My company is in the process of transitioning from Workgroup PDM to PDM Professional. I am setting up a workflow to mimic the process we’re currently using in Workgroup PDM, and have encountered some obstacles that I’m very concerned about.
I want to give users in the Engineering user group the ability to check out files that are in a protected folder, but prevent them from checking in the updated files until an engineering change order has been approved. In our Workgroup PDM process, the engineering group has read/write access to this folder, but the files in it are protected by means of the lifecycle status. The lifecycle statuses are Prototype (RW), Pending Approval (RW), and Approved (RO). When an engineer is considering a change, they take ownership of the files and check them out to their local computer. Because these files have a lifecycle status of Approved in the vault, the engineer cannot check them back in. Once they are satisfied with the updates to the SolidWorks models/drawings, they process an engineering change order. Once that order is approved, we have a PDM coordinator that changes the lifecycle status to Pending Approval, which gives the engineer the required permissions to check the file back in.
In PDM Professional, if I have a state that allows a user group to check out files, that same permission also allows them to check in files too. So if I want to allow access for engineers to check out (or “take ownership” in Workgroup PDM lingo) files to work on a potential change, this means that they have access to check these files back in without an approved engineering change order. I want to be able to allow engineers to check the files out to make changes and attach updated drawings to the ECO, but prevent these drawings from being checked back into the vault until the ECO is approved. I had intended to set up a state that allows check out, but the same state also allows check in too. This is a fundamental difference between Workgroup PDM and PDM Professional that has me stuck. Is there a workaround that allows users to get a read-write file to work on locally until the ECO is approved at which point they can check the file in?