Brad Smith wrote:
Looking for some direction to achieve some workflow links. I have yet to use actual workflow links and apparently my understanding of how they work is flawed.
We have a current workflow established that handles the initial release of all of our drawings. What we want is to create another workflow to handle just the revision.
This would also up the revision count at the beginning of the drafting process as well as minimize the number of approvals actually required. My understanding before was that I could link our "RELEASED" state directly to a workflow link, thus sending the files into the "new workflow", perform the necessary rev count and approval transitions, and then send it back to the same "RELEASED" state in the original workflow. Attempting to execute this, I no longer believe this to be how to perform the task.
That is how workflow links work. You send it from one state in workflow A to a different state in Workflow B. If you want to then send it back to Workflow A you can. I do this with no problems. What specifically isn't working for you?
Can anyone point me to towards the cleanest way to achieve this? I technically could build it into the original workflow and rename the transitions, but its already awfully complex and cumbersome. There are also some other CM related tasks we have discussed being able to achieve with workflow links.
I apologize for my noobness. I attempt to manage PDM in my "spare" time, so I'm learning as I go.
I use workflow links in two places:
- When I need to move files from one workflow to another because they were checked in to the wrong workflow by a user. The workflow link transitions are only accessible to EPDM administrators.
- When I have workflow states that would otherwise be 'repeated' at several points in a workflow. As an example, our QA controlled drawings have to be approved by 4 different people in series. Each person can approve or reject the drawing. If the drawing is rejected at any of the 4 approval points, a workflow link:
sends the file to the 'Rejected' workflow:
The process is the same regardless of where in the process the drawing is rejected: the drawing originator must correct the problem that caused the rejection and resubmit it for approval by everyone again. So rather than duplicate the states in the main workflow, they are broken out into the Rejected workflow. There is a similar link to a Recalled workflow which is intended for use when the drawing originator notices a problem before or between approvals. They can recall the drawing as though it was never submitted for approval, make any changes and then resubmit.
Your description of your problem isn't very clear. Since EPDM is so flexible, you have to be very specific in describing your problem, becase everyone's setup is different.
Thanks for your response. It is helpful.
I worked deeper into establishing the links and believe I am headed in the right direction. I'm not sure why, but I wasn't allowed to establish transitions between the workflow link I had created and the initial state in the new workflow? I'm really uncertain as to why, but it simply wouldn't place the transition.
To answer your initial question: This is our first time using PDM at this company so our processes aren't tailored to the electronic approval approach. Simple things such as the Rev count happening at the end of the loop (at release) as opposed to when the drawing is dropped back to development (at the beginning of the loop) have caused headaches with how we currently cycle through draft files. We have far too many people approving the first iteration of the drawings. This takes significant time to accomplish. Revisions, per the CM defined process, only need a fraction of the approvals. Using these workflow links, I should be able to kill a few birds with one stone. Uptick the revision as soon as it is dropped into the "Revision Development/Drafting" which helps our drafters. Limit the approvals to the 2 or 3 needed. Help keep the original workflow from growing even further than it already has. Etc....
Thanks again for chiming in. I wish I knew what my fallacy was for not being able to place the initial transitions.
I hope I'm not too late to help you out here but there is nothing stopping you from having your revision count happening at the beginning of the loop.
All you need to do is change your revision counters in the Transition from your "Released" State to your "Editing" State and then "Inc. Revision" in the Transition to your "Released" State.
There are many possible combinations and I am only just (after 3 years) understating how versitile and powerful the Revision Counter setup in EPDM is. Basically, whatever you want you can have.