Backing up a revision


When you are the Data Specialist Man, the world is your stage.

Here is a little excerpt from a screen play I am writing for an upcoming movie, tentatively titled: “SolidWorks Enterprise PDM – The Movie”

The scene opens with our hero [me] teaching an EPDM administrator training class.

[Me] Now that the file is in your “Released” workflow state, it is read only for everyone, the only way it can be changed is to push the file through the workflow again, making a new revision.

[Future Admin] But what if I want to change the file without bumping the revision?

[Me] You can’t. That revision has been approved, it shouldn’t be changed.

[Future Admin] But I want to.

[Me] No, that would be like changing history. What’s the big deal? Revision letters are cheap, bump the revision and go on with your life.

[Future Admin] But I want to.

[Me] No! You just just bought EPDM to protect your documents and now, on the very first day, you want to override it?!

[Future Admin] Yes.

[Me] Fine. However, I insist we still make everything traceable so we still have record of the actual version that was originally approved.

[Future Admin] Deal.

[Me] First, we’ll make what I like to call a relief valve in our workflow:


The “Released” state will stay read only for everyone. We’ll only give permission for the administrator to use the “Override Revision” transition. We’ll only give checkout rights in the “Revision Override” workflow state to a very few trust worthy people. They can modify the file, then re-release it.

[Future Admin] But now won’t there be additional versions after the revision?

[Me] Say! I didn’t think you were paying attention while you were playing with your cell phone! Yes, there will be an additional version. However with EPDM’s API, we can actually roll back the revision number component to any value we want. Then reapply the revision.


By looking at the file’s history we can see that version two was approved as revision “A”, then version three was created, which was also approved as revision “A”. This second approval was done by a little API application that rolled the counter back one place.

Now the entire process was recorded in the file’s history and you still get to have your changed file at revision “A”.

[Future Admin] Thank you Engineering Data Specialist Man! How can we ever repay you?!

[Me] <Laughs> All in a day’s work my friend, all in a day’s work.