Enterprise PDM Search Techniques

Enterprise PDM offers a lot of powerful capabilities. One of them is searching. EPDM searches are fast because it uses SQL as its database. It is also comprehensive because of the Complete Search Card you get out of the box. The complete search card lets you search on file name, description, part number, individual variables, check in/out status and by who, workflow state, the content within the file, and more.

EPDM Search

EPDM Complete Search Card

In this blog post, I will cover some techniques for searching the vault. Start by clicking on the Open Search button to the top right of the file list view. Search commands will show up in the vault view at the top right of the card: Start Search (play button), Stop Search, Clear Search (refresh button), Favorites pull down, and Close Search with pulldown.You can also press enter after filling in a value in a field to start a search.

Within a field, you can type the information you want to search without any wildcard for a quick search. For example, if you want to search all SolidWorks drawing files, just type slddrw into the Name field and press enter on the keyboard. You can separate search data in a field with a space to perform an OR condition. So entering slddrw a space and pdf within the Name field will produce all files with slddrw or pdf in it. Quotations can alter search results significantly. Entering “slddrw pdf” in the Name field would require that exact match as part of the file name. These techniques could be used in most any search field.

Wildcards can be used to fine tune your search. An * means that zero or more characters of any kind can be filled in. So if I want to find all SolidWorks drawing files that start with 0108972, I would type 0108972*.sldrw and press enter on the keyboard. A ? means one character of any kind. So if I want to find all SolidWorks files that start with 0108972 and have a total of nine digits in the file name (not including the extension), I would type 0108972??.sldrw. The point is, you can be very specific with wild cards.

A couple things to note about searching if you are getting no results. You may want to hit the Clear Search button (looks like a refresh button) to clear out all the fields. Then retype your information and press enter to start the search. Another is to check your search path (I like to set my search path directory to the vault root).

EPDM searching is very powerful and fast. Use some of these techniques for even better results.

Here are some related blog posts:

  • Desktop Search for Enterprise PDM – Make the EPDM Search tool more readily accessible.
  • PDF Content Search with EPDM – Make the contents of PDF’s (and other file types) searchable with indexing and iFilters.

Guess what! Mike Towers is another one of our EPDM technical representatives and is now blogging about EPDM. Check out Mike’s blog posts.