EPDM 2015 has given copy tree some more power than previous versions as well as fixes a few bugs that were there previously. For those of you have not used this before, the copy tree function is EPDM’s take on SolidWorks Pack n’ Go feature. With this tool, you will be able to move files around and outside of the vault while keeping their reference to each other. Many designers prefer creating new parts and assemblies from geometry that exists. Most will use a save as function in SolidWorks, but will then have to spend time finding the references for that new part. Using the copy tree allows a user to do just that, but keep all of that geometry’s references. Along with that you can rename, selectively choose what parts you want to copy from an assembly, what files to reference, serialized naming conventions, replace names and auto check in into the vault in new location. The copy tree function can be an extraordinary tool to have in one’s EPDM arsenal especially in the 2015 version. Below are some of the basic functions laid out. To begin, go into your vault and select the file you would like to copy. If the file is a drawing or an assembly, it is not necessary to select all of the files; just the top level will suffice. EPDM will automatically select all of its children for you where you can later choose which files specifically or all to copy.
NOTE: It is recommended that copy tree is used inside of the vault as opposed to pack n go to ensure that the references are maintained with the SQL Server Database.
Below is am image of the main screen of the copy tool. As you can see, it is split into a few different sections. Each section below is framed and numbered. Each section will be explained individually.
The very first section of the main screen is the destination of where the copy will go. This is probably the most important part of this entire tool. Before you do any modifications on the files themselves, be sure to select your destination first. If you accidentally forget to change your destination, the copy tool will automatically default to your root location of the file you have selected to copy. If the user goes through and changes any settings to the file, the copy tool may replace the base files with the new files depending on the settings changed. This could cause some serious issues in the future and therefore is recommended to always be aware of location. Choosing your location is as simple as browsing to a location as shown below.
This section controls the settings for the files that are going to be copied. It is important to note that settings that are changed here will not affect the base files, merely how you would like the files to be read when copied. Here, there are a few options. Most of the time it is unnecessary to change them: unless the user is specifically looking to create a copy of referenced files instead of latest or “as built”. If need be, the user can also copy then into a compressed folder as well instead of files. This can be very useful if the user would like to share the files with another colleague.
Compressed archive: Copies the selected files to the archive file.
When you select this option: Preserve relative paths, Regenerate serial number in cards, and Name drawings after their models are not available options. If the archive file is in the vault and you have not configured a Zip program using the Local Settings section of the Administration tool, a warning appears in the Warnings column and the Copy option is unavailable.
Preserve Relative File Paths: Keeps the paths of references relative to the copied parent file, creating a folder structure as needed. When you clear Preserve relative paths, the folder hierarchy is flattened and all referenced files are copied to the same destination folder as the parent.
Include Drawings: Shows any related drawing files in the file list so you can include them when copying the reference tree.
Regenerate serial number in cards: If serial numbers are used in data cards, assigns the next number in the sequence. For Rename with serial number transformations, the same serial numbers used to name the files are used in data cards.
Name drawings after their models: Sets drawing file names to the same as their associated assembly or part file names.
This section of the tool allows you to change the name of all the copied files simultaneously. In section 4, the user can manually type in names as well, but that will only affect each individual file. That will be addressed in the next section. This section is for global renaming and selective renaming of multiple files.
The first two of the transform operations is the “Add Prefix” and “Add Suffix” button. Just as its name suggests, it will add any prefix or suffix to the selected files, or all files you want to copy. It’s important to note that the prefix/suffix operation will not add a hyphen to either, it will simply add whatever text the user types directly to the front or behind of the file name.
The “Rename with serial number” operation allows you to replace the existing name with and serial number that you have created in EPDM previously. As you can see below, you can select a different serial number for each file type. If a serial number is already associated with a file type in SolidWorks already, it will default to that serial number. Note: the serial number option is ignored if it conflicts with names specified by “Name drawings after their model” option is enabled.
The replace operation I the copy tool replaces strings in file or folder names. For “Find what”, type the string you with to replace. In “Replace with”, type the replacement string. From there, you may select whether or not you would like to apply the changes to file names, folders, or both. Then select ok.
NOTE: These operations can be strung together for a complex renaming structure. You can add a prefix, suffix, and a rename with serial number to any file at the same time.
Section 4 has many parts to it, but as this is a basic overview we will only focus on a few key things: File List, Total to Copy, and Reset All.
The file list has a few main functions. In this section, you can select the files you wish to copy, select files you wish to transform (prefix/suffix/rename with serial number), and verify file paths and names. The file list view is broken down into a few columns of information. Below is a breakdown of each column and their data.
Type: Displays a thumbnail preview of the file when you hover over the file type icon.
File Name: Displays selected files and files referenced by them. For assemblies, the list can include drawings, parts, subassemblies, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation files. NOTE: The related drawings can be in the current folder or in a folder elsewhere in the vault. By default, EPDM checks the entire vault for related drawings, but the scope of the search will depends on permissions for that user’s search capabilities.
Warnings: Displays the warnings such as Target file already exists, Outside of the vault, or The file is not rebuilt can block a check in if your administrator has configured blocking for warnings.
Copy: Lets you select files to copy.
Version: The first number is the local (cached) version, or a hyphen (-) if locally modified. The second number is the latest version in the vault.
For example, 4/6 means version 4 of 6
Checked out by: User who has the file checked out, or blank if not checked out. You can only check in files that you have checked out.
If you hover over a user name, a pop-up window displays user information such as log in status, number of files checked out, and a link to email the user
Checked out in: Computer and local folder where the file is checked out, or blank if not checked out.
Found in: Vault folder containing the file.
Destination Folder Path: Displays the path that you specify in the Default Destination field. You can edit it to change the destination of a copied file.
Target File Name: Displays the target file name after the copy. For example, if you used transformations, you will see the result in this section. Here you can manually edit the name and verify that the outcome is correct.
State: The state of the file
The last part is the total to copy section. Here, the tool displays the number and type of files that you have selected for copying.
When all of your options are chosen and paths correct, just click copy button and the copy function is complete. Always make sure to check the files after the copy is complete and that the references are all still correct before you begin to use/share the files. It is advised that if you have EPDM, that you always use this tool over pack n’ go in SolidWorks as this tool does everything pack n’ go does plus its capability to preserve references/relationships with the SQL Database. Should you need more in depth detail about the buttons and icons that were not discussed here today, feel free to look HERE or contact your local VAR.
Aleks Vicentic| Consultant – PLM Solutions