Task Scheduler: Converting Workgroup PDM Files

The SOLIDWORKS task scheduler runs specified tasks at the times set by the user. This can be very useful in the working environment allowing for large tasks to be performed out of hours. Following the release of SOLIDWORKS 2015 users will be updating their infrastructures and upgrading, but what happens with the vault?

Converting Workgroup PDM files to the latest SOLIDWORKS version is just one such task, ensuring that your vault is up to date. This is a good idea to do every other year or so, or every time a major version of SOLIDWORKS is released. This helps to keep your files up to date with your software and improves performance.

Remember to back up your vault
Remember to back up your vault

The Task Scheduler can be found by going to:
Start>All Programs>SolidWorks>SolidWorks Tools>SolidWorks Task Scheduler.

And is displayed as shown:

Task Scheduler
Task Scheduler

When considering a conversion of your Workgroup PDM vault it is important to note the size of the vault. As the vault gets larger so will the duration of the conversion. This is due to the number and size of the files which will require conversion. As the task scheduler works through the vault, it will, by default work on a file by file basis. This can extend the time of the task. As a drawing file is converted it requires the reference to the part to be converted also – this in turn leads to a search for the part which will then be converted.

It is then advised that the task is set up in a certain way; all Parts in all projects should be done first, followed by all Assemblies in all projects and lastly all Drawings in all projects. This removes the search for referenced documents that would be taking time.

In order to set up the task scheduling, select the convert Workgroup PDM file icon in the task pane. This will launch the task window after a Workgroup PDM Login. For the ability to set up a task with reference to any projects your login must be write access or above.

Convert_SolidWorks_Workgroup_PDM files
Convert SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Files

The task window as shown is made up of two distinct sections, targeted files and time schedule. It is possible to update the entire vault, though as mentioned separating files is more efficient. Therefore updating by project and files is recommended. Add the projects which you want to be updated into the list, the scheduler works through one at a time, top to bottom.

The file names or types should then be changed remembering to set part files first. This is done by clicking in the box to the right of the project and selecting the dropdown menu, and then selecting the desired file type. You should then have a set up similar to that shown below.

Convert_SolidWorks_Workgroup_PDM2
Convert SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Files File Types

As shown the part file types will be updated first and once that is complete the process will progress onto the assembly files and then the drawings for project 1. It will then continue onto the next project and so on. The schedule for the task can then be arranged for the desired time, weekend or overnight which gives plenty of time for the task to work whilst not disrupting any workflow.

Some important considerations should be made in the options menu; latest revision only will prevent the task from updating every revision of your files. This is unnecessary and can take considerably longer. The other option check if files can be re-opened after update will also increase the time involved slightly but ensures that the conversion has worked correctly on the files in question. Therefore it is recommended that this is on.

The advanced button has also got some important options, one of which being the back up directory. This backs up the files which are being worked on by the task. This should be an area which has access to a space greater or equal to the size of the vault itself.

Once these have been determined along with the correct projects and file types selected, you are good to select finish. The task will now be scheduled and ready for the given time. The task will be displayed in the main window, giving you options to delete the task if a mistake has been made. This is as shown below and can be filtered. The main window shows what stage the task is at and shows the machine being used. Only one task can be performed at one time on one machine.

SOLIDWOKS-Task_Scheduler
SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler

The task has now been setup but will only be running off one machine; the duration of the task can be decreased by assigning multiple machines to the task. This can be done by using the network monitor (accessed through SOLIDWORKS Tools in the start menu). This needs to be run on the co-ordinator computer and the node computers. Providing a consistent connection, this can decrease the overall time of the task, as multiple machines work on it.

NT CADCAM
NT CADCAM is the UK's most established SOLIDWORKS reseller in England, Scotland and Wales. Offering a fully supported CAD and CAM product portfolio and high levels of expertise internally, makes NT CADCAM unique within the SOLIDWORKS community, giving customers the confidence and assurance they need that their support issues will be dealt with both promptly and efficiently. As a SOLIDWORKS Certified Training Centre, NT CADCAM provides clients with fully certified and accredited trainers who are experienced engineers. NT CADCAM is part of the Solid Solutions Group.