Library parts – in or out of the vault?

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From time to time I like to answer email I get from my many fans. Dear Great Wizard, My Aunt Emily just bought PDMWorks Enterprise 2008. Do you think she should include her purchase part library in the Enterprise vault? Signed, Wondering in Kansas Dear Wondering, The question of if your purchase part library should go into your PDM system has been going on for as long as scarecrows have been afraid of fire. Many argue that once the library […]

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Who names these things?

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Names can be a powerful thing. They can give you connotations of something before you know anything more about it. Naming something poorly is often times a bad thing. The folks making the PDMWorks Enterprise must think there is an award for poor naming conventions. Let’s start with the name of the product itself…the moniker PDMWorks gives users the feeling there is very little difference between PDMWorks Workgroup and Enterprise, except the Enterprise version may have a bit more in […]

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Pro/E files work with PDMWorks Enterprise

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I have seen the future….and it is pretty cool. I got a copy of the beta version of PDMWorks Enterprise SP4 and it handles Pro/E files! Yup, you can drag and drop Pro/E files into the vault, PDMWorks Enterprise recognizes the meta data and the parent child relationships. There is even an interface now built into Pro/E. Works with Pro/E 2001 and the first three Wildfires. [For those of you scoring at home, PDMWorks Enterprise can now work in SOLIDWORKS, […]

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Finding THAT Needle in a Haystack!!

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I was reading the SOLIDWORKS Community online journal when I came across an interesting passage that underscored the need for an integrated data management solution to keep track of analysis results. http://www.solidworkscommunity.com/feature_full.php?cpfeatureid=26119 At a time where huge amounts of data circulate through computers and servers, it is almost way too easy to misplace information. Haystacks of information are growing ever larger and the needles ever smaller!! It is a routine procedure in a battery of analysis tests to make numerous […]

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You no longer have to choose the lesser of two evils

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In the past if you were a PDMWorks Enterprise administrator (or an admin over a lot of other PDM systems), you had two miserable options ahead of you once you upgraded your users to the newest SOLIDWORKS version. Do you manually check out all the files, run the upgrade wizard then check them back in to bring your files to the newest version (thus making a huge mess with anyone who cares at all about version history -let alone what […]

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EZ SOLIDWORKS Watermark

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I’ve seen quite a few strategies for putting a watermark on SOLIDWORKS drawings….putting them on their own layer, embedding a Word document, special fonts, etc. However they all have the common weakness of requiring either API or a manual process of removing them. My favorite watermark method is to use file properties instead: Open your SOLIDWORKS drawing template and create a file property called “WATERMARK”. Assign the value “FOR REFERENCE ONLY” for the value of this property. In your sheet […]

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On the fly email notifications

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A common PDMWorks Enterprise enhancement request is to give the users the ability to pick and choose who gets notified when a document goes through a workflow transition. While personally that request seems like it would make a loophole users could use to get around the system i.e. not notifying your manager or quality control if a document is approved. -I’ll grant there may be cases where it would be useful. So I thought I’d give you a little application […]

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Let my file go!

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Since PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 will not support custom applications written in VB6, I know a lot of you are busy converting your code to .NET. Here is a little “gotcha” to watch out for: I had a little routine that would write to a file’s datacard at check in time. [EdmCmd_PreUnlock] It worked great in VB6 but when I converted it to .NET, PDMWorks Enterprise could not finish the check in operation telling me that the file was in use […]

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How to ease the pain of writing a PDMWorks Enterprise addin

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Writing and debugging VB .NET addins for PDMWorks Enterprise is not a fun task. First you cannot step through your code and watch your variables update so finding the problem is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack… additionally, between the builds you need to constantly unload the addin, start/stop the explorer.exe process, compile the .dll, then reload the addin. -Too much work for me. I typically write a majority of the code as a “Windows Application” then […]

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Can Windows SharePoint be used as your SOLIDWORKS PDM?

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Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 has been out for nearly a year now. It certainly adds a lot of collaboration tools over WSS 2.0. I think that just the simple fact that 3.0 now supports blogs and wikis makes WSS a nice design collaboration tool. With all these new collaboration tools now included, can it replace PDMWorks Enterprise? There certainly is a lot of overlap between WSS and PDMWorks Enterprise. Both products allow you to check in and out documents, […]

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