Following up on Elba’s excellent post last week, now that SolidWorks 2013 is out, a lot of our more cautious customers out there are thinking about upgrading to SolidWorks 2012. I am not going to argue the pros and cons of always staying a year behind the current released version, but you’ve got to remember that SolidWorks changed how they handle the Toolbox in the 2012 version.
It’s no longer dependent on the Toolbox browser database (SWBrowser.mdb) to store information like sizes, lengths, drive types, part numbers, and properties. Instead that information is stored in each part file and they SW upgrade does this conversion automatically for standalone toolbox users. The thing is, if you are running SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and your Toolbox is managed in the vault, then that makes things more “interesting” (and I am being very ironic here), hence this blog post.
A few caveats before we start:
- Please note that Hole Wizard still uses SWBrowser.mdb. (So don’t delete it!)
- These directions still apply If you are going directly from SW 2011 (or earlier) to SW 2013.
- Make sure you have a full recent back up of the vault Database, and the vault Archive (especially the Toolbox folder) before upgrading.
The first thing you should do is make sure you have upgraded to the latest version of EPDM. I’ve written another blog post on how to do that, but the main thing to remember is EPDM always has to be the same version or greater than your SolidWorks version (i.e. if you are running SW 2012, make sure you are running EPDM 2012 or EPDM 2013). If you are already on EPDM 2012, make sure that you have the latest service pack (SP5) installed – because of the changes to Toolbox, the first couple of releases of EDPM 2012 didn’t work well with it. Also, if you do upgrade EPDM first, don’t forget to upgrade your clients as well.
Next, make sure everybody has checked in all their Toolbox parts. You don’t have to worry about regular parts, but in order for the Toolbox files to be converted to the new format they’ve got to be checked into the vault. You can run this EPDM report to find any toolbox parts that are not checked in.
Go to the first client you want to upgrade to SW 2012 and log into EPDM using an account that has full permissions (check out, check in, add, delete) for folders and workflows in the vault (typically that is the Admin account, but your setup may be different). Right-click the Toolbox folder and click Get Latest Version to copy all Toolbox part files and the Toolbox database to the local cache. If you didn’t run the report listed above, the Get Latest Version dialog box will list any parts that are still checked out and who has them. Finally check out the Toolbox database file (SWBrowser.mdb) from …\[Vault Name]\[Toolbox Folder]\lang\English.
You are now ready to upgrade SolidWorks on the client. Please note for the first client, you can’t run the upgrade as an admin image – you have to do it manually.
Run the SolidWorks Installation Manager. On the Summary screen make sure Toolbox is included in the upgrade and that the Toolbox Options installation location is pointing to Toolbox in the vault. If it isn’t, click Change, select Reference or upgrade an existing Toolbox, and browse to the Toolbox location in the vault.
A word of caution – this upgrade might take longer than then the usual SW upgrade. If you think the process is hung, check the upgrade progress bar. I’ve personally seen it increase 1% every five minutes and still complete successfully. If you really think the process is hung, don’t abort the upgrade but instead call CAPINC tech support. Also, make sure, as with any software upgrade, that you are logged into the workstation with Local Admin rights and that you have disabled anti-virus.
When the upgrade has completed, check the Toolbox folder back into the vault. In addition to updated toolbox files, the Toolbox upgrade should have created an “Updates” folder in the Toolbox folder, a toolboxstandards.xml file in the Toolbox root folder and a ToolboxFiles.index file in the \Browser folder. Make sure all of these files have been added to the vault and checked in.
After you get the first one done, upgrading the rest of the clients, should be a snap. Assuming your users have read permission to the Toolbox folder, have them log into EPDM before the upgrade, and do a “Get Latest Version” on the Toolbox folder to get the new files to the local cache. Then run the SolidWorks upgrade to SolidWorks 2012 and that’s it! The installer will detect that Toolbox is already upgraded.
Again, if you have any questions, or get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact CAPINC tech support.