The Flatter Files Uploader now includes the ability to setup up an Upload Trigger. An Upload Trigger can be used in multiple ways. If you are using the built in review and notification process then instead of uploading an item anytime a change occurs, it will only upload the drawing if specific property criteria is met. Once the upload occurs, you can then still handle the normal review process within Flatter Files. If you are using a PDM system or other internal review process, configuring an Upload Trigger can create a seamless integration between Flatter Files and your PDM system such that as revisions are approved they will automatically appear on Flatter Files. This blog post will first describe how to configure an upload trigger along with all of the current options and then discuss in more detail how an Upload Trigger can be used to save you time and improve your workflow.
The image below shows the new interface for configuring a specific folder for upload. Toward the bottom of the interface you will see the new option "Use property to trigger uploads." By checking this option a configure button is displayed as shown.
Clicking the configure button will display the interface shown in the image below. The first option is to select the type of Upload Trigger. The first and default trigger type is to perform an upload anytime a specific property changes. Typically this would be a revision property or something that is similar that is only modified when the new drawing is ready to be uploaded. For example, if the revision drawing property is equal to A and you modify the drawing but don't change the revision property then it isn't uploaded. Once you increment the revision property from A to B, the drawing will then be uploaded.
The second type of Upload Trigger requires a property to be equal to a specific value. Thus, an upload will only occur if the drawing has been modified and a specific property is equal to a specific value. The image below on the left shows the required configuration for this type of trigger. As you can can see, you simply enter the name of the property that you want to use and the value that it should match to trigger the upload. The third and final type combines both the first and second such that a property must have changed and a different property must be equal to a specific value. The configuration for this trigger type is shown in the image below on the right with example inputs for the property name and value.
All three trigger types described above have a few common options that also must be configured. The first option only applies to Inventor and SolidWorks drawings and pertains to wether the property data should be obtained from the drawing or the model. If you use properties from the drawing instead of the model then this option should be checked. The second option is checked by default and this allows the Uploader to automatically check out the item if you have modified it locally but have yet to trigger an upload. Thus, you are currently working on the item but it isn't complete. The third option is typically only used if you are using a PDM or internal review system which includes a review process such that you want to completely skip the Flatter Files review process. Basically, the Upload Trigger becomes a Revision Trigger. As soon as the trigger is met a new revision is automatically uploaded and created on Flatter Files.
Unless you are using SolidWorks EPDM, up until today your only option when performing a Flatter Files Upload was for all of the files that have been modified since the previous upload to be uploaded and checked out. Once you are ready for the item to be reviewed you simply check the item in and select a reviewer. Once the reviewer approves the drawing the new revision is created and anyone that accesses the drawing will see the new revision. The downside to this is that the current version for all modified drawings is uploaded every single time an upload is performed even for drawings that have been modified but are no where close to being ready for submittal. This slows down the upload process. By configuring an upload trigger, you now have complete control over when the upload occurs for each item. It can still be checked out as soon as you modify the drawing, but uploads will no longer occur until you modify the property data. This save you time and resources.
Currently Flatter Files includes direct integration with SolidWorks EPDM, which allows customers to use EPDM for collaboration and drawing approval while using Flatter Files as a publishing tool to provide access and control of their content. Obviously there are hundreds if not thousands of other PDM type software solutions for collaboration and/or review processes as well as simple custom review processes that may not even include specific software. By configuring an upload trigger, you can now seamlessly connect any PDM type software or internal review process to Flatter Files, which can save you a ton of time since it will automate the connection to Flatter Files. If you are considering Flatter Files and would like to connect it to some type of PDM system or internal review process, please feel free to contact us to discuss the specifics of the integration by emailing [email protected]
Adding the ability to configure an Upload Trigger greatly improves the flexibility in using Flatter Files. It should make it even easier to control when specific items are uploaded as well as fully integrate Flatter Files to be used in conjunction with any type of PDM or internal review process.