9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 10, 2012 10:32 AM by Tom Cote

    Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder

    Rick Remer

      Hi all,


      We are in the process of implementing Enterprise PDM, and I am considering the issue of where to put all our legacy files.  We will be bringing in 10- to 20-thousand files.  It has been suggested to me by our VAR that we should aim for no more than 10k files per folder. 


      Currently all the files reside in a single folder on the network (not in the vault) with about 20k files.  Sometimes there is a few seconds' lag in opening this folder, depending on the exact workstation used.


      However, having pinged our company's user base on the issue, it seems they are quite concerned that any kind of subfolder structure would be an unacceptable nuisance.


      So, my question is, is there a noticeable performance benefit to splitting files into subfolders?  i.e. does the benefit outweigh the extra time required for one more double click?


      Would this require us to monkey around with reference file location settings, or will SW/ePDM be able to find a given file regardless of being in some subfolder?


      We are on version 2010, with workstations running XP 32, XP 64, and Win7 64.  We also have a vault replicated across two sites (Milwaukee, WI and Rockland, ME).


      Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice.

        • Re: Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder
          Tim Read

          If anyone accesses the folder directly then there could be a performance hit but I am guessing that with that many files in a single folder that everyone will be using a search to find the files they want to open.


          I remember somewhere in past reading about this 10K number for files in a folder but that had to do with a Microsoft limitation on how Explorer examines the contents of a folder... can't remember the details but you can always (and should) test this out before commiting to one approach or another.

          • Re: Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder
            Einar Gulbrandsen

            I would not have more than 2K files in a folder, but I think the windows system is the key to how many files you can have.

            However; the lag will increase with more files than that in the folders.

            • Re: Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder
              Ravi Teja

              Hi Rick,

                          In EPDM ,When you browse to a folder ,the content you see (list of files) are just a result of an SQL query.File are not present there (Untill you perform a get operation or preview).The more files you have in a Folder longer is the list of results and longer it will take SQL to generate the list.


                        It might not be as slow as windows but yes it will be Slow.



              I suggest you put everything into one folder and Check them in  and then move the files to other subfolders.this will save your time from updating references in SolidWorks Files






              Ravi T

              • Re: Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder
                Jason Capriotti

                On our system, it slower to for iot tom come up than on our network drive. This may depend on your network and server speed but I can open a folder on our network containing 10,000 files and it takes less than a second to display.


                In ePDM, it takes around 6 seconds to show a folder containing 6500 files. We have a folder containing 25,000 sub folders and it takes around 25 seconds to display. This area contains only PDFs of our drawings and people only use the search tool in this area of the vault in way so it's not a problem. Searching on it takes a only few seconds depending on what options are selected.


                With all the search options available, your users should be better off. The only reason we put so many files in one folder on uor network was because they where named by part number and you could easily find the file that way. With PDM search, you can place the files in whatever folder structure you choose and search by part number, description, or whatever other variables you decide to add.


                We are looking into a product folder structure and plan to move the files. That way its gives the users another way of looking at the files. For example, all "Doors" and related components could be located in a sub folder which makes working a little easier as there are less files to look at.

                • Re: Files in vault - to subfolder, or not to subfolder
                  Rick Remer

                  Thanks all for your responses.


                  I think the root of users' concern is that they are accustomed to grabbing files using file -> open, or insert component, both of which require an "open file dialog".  They have more or less expressed that, having files scattered among many folders, constantly navigating up and down folder levels will be at least a nuisance, at worst also more time consuming.


                  I am leaning toward a belief that subfolders are a better way to go in the long term, for better overall performace of the system, even if browsing up and down folders might not only be a nuisance but somewhat slower.  But perhaps more importantly, encourage users to employ the ePDM search tools which will be much faster than browsing folders either way.


                  Thanks again, and please feel free to keep the wisdom flowing.