It is many company’s goal to fix their data as they migrate it into SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. – No broken references, data cards accurately populated, no missing files, etc.
If companies choose to do their migration themselves, they’ll typically choose to either dump the data into the vault (via drag/drop) and fix it “later”, or they’ll bring the files into the vault as needed.
The downsides to these are that a good percentage of the files never get fixed (people never get around to fixing them), or files become lost –over time, employees forget the procedures for finding files outside of the vault.
I am working with a company that has come up with an interesting solution to these issues. They are “migrating” the data twice! They created a directory off of the root of the vault, and into it, they just dumped their legacy data in from their Windows file structure into EPDM with Windows drag and drop.
These files, as they are, don’t have much information in them -just a bunch of files in a familiar directory structure. If they want to know more about the files, they need to dig through records in their external Lotus Notes database. To ensure users don’t use these files as they are, they are in a workflow that users outside of the Engineering department cannot see.
Now as files are needed for production, they move them into the proper production folders in this manner:
- They use Lou Gallo’s “Move Tree” application to ensure the entire assembly structure is moved into the proper folders – the drawing and all components can easily be moved in a single step
- They have a custom EPDM add-in that moves the files into their production workflow and populates the file’s data cards with information calculated from the file’s new environment
- PigeonHole is used to find the correct corresponding record inside their Notes database and populates their data card with description, revision, drawn date, original author, etc.
- Users must update the files to the new company standards; but only as the files are needed. (No use fixing files that will never be used.)
- Files in the “production” part of the vault can be trusted because they have been updated by the users.
- Since the files are in the vault from the beginning, they are protected, backed up and searchable.
CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies