Data is the most important aspect of your SOLIDWORKS Schematic setup. Server or Computer hardware can fail. Data can become corrupted. Downtime during a critical project or worse, suffer a data loss and you could feasibly end up re-doing everything you’ve ever done. If you can remember all the things you have changed, setup, or added to the system! With a new release of software coming around the bend as well as service packs that might be the next upgrade, an Archived Environment is critical to have. Hopefully, I have sufficiently scared you enough to back up your system. That solution: An archive that will help you protect and restore your data when something goes wrong.
What is the Archive Environment function?
Within SOLIDWORKS Electrical, an Environmental Archive is a compressed data file containing a complete copy of the database content. Additional parts of the file included in the archive are projects, symbols, manufacturing data, configurations, and report templates. This data file is the main source for restoration of the database and configuration files after an upgrade failure or for system restores.
An additional suggestion is to create two archives during the backup process, as we are going to be able to capture content at different intervals this way. The first archive will be a “Projects Only” archive. Projects can be quite large amounts of data, especially if there are 3D assemblies and their parts. The frequency of this archive can be done based on the volume of projects. It will also eliminate the need to have separate project archives before removing any projects from the Project Manager.
The second archive will be the complete system, less the projects. This archive absolutely must be done before any upgrade.
Simple guidelines for creating an environmental archive:
- Before any upgrade to a new service pack.
- Before any upgrade to new software release.
- During active setup or modification of the system, the frequency dependant on the level of activity.
- Capturing and retaining old projects no longer active to be removed from the Projects Manager.
- Capturing a design history of large projects, at user-determined intervals.
Retention of the archives is at your discretion, but having a couple or one from each past version might not be the worst storage problem to overcome.
Having all those backups is just peace of mind that you should be able to get to something at some point in your setup and design history that you need!
CATI Electrical Product Manager
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.