PDM - What are Private State Files?
Private State files in SOLIDWORKS PDM are files that have been added to a PDM local vault view but not yet checked in for the first time. Saving or copying a file to a local vault view does not add the file to the PDM Archive server automatically. Only a check-in operation adds the file to the PDM Archive server, which copies the file from the local vault view to the PDM Archive server.
The actual Private State file itself exists only in the specific user’s local vault view until checked in for the first time. Private State files cannot be cached or opened on another computer.
Private State File Limitations
> Private State files cannot be transitioned through a workflow because they do not yet exist in the PDM archive (remember, the actual file only exists in the Local Vault View of the user who added the file until checked in for the first time).
> Private State files do not have a PDM history and there are no previous versions to choose from as changes are made locally.
> PDM Copy Tree and Move Tree tools DO NOT include Private State files as referenced files, since the actual file has not yet been checked into PDM.
> If Private State files are deleted from the local vault view, they cannot be recovered from the SOLIDWORKS PDM root folder properties. Deleting a Private State file is equivalent to deleting a standard file from a single user’s Windows system. There is no record of the file in PDM.
Who can View Private State Files?
Admins and users with proper permissions can view Private State files in other users’ local vault views. However, they are only viewing the file’s name since the actual file has not yet been added to the PDM Archive server.
In PDM Standard, only the PDM system admin user can view Private State files in other users’ local vault views.
In PDM Professional, the PDM system admin user as well as other users can view Private State files in other users’ local vault views when the proper permission is set as shown below.
SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration tool > User or Group > Folder Permissions > May see files before initial check in (Private State).
How to Identify a Private State file
Private State files display differently for the user which added the file compared to users who can view the file in their local vault views. The image below displays what a Private State file looks like when logged in as any other user other than the one which added the file. In this case, an engineering user is logged in and the Private State file was created by the Admin user.
> The file’s name and information are displayed as italicized text
> The Checked Out By column displays the file’s owner.
> The State column displays
> The Version Number column displays an icon to represent a file that is not in the vault.
> The Preview, Data card, Version, Bill or Materials, Contains, and Where Used tabs display the message, ‘This information is not available because the file has never been checked in.’
Private State files for your user will not have any indicators that it is Private State other than the Checked Out By column is your PDM user and the State column will be blank since the file has not yet been checked into PDM.
The image below displays the same file as above as Private State file when logged in as the user which added the file. In this case, the Admin.
> Checked Out By: Admin
> State: is blank
Check In Private State Files to avoid loss of data – best practice
A word of caution regarding Private State file. If any unexpected behavior occurs on the system where the local vault view and Private State file resides, then the files may be lost permanently. Best practice is to check in files as soon as they are ready to be added to the PDM Archive. This will create the initial version of the file on the PDM Archive, which can then be accessed by other users with proper permissions as well as cached to any local vault view and modified as needed.
Lastly, be sure to discuss the topic of Private State files with your users, so they are all aware of Private State files, their limitations, and best practices for checking in files regularly.