My company is switching to PDM workgroup and I want to make sure I am using the best ways to set it up not only for the short term but also for the long one that can accommodate growing number for engineers. Right now we have a central folder on the network in which all the projects are located within subfolders. That’s how it has been done for many, many years and it will be tough to modify this. In other words we mostly work from our Engineering server – we do not copy files to local machines to work with them. That is other than for flow simulation studies.
As number of design engineers who work with SolidWorks remains low, it is not a problem speed wise to work from the server.
1) In my case when I check out saved PDM documents through PDM window on the right, without opening them through Win explorer, the files appear in the last folder I used, which is inconvenient and random.
2) If you save a part in the PDMWorkgroup, it does back it up in the Vault, but i also have save a local copy option enabled.
3) Knowing about items 1 and 2 here is what I decided to do: I still save all the projects in the central location on the network where all engineers can access them through Win Explorer, let’s call it Projects folder. Whenever someone needs to open the file in certain project they use Win Explorer to go to the network Project folder (NOT PDM Folder), find project that they need and open files from there. This way you always have a "local" copy of files on server yet you still control it and back it up through PDM. So in other words you open the files through win explorer and not out of PDM windows inside SolidWorks, while maintaining PDM control.
If a person who is not logged into PDM does open a file through Win Explorer, it will be read only. If the person is correctly logged into PDM, has permission to edit it and opens the file through Win explorer, than he can edit it but the revision will get increased when he saves it and checks it in. (even just saving the changes will make PDM tell you that opened file is newer than the one in the vault)
Does this method make sense?
Should I be having users check out only from vault or can I keep PDM workgroup as described?
What are some other practices with PDMWorkgroup out there?