15 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2017 12:47 PM by Chad K.

    Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?

    Brian Dalton

      One of the disappointments I had when I started using our EPDM installation was that the Windows Search feature seems to be disabled (or not enabled) for searching inside a vault.

       

      I and many others here had developed the habit of finding files in folders by typing the part number into the search field at the upper right of the Windows 7 Explorer window.  This was a very quick and easy way to isolate the specific file we wanted, and by leaving off the last number it would list all the files in a ten-file range, etc.  A very handy feature indeed which seems to be completely non-functional within the vault.

       

      This fact leaves us to find a file within a vault folder by tediously scrolling up and down until it appears in the visible screen.  Sorting by columns can help in some cases but if we're just looking for a specific file name (part number), scrolling seems to be the only way.  Using an EPDM search is not really a viable option as it generally takes at least 5 seconds to open the search window, which is no savings in time.

       

      Anyway, complaining aside, if there's a way that I'm not aware of that I can get the Windows search feature to work inside the vault I would greatly appreciate a heads-up.  It would save a great deal of time and tedious, carpal-tunnel-inducing scrolling.

        • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
          Jim Sculley

          Brian Dalton wrote:

           

          One of the disappointments I had when I started using our EPDM installation was that the Windows Search feature seems to be disabled (or not enabled) for searching inside a vault.

           

          I and many others here had developed the habit of finding files in folders by typing the part number into the search field at the upper right of the Windows 7 Explorer window.  This was a very quick and easy way to isolate the specific file we wanted, and by leaving off the last number it would list all the files in a ten-file range, etc.  A very handy feature indeed which seems to be completely non-functional within the vault.

           

          This fact leaves us to find a file within a vault folder by tediously scrolling up and down until it appears in the visible screen.  Sorting by columns can help in some cases but if we're just looking for a specific file name (part number), scrolling seems to be the only way.  Using an EPDM search is not really a viable option as it generally takes at least 5 seconds to open the search window, which is no savings in time.

           

          Anyway, complaining aside, if there's a way that I'm not aware of that I can get the Windows search feature to work inside the vault I would greatly appreciate a heads-up.  It would save a great deal of time and tedious, carpal-tunnel-inducing scrolling.

          Is there a reason you don't just leave the EPDM search window open instead of a Windows Explorer window?

           

          Jim S.

          • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
            Brian Dalton

            Thanks to Jim and Jeremy for the great tips and ideas.  It really helps to learn more about the tools and features that are available in EPDM when we're looking to improve productivity.  I can see how these things can be combined to re-create the functionality that we've been missing.

             

            Ultimately, though, these are still only workarounds that move us from the non-functional to the inconvenient.  We'll do the best we can with what we've got, but the question still remains:

             

            Is there any way to get the already available Windows Search capability to work inside a vault?

              • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                Jeremy Feist

                we are not on windows 7 yet, so I am unfamiliar with the search you use. but I think the only chance of making it work would require a local copy of ever file in your vault (right click on the root vault folder and select "get latest" would get them all this could take a while depending on the size of your vault. and would need to be repeated as new files were added by other users). otherwise the files are not really on your local computer for widows to search through.

                • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                  Jason Capriotti

                  I'd say yes and no. The problem is those files in the vault do not really exist on your hard drive. You could set the index location for your windows search on each PC to include the vault folder but it would only index the files you have cached locally, usually a very small set of the files that are actually in the vault.

                   

                  What can be done is you can setup indexing on the server which indexes the files actually in the vault. Then you can use the content search option for search cards to search and find text strings in the filename and inside the files like the default Windows search. In this case Enterprise is using the index on the server and displaying the results in the search tool. The admin guides tell you how this must be setup.

                   

                  Maybe in the future they will somehow integrate it into the Windows 7 search bar in Windows Explorer.

                   

                  Content Search Card.jpg

                   

                  Content Search Admin.jpg

                • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                  Tom Smith

                  There was an article recently on Javelin's blog that mentions that this is possible:

                   

                  http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2011/12/windowsexplorerpdm/

                    • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                      Brian Dalton

                      Thanks for the link, Tom.  The article indeed says that it's possible, but it doesn't say how.  I posted my own comment and hopefully the answer will be forthcoming there.  If so, I will of course post it here as well.

                        • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                          Jason Capriotti

                          I think the article is wrong......it may work on the cached files in that location if your local search is set to index that location. But otherwise, I don't know how it could index it since behind the scenes, all those files aren't really there. They are on the server in a folder structure that looks nothing like you vault folder structure.

                           

                          That wasn't the only thing wrong in that article, you can't creating hyperlinks to files unless the end user has a copy of the file already cached. And if they do, it pulls the current cached version, not the latest. We wrote a "Create Hyperlink" add-in to address this......it creates a hyperlink formatted like the notification system does which uses database IDs. Actually works better since you can rename the file or folder, yet the hyperlink still works.

                      • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                        Todd Puckett

                        Brian,

                        The short answer is no.  The files you are searching exist on the archive server not your computer. 

                         

                        While Windows search is handy, it is very limited, indexing takes considerable resources, and searching a large vault (ours is over 7000,000 files) would be painfully slow.  (much slower than the 5 seconds for Enterprise search to load)

                         

                        I find it just as easy and much quicker to use the built in Enterprise PDM search. This search queries the SQL database which is quick and more granular. You also have the ability to modify the standard search templates to suit your needs.

                          • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                            Brian Dalton

                            Thanks for the reply, Todd.  I feared it was so.

                             

                            The problem I have with EPDM search is that it is slower than the Windows search due to the time necessary to spawn a new search window, and there are some important features and functions available to the file list in an Explorer window that are not available in a search window file list.  I can suggest to my users that they should always keep a search window open, but old habits are hard to break, and the search functions themselves work substantially different than Windows Search, so it forces yet another round of re-learning.  I had hoped such a basic function as quickly locating a part by number in the current folder would be as quick and easy as it had been before PDM.

                             

                            Bottom line: EPDM Search is powerful and flexible and full-featured, which is great in instances where those things are needed, but in no way is it quicker or easier than just typing in a part number (or part of a part number) into the window that is already open in front of you.

                          • Re: Is there a way to use Windows Search inside the vault?
                            Chad K.

                            Autodesk PDM can do this...

                             

                            Just sayin