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Document Control Options???

Discussion in '3rd Party Add-ons' started by jfleming, May 20, 2020.

  1. jfleming

    jfleming Senior Member

    Folks, I am in the process of tidying up 70 years worth of production documentation (die/tool/other) drawings and documents for a technical ceramics manufacturer. I am also establishing/developing "modern" procedures, processes, and standards for our drawings/models/etc. (part of why I've been asking lots about 2D Drawing functions)

    To put it nicely, there is sh1t scattered everywhere. Folders here, folders there (both physical, and on our server). It is an unorganized mess. Eventually this legacy stuff needs to be cleaned up. The FOB is cleaning up the drawings for our Top 25 running parts, while also creating all new part/tool drawings to said standards/practices.

    I am very concerned about Document and Revision Control. I have only seen "M-Files" mentioned on here as something that might be able to accomplish what I need. I do have a few questions though.

    1) How well do Alibre and M-Files play together?
    2) I assume that M-Files can store/organize any type of file I would want to put in there? (.AD_PRT, .doc, .pdf, .tiff, etc.)
    3) Can the M-Files structure be in way that I would choose? (Part Name would be the highest level, with each drawing/doc associated with it located beneath)
    4) Read/Write access based on Windows profile privileges?

    I"m sure I forgot something. Any advice or thoughts are much appreciated.
  2. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi J (How about a "more personal" name?) -- The issue of organization of data really lies on the shoulders of those creating it (not, mind you, that Alibre and their bretherin could not do more to "train" their users). Now you need to understand that I come out of the Department of Defense controlled side of the universe.

    Term 1: Things are accounted asa Projects. So each Project is begun in it's own Directory (aka Folder). Everything having to do with this Project gets stored here. For the sake of discussion let's call this Project George Rev New. Within the Directory named "Project George Rev New" will be SubDirectories such as Project Authorization, Review Meeting Notes, Installation, Purchased Components, and Fasteners.

    Term 2: In DoD parlance an Installation is what is often defined as Top Assembly. This is where data for this "Installation" is stored -- such as Parts Lists, documents relating to the Installation, as well as "notes of historical interest, Drawing file(s) and PDF's relating to the Installation. There will be SubDirectories for Common Parts (those used multiple places within the Installatio), Major SubAssemblies, Parts (unique to the Installation, and Analysis Files (FEA and the like).

    Etc. such things as SubSubAsseemblies Parts and Datasets applied to each SubSubAssenvly and the like.

    Done right Archiving becomes merely a case of "Zipping" (I used 7zip for this) and you have a complete "snapshot" of the Project at this Revision level. It is a PITA, but it works (says a guy who has survived 5 "DCASS audits" without a problem. -- Lew
  3. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Regarding original questions;

    1) Quite well really, but the default M-Files integration doesn't know about GLP files for example.
    2) Yes- M-Files is a general document management system, so can store almost anything - there are a couple of caveats.
    3) M-Files doesn't work like that: To integrate with Alibre, you must start off with a fixed metadata structure - though you can add to that to suit your needs. Any apparent structure comes from how you choose to display the files, filtered by metadata.
    4) Depends upon exactly what you mean, but much more powerful and flexible - permissions in M-Files are a significant subject in their own right.

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