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Three user collaboration using a shared network drive.

Question asked by Greg Mitchell on Apr 4, 2011



I have recently accepted a new position in different branch of our company.  We are using 2011 SP 2.0.


At my previous post, we used Workgroup PDM exclusively and completely removed all SW files from our local hard drives at the end of each shift.  When collaborating, we would communicate verbally or by email regarding changes we planned to make to individual files/assemblies.  At my new position, all of the working files are centrally located on a Windows 2003 server in a shared directory, and the typical structure has been to place the files located in individual sub-assemblies in their own folder, with a top-level folder to contain the top level assembly. Finished parts that are releseased for manufacturing are saved to the PDM Workgroup Vault. This appears to work perfectly for the originator of the files, however stepping in to attempt to collaborate is horrible.  Opening a top-level assembly requires me to search for about 30% of the files manually using windows explorer. Several of the files can only be locted on one person's locl HD. We also have several copies of individual part/assembly/drawing files.  This is of course a bad practice.


Here is my question.  I was selected for this position because I have a combination of skill-sets from both IT Administration and Mechanical Design.  I will eventually be placed in charge of a project to improve our current situation, but until then I have to work with what I have.  I know that many of you use a network share as your primary working directory for collaboration.  I am hoping that one or more of you that have used this data storage format successfully would be willing to share a best-practices or SOP document with me that I can then translate in to our own SOP.  We only have 3 users, but right now everyone is doing their own thing.  I would like to propose a single course of action for everyone, but I don't want to make things worse.


Thank you in advance for your help, and I appologize for the length of this post.


Best Regards,