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Enterprise PDM BOMs and 'link attributes'

Question asked by Jim Sculley on Aug 3, 2010

The PDM Administration Tool help files refer to something called link attributes.  Specifically, they are mentioned in the 'Bill of Materials Dialog Box' section.  It seems that link attributes are the method used to handle BOM data that is not tied to a file, but rather the link between two files.  For instance, the QTY column in a BOM shows the quantity of a particular part in an particular assembly.  In a different assembly, the quantity of the same part may be different.  Therefore, the quantity data in the BOM can't be mapped to a variable in the part file.  Instead, the quantity data is stored in a link attribute.


This is a great concept.  I have named BOMs that required just this sort of data.  The named BOMs are for non-SolidWorks files, so the BOMs are built with user defined references.  I need one or more columns to contain link-specific data, such as quantity, item number, and a tag.


My problem is that I cannot figure out how to define a link attribute.  If a create a variable, and then edit the BOM definition to include a column that is mapped to that variable with the 'Look for varaible in...' set to Look for variable in reference specific values it does not work as I would have expected.  If I create a named BOM, I can edit the BOM data in the column mapped to the variable, but as soon as I save it, the entered data disappears.  The quantity column which uses the built in <Reference Count>

variable works correctly.


Is anyone using link attributes in this manner?  If so, what is the secret to creating them?


Jim S.