Hopefully someone can straighten me out here, but it will probably be "Oh well, that's SW for you". Why are there 4 different ways(by my count) to enter part numbers and descriptions into configured parts and the way you do it determines the behavior? It seems pretty simple to me. Every part has a part number(or at least should or could by every measure I've ever seen). Every part has a description. Every part in SW has at least one configuration. Provide one blank for the part number, one blank for the description and allow the user to display either or both in any and all tables/selection boxes.
Feature tree displays file name, component instance number, configuration name and description.
Configuration selection box inside an assembly shows configuration name and description, but only if the description is in the configuration properties shown on the left side of the screen in the part file.
eDrawings reverses the feature tree display and shows the component file name and instance number.
Bills of material are a whole other challenge.
I didn't mark this as a question because it's more of a vent than anything. I know a lot of folks like having multiple ways of doing the same thing, but with part numbers and descriptions just one way that works across the board would be really nice!