Solving Communication Breakdown – Part Three: Version Control

By TriMech on

“So… should I show the customer ‘MasterAssembly-new-latest-USETHIS-keep’ or ‘MasterAssembly-final-DONOTDELETE-approved-updated’?” Thanks to data management tools like SOLIDWORKS PDM, these phrases in the office are a thing of the past. With SOLIDWORKS PDM, maintaining a file’s history and accessing the latest revision is second nature. Unfortunately, you’d need to be tethered to the PDM Vault to account for the latest updates, even with remote access. You know what would be even better for universal version control, especially when needing to show the latest file version on the fly? Taking the file confidence of PDM and wrapping it into an intuitive social platform, like 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA accessible anywhere you’re connected to the Internet.

Traditional Digital Data Management

Project Management Tools

Keeping your design data files organized and under correct version control (knowing which version is the latest version) can be challenging. With Enterprise Data Management solutions, such as SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can organize your data in a vault or central archive and automate workflows to make it easier for your teams to find files, especially the latest versions.

Defined workflows can allow each team member to have access to the files in the vault, where everyone can take ownership of the document by checking it out and making sure they are the only ones with the permission to make changes to that file. Then, with a simple check-in, the file can be put back in the vault with any design changes noted in the file history.

>> Download our guide to explore the different methods used to manage the size of your SOLIDWORKS PDM archive


Collaboration is key to accelerate the product development process. A cloud-based platform can give your business the tools needed to ensure collaboration and communication across your different teams. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform includes different tools to bring everyone in the product development process together. Users can upload data to their SOLIDWORKS dashboard without the need to set up additional hardware or servers, if they have access to Internet connection. Having all the data in one platform allows your team to have real-time access to models and the project lifecycle.

3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA enables your team to benefit from collaboration by providing them immersive access from within their 3DEXPERIENCE platform directly to their 3D design environment. Different applications enable the user to navigate and browse 3D designs without leaving the dashboard, which provides real-time access to files and information. In the design environment, users have access to all aspects of product design. They can track a design’s maturity and progress with 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA product lifecycle management (PLM) capabilities. Another benefit from using this tool is that users analyzing enterprise data can benefit from accessing complex bill of materials (BOM) content and engineering configurations, as well as other enterprise data.

The 3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA PLM tool allows you to confidently store and share files with your team. Very similar to SOLIDWORKS PDM, your file is a working file; there’s no need for creating extra local copies of the latest and greatest. Your intellectual property is automatically saved on the cloud and accessible anywhere you and your team are connected.

3DEXPERIENCE ENOVIA provides complete context of the file to the user:

  • Quickly assess whether changes have been pushed back to the cloud via its status.
  • Is the file reserved or unreserved (editing privileges)?
  • Referenced revision of the file
  • Lifecycle’s “maturity state” in the approval process

Data management systems

Users can navigate and access project files without worrying about whether it is the latest and greatest. Because these files are also on the cloud, they can be referenced and linked to in your Communities posts for all to see. Cloud-based solutions provide your teams with various tools that will help them achieve better communication and reduce design time by having access to the latest file versions in one place.

If you want to continue learning about improving team communication and collaboration, read our related article which explains the benefits of using cloud-based software such as the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.