File sharing to different folders is ok. You just have to remember that the file permissions are tied to the folder the user accesses the file from and not the location of the original file. For example if the user has read-only access in the original folder but write access in the second folder they will have write access to the file.
Otherwise it would be helpful for the time when someone wants to see all the files in there project in there project folder instead of the library or someone else's project. Or if you want to give someone access to that file but not other that are in the original folder.
For instance you have one project that is being worked on in house, but a partner is working on another project that uses the same PC box. You could share the PC box to the partners project folder then they could see it without seeing your internal project.
For the most part I think it is a good option, it just could become a permissions nightmare if not kept under control.
There is an option in pdm admin to make it so the user can never enter the same # again once a file is checked in.
I'm on the fence about this. We have considered sharing DWG files to different folders since there are no references to retrieve in the BOM, Contains or Where Used tabs in the File Explorer. Same for PDF files and we considered those as read-only. For a SOLIDWORKS assembly, the files can be referenced from any folder in the vault so why share those between various folders?
Sharing files with references, especially SOLIDWORKS files, can easily run into problems. I would recommend a standard parts/assembly library that you pull from for files that are used in multiple assemblies. The files don't need to be physically located in the same folder as the main assembly. You use the Contains tab to see and get to those files. Keep in mind that when files are shared to multiple folders, there is a copy of that file in each folder in your cache. SOLIDWORKS uses that file location when opening assemblies. So if one of those shared locations is deleted, SOLIDWORKS could potentially not know where to find the file. For some good information review the presentation from 2014 SOLIDWORKS World on EPDM and SOLIDWORKS references. I used to think that sharing was a good idea until I heard that presentation. I have also experienced the problems it caused for one of our customers.
I have used shared files on occasion for files without references to take advantage of different folder permissions. SO there can be a time and a place for it.
When I'm training PDM admins, I'll explain about sharing but I make sure they understand the potential problems.
I'm also curious how you are controlling duplicate files with permissions. Any duplicate SOLIDWORKS (or other CAD files) are a big potential for problems. I would recommend setting up the vault to not allow duplicate CAD file types through the "Duplicate file name settings" under File Types int eh admin tool.
I agree with Jennifer and I would like to expand a bit this information.
Sharing is not recommended not just for files with references but for CAD files.
Let's "split" a references for these which are stored in PDM SQL database and these which are stored in SOLIDWORKS assembly file. If you share a SW part file the references in PDM will be built right and PDM can find this file correctly, the issue is about it that every single time when SW assembly will be open, the file location stored in this assembly file has to be updated via references stored in PDM database.
Above is not a issue for others files with references, i.e. non-CAD files which have references to others noc-CAD files or non-CAD files which have references to CAD files. BUT do NOT use it for sharing CAD files. Another way you risk that assembly will be opened wrongly.
The other requirement is this, that user should have read permission to all location where the CAD file is shared. It could make a problem in company.
I still consider DWG files as CAD files so I don't completely agree with your statement not to share CAD files between folders. Also, I have verified on PDM Professional 2018 SP3 that a user does not need to have rights to read a file in all folders to which it is shared.
I'll agree that DWG files would probably be OK.
And you are correct about the folder permission. As long as the user has permission to see the file in one of the shared folders, they can see the file from that folder. That also applies to permissions like Check out. If the file is shared to a folder where a user has check out rights, they will be able to check it out from that folder.
it doesn't matter if DWG file should be consider as CAD file or it shouldn't. The matter is DWG file doesn't store references to another files. That's what I wrote it's about CAD files which are storing references to another files (note that I'm not talking about references stored in PDM database).
As you wrote, the "share" option works exactly like you described it. It means, user need read/write premisions only to one folder where the file is shared to see/modify this file BUT I described how it works in SOLIDOWORKS CAD files.
Note that assembly files stored "separetly" references to part/subassembly files inside assembly file. If you use sharing option for CAD (which stored references) then every single time when you are opening assembly in the SOLIDWORKS, the SOLIDWORKS has to use "searching routine" to up to date files references stored in assembly file. This behaviour directly affect for performance.
Hope it helps!
You can also share folders and only a type of file. So you can share the entire vault, (I would not recommend that) And only one file type. (pdm) Your best bet is to share a common folder to the common people. And only the pdfs. You can also share just the released drawings. (though e-drawings.) Or do a auto pdf creation to a folder once a drawing is put in a released state