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PDM How to Work in Off-line Mode

Have ever noticed your PDM folders display as a blue color? The blue folder color indicates PDM is in Work Off-line mode. There are times when working with SOLIDWORKS PDM when users will need to work on files in the vault while not connected to the network, e.g., working remotely, visiting a customer, or maybe the network or PDM is unavailable for maintenance reasons.

SOLIDWORKS PDM has a special Work Off-line mode which takes just a few minutes to configure, cache files locally, and then continue working while disconnected from the network. Once connected to the network again, PDM can be switched back to Work On-line mode and any changed files can be checked in to PDM.

Quick Overview of Work Off-line process

Note the permissions at the end of this article which required to view files created in Work Off-line mode. 

Step 1: Prepare for Off-line Mode – Write Access

Check In any active files to ensure the database contains the most recent versions of the files in your local vault view. Then Check Out the files you will need write access to modify while working in Off-line mode (balloon 1 below).

During Check Out, be sure to select the Get option for all files (balloon 2 below), including files you will only need read access to. This will cache the latest version of the selected files locally, so they are available while working off-line.

PDM How to work in offline mode

Step 2: Prepare for Off-line Mode – Read Access

The next step is to cache any other reference files locally that will not be changed but you may need to reference while you are off-line. This can be a few files in the same folder, an entire project folder, or even the entire vault.

Locate the files or folders you want to cache locally, right-click and select Get Latest Version.

Step 3: Switch to Off-line Mode

Once you have cached all required files locally, in the PDM File Explorer view, select Tools > Work Off-line.

PDM work offline in tools

You can also switch to Work Off-line from the PDM login dialog (lower left corner).

work offline pdm dialog box

The folders in PDM will appear as a blue color, which indicates the vault is now in off-line mode.

Blue Offline Folders

Working in Off-line Mode

Users will have access to all files they have available in their local cache. Only files which were selected for Check Out will be writable to make changes to the files and save. All other locally cached files are available for read only.

Interface while working in Work Off-line mode:

PDM Online Interface

Switching Back to Working On-line

Once the network connection is available again, select Tools > Work On-line. The folders in PDM will appear as a green color, which indicates the vault is now in on-line mode.

PDM How to Work in Off-line Mode

Existing files that were changed

The files that were checked out will need checked into PDM for your local changes to be written to the database.

New files and folders

New files and folders will appear as grey/ghosted with <local files> displayed as the state until they are added to the file vault by right-clicking and selecting “Add to file vault and then checked in as normal. 

Working Folder
Add to File Vault
Added to PDM Vault

Permission to View files Created in Work Off-line Mode

To view files that are not yet part of the file vault, set permissions as follows: 

1: User or Group permissions > Folder Permissions > Read file contents 

2: User or Group permissions > Settings > File Explorer > File types to show: Show all files – NOTE: Changing this setting requires the PDM user to log out and then back into the local vault view to take effect.

PDM Offline User Permissions
PDM Offline File Types

Video Instructions

Technical Support

If you have any questions or experience unexpected behavior, feel free to reach out to MLC CAD Systems technical support.

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