Running without a PDM Package

We will have a need for a PDM package, but can't afford to purchase immediately. In the meantime, I need to run without one. We have a
file server to store data but the server would not be sufficient as an Engineering server (another problem). What I want to do is Store files on the server, load assemblies locally, from the server to work on them, then place them on the server when finished. The problem is how to do this with more than one user without creating a mess with parts that may be used in multiple assemblies. I haven't even considered revision issues, but I'm sure that's going to be a problem. I have seen posts from people who have handled these issues but I can't seem to find the pertinent ones through a search. Any thoughts that would help me limp along for a while would be appreciated. Mike
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Put your "released" files in a read-only directory. make local copies to make changes the files when you're ready to release the changed files, move them to the read-only directory.
It takes a fair bit of discipline to make this work.... I'm limping along too, and wish for a PDM system on a pretty regular basis...

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To both of the Michaels,
Are you sure you can't afford a simple PDM solution? There are a number of inexpensive and pretty easy to implement products available. A couple of years ago they were around $500 a seat. Considering the amount of engineering time wasted trying to limp along without one, it seems like the payoff would be very fast.
When I was the only designer, file management wasn't too much of a problem. As soon as we had two of us working on a project at once, it became a real PITA. It only took us a couple of months to decide to get a cheap PDM. We've never regretted it.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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I can't afford it == managment won't approve the expense
also, your pricing is somewhat out of date. We're currently running straight SW-- To add a stand-alone copy of PDMworks would be $1000, to upgrade to OfficePro would be $1500.
If I could come up with a viable solution in the $500 range, I might be able to sell that.

the
problem.
We've
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Michael wrote:

-------------------------------------- DBWorks is in the $500 per seat range.
'Sporky'
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There are other costs associated with DBWorks (training, SQL server, installation), even so, I'm attempting to push my company to this solution. Future uses and integration seem to be best with a SQL database of parts and assemblies and interfacing this data with our ERP system.
--
Keith Streich
Pflow Industries, Inc
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Michael Brusich wrote:

you could consider using subversions to store the files on your fileserver. Subversion is a versioncontrol system. http://subversion.tigris.org / You work on the local checked out files and check them in when ready. Changed files by other are signalised as conficts. Unfortunatly it is not possible to resolve the conclict like you can do with text files.
I'm considering using it but have to test what it will bring me when 2 engineers are working together. Not the same files, that would be asking for trouble. But for instance to check-in the files changed by a collegue. They are simple assigned by the status of file.
Maybe some others can help me with thinkig this over.
Johnny
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Johnny Geling wrote:

If you have SolidWorks Office then you have two "Utilities" named Compare Geometry and Compare Features. Those could be used to resolve conflicts, perhaps. However, differences like changes in Custom Properties would not show up with those utilities.
'Sporky'
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Sporkman wrote:

Despite of using SolidWorks Office I haven't use these utilities in daily work. That is because older version of a file are not that easy to manage and because the type of work I do. But I can imagine that with easy to use of managing versions of file (not design versions, that is for adminstrating the design) these tools have their value.
Johnny
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<http://www.cpuandsimplepdm.com
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Here's what I've done with Pro-E in the past:
1. Create a shared directory and individual directories for each user. 2. Each user only gets write permission to their directory. Nobody gets write permission to the shared directory. There should be an additional non-CAD user login to perform administration tasks. 3. MOVE (not copy!) files from one user to another to transfer ownership.
--- only one copy of each file exists at any given time (except archives)
4. Open the entire model, but when saving, the OS prevents overwrite of files that are not in the particular user's directory.
When working with Pro, we added each directory to the search path. I've forgotten how Solidworks handles this, but I seem to think that each time the file is 'moved' then you'll have to go find it when a master assembly looks for it.
Works fine, not too much hassle. Same issues as PDM if someone is out sick and you need take ownership.
Ralph E Burns, www.ascent-design.com
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