In SOLIDWORKS PDM, if you choose to assign your revision number component with a value from a list, you have three options of what you want PDM to do when a user has reached the end of the revision list. My old standby joke here is to “Refuse the operation” and send an e-mail to human resources, because if someone that makes that many revisions to a file, they should be fired. That joke is fourteen years old. It has never let me down.
During my PDM Administration classes, we have always made fun of the other two options. “Continue to use the last row”. I get an infinity of letter “Z” revisions in my file? “Restart from the first row in the list”. PDM sets my ten-year-old file’s revision back to “A”? Who would ever use these crazy two options?
This week I finally found a use case for “Restart from the first row in the list”. A customer was migrating a data set from their Workgroup vault. Their revision schema in Workgroup was a mess. It had changed several times in the past, and not everyone assigned revisions the same way. They couldn’t trust their revision values. Yet at the same time, they did not want all these files migrated into the vault with a revision “A”.
Our solution was that we added a new revision value at the end of the list – “Workgroup Revised” and set all the migrated files to this new value. This works rather nicely because if you look at a file that has never been revised in the new system, you can easily see that it at least has had a history, but if the file gets modified for the first time in the new clean revision system, it will be assigned with the first letter in their PDM revision system!
It took me fourteen years to come up with a use case for “Restart from the first row in the list”. Will it take me fourteen more to come up with a use case for “Continue to use the last row”? Are you using it? Can you dream up a reason why you would ever use it?