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SOLIDWORKS EnterprisePDM DataCard Smart Logic

Tuesday July 24, 2012 at 5:24pm

Single DataCard – Multiple functions

Templates in Enterprise allow you to create and pre-popuate a complete Project Folder Structure. the only downside is that it isn’t possible to include a custom DataCard within a folder created by that Template. That can cause problems if you create Documents within projects that have different requirements for the metadata captured and displayed within them. Let us consider the following example.
When I create a new Project I generate 4 Sub-Folders; CAD Data, Project Documents, Engineering Change & Non Conformance. The documents added to the three non CAD folders may all be Word Documents (for example) but the requirements for describing those files will be different. I could create one big DataCard that covers all eventualities but let’s not confuse the users and work a little smarter. Using Control Logic on a common Document DataCard to control Tab visibility and some copied properties in the Project Template we can use the same default Document DataCard and have it display different Variables depending on which Folder the File is added to.
To set this up we need a Variable called <DocType> that I will link to a series of Radio Buttons. When using a Radio Button the Value of the Variable is the ‘label’ assigned to the Radio Button so mine will be called; Engineering Change, Document and Non Conformance.


When defining the Radio Buttons note that I also set the controls to be Read Only and the Default Value based on a Folder Data Card Variable of the same name. This is the key to allowing the same card to behave differently dependant on the Folder it is used in.
Next define you ‘Tab Control’ with a Tab for each Document Type. In my example you see a Tab called Document, Engineering Change and Non Conformance. You will also see that this control is “Controlled by Variable’ <DocType>

This means that the active Radio Button will determine which Tab is displayed. Common information is kept outside of the Tab Control so it only has to be defined once.
As we are setting the Radio Button value based on the Folder DataCard we need to ensure that

  1. It is displayed on the Folder DataCard
  2. It is set automatically on each folder when the ‘Project’ Template is executed.

Both my Template and Folder card have been modified to include a Drop List linked to the <DocTYpe> variable and an EPDM List which contains the three options we have discussed. I have set the Default Value to be “Document” and marked it as Read Only so that it can’t be changed by accident. The correct value will be assigned to the Engineering Change and Non Conformance Folders by the Template.

Next, we shall edit the ‘Project’ template that I already have in my Vault.

To control the value of the <DocType> Variable on the Folders that the Template wil create I first need to create thre Template variables with the values as per the labels on the Radio Buttons / Drop List.

Now select the 'Engineering Change' Folder in the Template and via the RMB (Right Mouse Button) Shortcut menu select Properties. We only need to copy one Variable explicitly since the default behaviour of EPDM is for Folder variables to always be inherited by sub folders. On teh Copy Variables Tab, locate the Variable created with the value 'Engineering Change' and copy it to <DocType>.

Repeat this for the Non Conformance Folder. Note: We don't need to set any as 'Document' as we have already defined this as the Default Value on the Folder Card.

Click OK to save the changes to the Template.. Create a New Project.

Now as I create Documents in each Folder the 'correct' DataCard is displayed.

Engineering Change

Non Conformance


Hopefully you can see a use for this method in your own vaults, but don't forget if you have any questions be sure to call the Helpdesk!

Thanks for your time...

Wayne Marshall | Customer Support Manager


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