I am using SolidWorks 2009 with the PDM Workgroup system. I have set up all my parts with about 20 custom properties, and would like to be able to search using these properties.
I generally search for my parts using the description field, and this has been working great. For the first time today, I wanted to search for a specific supplier (customer property field "Supplier1"). There were zero matches, even though there should have been many (hundreds?) results. Then I searched for some other custom properties, and could not find any matches either, even though I knew for sure there should be many results. Clearly, the custom properties are saved with the part, because I can see that information in the document properties dialog from within the PDM Workgroup interface, so this is not the problem. However, I cannot search for them.
I just found a round-about (take a very long time!!) to make it work. A while back, I noticed that all custom property fields would turn up with three "square" characters in the field when generating a search report. If I were to take ownership of a file directly from within the search report, then ALL custom properties from ALL files would be properly filled in. I found this strange, but it didn't cause a problem at the time. What I did just now was generate a search report for ALL files in the vault, and then took ownership of the first one. After about 5 minutes, all the custom property fields were filled in properly. Then I clicked "refine search" to edit the search to look for only the supplier I wanted from the "Supplier1" field. The search results page updated correctly, and I had the list the I was originally looking for. Of course, this is simply filtering the original results, so if I wanted to search for a new custom property, I have to start all over again. And once I closed the window, and did another search, the custom property fields were filled with three "square" characters once again, and I could not search for any custom properties again.
How can I fix this? It appears that the only fields I can properly search for are: Document, Number, Description, Revision, Owner, Project, and Configurations. These are the default and base fields required by PDM Workgroup. All custom properties are not available for search without the above crazy procedure. Any thoughts?