9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2016 10:09 AM by Marvin Stettner

    handling single computer with multiple users

    Eric Allen

      I'm looking for a solution for a standup console computer in our machine shop. I need to allow many different users to check in machine code and request approval. I also need to allow many users to just have read only access. All users are currently using one user account in Windows. The problem I have is that nobody logs off of EPDM and then the next person just uses the last person's credentials. I would like to have one EPDM user called "SHOP" that has read only access to one file type and no password. This has been working well and I don't see a security risk. I then want to have EPDM users for each person that would like to check files in and request approval.

      For credential management I would consider a magnetic strip card, a usb token or just a password.


      My first question is, how do I auto log off users? The auto log off feature in EPDM doesn't work because it only logs them off when their is a shortage of licenses and then logs them back in when there are licenses available. Is there a way to kill the EPDM process after a certain amount of inactivity?


      My second question is if there is a way to streamline the login process? We will have about 20 read/write users using this PC.


      Lastly, training the users to logoff is not an option. Most of these users have very little computer skills and I have been trying to teach them to log off and it is not going well.


      Thanks in advance!

        • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
          Ryan McVay

          Would it be simpler to use one EPDM account called "Shop" and then have a variable for the "User"? You could use the variable to help determine workflows and know who has a part checked-out by card information. I'm just thinking out loud here.

          • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
            Brian McEwen

            The auto logoff tools and options are very limited.


            Some thoughts... it sounds like you would be using a Contributor (or CAD Editor) license for this setup.  Maybe you should have 2 computers: one for the read-only SHOP folks (Viewer license), and one for the check-in/approval folks.  Then only the Contributor computer would require switching windows users and entering the regular windows login - then it would have automatic EPDM login with same credentials. You can have windows lock after a selected number of minutes, so the next user would have to login with their name... but I think that would not kill the first EPDM login until you ran out of licences.


            FYI if you have multiple users there can be some funny business where people can see files they should not be able to see (perhaps versions that are not released), because someone with permissions already loaded those files into the local cache.  I don't fully know the details, requires testing for your situation...  You can automatically clear the cache, but it does not happen until EPDM logout...


            Clear cache settings are lacking too. For example, you can't set if for a certain shared computer, just for users.

            • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
              Eric Allen

              Thanks guys. I actually do have 2 stand up computers due to how many users come over. I'll have to monitor usage and see if I can make one for advanced users and one for the "SHOP" user. I don't have any viewer licenses and adding a pack of them is not in the budget. I suppose it doesn't matter that "SHOP" has uses a contributor license except that it's a waste.


              I still don't see an awesome solution for my advanced users.

              • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                Rolando Garza

                I'm not familiar with EPDM.

                But, I do know that it is possible -using Task Manager -to schedule tasks to run when the machine is idle for a certain time period.

                For example, you can set the machine to shut down after 20 minutes of idle time.

                Or maybe set it to shut down the application.


                I've never been into streamlined logins if the user has authoring rights.

                It always has to be a deliberate login. (Each user has his own credentials for traceability.)

                For viewing, we just keep them logged in.


                I'm curious though, would getting your users to login/logout correctly solve most of your problem here?

                It appears to me that their decision not to learn a simple practice is causing your company money.

                  • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                    Marvin Stettner

                    Maybe i missunderstood,... why you don't create for every 'shop user' an AD Account. Maybe with the same rights, but it also savety.

                    Ok you are right, in this case you have to teach your user to log in and log off in windows. Also you have to take care about the premission in EPDM.


                    But, in times of XP, everybody has a shortcut or connection on the desktop to shutdown or log off...


                    I'm thinking load...



                  • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                    Ed Cyganik

                    It is a very sad day when one cannot teach a another one how to sign-on/off of a computer.

                      • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                        Eric Allen

                        Agreed, but even our senior guys can't remember to logout.

                        I took Rolando's advice and made a .bat file like this:

                        taskkill /f /IM EdmServer.exe

                        start /min "test" "C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS PDM\EdmServer.exe"


                        I set it to run after 5 minutes of inactivity. I haven't tested it too much yet. I'm slightly worried about data loss. I'm not worried about it closing the open PDM folders if the user was not ready for that to happen.

                        Does anyone see any red flags to this approach?

                          • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                            Charley Saint

                            Any time you are sharing a computer with EPDM you are risking data loss. That because a user can login and check something out he's working on, then walk away without checking it back in. Then someone else can come by login and do something that gets the vaulted version of that file. It will throw a warning that you're about to overwrite a writeable file but most people just ignore that. It's best to setup vaults on a shared computer under the users home directory (Like My Documents) and set it up as a "This user only" view. That requires logging in and out of Windows to work correctly though.

                            • Re: handling single computer with multiple users
                              Charley Saint

                              Also if you're on later editions of 2015 or any version 2016 they added a logoff call to the API, it would be a pretty simple thing to code up in VB.