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PDMWorks Workgroup - Allow Latest Revision Overwrite Based on Status

Question asked by Tom Helsley on May 27, 2008
Latest reply on Sep 5, 2011 by Joseph Ankers
If you like the idea explained below, then please copy the text and paste it into an enhancement request, under the following area: "PDMWorks", "Workgroup", "Revision" & reference this discussion topic.

The more the request is submitted, the more likely it is to get implemented. If you have any other ideas to this, or see any problems, then please post to this topic:

Enhancement Request (Brief Description):
In PDMWW (PDMWorks Workgroup) allow vault options for overwriting of the latest revision for selected lifecycle statuses.

Problem Description area of Enhancement Request:
Ref Discussion:

The current PDMWW revision and lifecycle options do not allow a process that matches with how documents are really revised and released. Changes to PDMWW could be made so existing user's settings are not upset without them explicitly changing their settings.

When a drawing is revised, the next revision must be put on the drawing and the revision block must contain all the changes. Next, the drawing must be checked in and someone must check the document for errors. If corrections are required before the drawing can be released, then the document will have to be changed again and checked in (without changing the revision, or adding a new revision block). If no corrections are required, then the drawing can be released and any further changes to the document would require a new revision level, etc.

Currently in PDMWW, this process cannot be followed without maintaining two revision properties - one for display on the drawing, and another revision that PDMWW uses. Maintaining two revision properties causes several problems. It makes the data management process more complex and prone to errors. An extra revision property must be created and mapped in PDMWW. If the two revision properties are not setup correctly in PDMWW, then vault check-in will not work well. Users could also get confused between the two revisions when they compare the PDM revision to the revision displayed on the document. In addition, the incorrect revision levels and lifecycle statuses could be applied.

Also, the revision scheme must currently be tweaked in PDMWW a couple different ways. The first way is to use an intermediate revision value. The problem with this is that it that looks like and can be confused with the previous revision. The second way is to use a small, almost un-noticeable character (such as a decimal) in the secondary revision level. The problem with this is that the released revision property does not really match the revision on the drawing. In either case, extra steps are required to set the revision to the correct value when the document does not need any more corrections and is ready to be "released" - the user must first, bump the revision, then change the Lifecycle status to "Released".

By allowing the latest revision overwriting based on status, the tweaked revision scheme can be eliminated, setup can be simplified, and the process can be achieved with less user confusion and fewer chances for errors. Making this change would follow a more natural, intuitive flow of revising a document until it is released. Most importantly, the PDMWW options could be changed without upsetting a user's current settings and method of working until he / she is ready to explicitly make the change.

Here is how the PDMWW options could change without upsetting a user's current PDMWW vault settings and function unless explicitly making changes:

On the "Vault Settings" tab, in the Global Settings area:
Change "Allow latest revision overwrite" from a checkbox (yes or no), to a pull-down menu with the following options: "do not allow", "allow", "allow based on lifecycle status"

On the "Lifecycle" tab, in the "Rules for the selected lifecycle status (...)" area:
Under "When a document at the selected status before check in is next checked in", move the remaining text ("Change the document status to:") down and indented, then...
Add a new item (at the same indent) "Latest Revision Overwrite:" with the options: "allow", "do not allow"

The resulting options changes would look like this:

"Vault Settings" tab, Global Settings area:
Allow latest revision overwrite: "do not allow", "allow", "allow based on lifecycle status"

"Lifecycle" tab, Rules for the selected lifecycle status (...):
. When a document is checked in or changed to the selected status.
. Change the document owner to: "do not change", "none", or a user name in the list.
. Change other document revisions at the selected status to status: "do not change" or a status in the list
. When a document at the selected status before check in is next checked in:
. Change the document status to: "do not change", Previous status item, Next status item, First in list, Last in list, A status in the list
. Latest Revision Overwrite: "allow", "do not allow"

Thus, if "Allow latest revision overwrite" on the "Global Settings" tab is set to "allow based on lifecycle status", then PDMWW uses the setting on the "Lifecycle" tab, for the lifecycle status of the item in the vault. For example, a document in the vault, at Rev="A" and Status="Released", is going to be revised, then it is next checked into the vault at Rev="B" and Status="Revise". While it's Status="Revise", the document's revision can be overwritten. When the document's Status is changed back to "Released", then the revision cannot be overwritten.

Alternatively, if "Allow latest revision overwrite" on the "Global Settings" tab is set to "do not allow", or "allow", then PDMWW would ignore the similar setting on the "Lifecycle" tab for each of the statuses.