Concurrent Design

[ Edited ]

I guess I just don't understand the definition of Design Collaboration.


I have been searching and beating my head against the desk trying to get two seats of ST9 to work from a single assembly file using the check out/in but it is not working as I would expect.


This is the first time I have attempted to do this as I have always worked alone. Now that I have help the "collaboration" I have always heard about falls painfully short.


I was under the impression with the file locking and check out/in in SE Data Management would allow two stations to have the same Assy file open and work simultaneously meaning both can be working on parts in the context of the same assembly and see what the other is doing. Well that is not how it works, in an unmanaged environment anyway.


So the biggest issue is that while yes we can both open the same file and one have write access while the other read-only... any changes saved to the part files by the other person are not updated on your screen unless you close the assy and reopen it or open the design manager and close it for the current files to be reloaded. None of the "update" commands accomplish this. I've tried them all.


The other thing that is puzzling is how the file locking works. It's as if the lock overrides the Available/In Work state. For example, I think both stations should be allowed to open the assembly in a read-only state, do their component work, request write access to the assembly file as needed and give it back. That's how I perceived the check out/in would work and it appears as though it would if the file locking (read only flag) wasn't there too.


What are small seat count sites doing for collaboration or are you not working this way?

Did you invest in the Windows Server/SQL/Share Point/Insight implementation to do this?

Or TeamCenter?

Is it even possible to do realtime simultaneous design from the same assy file?

I thought this was advertised as possible 10+ years ago without the need of a server/database.


I don't need the frills and power that SharePoint or even Insight brings as I know where my files are and where they are used. I just need the ability to have mulitple people working out of the same Assembly concurrently in order to maintain design intent.


Any insight (pun intended) here would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Design Colloboration

Try this.

Each user opens the assembly.

The first person owns that assembly and must close it to relinquish control.

If each user in place activates into a different part and clicks Check Out (and saves the file) then the others

will see th status in Pathfinder upon Update Status Info.

If you change the activation state of the part it will re-load the geometry without having to re-open the asembly.

The .seloc file is for cloud locking where there may be a latency issue. You can upload a really small .selock file quickly to avoid contesion between users.

Hope this helps.


Re: Design Colloboration

We have tried this and at the part level it works well using check out/in. We start out by both opening the assy in read-only. Where the problem lies is when one user creates a new part in place, the other will not see it until the assy is saved. So this user requests write access and saves the assy. Now he cannot release this state of ownership unless he closes the file and reopens read-only. Meanwhile the other user doesn't know the assy has a new part unless he closes and reopens the assy again.


Working through this I have realized the complexity in a concurrent design workflow and the reason for the file locking, however the SEstatus seems to be tripping over this in a concurent context.


So does Insight allow concurent design from a single assy file without the need to reopen files to see changes? Or is this just a pipedream?


Re: Design Colloboration

Is there no "synchronize" function with this new data management thing?

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Design Colloboration

Not that I have found.


There is an edit links that you have to select the parts you want to update but the assembly does not.

Re: Design Colloboration

With Insight you right click a part or assembly - manage - document status - synchronize.

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Design Colloboration

That's encouraging.


Thanks Bruce!

Re: Design Colloboration

Bruce, does Insight have the option to update in realtime or do you have to manually tell it to synchronize?

Re: Concurrent Design

[ Edited ]

Our company has a 10-seat engineering department and we work on 1000+ part assy's with Solid Edge Unmanaged. The new built-in Data Management looks promising though. We tried Teamcenter, but It added more problems to our data management than it solved. The Teamcenter check in/out mechanism loads your files to a local cache folder, adding an extra layer of complexity. If you save a file, it is only to your cache folder. You have to additionally check in files thru a separate screen to save it back to the database. And even then, other users will have to check manually for updated parts. There is no PDM solution that automatically updates 3D parts on your screen a soon as another user saves them.


Our assemblies are very large, so engineers can work on their own subassy's without interfering with each others designs too much. Apart from technical issues with file-locking, can engineers really work on two parts in a single assy without getting in each other's way? I'm also hesitant to release subassy's for production before the entire design is finished (another said advantage of concurrent engineering). We design one-off machines. We often need to modify a part deep down the model tree when our design progresses. Think of the headache if you have to recall drawings that are already sent to a subcontractor...

Re: Concurrent Design

What you described for TeamCenter is how I perceived Insight would work.


What you are saying about users able to work on subassemblies and not affect upper level assemblies is how I assumed it works but have not tested it since our assemblies are small with few to no subassemblies.


I am curious if I can accomplish what I am after through the API.