Geographically Distributed Environment (GDE)
MechworksPDM is about collaboration
MechworksPDM offers a natural Office Branch Environment seamlessly integrated in its interface. Collaboration in MechworksPDM means nearly realtime data share with automatic and/or manual document cross transfer across the branches.
Every branch exposes a SQLServer© Database over the internet or via private connection to the other branches. MechworksPDM takes care of the security and of update procedures to keep the system up and running also in case of connection failure.
The system would apply also to other types of external collaboration.
MechworksPDM relies on data replication intrinsic in SQLServer and used worldwide to maintain branches up to date with each other. It handles correctly any connection failure allowing branches to keep working locally until the connection is restored.
All branches are entitled to view shared documents, but only one owns a document and can edit it. After editing, though, the copies of the document in other branches need to be updated with a new copy of the original downloaded from the owner.
Referring to the beside picture, branch A modified a document of which is owner; branch B needs to update its local copy as it is a part contained in an assembly they’re working on.
B can either request a new copy on demand or download it in a scheduled batch update.
MechworksPDM notifies in a few seconds the other branches of every change of state for every document, and displays the information all through its interface. Special notifications can apply optionally to specific events, such as revision approval of parts in use at other branches.
Branches C and B download and use revision 1 of a bolt owned by the designing team of A. MechworksPDM logs the download of revision 1 from both branches.
After one month, the designing team of C releases revision 2 of the bolt. Since MechworksPDM kept track of the designers that downloaded revision 1 from other branches, it pushes the new version to other teams or sends personal email notification.
MechworksPDM displays in its interface information on documents owned by other branches of the company.
The color purple indicates both in the grids and in the preview that the document id owned by another branch. The color red of the text means that the local copy is outdated so it’s necessary to download an updated version of the document.
In the trees it is possible to show the same information so to have a hierarchical point of view of the data combined with ownership situation of the records.
MechworksPDM offers on the contextual popup menu direct commands to refresh, download and take ownership of remote components either in checked in or release state.
The interface has been kept as simple as possible while allowing document sharing across users; no external tool is required.