17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2013 8:58 PM by Tom Helsley

    EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met

    Tom Helsley

      I've been playing around with some workflow conditions lately, and trying to think of a way to show what conditions haven't been met to continue through the workflow.  If anybody knows of a way to do it in 2013, please share.  In the meantime, I had an idea that looks something like this...

       

      EPDM Change State Show conditions not met 1.png

      Basically, add some tabs to the bottom of the user transition dialog that show for a selected file:

      1. Transition conditions
      2. The user's state permissions
      3. The user's folder permissions

      I also thought it would be useful to add two radio buttons to filter and show only conditions not met.

       

      Before I submit an ER, I wanted to see what others thought of this idea.  Does anybody have a better idea?

        • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
          Jason Capriotti

          Great idea......we had to write an add-in to do this since the message is fairly meaningless. We use it to catch fields that aren't populated. A messagebox pops up with the list fields missing data.

           

          It would be nice if this was built ito the data card and the fields would highlight.

            • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
              Tom Helsley

              I thought of the colored fields as well, but it isn't very helpful when you have multiple transitions with different conditions for each. 

               

              I haven't gotten into creating addins yet, but I'm glad to hear that is possible.  Was it difficult or a lot of work to get the addin to figure out the un-met conditions?  Any chance of sharing what you did?

               

              I know users have asked for better functionality in this area for years.  I'm surprised that SolidWorks hasn't done something about it (like provide a generic or standard addin if it is that easy).

                • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                  Dan Miel

                  I have had trouble with a condition not being met so the user corrects the problem and then the workflow keeps saying the conditions still are not met. Have you ran into this?

                  Dan

                    • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                      Tom Helsley

                      Yep, but in my case, it came down to permissions of either the folder, or the workflow inherited permissions.  That's why I drew the tabs for folder and state permissions.  I guess I should add to show the inherited permissions permissions as well to the ER.

                       

                      In your case, Dan, how did the user know what needed to be corrected?

                        • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                          Dan Miel

                          When a file is added to the vault in the “Concept” state we have the description, revision and number fields filled with a hyphen as the value. When the file is sent to “Approved” the conditions look to see if the field value is greater than a hyphen.

                          When the engineer gets the yellow icon they need to look to see which value is still a hyphen.

                          Dan

                      • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                        Jason Capriotti

                        The add-in int his case is very specific to ECOs in this case. I don't have an conditions setup on the workflow. The add-in intercepts ECO documents (a cvd in this case) and checks which state it's in. Certain states are hard coded to require certain fields. We'll probably go back and make it more generic where we could use it anywhere.

                         

                        A generic add-in could probably be create to trigger on transition and check if conditions exist then display what they are if they are met but the program would have to understand what the conditions mean so as to only display the ones that aren't met. Of course some of the conditions aren't always straight forward for a user to read so showing the logic might not mean much to the end user.

                          • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                            Tom Helsley

                            Oh, I see.  It sounds like I could spend a lot of time on the addin approach and still not get to a useful tool.  Do you have one addin for all states, or one addin for each state?

                              • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                                Jason Capriotti

                                For the most part its one add-in that checks a number of things besides just transition conditions. It also auto transitions other related files in an ECO folder, clears cache on cvd files, and a couple of other things.

                                 

                                We started out making them all separate add-ins (makes troubleshooting easier) but there seems to be a performance hit when the number of add-ins increase. The performance hit is when starting a new search or opening a new windows explorer, seems like it has to load all add-ins into memory each time you open a new window or search, you can see the wheel spinning as it loads and it delays several seconds. When I unloaded all add-in's, its instant and you don't get the delay. We combined the code into fewer add-in's but I'm not sure how much it's helped.

                                  • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                                    Dan Miel

                                    Jason,

                                                    I wrote my first add-in last week and that uses the right-click menu. I think I notice a delay the first time I right-click in the vault. Do these delays get worse as more add-ins are loaded to the vault or does the delay stay the same? I don’t remember hearing about the delay before.

                                    Thanks

                                    Dan Miel

                                      • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                                        Jason Capriotti

                                        I haven't fully test it, just something I've suspected. It's worse on our ver (2012sp3)....I believe some improvements were made in 2013 but its still there some. Also it seems dependent on machie speed some as well...older machines take much longer to load the add-in's.

                                         

                                        It loads therem here:

                                        C:\Users\<login>\AppData\Local\SolidWorks\SolidWorks Enterprise PDM\Plugins\Product Data

                                         

                                        There seems to be some bugs with keeping this folder cleaned out....I currently have a couple hundred folders and items there. We have 7 add-in's so I only expect 7 folders each containing the add-in dll but there are many duplicate folder and files named with a CLSID number with duplicates having a number appended to the end of the folder name.

                                         

                                        Anyway, this is where it loads from and every open of a new search or explorer window in the vault reloads them....I'm guessing into the memory space of the "Search.exe" and "Explorer.exe" processes. Once they are open its good and fast unless the add-in gets updated, then reloads them all.

                            • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                              Dan Miel

                              I agree. I just added conditions to a workflow and the yellow triangle doesn't tell me much. From what I can see an add-in would be needed but a error message field for each conditional line would be much nicer and cleaner.

                               

                              Dan Miel

                              SW 2013 SP03

                              New to EPDM

                               

                              Message was edited by: Dan Miel Change the work does to doesn't

                              • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                                Einar Gulbrandsen

                                We use both conditions and a script.

                                Our conditions works on the selected file only, and the script works on the children of the selected files (top level only).

                                This validates that all necessary data card fields are checked prior to exporting them to our ERP system.

                                 

                                SW/PDM 2012SP05

                                 

                                Test vault

                                SW/PDM 2013SP03

                                • Re: EPDM State Change Show Conditions Not Met
                                  Jeff Thomas

                                  I would like to do something along these lines. How were you able to add tabs to the chek in dialouge box?

                                  Thanks