PDM - What are Version Free Variables?
SOLIDWORKS PDM variables can be set to Version Free, which allows the variable to be changed without having to check the file out or increment the file’s version. This functionality allows users to update variables that change over time. A few examples for engineering teams would be color, vendor, or cost. Changing version free variables does not change the content of the file itself. Additionally, users can update version free variables in states where they do not have permissions to check out a file.
Be aware that a new version of a file will be created if a user updates a version free variable for a checked out file, since the normal check in process creates a new version.
Configuring Variables to be Version Free
Note, setting a variable to Version free and clicking OK to save the changes clears any existing attributes used for mapping the variable to file properties. As shown in the image below, the attributes for the variable named Cost are not displayed.
To set the Version free option:
Once the variable is set to be Version free, a user can update this variable without checking out the file or incrementing the version of the file. In the image below, the variable Cost is writable in the Approved state without checking out the file.
When a Version free variable is updated, a row is added automatically to the file’s history to indicate the change.
Granting User Permissions to Update Version Free Variables
As with any SOLIDWORKS PDM changes, be sure to test the change thoroughly prior to implementing the change permanently.