PDM File Version Upgrade

PDM File Version upgrade tool can speed up the SOLIDWORKS file version upgrade process considerably by automating the check out, SOLIDWORKS file version upgrade, and finally check in for files in a PDM vault all while maintaining file references, revisions, and workflow states.

When the files reside in SOLIDWORKS PDM, before they can be saved in SOLIDWORKS, the files must first be checked out from a workflow state which allows file check out. The files can then be opened and saved in the newest SOLIDWORKS version and checked back in. This manual file version upgrade process can be very time consuming when working with many files.

Note: the File Version Upgrade tool upgrades SOLIDWORKS part, assembly and drawing files only (sldprt, sldasm, slddrw). All other file types must be updated manually, including SOLIDWORKS template files. If you need to update SOLIDWORKS files outside PDM, use the SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler.

After upgrading SOLIDWORKS to a new major version and before changes can be made to existing SOLIDWORKS files saved in previous versions, the existing files must be converted to the upgraded SOLIDWORKS version. This file version upgrade allows files to take advantage of any enhancements to features and software code released in the new major version. SOLIDWORKS automatically converts the files the next time they are opened and saved in SOLIDWORKS. If a file is closed without saving to upgrade the version, then the file must be converted again the next time it is opened in the upgraded version of SOLIDWORKS. Once a file is upgraded, it can no longer be opened for edit in previous versions or SOLIDWORKS.

CAUTION! This tool is for PDM Admins only

It is CRITICAL for anyone configuring the File Version Upgrade tool to fully understand the options prior to running the tool. If you have ANY QUESTIONS, please do not hesitate to contact MLC CAD Systems technical support prior to running any version upgrades. Click here to submit a question to technical support.

The example images in this article contain default options and example file locations. This does not imply MLC CAD Systems recommends certain options over others. You are responsible for determining which options pertain to your PDM environment and company standards prior to running this tool.

Before you begin

How to Install the File Version Upgrade tool

The File Version Upgrade tool is a standalone application which is not installed by default. The File Version Upgrade.exe installation file can be found where you downloaded SOLIDWORKS to within the directory SWPDMClient\Support\File Version Upgrade

For example, the default download location is C:\Users\\Documents\SOLIDWORKS Downloads\ SOLIDWORKS \SWPDMClient\Support\File Version Upgrade

Double-click the File Version Upgrade.exe to launch the InstallShield Wizard. Follow the prompts to complete the install.

file version upgrade launch

Once complete, the File Version Upgrade application will display in your Windows Start menu under SOLIDWORKS PDM. Click the application once to launch the tool.

file version upgrade app

How to Configure and Run the File Version Upgrade Tool

This example uses a default installation with only a few example files as a general overview of the tool’s functionality.

On the Welcome screen, select the option to Initiate a new upgrade process (Coordinator Workstation) and then click Next >

iniate new version process

On the Select Version screen, select the version of SOLIDWORKS you will be using for the upgrade and then click Next >

select version

On the Select Vault screen, select the vault where the files reside to upgrade and then click Next >

Log into PDM if prompted with the standard PDM login dialog.

select vault

On the Search Files to Upgrade screen, you can input conditions for SOLIDWORKS file types to upgrade, folders, states, or files with specific variable values. If you do not want to apply any of these additional filters, simply leave them at their defaults. Once you are satisfied with your selection, click Next >

search files to upgrade

The Search Results screen displays a list of files that met the search criteria set in the previous screen. If needed, you can uncheck files individually to not include them in the upgrade. Click Next > to continue.

search results screen

The Version Settings screen contains a critical decision-making step with two main categories:

Choosing to Create new version of files includes additional decisions/options for how to manage file references and revisions.

Choosing to Overwrite the existing versions of files will save space in the archive, however, if an unexpected event occurs which causes the upgrade to fail, you could risk losing data.

Choosing to Overwrite the existing versions of files also requires decisions/options to overwrite all versions, only the latest version, or versions with revisions.

Note that overwriting all versions or versions with revisions will extend the upgrade process time considerably.

version settings

The Upgrade Settings screen contains input fields for a comment to be added to the history as well as additional upgrade settings, including a log file location. The Comment filed is required and will display when reviewing a file’s history. Consider adding a version specific comment.

If your vault contains thousands of files, you may want to consider selecting the option Divide the upgrade work into multiple instruction files to run in batches. With this option unchecked by default, the tool runs all files as a single batch from start to finish, checking all files out as a batch, opening each one in SOLIDWORKS, and then checking them all back in as a batch.

If you choose to run multiple batches of work instructions, you will also need to select a Shared location for work instruction files. This must be a shared UNC path. Work instruction files with extension .wrkins will be created in the specified location.

Tip: You can use PDM search in your vault to search for all SOLIDWORKS files by using *.sld* in the file name search. Then you can decide as to how many batches you may want to configure to run.

Lastly, at the bottom of the dialog, you can choose to Notify success/failures to users. These are PDM users and the system will use your PDM messaging system settings.

Click Next > to proceed

Save Settings

On the Ready to Upgrade Files screen, a summary displays the number of files and batches to run. You can choose to start the upgrade process now by selecting Continue or clicking Cancel to close the dialog and run the work instructions files individually later.

It is recommended to run the upgrade outside of normal PDM working times, since the process will slow PDM performance as well as make certain files inaccessible while upgrading. This process can also be run from several machines to speed up the upgrade process.

ready to upgrade files

After clicking Continue, while the upgrade process is running, a status indicator displays to indicate which part of the process is running. A confirmation and summary screen displays once complete.

upgrade completed successfully
upgrade log

Review the history of files to see the added comment and any version number changes.

PDM File Version Upgrade

How to Run a saved Work Instruction

To run a saved work instruction (.wrkins), you must choose the option on the Welcome screen to Participate in an upgrade process (Agent Workstation) and then click Next >

Different Work Instruction files can be run on different computers with a local vault view and same major version of SOLIDWORKS.

Participate in an upgrade process (Agent Workstation)

Set the Share location for work instructions and then select the Work instruction file from the dropdown list. Click Next > to proceed.

Share location for work instructions

Review the Work Instruction File Summary and then click Next >

Work Instruction File Summary

On the Ready to Upgrade screen, click Continue to run the upgrade.

finalize upgrade

Status dialogs will display during the process and then a confirmation summary once complete.

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