I know there are several threads on automatically generating pdf, (from draft files), but none seem to specifically meet my current requirement.
Does anyone know if it is possible to generate a pdf automatically as part of the release operation with lifecycle assistant?
Basically we need to keep a register of "current" pdf versions of drawings. Currently we are "Remembering" to do this when a file is released manually. However i would like this to be an automated process of the release operation in lifecycle assistant, (using insight).
Before you suggest everyone just use the SE viewer and use the native data....... I tried that. Seems that is not a good solution for our organization presently.
I am also interested in any third party solutions that people know of as well.
Thanks in advance
We have done this to customers in two different ways:
Have a SharePoint Workflow that starts the PDF process after the lifecycle.
The status of the drawing will be "released" and this is the "trigger" for the workflow.
The PDF will be created on the Server therefore a license of Solid Edge is required. You can make use of the network license option. Then the Drafts are in a queue until a Solid Edge license is available.
There is an Add-In in Solid Edge that creates an PDF whenever the Save-Button is pushed. Works for 2D-Drawings and for 3D-Models as well. Very nice if you have the PMI on a 3D-Model. The process of creating the PDF is done on a local client therefore you don't need a Solid Edge license on the server.
What should happen with the PDF after creation? Should it be saved somewhere in the file system or should it be stored in SharePoint?
Should the name of PDF equal to the Solid Edge filename?
Save the PDF in SharePoint with the same name and properties like the origin Solid Edge. This makes it easy to find and with the list view options of SharePoint you can group them easily. Give the people with the need only to see the PDFs just a list view which shows the PDFs and hide all other data. This will give them a better overview and will not confuse them with the Solid Edge files.
Both look like good workable options, (I'll have to liaise with our IT guy to investigate option 1).
The add-on seems nice, though i'm not sure we need a pdf "Every" time a drawing is saved. We only need it for released drawings. Can you please advise where I can find the add-on?
To answer your question;
The PDF is required to be in an unrelated Sharepoint site. Two reasons for this, We do not really want to clog up our insight server with pdf's, Also the end users of the pdf files already have to access a lot of information in the separate Sharepoint site. We do not want them to have to change to the insight Sharepoint site just to get drawings.
Ideally the filename of the PDF would be as per the SE file with the exclusion of the revision suffix. That way only the latest version of a drawing is available to the PDF user, (Unless they go looking for the revision history specifically) Saving into the Sharepoint location is not a big deal, we have been doing some work here to make that pretty easy. In our experience, keeping the filename in the pdf Sharepoint site the same, the revisioning is much easier.
Basically I think you suggestion is what we are aiming at, (Nice work!)