Troubleshooting tips when a file seems to have “disappeared” in Enterprise PDM…
Here at CAPINC Tech Support we handle a variety of cases every day, many involving a bit of detective work. I thought it might be fun to share some of those lessons learned. I hope you will find these tips useful if you encounter your own “Case of the Missing File”.
If you cannot find/see a file in Enterprise PDM…
#1 Try Searching For It
One of the most useful features in Enterprise PDM is its comprehensive search. It would take a mountain of Tech Tips to explore all the ins and outs of the search functionality. In addition to searching on file names you can search on meta data in data card fields, variables, whether a file is checked in or out (and by who), for versions created before or after a certain date, for versions created by a certain user, by workflow state, by which user has transitioned the file, by label, by all sorts of fields in history, and possibly even deeper than that depending on how your system is configured. Seriously, check out that search functionality. There is some cool stuff in there.
#2 Verify You Have Permission To See It
In Enterprise PDM, in order to see a file you need to have both permission for the file’s folder, and permission for file’s current state. There is also a specific permission if you do not want to be restricted to only accessing revisions of a file.
This is fairly basic, and issues here are typically discovered and resolved quickly when a vault is first put into place, so we won’t go into the details in this post. Your Enterprise PDM administrator can contact us at support if they need assistance sorting through a suspected permissions issue.
#3 Maybe It’s Never Been Checked In
If the file you are looking for was newly created by someone else, if they do not check it in for the first time, you will not be able to see it. This has been covered in Tech Tip SolidWorks EPDM User Tech Tip: Remember to check your documents in!
#4 Is it Being Filtered Out By Your Open Dialog Filter?
Sometimes we’ll get a call where the file can be located in in the vault directory through Windows Explorer, but cannot be found when one browses to it using their application’s Open file dialog. In these cases, check to see if your application is filtering what file types you see when you browser.
For example, in SolidWorks, there is a filter in the lower right hand corner of the Open dialog that will limit which files are displayed. If you don’t see the file you’re looking for, check the filter.
#5 Maybe It Got Deleted
If a file you know existed is no longer there, maybe it was deleted. If this is the case (permission permitting) you can recover the file from the Recycle bin. Right-click on the Directory Folder of the directory that you believe the file was in. (You can do this in the parent folder or in the navigation pane on the left.) Then select Properties.
Then choose the Deleted Items tab to see everything in the Recycle bin for that folder (and optionally for all sub folders).
Select the file and right-click to Recover.
#6 Maybe It’s Local And Maybe You Can’t See Local
When a user is logged into the vault, and looking at a folder in the vault, that vault folder may contain files that are in the vault, and it may also contain local files (files that are not in the vault). An Explorer configuration within the Settings configuration for the user’s account determines which files the user can see. There are three options: All files, vaulted files only, or local files only.
Some accounts are configured to only show files that are in the vault. This can be very useful if the user is only supposed to see vaulted files. However if you have a local file and this is your setting you will not be able to see your local files.
Maybe that file you’re missing is local, but how can you determine if that is the case?
One easy way to check if there are any local files hiding “behind the scenes” is to stop the play and go into work off-line mode.
When you are logged into the vault, your folders are green.
By selecting Tools -> Work Off-line you detach yourself from the vault and your vault folders will turn blue. This will allow you to see files that are local.
If you find your missing file is actually a local file that you cannot see when the vault is on-line, contact your EPDM administrator. He may need to just your settings. If your settings need to stay to “Show only files that are a part of the file vault” then adjustments may need to be made to your process or to the Enterprise PDM vault to make sure important files are vaulted so you can see them.
[For more information about working offline please see the Tech Tip Working Offline in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM]
Each of these troubleshooting tips are ones that I have encountered “live and in the wild” on the Tech Support Hotline. Do other scenarios exist? Most likely. And should you run into a stumper, remember the CAPINC Support Team is ready to pull out the magnifying glass and get on the trail of solving your case.