SOLIDWORKS Add-ins – ain’t no big thang

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Normally when you think of SOLIDWORKS add-ins you think of COSMOS, DriveWorks, CAM programs, …big programs. Don’t be intimated by these traditional add-ins. You can write small, very handy add-ins yourself -they can have a very fast return on investment! I am seeing more and more companies with their own little add-ins. Most commonly these add-ins are just small little routines that check company standards on files before they get saved. [FileSaveNotify] An add-in like this is a lot more […]

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I like to keep hitting my head against the wall

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You know the old joke: “I like to keep hitting my head against the wall because it feels so good when I stop.”? I think I figured out why I like programming. First, will all of you SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM admins join me in protest of the function “IEdmEnumeratorVariable8:GetVar”? Why do I have to have write permissions of the file just to read the variable?! …but more on that later. I just wrote a cute little routine that checks out […]

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SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM number assigner

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It appears the folks at SOLIDWORKS heard my gripe about their naming convention. Though the name couldn’t be much longer. SolidWorks’ virtual components are so, so sweet. The fact that SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM supports them adds just a bit more butter on top of the piece of toast. …but…what if you need to assign a virtual component a part number before you save it out as its own file? You cannot use SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM’s serial number generator because you […]

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Extracting PDMWorks Enterprise BOM

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PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 introduced a new ability to automatically export your BOMs during transitions in your work flow. To date though I had not found any example code of how to extract the information from the XML file once it was created. Luckily, I caught my buddy Philip Stears deep down in his dark lab writing this little diddy. ‘Create the document object ready Dim document As New XmlDocument() Try ‘Load the document from disk document.Load(“WorldDominationPlan.xml”) ‘ Get hold of […]

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Mass transfer – the detour

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Friday I left my customer in New Philadelphia to look at his 5000 files (see part 2) for another customer in Cincinnati. They had just bought PDMWorks Enterprise and have asked me to convert their legacy data from Activault. As you would expect, no Activault manuals could be found. It took me a while, but I was finally able to figure their Activault’s database schema. Once this was done I was pretty much home free to write code to find […]

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Mass transfer – Part 2

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Okay, wow…the bulk load tool took nearly eight hours to check the files into the vault. The log reports that just under 11,000 files went into the vault. The remaining files appear to be duplicates of files already in the vault. A nice side benefit of the bulk load tool. We’ll have to spend some more time analyzing the 5,000 files that did not go into the vault to confirm this… Looks like we just dodged a bullet. The legacy […]

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Mass transfer – Part 1

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What does an Engineering Data Specialist do? Mostly I help people create engineering data [DriveWorks, SOLIDWORKS, API, best practices] and maintain their existing data. [PDM, API]. I have just received an assignment to help one of our customers in New Philadelphia, Ohio (just south of Canton) move their legacy data into PDMWorks Workgroup. However there are a few twists: They have been using Workgroup for a while now, current assemblies can reference files in or out of the vault. The […]

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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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