I am a huge fan of storing files in Enterprise by filenumber. (Example 36581B.sldprt stored in folder 36000B)
I have several reasons for this:
1)Speed, by limiting the number of files(because you are limited by part number) per folder you can ensure that no single folder groups to an unreasonable size. Any folder with more then 2000 parts will suffer from poor performance in Windows.
2)Its easy to find files this way, you always know exactly which folder to look in for a particular files. THis makes fixing references easy.
3)Its makes finding files programatically much easier. If you get into using the API, then you can find files based on the storage schema instead of having to create search inferfaces and find the file. This makes writing almost any Vault app significantly easier.
We did not do this, we implemented EPDM with files by project. It makes it very hard to find files manually(because lots of files are used in more then one project). Normally you don't need to do this, but if your fixing references you do.
My final piece of advice is do NOT share any solidworks files. It will cause frustration later. I can elaborate on this but seriously just don't do it.
Explain what you mean by "not sharing any SolidWorks files"
Are you talking about doing a Paste Shared? We do that with some non-SW files.
What is Paste Shared?
Basically it allows you to have a master file but access it from multiple locations. If you check it out in one location, it's checked out in all locations. We use it for as-built drawings.
We are project based, not product based, and I like to have my models and drawings in the same folder for easy access, keeping that part of the project together, etc. But some people want the as-built drawings for the whole project in a separate folder. Depending on the customer, this will be either an ACAD or PDF file. But I like to have those in with my SW drawing file in order to quickly notice if the file dates don't match for some reason. So I save the PDF there, then copy it to the clipboard, and then do a Paste shared in the as-built folder. That way the casual user can find it with the rest, but yet it's still next to my SW drawing file.
Now, I don't know which "shared" Corey is talking about from his experience.
Thank you for your views. There are mixed feeling out there on structure. I have read something about folder with more the 2000 parts and poor performance. Most of us are using Windows 7.
We make machines which have different categories, each machine within each category has it's own model number. Models per category have some common parts. If we make a change to a part we need that change to be updated across the board per category. If you mean "do not share any SolidWorks files" in this way, then we would have to go to each model to make the identical changes several times. For example: if we redesign a section of a machine and there are 20 parts effected and there are 5 models, that would be 100 parts we would have to change separately instead of the 20 common parts. That would be a lot of time and could allow for more errors.
If you mean something else please clarify.