7 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2015 6:13 PM by David Cramer

    New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?

    Brian Mc Cormack

      This topic has been discussed multiple times (and in different ways) on the forum, but I'm still trying to get a clear explanation.


      I'm planning my first EPDM implementation, and while the vault/workflow setup, new file handling etc. seems ok, I'm unsure how to deal with existing SW files. These can have different custom properties defined, reference different toolboxes and material databases, different sheet formats for drawings etc. We want to use some of the custom properties to populate the data cards, but this is going to be difficult if the available properties vary file-to-file.


      Is there a guide for how to properly update/migrate existing files from a Windows folder to EPDM system? I'm thinking of the following:


      1. Decide on the set of custom properties, standards etc. that all files should adhere to, make templates for new files with these.
      2. Edit (manually?) the existing files so they conform to the new templates.
      3. Migrate the cleaned-up files to EPDM.


      The manual editting of files on this scale might not be feasible, is there a SW custom property editor that could do some of this in batch?


      All suggestions appreciated.   

        • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
          John Matrishon

          Hey Brian, well you are off to a great start with the word "planning" !!  Kudos to you because it will be all about the planning.


          Standardization is a big part of a successful migration and it will go a long ways for your success.   You are on the right track with your steps, and there may not be an easy way to do what you are looking for.   Most companies do things a little differently, so there is no real guide, but that being said use your VAR heavily to help guide you with the steps you're already thinking about!  That is what they are there for!


          You could use the Design checker and build in a few checks that could help you.   I would also maybe look at Treehouse if you have lots of assemblies to get a handle on fixing custom properties in an assembly to assembly kind of way.


          Are some really good API folks out there or at your VAR that may be able to help write some automation, but if you files are as varied as you say, that could be difficult.


          Bulk uploads are tricky, and you may not like the result so I would suggest taking them as you require work on them, fix then, then load into your vault.


          Best of luck!!   Ask questions, get opinions, and PLAN!!!

          • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
            Bryan Nathan

            When we migrated to EPDM we spent an entire summer (with interns) getting our files uniform and properly structured. It took a lot of time, but it was certainly worth it.


            One really nice feature provided by our VAR was a script which would read in the "Rev"variable from our files (which had always been used to populate our sheet format) and then set the EPDM Revision to that value. Otherwise you will need a strategy for bringing in an old file which is Rev 8 and then get it to the proper revision (so that future workflow transitions will increment properly). I am sure a clever programmer could write a script which would transfer data between variables. I am not very talented with dispatch routines but you may be able to use these with a number of IF statements to check incoming files and map variables.  Good luck!

            • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
              Brian McEwen

              Deciding on the worthwhile custom properties will be key.  If you are saying you have situations where in one place the part number (or some fundamental property) is stored as "partnumber" and in another it is  "item#" it is true that will be a pain, because you probably want to keep the value in both cases. 


              I only know enough about this to be dangerous... but in EPDM Admin Tool there is a section called Data Import/Export, and in there you can create Alias Sets. It can be used to modify the data cards. I'm wondering if you can use something like that to convert equivalent variables.


              If you create variables that you later phase out, it is more to manage, but EPDM variables can be deleted (it will tell you where they are used).  So you may want to start with more (more than your future essential set) convert some, and then remove the old stuff?


              You can also set up Dispatch to copy a variable from one variable to another, and run it on batches of files after they are checked-in (but probably before the state is changed).

              • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
                Brian Mc Cormack

                Thanks for all the comments, some very useful suggestions here.


                I think deciding on the custom properties set we need (plus a few spares as Brian mentioned) is our first step, as this defines the data handling/manipulation needed and what the vault can eventually use. The majority of our 'active' SW data uses common SW templates (and hence custom properties), but it's a good opportunity to review whether these are sufficient. Older files are more variable, but there's a smaller number of these to manage and migrate.

                  • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
                    Dan Hon


                    You may also declare your EPDM variables to extract data from multiple Custom Property sources.


                    As an example, if some Solidworks files contain Custom Property "Part #"  and "PartNumber" in other files.  Edit the EPDM variable you wish to store these attributes, by adding:

                         Block> CustomProperty       Attribute> Part#                     Extensions> sldprt, sldasm

                         Block> CustomProperty       Attribute> PartNumber,         Extensions> sldprt, sldasm


                    With this EPDM variable now attached to the data cards, if either of these custom properties are found in the migrated Solidworks file properties, the data card variable will be filled in.



                  • Re: New EPDM implementation, how to manage existing SW files?
                    David Cramer

                    Hi Brian,


                    We have some solutions that can really take the hassle out of correctly migrating your data into EPDM - we can standardize your custom properties, your drawing templates, fix missing references, resolve duplicates clean your filenames, and correctly migrate your data into EPDM (set states, revisions, and populate datacards if necessary). Once the software is configured most migrations are done over a weekend.


                    This is a very common need and we have helped many other customers.


                    If you want to learn more or discuss this further, please call me at +1 253 987 7469.



                    David Cramer