22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 25, 2016 11:51 AM by Kristopher Hop

    mass migration, huge mess

    Kristopher Hop

      So the major task that came along with my job is to reorganize, and fix/update all the 2-D drawings, 3-D parts, and models. Apparently after they fired the last person the powers that be decided to rearrange all of the drawings by dragging and dropping them into folders in the drive, and because of this most of the models, and their associated 2-D drawings have had their links broken.  I have convinced the boss to loosen her purse strings and let me get the PDM, and now I have begun the long process of rebuilding, and updating these models. I was wondering should I do before I get the software so I can make this a painless as possible process. Any help would be appreciated.

        • Re: mass migration, huge mess
          Chris Clouser

          it depends....

           

          There is a free version of PDM you can start with and migrate to enterprise if you need it.

           

          But you probably don't need PDM.  We are managing somewhere around 100,000 files without PDM.  We will probably implement PDM Standard soon, not necessarily for file management, but rather for revision control, but we are doing OK without as of now.

           

          Many companies make the mistake of trying to be too organized, by putting things in folders based on projects, etc.  This often causes more issues than necessary.

           

          We have a simple file system.  Our main file is our Production file.  That's everything we make.  Then we have a Purchased file with sub folders for various types of purchased items.  This is mainly for finding things fast.  Finally we have a Project folder where the immature projects are worked on before they are moved into Production.

           

          Some places have everything in one folder.  There's not necessarily anything wrong with that either.  You can search with SW Explorer for what you are looking for, hopefully if people were filling out the custom properties.

           

          In your situation, with all the links broken, personally I might start with everything in one folder.  Then the assemblies should be able to find their references quickly.  At that point, you can start organizing into sub folders if you want.

           

          With PDM, I have been told it may be best to have everything pretty much in one folder for speed.  The PDM prefers it as I understand, YMMV.

            • Re: mass migration, huge mess
              Jason Capriotti

              Too many files in one PDM folder will slow down the refresh of that folder significantly. We have one folder with over 10,000 SolidWorks files and take about 20 seconds to display the contents (On a network drive its near instant). Frustrating when you are constantly getting that delay each time you hit "File/Open". So folders are your friend. Luckily you can move things around in PDM and it will update the file references, unlike on a network server.

                • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                  Chris Clouser

                  I can see that viewing might be faster, but overall, I was told by GoEngineer's PDM guru that a single folder produces the fastest overall speed.  When you actually go to open an assembly, supposedly, it's much faster to pull all the files out of one folder.  I can't prove one way or the other though.

                   

                  I like the idea of having just a few, simple folders.  But even these get big over time.  What I do know is that the more folders you have, the more of a mess potential you have.

                    • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                      Jason Capriotti

                      It may be faster to load in SolidWorks, I've never tested it. I think somewhere in the middle is best for balance speed and easy of categorization. There was article I read years ago about folders and how many levels......I think it indicated that below 3-4 levels deep starts to get unwieldy and results in lost time looking for files.

                • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                  Mike Helsinger

                  Forgive me if you have already exhausted these ideas but let's troubleshoot the obvious first..  IF POSSIBLE, see if you can drag / drop the files back to their previous locations.  The links are still trying to look in the last known locations until you tell them to look elsewhere.  I know this may not be possible and I'm sure it's a mess.

                   

                  Your I.T. may be able to restore the system to a previous date before things got yanked around.

                   

                  The next step I would try - you can use SW Explorer to repair broken mates as well, without a PDM setup.  If you speak the language of macros you may be able to write one to help with the necessary repairs.  I am not fluent enough to help with that one.

                   

                  Good luck to you!

                  • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                    Rolando Garza

                    Collect all the files into one folder.

                    Change the Referenced Documents list in Options to include this folder.

                    Open save and close the files to establish the new links.

                    • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                      Kristopher Hop

                      ...here's the part that scares me the most there are so many drawings in so many sub-sub folders I'm afraid that if I start moving stuff around..well I'm not sure who's day I'm going to screw up?

                      • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                        Craig Schultz

                        I just tried something and it worked.  Maybe you could try on a few files.

                         

                        I created a part, created the drawing.  Moved the files into separate folder on my desktop.  Opened the drawing....reference was broken.  So I copied the model and the drawing (from separate folders) into a folder in the vault.  I checked them in, reference was there.  This might be less painful than you think. 

                         

                        Try copying a group of files from your current structure into a folder in the vault.  See if it works. 

                          • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                            Rolando Garza

                            didn't he say he had no vault currently?

                              • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                Craig Schultz

                                "I was wondering should I do before I get the software so I can make this a painless as possible process. Any help would be appreciated."

                                 

                                So I wouldn't do it before, it would be wasting time.  Deal with it on a as needed basis until the vault is up.  Otherwise try what Rolando suggested on a handful of drawings/assemblies/parts.  It seems like the most pain free way to do it without a vault.  The time people waste when some "decides" to move files is well worth the cost of ePDM.

                              • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                Brian McEwen

                                Craig, And you didn't have to run Update References in EPDM (or PDM-P or PDM-S)? I can see how it would figure things out sometimes...

                                If links in SW are badly broken then moving them into the vault will not fix them, but there are some things you can do with Update References tool. If you are going with PDM with the help of a VAR I would talk to them before moving files around (into the single folder scheme or whatever).

                                 

                                PDM Standard is not free, unless you already have SolidWorks Professional or Premium.

                                 

                                OP - how many files are we talking about? If you are restructuring or implementing a PDM system you need buy-in so that people know and accept that you are making changes. You have to talk to everyone involved.

                                  • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                    Craig Schultz

                                    Craig, And you didn't have to run Update References in EPDM (or PDM-P or PDM-S)? I can see how it would figure things out sometimes... 
                                    ePDM, we haven't moved to '16 yet.

                                     

                                    No updates.  I'm guessing it's because they were both fresh in the vault and in the same folder.  So it looked there first for the model.  Just a guess of course.  I believe that's how it work when I migrated files when I first implemented ePDM here.  The files were broken out just like the OP said.  I moved everything into one folder in the vault and they opened correctly.  It was a while ago and no headaches involved, so it doesn't really stick in my memory.

                                    • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                      Kristopher Hop

                                      To be perfectly honest I have no idea how many files are involved...I'm guessing one thousand plus. Monday I am going to set up a meeting with my co-workers, and the salesman before I pull the trigger on this purchase.

                                        • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                          Brian McEwen

                                          Are you only considering Solidworks PDM Pro?    1000 or 2000 files is relatively small.  ...GrabCAD Workbench is free, it has some limitations, I would call it a PDM alternative because (like no PDM and network drives) you have to use SolidWorks Explorer for renaming files. Just a thought.  I'm definitely in favor of some sort of PDM system at companies of any size.

                                          Don't rush it too much. It will take more than one meeting to sort out.

                                          Good luck.

                                    • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                      Ryan McVay

                                      Ensure that you don't have duplicate file names! That one will kill you and your assemblies. Put all your standard parts into EPDM first.

                                      • Re: mass migration, huge mess
                                        Kristopher Hop

                                        thanks for all the help guys. Had a meeting and looks like we are going with the free version for now, and going to get some help with set up, and some training.