How To Create and Deploy SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault Views

   By Andrew Lidstone on August 10, 2022

The PDM Vault View is a user’s gateway to the engineering data stored in SOLIDWORKS PDM.  Depending on how many clients need to be setup with vault views, how those client systems are to be used and where they are located, there are different approaches that can be taken for creating Vault Views.

Vault Views Are Each Unique

It’s very important to understand that Vault Views can never be cloned or duplicated, so they should not be pre-created as part of a system image that is deployed to multiple computers.  Each Vault View must have a unique LockID value and thus need to be created using the proper view creation tools.  Having multiple views with the same LockID would result in significant issues within PDM.

Private Vs Shared Views

Private vs. Shared Views

Private vs. Shared Views

The first thing that needs to be determined is if the Vault View being set up will need to be Private or Shared.

shared vault view means that it will be accessible to all Windows user accounts on this system.  Typically, if only one user logs onto this system to do work in the vault, then creating a shared view is the best approach. When using the View Setup tool to create a vault view, this option is selected by default. The shared vault view should be located in a directory that is accessible to all users, such as on the C: root.  When a shared vault view is created, the information about the vault connection, including the hostname for the archive server and the SQL server instance name, will be stored in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE section of the registry.

private vault view can only be accessed by the Windows user who created the view.  A private view should be located in a directory that is only accessible to the logged in Windows user, such as the user’s home folder (ex. C:\Users\myusername).  The vault connection information for a private view will be stored in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER section of the registry.

Creating Individual Views

There are two ways to manually create an individual vault view on a client that has PDM installed, (1) using the View Setup tool, or (2) through the PDM Administration console.

Using the View Setup Tool

The View Setup tool can be launched from the Windows start menu.  The wizard guides you through the steps to manually create a vault view on the local client.

View Setup Tool Launch

View Setup Tool Launch

The first step is to select the PDM Archive Server that the view should be connected to.

Select Archive Servers

Select Archive Servers

When the box next to the archive server name is checked, the Windows User will be authenticated against the list of users who have been added to the “Attach access” list in the Archive Server Settings.

Attach Access Settings

Attach Access Settings

If the Windows user trying to create a Vault View is not listed on the Archive Server, you will be prompted to enter the credentials of an account that is in the “Attach access” list.

PDM Support Credentials

PDM Support Credentials

Next, you will be prompted to select the Vault or Vaults that you wish to “attach to”, meaning create a vault view.

Create Vault View

Create Vault View

Finally, you will be prompted to select the vault view location, and if you will be creating a Shared vault view, using the “For all users on the computer” option, or a Private view, using the “Only for me” option.

Select Vault View Location

Select Vault View Location

Using the PDM Administration Console

Vault Views can also be created directly from the PDM Administration Console by any user who has been given access.

First, ensure that the Archive Server has been added to the console.

Add Archive Server

Add Archive Server

Once the Archive Server has been added and the list of available vaults is showing, expand the node for the vault that you wish to attach to and log in. Next, right click on the vault node, and select “Create local view …”.

Create Local View

Create Local View

You will first be prompted to select a vault location, then to select if the vault view should be Shared (Yes) or Private (No).

Vault View Accessibility

Vault View Accessibility

Deploying to Multiple Vaults

Creating CVS Files

If you will be deploying vault views to many clients, instead of manually creating the local views on each system through the View Setup tool or through the Administration Console, it is often best to use a CVS file to deploy.

A CVS file is created using the View Setup tool and captures the selections made in the wizard on one client into a script file so that they can be duplicated on multiple other client systems.

To start creating a CVS file, first determine the location where the View Setup program is installed (by default this would be in the folder C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS PDM).

Then, launch the Command Prompt and type in: “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS PDM\viewsetup.exe” /a

The /a switch instructs the tool to create a CVS file instead of attaching a vault view.

Step through typical View Setup Wizard steps as described above, then the last screen will ask for a location where to save the CVS file.

View Setup Wizard

View Setup Wizard

Manually Executing CVS Files

CVS files are associated with the ViewSetup.exe program, to make use of the files, a simple option is to either distribute them to the users or place one in a centrally accessible location and have them double click the file.

This will launch the View Setup, and they will simply be prompted to click “Finish” to complete the Vault View setup.

Review Actions

Review Actions

Automatically Scripting CVS Deployments

Alternatively, the deployment of the CVS file can be easily scripted.  First ensure that the CVS file is accessible from all clients, then using your preferred scripted deployment tool, you can call the command: “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS PDM\viewsetup.exe” M:\admin\vault.cvs /q.

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Andrew Lidstone

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