22 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2015 5:15 PM by Tera Hansen

    Can you "lock" files in EPDM?

    Roy Dean

      I simply want to check in some part and drawing files, and LOCK them so that nobody else can edit them.   Is this not possible with EPDM?

        • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
          Jeremy Feist

          permision to transition and check out files are controlled at folder and state levels, so you would need to have a folder and/or a state to put the files into that others do not have permision to check out or transition the files.

            • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
              Roy Dean

              sooo.... No?

                • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                  Steve Martens

                  The answer is Yes, it's one of the main functions.  once you check it in (so others can view them) check them out again, by checking them out you hold write access.

                   

                  There is a longer conversation about categories/workflow/permissions but having them "Checked Out" will prevent others from changing them.

                    • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                      Roy Dean

                      Nope.  Having a part "checked out" is not locking it.   If a file is "locked", then even I couldn't modify it without first unlocking it, then checking it out.

                       

                      I realize that there aren't many TRUE benefits to "locking", but there certainly preferences... and I prefer to lock files that are checked in, when I don't want anybody (including myself) monkeying with them.    What I'm hearing (both in this discussion and with my admin and reseller) is that there is no way to do this.

                       

                      Thats a bummer.

                        • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                          Steve Martens

                          OK, I understand better what you are trying to accomplish, didn't read the "LOCK" part the same as you intended it.

                           

                          I have set up a workflow that the last state is "locked" no edit is available and that it would require someone to change it from that state to have access for editing.  It is set up here so that when a project is complete the files can live in that state for hopefully as long as the machine is in service.  Even the access for changing it from the locked state is limited, not cut off completely as I kept provision for possible as builts at a later time, but difficult so it's not done without thought.

                           

                          Essentially we do it in Enterprise using Workflows.

                          • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                            Jeremy Feist

                            it really does sound like you want a "locked" state. which you can totally set up in a workflow. you can even call the transition into that state "lock" and any transition out of the state "unlock". and control who has permisions for each of those transistions.

                              • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                Roy Dean

                                I don't want to have to initiate a workflow just to lock a file.   I want to be able to right click on a file in EPDM, and select "Lock".  That's it.   I don't understand why it wouldn't have this functionality... every other PDM system I've used offers this....

                                  • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                    Tim Webb

                                    Roy,

                                     

                                    Enterprise PDM does offer what you want out of the box but sounds like something you are not "used to" or "willing" to do and you may need to adjust your thinking to "this" system.

                                     

                                    Solutions I see:

                                    • A dispatch script can be created to do precisely and exactly what you are wanting with a right click "lock file" option.
                                    • An API add-in can be created to do precisely and exactly what you are wanting with a right click "lock file" option.
                                    • Set up a workflow transition to a "locked" state that is accessible with a right click "change state" > "lock file" then enter a state change comment and press ok. Not too much different that what you just described.

                                     

                                    It also seems you may need a clearer understanding of how Enterprise PDM operates which leads me to believe your reseller or solution partner who installed your system may not have trained your staff well enough. I would recommend getting some Enterprise PDM training to understand the basic system functionality more clearly. Enterprise is very powerful, secure, scalable, and low learning curve.

                                     

                                    Change is hard but I think once you experience the features of Enterprise, you will enjoy working with it.

                                     

                                    I think the team here has offered some pretty clear basic approaches to manage what you are trying to accomplish.

                                     

                                    Sincerely hope this is helpful.

                                    Best regards Roy.

                                    Tim

                                      • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                        Roy Dean

                                        Tim,

                                         

                                        I appreciate the need to learn new things when using new software, but a "read only" type lock has been a built-in solution to every file management system I've used since I started drawing circles in basic on a TRS80.

                                         

                                        I don't understand how you can say that the lock feature is "out of the box", but then go on to say I need to "create a script", "create an API add-in", or "set up a workflow" to do it.  That is NOT "out of the box".

                                         

                                        I should note that I'm not a system admin, so I'll suggest all of this to our guy....   but it's clear to me now that there is NO built in lock command in EPDM.   Thanks to everybody for the suggestions.   I hope Solidworks adds this feature in new versions of the software.

                                         

                                         

                                          • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                            Marco Esposito

                                            Yes, there is a built in lock command in EPDM, as all the people here have tried to say : you decide or not to use it and if you do then you have only to configure it once in the implementation phase of the EPDM, like all the other pemissions, etc..., so you have always the ability to right click that lock command, if authorized to see (and then use) it .

                                            You have not to "initiate a workflow" because automatically always a document in EPDM is already moving through the states of a workflow , and "LOCK" would be  one of these available states ....That's it

                                            Hope this is helpful.

                                            • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                              Jeremy Feist

                                              we are saying the same thing.

                                               

                                              anything that is checked in to the vault is read-only, and viewable to only those user with the correct permissions. permissions also control who can check out the file (to edit it), or initiate a transition to a different state. EPDM just doesn't call it "locked" they it calls it "checked in"

                                                • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                  Jason Capriotti

                                                  Behind the scenes in the database a "Checkout" is called a lock.....and if I recall correctly...somewhere in the past when the product was still called Conisio, Checkout was called Lock. The industry for document management system seems to have standardize on the term Checkout.

                                                   

                                                  For your use....a simple workflow with two states could easily mimic this....Inwork and Locked with a transition looping between them.

                                • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                  Jim Sculley

                                  Roy Dean wrote:

                                   

                                  I simply want to check in some part and drawing files, and LOCK them so that nobody else can edit them.  

                                  No one thus far has asked this question, so I will.

                                   

                                  Why?

                                   

                                  Jim S.

                                    • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                      Mike Sveda

                                      How hard is to "Check In", then "Change State" to Locked?  With a simple two state workflow, EPDM can do exactly what you want.  Hve your VAR give training on workflows. 

                                      • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                        Roy Dean

                                        Rehashing this thread, I'll answer Jim's question:

                                         

                                        1)  During EPDM upgrades, all files MUST be checked in, as per our epdm admin.   At that point, and until the upgrade is over and I'm back in on Monday morning to check everything out, all of my "in work files" are available to all R&D personnel for modification.   While I can check history on all files and roll back to previous versions, I don't want the added work of double checking all my files to be sure that nobody has "monkey'd with them".

                                         

                                        2)  Changing workstations:   As, unfortunately I've learned in the past, you cannot check out a file on one workstation, and expect to make changes to it on another.   At the time I tried this (epdm 2014), epdm is not smart enough to realize that a file that is checked out on one computer cannot be modified on another, because it seems as though the check out privileges are given to the user only, not the "user+workstation".   This can cause serious problems.   So in order to transition from one workstation to another, you MUST check in the parts.    So I check in the part on a Friday night, as I am flying to a different office on Monday morning (not to arrive there until Tuesday...) .   My files are now susceptible to being checked out and "monkey'd with" for the whole weekend and one business day.

                                         

                                        Hopefully this explains why "locked" is NOT equal to "checked out".

                                         

                                        Having said all that, any new functionality to EPDM for 2015?   It's installed here, but I don't see any new functionality in this regard.

                                         

                                         

                                        PS:   To answer Mike's question:   I'm not the system Admin, so creating a new workflow is NOT something I can do.   I've suggested it to our admin, and I suppose with enough whining I can get him to add it.... but it sure would be nice if DSS could add functionality that already exists in many (all?) existing competitors pdm systems.

                                          • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                            Charley Saint

                                            Hey Roy,

                                             

                                            This functionality has always been there, but not that obvious. If all you are doing is switching workstations then you can check out the files on one, then you will need to undo check-out on the second workstation so that you can check it out on that one. I know it doesn't sound ideal but it's also pretty counter to the collaborative design elements that EPDM is built around. The reason you can't work on the file on the second computer isn't that EPDM isn't smart enough, it just has no way of knowing if you've modified that file and it would be a performance nightmare if every time you saved a file it copied it up to the archive server so you could access it from anywhere. You could also explore creating a personal folder though we don't usually recommend it because nothing ever seems to move out of them and you have a bunch of data silos that have no rhyme or reason. Best option is to get used to collaborating, don't be the guy running around telling everyone to get off your lawn

                                              • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                Roy Dean

                                                Charley Saint wrote:

                                                 

                                                Best option is to get used to collaborating, don't be the guy running around telling everyone to get off your lawn

                                                 

                                                 

                                                Charley, if we lived in a perfect world, maybe.   But my performance is based on the parts that I (and solely I) am responsible for designing, simulating, modifying, and releasing.   There are plenty of instances in the past of guys making changes "just to make a slight improvement" or "just helping out" that have bit me in rear end.   When I want people to open and manipulate my parts, I check them in.   When I don't, I keep them checked out.   But, as I've stated above (and those are not the only reasons), there are sometimes when I can't physically keep stuff "in my possession".

                                                  • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                    Jim Stone

                                                    I agree whole-heartedly with what Jim says below - the best solution is a cultural shift where everyone learns to play nice and respect the rules of the road.

                                                     

                                                    That said, I think Charley has a very reasonable solution that doesn't require workflows, API or anything else that isn't out of the box. Just check things out on machine A and then undo the checkout on machine B when you get there. To be honest, I didn't realize that was possible without being an admin. But then, I never tried. I tried it just now and it works great. There's one extra checkbox when you undo the checkout from another machine, but that seems an insignificant price to pay.

                                                     

                                                    5-19-2015 3-36-05 PM.jpg

                                                • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                  Jim Sculley

                                                  With the workflow change (not a new workflow) Mike suggested, you would get exactly what you are looking for.  The problem is that you would need to add a transition to and from the Locked state for each and every user that needs the locking capability.  Let's say you do this.  What happens if you get abducted by aliens when traveling between offices?  After a lengthy search and several candlelight vigils, how will the person taking over your position access your files?  The EPDM administrator will have to grant them permission to perform the transition that was originally for you.  OK, fine.  But what prevents the EPDM admin from granting Joe Schmoe access to the transition while you are traveling but before you were abducted?  Answer:  nothing.  'Locking' files won't prevent anyone form accessing your files if they are sufficiently motivated to do so.  If you have to worry about others changing your stuff all the time, you have a serious problem in your company that no amount of software is going to fully alleviate.

                                                   

                                                  To address your scenarios directly:

                                                   

                                                  1) Why are R&D personnel allowed to use EPDM during an EPDM upgrade weekend?  Are they not subject to the same rules as everyone else?

                                                   

                                                  2)  Do you have remote access or VPN capability when working from the remote office?  If so, simply leave the files checked out at office A and when you arrive at office B, remote in to office A and check them in.  Next, you would Get Latest Version from office B and you are good to go.  Alternatively, you can check everything in and before you travel, remote in to office B and Get Latest Version.  When you arrive at office B, the local machine will have *your* latest work on it.  When you check it out, you have the option of *not* getting the latest version from the vault.  If the vault has something newer than what you have locally, you know someone has been messing with your stuff, but you can overwrite it with your local copy.

                                                   

                                                  Jim S.

                                                    • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                      Roy Dean

                                                      Jim Sculley wrote:

                                                       

                                                      With the workflow change (not a new workflow) Mike suggested, you would get exactly what you are looking for.  The problem is that you would need to add a transition to and from the Locked state for each and every user that needs the locking capability.  Let's say you do this.  What happens if you get abducted by aliens when traveling between offices?  After a lengthy search and several candlelight vigils, how will the person taking over your position access your files?  The EPDM administrator will have to grant them permission to perform the transition that was originally for you.  OK, fine.  But what prevents the EPDM admin from granting Joe Schmoe access to the transition while you are traveling but before you were abducted?  Answer:  nothing.  'Locking' files won't prevent anyone form accessing your files if they are sufficiently motivated to do so.  If you have to worry about others changing your stuff all the time, you have a serious problem in your company that no amount of software is going to fully alleviate.

                                                       

                                                      To address your scenarios directly:

                                                       

                                                      1) Why are R&D personnel allowed to use EPDM during an EPDM upgrade weekend?  Are they not subject to the same rules as everyone else?

                                                       

                                                      2)  Do you have remote access or VPN capability when working from the remote office?  If so, simply leave the files checked out at office A and when you arrive at office B, remote in to office A and check them in.  Next, you would Get Latest Version from office B and you are good to go.  Alternatively, you can check everything in and before you travel, remote in to office B and Get Latest Version.  When you arrive at office B, the local machine will have *your* latest work on it.  When you check it out, you have the option of *not* getting the latest version from the vault.  If the vault has something newer than what you have locally, you know someone has been messing with your stuff, but you can overwrite it with your local copy.

                                                       

                                                      Jim S.

                                                      Seriously, Jim?   We have a dedicated (and overworked) Admin.  Sure, an admin can do ANYTHING at ANY time, but to use that as an argument against what I am asking for is silly.   Besides, how is the alien situation you've postulated any different than me simply checking out the files?   I trust our admin (he's more stringent with this stuff than I am).   It's the people who just "go in to look at something" and accidentally hit "yes" when SWX asks them if they want to check the file out that I am worried about.

                                                       

                                                      1)  Yes, as I've stated before, the rules are in place.   But the entire reason we use EPDM in the first place (document control) is to avoid people breaking the rules inadvertantly.   Joe Schmoe can't mess with my files if they are locked (regardless of if he has good intentions, bad intentions, or is just fat fingered).   And only I (or the admin) can unlock them.   It's that simple.

                                                       

                                                      2)  Or as an alternative to your suggestions, I could  a) check the file in, and b) lock it!   Nobody seems to understand that just because there ARE ways around doing what I want to do, that there aren't REAL benefits to what I DO want to do.

                                                       

                                                      If you don't like my preferences, that's fine.   I'm not trying to convince anybody to do it my way because it's better or faster or whatever.    What I am trying to do is convince everybody (including DSS) that there are those of us who DO prefer having an option that has existing in other platforms, that's all.

                                                        • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                          Jim Sculley

                                                          Roy Dean wrote:

                                                           

                                                          Seriously, Jim?   We have a dedicated (and overworked) Admin.  Sure, an admin can do ANYTHING at ANY time, but to use that as an argument against what I am asking for is silly.   Besides, how is the alien situation you've postulated any different than me simply checking out the files?   I trust our admin (he's more stringent with this stuff than I am). 

                                                          The point of the alien example was that the ability to lock files, like all things in EPDM, could be overriden by an admin and the mere fact that it can be overridden in extreme instances means that it could be overridden in instances where someone convinces the admin that it is an extreme circumstance:

                                                           

                                                          "Roy is on a plane to Timbuktu but I *really* need to make a small change to his widget, right now!"

                                                           

                                                          Roy Dean wrote:

                                                           

                                                          It's the people who just "go in to look at something" and accidentally hit "yes" when SWX asks them if they want to check the file out that I am worried about.

                                                          But changing your files requires *3* steps from another user.  First, they have to 'accidentally' click 'Yes' and check the file out.  Incidentally, if you didn't know, this is an option that can be turned off:

                                                          If you check the check box on the repeat offenders machines, they will never be asked to check out the file when opening it and they will receive a very stern warning message the instant they attempt to make a change to the model.

                                                           

                                                          Second, they then have to 'accidentally' save something that isn't  theirs. 

                                                           

                                                          Third, they have to 'accidentally' check the file in.  Once again, if this is happening on a regular basis, someone needs more training or they need to be given their walking papers.  The person (or persons) 'accidentally' stepping on your work is probably the type of person who would try to convince an admin to unlock your locked files because they have a 'really good reason'.  Your work being altered is not a symptom of a problem with EPDM, it is a disease within your workgroup.

                                                           

                                                          If you don't like my preferences, that's fine.   I'm not trying to convince anybody to do it my way because it's better or faster or whatever.    What I am trying to do is convince everybody (including DSS) that there are those of us who DO prefer having an option that has existing in other platforms, that's all.

                                                          Why is your dedicated admin so resistant to implementing a 'Locked' state?  Unless you have all sorts of workflows with all sorts of states where check-in/out are allowed this change should take 15 minutes, tops.  Two minutes if you are the only user griping about the issue.

                                                           

                                                          The person you need to convince is your EPDM admin.  The system you have is 100% capable of doing exactly what you want.  Check-in, right click, Change State...Lock It Down.  Aside from not existing 'out of the box', does this not meet your needs?

                                                           

                                                          Jim S.

                                                          • Re: Can you "lock" files in EPDM?
                                                            Tera Hansen

                                                            Another thing to note - one of the nice things about EPDM is the ability to view the history on the files.  Say something does happen and Joe Schmoe does change something he shouldn't have, you have the proof right there.  Look, on 5/19/2015 SchmoeJ checked out 'MY' part and made changes.  I did not agree to this.  Butt covered.

                                                             

                                                            Also, you are able to send yourself a notification when a file is checked out.  Come in Monday morning, log in to EPDM, see a notification that Joe has checked out your file, hey Joe what were you doing with my file?  Again, butt covered.

                                                             

                                                            Thirdly, you can make a certain file invisible to everyone "Out of the box" by right clicking on the file and selecting properties.  Under the "File Permissions" tab you are able to change who can see it.  Monday morning the admin would have to go in and change it back so you can see it of course.

                                                             

                                                            I'm sorry EPDM does not exactly have the functionality you would like, but there ARE other ways to do it.