Easy Data Migration Using The New 2016 SOLIDWORKS PDM Set Revision Command

One of the more challenging parts of implementing a PDM System can be the introduction of legacy files into the Vault. Mapping revision properties that exist within SOLIDWORKS files to match the revisions within PDM has traditionally meant the use of APIs, complex migration workflows, or the manual incrementing of files.

Without going through one of these processes, once checked in and transitioned, files migrated into the vault can have their revision variables incorrectly reset. So for example, a file that is originally rev “F” outside of PDM will be reset to “A” if the file is introduced to into a company’s normal production workflow.

Prior to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2016, the increment revision tool was available; but was time consuming, in that files would have to be incremented manually and there were no capabilities to cross-reference with the existing card variables.

Now within SOLIDWORKS PDM 2016, both Professional and Standard, there is new “Set Revision” functionality that allows files to be brought into the system and analyzed for their current revision variable values. These files can then have that revision applied within the PDM system.

Note: Prior to the import of files however, within the administration tool, the initial state where the files are checked into must have a revision component and increment value identified as shown in Figure A. Otherwise, the Set Revision command will not function. In addition, folder and state permissions must be set so that the users or groups who will be performing this function are allowed to do so.

Figure A: State Revision Settings
Figure A: State Revision Settings

For users/groups with the appropriate permissions, the steps are as follows:

  1. The files shown in Figure B have been brought into PDM and checked in. The revisions shown exist within the custom properties of the file and file transitions are pending.Because the workflow is designed to set variables and increment revisions upon transition, doing so now would reset all files to revision “A”. This is because the files are new to the system and PDM does not recognize the current variable settings.
Figure B: Files have been migrated and checked in
Figure B: Files have been migrated and checked in
  1. The following functions can be performed on individual files, however, in an effort to reduce the time necessary to update the variables on multiple files, we’ve gone back one level (See Figure C) and selected the top level folder for the project (named “Multi Rev Items”).
Figure C: Selecting the Migrated Files' Folder
Figure C: Selecting the Migrated Files’ Folder
  1. Now select modify > Set revision:
Figure D
Figure D
  1. At this point, the window shown in Figure E opens:
Figure E: The Set Revision Dialog Box
Figure E: The Set Revision Dialog Box

The CURRENT REVISION column shows what PDM perceives to be the existing revision within the system. In this case, the files have yet to be transitioned and therefore do not have existing revisions.

The NEW REVISION COLUMN shows what the revision would be if the files were transitioned without any manipulation. At this point, you could manually select a revision that exists in the system for each individual item, however, there are shortcuts shown in step 5 that will minimize errors and make the process quicker.

The DATA CARD VARIABLE COLUMN highlights the current revision variable value as currently shown on both the file card and within the files’ custom properties

  1. Right clicking anywhere within the window reveals the sub window shown in Figure F:
Figure F: Set Revision Sub Window
Figure F: Set Revision Sub Window
  1. The next step, (shown in Figure G) is to select “update data card variables of all files” or select “Ctrl-U”. This will check off all of the boxes in the “update variable” column. This will apply the upcoming revision changes back to the cards once the operation is complete.
Figure G: Updating the Data Card Variables
Figure G: Updating the Data Card Variables
  1. The next step will be to right click again and select “ Set All New Revision Values to Card Variable Value” or (Ctrl-N)
Figure H: Setting Revision to Match Cards
Figure H: Setting Revision to Match Cards

After selecting this option, all of the revisions in the “New Revision” column will be updated to match the existing data card value.

Figure I: Updated New Revision Column
Figure I: Updated New Revision Column
  1. After selecting “OK”, the revisions are set within the system. In the windows environment, the revisions appear as they did before, however, they are now set within PDM. We have displayed the history for one of the files and shown it in Figure J. You will see that Version 3 of the file is now set to Revision “E” within PDM.
Figure J: File History
Figure J: File History

Validation: To verify the functionality of the “Set revision” command, we will now apply a transition that is set to increase a file’s revision. We have selected a parent assembly (00000001.sldasm) which references a single part file (00000006.sldprt).

Figure K: Transitioning Test Files
Figure K: Transitioning Test Files

If the Set Revision command had not been implemented, then the files would have been revised to rev “A” regardless of what the data cards may have shown.

In this case, the two files being transitioned (00000001.sldasm & 00000006.sldprt) have had their revisions set and are incrementing properly.

Figure L: Validating the Set Revision Functionality
Figure L: Validating the Set Revision Functionality

This new command is a great addition to SOLIDWORKS PDM. It greatly enhances the users’ ability to import their legacy data in a quick, reliable, and repeatable manner; without the need for custom programs or additional workflows.

We have done numerous custom integrations for PDM Pro and Standard to speed throughput and increase efficiency. If you have questions related to the topic above or any other integration/implementation needs please comment below or contact CAPINC.

CAPINC
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