EPDM Integration

Flatter Files contains a simple revision control and notification system for keeping track of you content.  This revision control system makes it incredibly easy for everyone in the organization to be able to view the latest revision at any time as well as being able to view previous revisions when needed.  Flatter Files significantly reduces the potential of an incorrect revision being used.  Some companies need more advanced revision controls especially as related to the managing of a workflow within a CAD department than what Flatter Files offers.  A popular software product that provides such a capability is SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM).  Flatter Files is now integrated with EPDM such that you can get the best of both worlds.

Flatter Files integration with EPDM is extremely simple to use.  First, install the Flatter Files Uploader onto a computer that has access to the EPDM Vault.  The Flatter Files Uploader is configured in the same manner as before by configuring a folder to upload.  The folder should be within EPMD Vault.  There is now an additional setting for when using the EPDM integration as shown below.

As you can see, check the box for the option "This is a folder within a PDM Vault."  Then click "Configure Vault."  This will display the following screen for configuring the access to your vault.

Currently, "SolidWorks EPDM" is the only available PDM solution integrated with Flatter Files.  Therefore, it is already selected.  The next item is the name of your vault.  Enter the appropriate name.  The last item is the final state of your workflow.  When an item reaches this point in the workflow it is considered complete and will be uploaded to Flatter Files.  Once the appropriate items have been entered click "Submit."  This will return you to the main folder configuration screen.  By clicking "Add" the folder configuration is complete.

Now that the folder is configured for use with EPDM, you are ready to begin uploading your content to Flatter Files.  This works in the same manner as before except files aren't uploaded unless a new revision has been created from within EPDM.  In addition, once the file is uploaded it is automatically checked in and immediately available for viewing.  Whenever a file is checked out it will also appear on Flatter Files as checked out such that if anyone views the file it will notify them that it is currently checked out.  The result is that all of your content is available for viewing from within Flatter Files but all of your revision control occurs entirely from within EPDM.

If you are currently an EPDM user then it is likely that you already have many revisions for many of your drawings.  Flatter Files will automatically upload all of the revisions that currently exist such that all of your existing content is available.

Autodesk Exchange Apps Store

Flatter Files is now in the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store.  By downloading from the store, a button is created in both AutoCAD and Inventor that will launch the Flatter Files Uploader application.  This button simply works just like a desktop shortcut to the Uploader application except it is built directly into AutoCAD and Inventor for quick and easy access.  In addition, if you click this button and the Uploader application is not installed on the computer, then the Uploader application will automatically be downloaded and you will be prompted to install it.

To download from the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store please click the appropriate link below.  If you use both AutoCAD and Inventor you must install it for each independently.



Once the AutoCAD version is installed, you will find the new button located in the Plug-ins tab.  To launch the application simply click the button or type the command FLATTERFILES.

Once the Inventor version is installed, you will find the new button located in the Tools tab.

Installing this button through Autodesk is not required to use Flatter Files if you are using AutoCAD or Inventor.  Instead it provides another way to access the Flatter Files Uploader Application directly from the CAD application.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

Uploader Video

This video shows the operation of the Flatter Files Uploader application.  The video shows how to configure and perform your first upload, check in all of the uploaded items, and edit and update a single item.

Uploader Update

The Flatter Files Uploader application has been updated to include a few new ways to simplify revision control and save you time.  The new menu includes three new items as shown below.

The first new item is "Check In All."  By simply clicking this and then selecting a reviewer all of your currently checked out items will be submitted for review.  In addition, this will automatically perform a complete upload such that all of the latest files are uploaded.  This is very convenient when you are working on large projects where you are simultaneously editing multiple items.

The second new item is "Check Out Open Files."  Whenever you start editing a drawing or document, the first thing you should do is check the item out.  This is a way to notify anyone that might view the item that it is currently being modified.  After you open the files you plan to edit, simply click "Check Out Open Files" and all of the appropriate files will be checked out.

The last item added is a listing of all of your unread notifications.  This is a simple way for you to view and quickly respond to any notifications.  This includes being able to accept or reject a revision directly from within the Uploader application.

These three items, make it even easier to upload your content and keep it up to date such that everyone in your organization always has access to the latest drawings and documents.

New Feature: 3D View

If you are uploading Inventor or SolidWorks files to Flatter Files you can now view the 3D models.  When a revision is created of a drawing, the current model is also archived and is now available for viewing from within both the web application and the iPhone/iPad application.  This new functionality will provide you with the ability to immediately view the 3D model for reference purposes whenever needed without any special software installed.  Thus, everyone in your organization now not only has access to all of your important drawings and documents but they can also view the 3D models.

To view the 3D model in the web application simply right click and select View 3D.

If the drawing contains multiple revisions, a dialog will appear such that you can select the revision that you would like to view.

Once the revision is selected.  A view of the model will appear.  It is displayed within an application window such that you can move the window around.  In addition, you are able to view multiple models at once by simply right clicking on another drawing and selecting View 3D.

To view the 3D model in the iPhone/iPad application simply tap 3D when viewing a drawing.

The model will then be displayed using the full screen.  Viewing the model is an excellent experience.  Use one finger to rotate the model.  Two finger pinch gestures zoom the model in and out and two finger movements pan the model.

When using the iPad application, you can view the library and or drawing properties while you view the 3D model by simply tapping the library button at the top left.

To view previous versions of the model on the iPad or iPhone, simply click the back arrow directly below the view.  If multiple revisions exist then the previous revision will be displayed.

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