left checked out as well as multiple files converted multiple times.  When we went to 2014 I actually had two instances that converted a part then went to the next and copied the previously converted file over the next one.  Needless to say I stopped converting and the majority of our vault is not converted.


                                If anyone from SW is reading this thread please please please do everything it takes to make file conversion transparent to you customers.  With hundreds of thousands of SW files (over a million for Greg in another thread), large number of users collaborating, in multiple locations, 5 replicated archive servers, and a unreliable conversion tool this is a nightmare every time we upgrade.