6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2013 3:51 PM by Andrew Dvorak

    Frustrated - versions and revisions

    Andrew Dvorak

      Is it me, or is it ePDM?


      Frankly, I am very frustrated with ePDM this week (month and almost year), and, of course, I want to tell you all why. Though still being a newbie maybe I am missing something essential, in which case it should have been addressed in an Admin class.


      Firstly, I am disgusted with the paste as reference. I create an ECO document in Word and paste as reference all the drawings being changed by the ECO. I would expect that a paste as reference would keep updating the version as referenced models keep changing, but ePDM says not! Here is my "contains" listing after I have finished revising the ECO word document and checked it in.

      Note that the word document itself doesn't list the latest version, let alone two additional documents also don't identify the latest versions. If it is pasted as reference it should not be the version that was pasted, but constantly updated to the latest as it is changed, until the ECO goes through its approval process, and only then frozen in time. Only revisions should be locked to their revs with the paste as reference!


      I am also very frustrated that there is not a "Latest Revisions" selection when querying BOMs, etc. It is ridiculus that when I modify a lower level part or assembly, and release it into production, that I can't view it in an ePDM BOM correctly in higher level assemblies. If I choose "Latest" then I get all released and unreleased changes to the assembly. When I choose "As Built" I get only the revisions/versions that were specific to that  build of the assembly, released or not. But I can not obtain a BOM that shows the latest released revisions of all the sub-assemblies/parts. Remember, if form, fit or function is not affected then I shouldn't have to put an assembly through an ECO process to see the correct indented BOM of released sub-assemblies/parts. Hate to say it, but Pro/INTRALINK, Windchill and Design Data Manager have this proper functionality.


      So, am I missing something? Is there something in my ePDM education that I completely missed?


      Your comments will be respected, and implemented if possible.




      Andy Dvorak

        • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
          Andrew Dvorak

          Looks like my jpg did not get captured by the post. Try here  again...



            • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
              Tim Webb



              Unless I have misunderstood your post, you have just stumbled into Pandora's box. This is the most powerful yet most dangerous characteristics of referenced data IMHO. You are on the verge of diving deeper into EPDM administration which means you are about to grow as an admin.


              Wouldn't you agree this ECO is now behaving just like a top level SolidWorks assembly (SLDASM) with referenced children parts (SLDPRT) files? On a basic level.


              If you agree then you have made the discovery. Working under this framework is going to be just like working with SW assemblies. It will require re-training yourself and the people who will use this.


              How do you keep a SLDASM updated when one of its child SLDPRT references gets updated?


              1. Check out both the SLDASM & SLDPRT
              2. Open the SLDPRT and edit it while the SLDASM is open so the assembly gets updated properly
              3. Rebuild the SLDASM
              4. Save the SLDASM
              5. Check both files in
              6. The entire package is updated properly


              I work with files just like this as well and it is a strength of EPDM but it equates to a few extra steps and different mindset but that is the cost of using this powerful tool.


              Yes, yes, I can already hear your disgust and dissatisfaction that EPDM doesn't keep the references all up to date. But that is the power of EPDM coupled with history and unique versions!


              EPDM is flexible enough to offer the admin the ability to configure the settings for the users to always work with the latest version only, show working versions or not, limiting visibility through the workflow, etc. The system can't think for you though, and that is why engineers make the big bucks! This detail work is HARD!


              Now that you know, adjust course as needed. And good luck with the discovery.


              Hope this helps,


              Tim CEPA


            • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
              Wayne Marshall



              Tim has done a great of job of explaining the references, for my part I wanted to share a tip for your BOM view question.

              The BOM is captured in the Database when the Top Level file is checked in (listing the Versions of all References attached at that point). If you modify a part / sub assembly external to this Assembly then the BOM will still dy default show 'As Built', however you can view the BOM using the 'Latest' option shoudl you want to see what has changed in those Parts after the Assembly was Checked In last.


              BOM- Latest.png


              I hope this helps too!


              Knd regards


              Wayne Marshall

              Solid Solutions Management (UK)

              • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
                Jason Capriotti

                You can change the version viewed....it may be defaulting to  verison 15 in this case as that was the last version you viewed and thus that is what you have cached. I wish it handled that a little better or made it lot more obvious (popup, color the background or something to make it stick out).


                The handling of the local cache has been a sore spot for us, which is why we operate with "Always use latest". That way when you open the files, at least you get the latest you are allowed to see.


                Guys, I do feel his pain some. We have an extremely large and complex product structure for products with a long lifecycle (30 years). It's not uncommon to have to modify parts to add configurations, display states, or speedpaks.....or sometimes just to fix things in the model like mate or features errors. And we make changes to notes and other things that do not affect the form, fit, function. So I'm expect to checkout over 1000 assemblies to update their version tot he latest? Waste of filespace on the archive and a waste of time for a small change......hell....we'd never get any work done.


                What is needed is a property on states to tell the system to "always use latest <insert state name here>" for references in this state. That way I change a "Released" common part to add a configuration or fix a problem, the assemblies automatically use it.

                • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
                  Sylvain Trudel


                  Did you share your point of view with your reseller?


                  Thank you and Best Regards,

                  Sylvain TRUDEL

                  Senior Area Technical Manager, SolidWorks EPDM and Electrical, North America

                  • Re: Frustrated - versions and revisions
                    Andrew Dvorak

                    Thanks to all the gentlemen for their responses.


                    Tim probably best describes it as the "Pandora's box" of ePDM". His explanation of check out, update and check in to have higher level items correctly reference lower level versions makes sense only in that's the way ePDM works, but not the way I want it to work. I'm going to go out on a limb here and believe that my idea of how ePDM should work is right, therefore ePDM should be fixed.


                    Jason summarizes my pain also in that I can have a newly revisioned part (released through a revision managed workflow) used by a couple dozen upper level assemblies. I have to change the state of the production item to "Production Under Change", update the BOMs so ePDM will point to the correctly rev'd part, check back in and then change state back to Production without bumping the revision of the assemblies. This is also dangerous because we can have other models under revision that have not been approved for release, and may never get approved for release. If I get the latest versions I'll get those unapproved changes also. So one has to be real careful.


                    Wayne wrote about the latest versons vs As Built options. If you check my image I am using the Contains tab which doesn't have that specific button. But also the same argument from above regarding latest versions vs As Built vs a new Latest Revisions would apply here. Also the Contains tab shows only those files directly referenced by the ECO. The BOM tab shows way to much. One thing I do like, you see that I have only attached the drawings to the ECO, and I know when I put the ECO through its final review and approval, the drawing's models will be grabbed at the same time. Saves having to attach both the part and drawing.


                    Sylvain, I have expressed my opinions to my VAR regarding the overall issue of versions and revisions and many other things abut ePDM, but not about this specific incident of apparent disconnection of just saved and checked in files (it was a Saturday after all). But they saw this post and contacted me to discuss.