21 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2009 12:27 PM by Adam Meyer

    PDMWE Versioning issues

    Matt Gjertson
      When we do a minor revision, it is just to change file data, not actually change the model, so there is no need to update its parent assemblies. However, if you do not change the parent assemblies, you lose the file reference for the new version of the file. We use the option to always use latest version, so why does this happe?

      For example, Assembly1 (version 1/1) uses PartA(version 1/1). PartA undergoes a minor revision, and does not change geometrically, so technically Assembly1 needs no change. PartA is now version 2/2. If you look on the Contains tab for Assembly1, it says it uses PartA(version 2/2). However, if you look at the Where Used tab for PartA, it says version 2/2 is not used anywhere, only version 1/2 is used in Assembly1.

      This seems like either a glitch, or an option somewhere, but the guy from our VAR that has been handling our install says this is what it is supposed to do, but he seems unsure of himself. Could anyone please provide some insight into this issue? Thanks in advance.

      PDMWE 2008 sp2.0
      SW 2008 sp1.0
        • PDMWE Versioning issues
          Jeff Sweeney
          I remember talking about this in my "PDM Theory 350" class in college.

          Strictly speaking, in the PDM world there is no difference between major and minor revisions. A change is a change. Since it is a PDM's job to tell you exactly what a file looked like at a particular point in time, the behavior you are seeing is theoretically correct -in your example Assembly1 (1/1) had PartA(1/1) on it the last time it was checked in...PartA(2/2) did not exist yet.
            • PDMWE Versioning issues
              Matt Gjertson
              Ok, but what about the "Always work with latest version of files" option? One would think that having that option checked would always work with the latest version of files, exactly like the option says. However, that option only works down from an assembly to a part. It does not work up. So the assembly says it uses the latest version of a part, but the latest version of the part shows no reference.

              The "Where used" tab was one of the biggest things we were looking forward to with PDMW, since it was instant instead of waiting half an hour with SW Explorer. Our VAR says all you have to do is look where each version of the file is used, but that just becomes time consuming and only allows for more errors.
            • PDMWE Versioning issues
              Jeff Sweeney
              I feel your pain. As far as I know, the only way to find out where a part is used - regardless of the version is to click through the versions one at a time.

              Below is an enhancement request I turned in back in December. Feel free to turn it in as well....I write 'em, you sign 'em!

              Problem: "We need a true "Where used" - regardless of versions"
              Solution Ideas: "Imagine I have a part that has many different versions. I know this part has been used on several assemblies at different versions over time. I want to know every assembly this part has ever been used on; regardless of the version. The only way I have found to do it is by picking each version in the "Where Used" tab - one at a time and writing down each assembly I find. Please give us a better way!"
                • PDMWE Versioning issues
                  Matt Gjertson
                  Ok, thanks. Glad to see I'm not the only one with this issue as our VAR did not seem to understand what I was talking about. I submitted a similar ER the other day, but I'll submit yours too. I'll be sure to pass it on when I see someone else with the same problem.
                    • PDMWE Versioning issues
                      Patrick Kennedy
                      I agree with Jeff. The Where Used tab "Show All" button needs to really show "all"...

                      However, I dawns on me I've been looking at it from a different perspective. The previous system I used (not with SolidWorks) had a command where it would update an assembly's references to the latest versions of its components. I never realized how much work it was saving me!

                      Ideally, PDMWE would be enhanced to do the same thing. However, they should at least put the "Latest Version" button from the Get form onto the Check Out form. That way I don't have to do a Get Latest on the components immediately after checking out the assembly. It seems like a "no brainer" to me...

                      Pat
                  • PDMWE Versioning issues
                    Sachin Nagane
                    Guys,

                    I had the same issue that MAT described. I would think that there should be an option during " Check In" to select and update the assemblies where the part is currently being used. So the assemblies can be updated.

                    The only way it can work now, is that you need to checkout the parent assembly with the latest version of everything and checkin the parent assembly so all the new version of all the parts and subassemblies would show the parent assembly in the "where used" tab on PDMWORKS
                    • PDMWE Versioning issues
                      Brian Slick
                      We are still very new to Enterprise (not even installed yet), but based on past data management experience, I see the ability to always automatically grab the latest version as extremely dangerous. I guess it would be contingent upon what kind of states exist, implications of those states, etc. If you have a state that means "ready for production," and have rules that either imply or enforce that all components in an assembly share that same state, then you absolutely would not want to always grab the latest version of everything. The latest version of any number of parts could be in a "being revised" state, so grabbing those automatically would show you incorrect information.

                      I'd also be willing to bet that people relying on some kind of "Always get latest version" functionality also see a disproportionately high rate of assembly constraint failures (whether they know it or not). If a part five levels down in the assembly has gone from 1 foot long to 12 feet long, but that change has not yet been properly propagated up through the subassemblies, then you will be viewing a top-level assembly that expects 1 foot, but actually has 12 feet. Now imagine if the change was more subtle, yet still important. Design intent could cause a reaction that you'd never see.

                      I'd leave the setting turned off, personally. The ability goes a long way towards defeating the purpose of having version control in the first place.
                        • PDMWE Versioning issues
                          Mike Sveda
                          Having the latest on is working best for us. We always want the shop to have the latest version of a part. It's hard to explain, but our assemblies are almost always a one-off version. We make custom automation equipment and each assembly is essentially a prototype as it gets built. When someone wants a print we want the latest version to be pulled and used. Using the Hostory feature we can see what changed over time using the edrawings viewer. An ADMIN can pull a previous version assembly out of the vault if needed. If a part has to change drastically for one machine and not on another, then that part gets copied to a new drawing number as it can no longer function on the other assy.
                        • PDMWE Versioning issues
                          Jeff Sweeney
                          It depends on who you are. In Mike's example, it makes sense to set that setting on for the manufacturing groups. IMHO, you almost have to allow engineers to see older versions.

                          It is nice you can set that setting depending on who is using the system.
                            • PDMWE Versioning issues
                              Tom Hayward
                              Our company produces medical products that are subject to US FDA regulations. An automatic roll up to the latest version is something we wouldn't want as this could mess up a carefully validated design. Any PDMWE enhancement must include a switch to enable or disable this behaviour to support each company's requirements for design, production, and regulatory compliance.
                                • PDMWE Versioning issues
                                  Lucas Dexter
                                  Great discussion on the use of the "Always use latest version" option.

                                  Personally I agree with Brian's line of thinking. When we first implimented PDMWE, users were screaming because when they updated a part in an assembly, the assembly would not show the updated part automatically like they were used to in Windows Explorer. They wanted me to turn on the "Always use latest version" option. The biggest issue with that option is you do not have a choice to see other versions. Another issue is you do not see the assembly as it was last released to production. I convinced the masses that using the "Always use latest version" option can be a dangerous thing.

                                  When the option is turned off, you can still get the assembly with all parts as the latest version to see what the assembly will look like but you will not be looking as it was released. You can also use the 'latest version'/'referenced version' buttons in the 'Get' dialog box so you can see the difference on the fly even though the assembly is using older versions of components in reality. This is basically what is happening when the "Always use latest version" option is turned on. It is loading the latest version in your cache but it is not automatically updating the assembly with the latest version of the components in the database. That is why you do not see certain files when doing a where used on the latest version of the components in the assembly. That latest component is not being used in the database yet even though your local cache is using it - that is where the danger comes in.

                                  One last thought: If you are always looking at the latest version (possibly in progress versions) you are defeating the purpose of having a PDM system. You may as well go back to using Windows Explorer where all files are at the latest version all the time.
                                    • PDMWE Versioning issues
                                      Wayne Tiffany

                                      Lucas Dexter wrote:

                                       

                                      One last thought: If you are always looking at the latest version (possibly in progress versions) you are defeating the purpose of having a PDM system. You may as well go back to using Windows Explorer where all files are at the latest version all the time.

                                      I don't agree based on the way we work here. We are project oriented not product oriented and so work on a particular project until it is done and gone, and then go back to do as-builts, tweak field changes, etc. We have the "latest" option on so that people can not get to an old version without doing it on purpose. We are not in the practice of working on "the next version" that hasn't been released to the shop yet because each job is its own project and therefore a new project. We may start with another one and modify to suit that job, but we aren't in a mode of having to constantly udate and improve a product as each is a unique, one-of-a kind build.

                                      As a general rule, we check in when we need to share our portion with someone else that is working on another part of the project, or when a drawing goes to the shop. That sets a version in the vault as it went to the shop. There may be changes as it progresses, but we still want everyone to always work with the latest.

                                      WT
                                        • PDMWE Versioning issues
                                          Mike Sveda

                                          Wayne Tiffany wrote:

                                           

                                          Lucas Dexter wrote:

                                           

                                          One last thought: If you are always looking at the latest version (possibly in progress versions) you are defeating the purpose of having a PDM system. You may as well go back to using Windows Explorer where all files are at the latest version all the time.

                                          I don't agree based on the way we work here. We are project oriented not product oriented and so work on a particular project until it is done and gone, and then go back to do as-builts, tweak field changes, etc. We have the "latest" option on so that people can not get to an old version without doing it on purpose. We are not in the practice of working on "the next version" that hasn't been released to the shop yet because each job is its own project and therefore a new project. We may start with another one and modify to suit that job, but we aren't in a mode of having to constantly udate and improve a product as each is a unique, one-of-a kind build.



                                          As a general rule, we check in when we need to share our portion with someone else that is working on another part of the project, or when a drawing goes to the shop. That sets a version in the vault as it went to the shop. There may be changes as it progresses, but we still want everyone to always work with the latest.



                                          WT

                                          You can view the history of a drawing but not in Solidworks. The edrawings viewer can show you can older version of an assembly which is often enough for us just to see the changes and what didn't work. We are project and not product oriented.
                                          • PDMWE Versioning issues
                                            Lucas Dexter

                                            Wayne Tiffany wrote:

                                             

                                            Lucas Dexter wrote:

                                             

                                            One last thought: If you are always looking at the latest version (possibly in progress versions) you are defeating the purpose of having a PDM system. You may as well go back to using Windows Explorer where all files are at the latest version all the time.

                                            We have the "latest" option on so that people can not get to an old version without doing it on purpose.


                                            WT

                                            Wayne,
                                            How do you get older versions with the latest version option turned on? When I turn it on, the 'get' is not available with a rmc and the only option that is available is the 'Get latest version'. We are still on 2007 sp3. Did they make some changes for '08?
                                    • PDMWE Versioning issues
                                      Adam Meyer
                                      Just wanted to bump this thread because I think it's an important feature. There is an enhancement request (#455751) that addresses this issue. Please vote for it if you agree.



                                      SPR #:455751

                                      Description: Ability to search where-used in PDMWorks Enterprise of all versions of both the component and the parents instead of having to click thru every version to see where it is used.