How to Use the PDM File Version Upgrade Tool

   By Keith Thompson on June 26, 2020

When upgrading SOLIDWORKS and PDM applications to a new version, your existing files remain at the version in which they were created. If they remain this way, it will create delays when opening and reading these files since they will be undergoing conversions when opening. This can be seen as slow system performance, but luckily this doesn’t have to remain an issue. In this article, we look at three ways in which you can upgrade your files to their latest version in SOLIDWORKS.

Here’s how you can update your files to the latest or current version of SOLIDWORKS to avoid the conversion delay when opening files:

  1. Manually open and save the files in the new SOLIDWORKS version: This method will help you avoid converting the files the next time they’re opened. It is on-demand and will be slow going the first time the files are opened and saved. You’ll also need to make sure that any referenced files are converted.
  2.  The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler Upgrade Assistant Task: This method is only good for files that are stored outside of the PDM Vault.
  3. The SOLIDWORKS PDM File Version Upgrade Tool: This method can be set up to convert multiple files on its own, and automatically caches, checks out, opens the files in SOLIDWORKS, upgrades and checks in SOLIDWORKS files that are stored in the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM file vault. During the process, file references, revision tags and workflow states are kept intact.

File Version in SOLIDWORKS PDM

The Upgrade Set Up

A workstation, known as a master workstation, configured with a Work Instruction File and network connection to the PDM Archive Server is all that’s required to perform the upgrade. However, several workstations, each running the upgrade tool, can perform concurrent upgrades to reduce the upgrade time (see network diagram below).

Archive Server

The Upgrade Process

Instructions for finding, installing and running the File Version Upgrade utility can be found in the PDM Installation Guide.

If you select to overwrite existing versions of files, the process creates a backup on the archive server, so ensure that you have enough free disk space on the archive server before you start the upgrade. The Ready to Upgrade Files screen gives an estimate of the amount of space that is needed. The backup files remain after the upgrade. You can remove them after you verify that the upgrade succeeded.

After Upgrading

Follow these steps when the upgrade is complete:

  • View the upgrade log files.
  • Manually upgrade the files that the tool was unable to upgrade automatically. (Manual upgrade creates new versions. If you upgraded using Overwrite existing versions, manual upgrade will invalidate the reference structure.)
  • Optionally, use Get Latest Version to create local copies of files that were converted on other workstations.
  • Open a subset of converted files in SOLIDWORKS to verify that the conversion was successful.
  • If you selected to overwrite existing versions of files, after ensuring that the upgrade was successful, remove the backup files from the archive server.

Upgrading your SOLIDWORKS files to the latest running version reduces the time it takes to open and work on the files as you move forward and gives you the assurance that the files that were successfully upgraded will successfully open when needed.

Before upgrading the SOLIDWORKS files in a production vault, perform the upgrade on a copy of the production vault to ensure that there are no upgrade problems. You can reach out to TriMech for help with creating a copy of your vault.

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do a trial run on a small set of files to test the setup and success of the process.
  • Do the conversion in batches to alleviate a drain on system resources.
  • Don’t kill the upgrade while running, unless the tool reports an error that the upgrade has failed. Likely, the upgrade is still running. With a large database, it could be that the SQL server is running low on available resources, making the upgrade even slower if the server must start using the swap file for extra memory.

If you’re interested in learning more about this process, launch our on demand-webinar and watch how the File Version Upgrade tool works!

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Keith Thompson

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