I was wondering if some of you more successful EPDM users might want to weigh in on this very general file handling question...
Currently, a CAD file at our company starts life in a fairly uncontrolled 'Project Directory'. It starts as something like 'my favorite part.sldprt', then later gets part numbered (2000123.sldprt). Upon release it gets moved into a secure read-only structured environment, for everyone else to use, reuse, revise, etc. The folder structure is arranged numerically with 10k CAD files per directory.
There is a group of people that feel now that we have the EPDM database and search capability, our data can just reside in the project folders where it was conceived, and the EPDM will instantly locate the correct parts based upon whatever search criteria we apply (we have a fairly rigid description process). Designers would just reference parts and assemblies out of whatever project folders they need, all across the vault.
Project folders (directory structures) can be named after a product, project, customer, or even work order number. And, they can become convoluted as the years tick by and we make revisions, mods, new models, etc.
This approach makes me very nervous. I on the other would prefer to move the files out during a workflow into a much more structured environment, and out of the project folders. It just feels like the right thing to do, but yet from a purely technical viewpoint, I'm not so sure I have a lot of good reasons for doing it.
I was just wondering how other successful users are managing their CAD files within the vault.