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Variant management using options and variants.

Hi all,


A customer is expecting options and variants (Classic variants) to manage their product BOM. We are not able to understand how the product structure (explained below) will be managed using options and variants and also if this scenario is a correct candidate for variant management or not.

Customer scenario is explained below, any suggestions regarding the use case will be helpful.


Customer scanario:

Capture.PNGCustomer product structure

  • Customer has 3 products (Product 1, Subassembly 1, Subassembly 2) that are sold individually (They have diff. part codes).
  • Subassembly 1 and Subassembly 2 are part of Product 1.
  • Some components in Subassembly 1 and 2 are unique to the subassemblies when they are sold separately, they are not included in the BOM when the subassemblies are part of Product 1.
  • Customer wants variants and options to manage such products
  • Drawings for all 3 products to be separately managed.
  • Workflow approvals for all 3 products to be managed separately.

We are unable to understand,

  • If the above scenario is suitable for variant management or not?
  • How can we manage the darwing and workflow processes for these products separately?
  • Should we create VI (Variant Item) for the three products (Product 1, Subassembly 1, Subassembly 2) so that the drawing will be managed under respective revisions and worflow processes can also be initiated on individual revisions.
  • If VIs are created, how will the master configuration be managed? Like changes to the BOM (Add/Remove components, changes to qtys or other BOM data) etc. and how the changes will be propogated to the VIs.
  • As per our understanding changes/ updates to VI using classic variants do not happen automatically.(Dont really understand what this means..)

Also, it would be helpful if anyone could tell where we can find information/knowledge about best practices regarding variant management in such scenarios.



Customer doesnot have Product configurator license hence we are not exploring that option.


Thanks and Regards,

Sanket Pusalkar


Re: Variant management using options and variants.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

I see a few scenarios depending on business practices and requirements.


Scenario 1 - 

Assuming nodes are all physical items in the structure, and assuming the company follows some kind of form/fit/function rule for part numbering, you must have different part numbers for the standalone Subassembly1/2 and the nested instances inside Product 1. If you do not, there would be problems with inventory if you have 2 items named the same, but in the real world they aren't actually the same. See CM2 principles for an example of this methodology


In this case, these structures are not well suited to using legacy options and variants, as you will want to create pre configured variants that hold static BOMs


Scenario 2 - 


If the structures are more logical, and you have interfaces/integrations in place to handle discrete part numbering, you could use legacy options variants to make components 11,12,13,14 disappear from the bomview when looking at product 1 with the right variant condition - eg "Standalone = TRUE/FALSE" and appear in the bomview as unconfigured when looking at sub assembly 1/2. In the snapshot - the variant configuration is applied on the left, but not on the right.




One more thought - it would seem like your product structures should be organized more around common and exclusive groups so that optional content (eg comp 11, 12) is not mixed with standard content (component 3,4,5). This method would lend itself better to options and variants as well

Re: Variant management using options and variants.

Dear Gary,

Thank you for your response. It gave us some clarity and understanding of the questions we should be asking to arrive at a suitable solution.The 1st scenario that you explained, one with 3 static BOMs, is have they are working right now.
Say we go ahead with the second scenario and configure the variants, could you elaborate how the work happens after that?
Like do we create variant items for the 3 products and manage their lifecycle? What is the general practice that is followed after the variants after configured in a master BOM?

Once again, thank you for your response.

Sanket Pusalkar