Parallel Approval Data Mapping Is Finally Here In EPDM 2015!

In SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM 2013, parallel workflow transitions were introduced. This was the start to make setting up and administering parallel workflow processes easier. This was a great method as long as you didn't need to map variables for each individual approver.

Traditionally to map individual approvers, you would need to create a workflow loop with an extra workflow state and two automatic transitions with conditions utilizing variables to determine when all approvals were received before the file would proceed in the workflow. This would also create a new version of the file every time it would go through the loop. So, does your head hurt yet? Well, now in EPDM 2015 SOLIDWORKS has completed the loop to making the creation of parallel workflow processes as easy as a walk in the park.

First you will need to create a parallel workflow transition by selecting it from the Type dropdown list. This will give you the ability to add Roles to the transition.


Next you will want to create the actions to write the values to your variables in your data card. In this example we are writing the approver's full name and the date they approve the ECR and select the group that the variables apply to.


You will repeat this process for every approver in this process.


Here's an example of the workflow before EPDM 2015 without using parallel transitions.


Here's the same workflow (functionally) in SOLIDWORKS Enterprise 2015.


And if you squint really hard, here's an example of a 3-12 approver workflow using the old method…I rest my case.

ECO Monster

One comment on “Parallel Approval Data Mapping Is Finally Here In EPDM 2015!

  1. Hi Jeff,
    I was looking into switching over from the manually prepared parallel approval loops of the past to this new epdm 2015 functionality (now that the data card mapping has been enhanced), but have spotted an issue that would occur with my search cards if I do so.
    With this new “mapped approvers” transition action, individual users data are assigned to the data card (which is great), however this data is kept in the epdm database until the very end of the parallel approval when all signoffs have been gathered, and then it writes the info into the data card.
    This pretty much obsoletes any Search Cards (or search favorites) that were based upon these approver variables (using the variable search control and assigning AND/OR rule filters) during the parallel approval process. With the old method, these variables were filled in one by one as each party signed off, allowing for easy manipulation of search results. With the new parallel transition, this would not work anymore because the data card fields would not be filled in until the end (when it is not useful for those who need to find the files they need to approve quickly).
    This has been used by managers to quickly return any files waiting on their specific approval for a long time.
    Have you come by any complaints about this yet? Any fixes? I figured I’d reach out to those who have created blog posts on the new functionality.
    John Travis
    EPDM Admin @MakerBot Industries

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