PDM Integration allows companies to use Flatter Files for distributing their content that is contained within their PDM system. For some time, Flatter Files has supported direct integration with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. Starting today, Flatter Files now supports direct integration with Autodesk Vault. The same capabilities and features that exist with the EPDM integration, now exist for Autodesk Vault customers. PDM Integration has proven to be one of the most popular features of Flatter Files due to the ability to take your existing system and greatly improve it. Whether you need unlimited viewers, supply chain drawing management, drawing markups, or cloud access anywhere and everywhere you go, Flatter Files is the perfect addition to your PDM system.
Step by step tutorials have been created for getting started with both EPDM and Autodesk Vault. In addition to EPDM and Autodesk Vault, Flatter Files can also be integrated with most existing PDM systems using an Upload Trigger. For example, SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is easily integrated with an Upload Trigger. Check out this tutorial for integration details with SolidWorks Workgroup PDM. For details regarding your specific PDM system and how Flatter Files can significantly improve your drawing distribution, please contact us.
Libraries allow companies to organize their content. It is common that a company will use Libraries to organize their content based on product lines. This also serves the purpose of being able to limit access to a specific product line to specific viewers by using Library Access controls. In this scenario, it is common that a drawing will be shared across multiple product lines. For this scenario, it makes senses that an item should exist in multiple libraries. Therefore, Flatter Files now supports that ability to add an item to additional Libraries as needed. This is accomplished by simply right clicking the item and choosing the Add To option from within the Modify submenu as shown below.
Once an item is contained within more than one Library two additions are made to the right click menu. First, a Libraries menu option is displayed as shown in the image below on the left. This option is displayed for all users. Selecting a Library will automatically display the item in the corresponding Library. In addition, a “Remove From Library” option is added to the Modify submenu as shown in the image below on the right. This will remove the item from the current Library that the item is being viewed from. Thus, when viewing the item within a search result this option is not available.
Smart Libraries have also been updated to include a new filter capability. When right clicking on a Smart Library there is a new option called “Filter By Library.” Select the Library and Smart Library will be updated to only include items that are contained within that regular Library.
For Smart Libraries containing many items across multiple different regular Libraries, filtering by a Library of interest can be very helpful. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or would additional information about Flatter Files.
Shared links within Flatter Files allows you to share and control specific drawings and associated content with specific email addresses. The link that is created is permanent for the particular shared item unless it is deleted. Therefore, even as the item is updated with new revisions or properties, the same link will continue to display the most recent version of the drawings contained. This provides the best method for sharing content with outside vendors and partners. Supply chain drawing management has never been simpler. Recently, shared links have been updated to include a few new features.
Smart Library Integration
The first update is the ability to create a Smart Library based on the drawings contained within a shared link. This option has been added to the right click menu of the shared items for administrator accounts only. As items are added or removed from the shared link, the smart library will automatically be updated.
Shared Link Email Customization
You can now also customize the shared link email that is sent when the link is created or updated. Customization of the email consists of being able to add a custom note to the message as well as specify what properties are shown for each item that is listed. For details on configuring the shared link email, view the company settings documentation for shared link emails.
Item List Changes
When the user accesses the shared link that you created, they will be presented with a slightly different user experience. The main difference is that the item list has been significantly updated. The first change is that the item list now supports multiple columns displaying the properties. The new item list view is shown in the image below.
The column properties that are displayed can easily be modified by the viewer by right clicking on the column header. This will display the right click menu as shown below.
Columns can be added or removed by simply selecting the appropriate property name. Only properties that can be viewed by viewers within your account will be viewable from within the shared links. By default, only the Part Number and Description columns are displayed. This can be modified from within your company settings such that you can control exactly what property columns are initially displayed to the user. Details regarding the settings for this can be found in the property settings documentation.
Previously, to display a drawing you simply clicked the appropriate item row. Now the viewer must double click the item row to view the item. This is because you can now right click to display item options as well as select multiple items and then right click. The right click menu is shown in the image below.
The multiple item selection and right click menu allows you to perform functions like downloading the PDF for multiple drawings. To do this, select the items that you would like to download by using the shift or control key. Then right click the selection. Navigate to the download menu option and select the appropriate download option. A zip file containing the appropriate content will be downloaded to your computer.
As described above, shared links have received significant updates recently that continue to improve the best in class method for supply chain drawing management. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
Flatter Files is regularly updated with small feature additions that regularly improve the product. Below is a quick summary of the recent updates.
A tutorials page has been added to the documentation. Currently a tutorial has been added for setting up Flatter Files to work with SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and SolidWorks Workgroup PDM. Additional tutorials will be added in the near future.
For SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor drawings, previously you could configure the Uploader application to automatically create and upload various generic CAD file formats for each drawing. This list of generic CAD formats has expanded to include DWG files. The file format options now includes IGES, STEP, STL, DXF, and DWG.
####Multiple Items Download
Users can now download the drawings for multiple items at once. You simply select multiple items by using either the shift or CTRL key and right click on the selection to display the right click menu. Under the “Download” option select the file type you would like to download. The file types shown correspond to the content that has been uploaded. Once the file type is selected, the server will generate a zip file containing all of the items which is then downloaded to your computer as a single file.
####Full Screen Support
The Flatter Files built in PDF viewer now includes full screen support. When viewing a drawing, there is now a new full screen button as shown circled in red in the image below. Clicking this button will display the PDF in full screen mode. To return to the application, press ESC.
####Multi User Edit Support
Account administrators can now edit the settings for multiple users at once. This allows you to quickly change the user options for all of your users. Details regarding this new feature can be found in the user management documentation.
If you have any questions regarding Flatter Files, please email [email protected].
I wrote a guest post
for the cadsetterout.com blog that discusses how Flatter Files enables a fully digital workflow. Here is a quick excerpt:Flatter Files is a cloud based flat file cabinet for your important drawings and documents. It is designed from the ground up to be 100% focused on providing the best experience for accessing your drawings by the people that need to use your drawings from anywhere with an internet connection. It is not a replacement for your creation process, instead it is designed to work with whatever creation process you use whether it is a traditional PDM system, a cloud based file syncing service, or just files organized on your network drive.
Flatter Files also has partnered with EpiGrid to provide an optimized engineering data management environment. EpiGrid provides a cloud based hosting environment for SolidWorks EPDM. Therefore, if you need a PDM solution and are considering EPDM, check out EpiGrid. Together, Flatter Files and EpiGrid provide the ultimate cloud solution. Check out the full press release here
Flatter Files is now a Certified SolidWorks Solution Partner. Check out the Flatter Files entry
on the SolidWorks website.