More Enterprise PDM Search Techniques

About a month ago I posted a topic on EPDM Search Techniques. I learned a few extra search techniques recently and some ways to improve performance.

The search field that searches file name is always done as with implicit wildcards (EPDM treats a search for part as *part*). Explicitly including a wildcard overides the implicit method. So if you search part*, any files that don’t start with part will be ignored. This will also produce faster results.

To search for an exact match, us “=” in the search. For example, =part.sldprt will only return part.sldprt. Again, this will produce faster results since it won’t include other results beyond that exact match.

To exclude files, use a “!” in the search. For example, !sldprt will exclude SolidWorks parts. An example would be a search for part !sldprt any file with the word part but not to include any with sldprt.

Another thought that came up recently was if you wanted to search for multiple words in a file. *word1*word2* would search for both those words in a file, but only in that order. Entering *word1*word2* *word2*word1* would tell EPDM to show both words in the file regardless of the order.

I recommend putting these instructions in front of users by adding highly visible notes and a tab to your search cards. See example below.

More EPDM Search Techniques

Search card with notes and an Instructions tab

It is obvious EPDM offers a lot of power in its search capabilities. The more we know, the better we can take advantage of its capabilities. The above examples can improve the result quality and speed. Other things can be done from the administrative end of EPDM to improve quality or performance. Out of the box, EPDM has a default set of columns presented to the user. Showing more columns will improve quality, but it does reduce performance because more data has to be pulled from the database. The reverse is true: Fewer columns can improve search performance.

There are some SQL Server adjustments that can be made to improve performance by adjusting vault database settings for recovery model and log size. Using a simple recovery model for the vault database will improve performance (In SQL Server Management Studio: RMB on vault name > Properties > Options > Recovery Model). The transaction log can be shrunk to improve search performance (MAKE A BACKUP FIRST). RMB on the database > Tasks > Shrink > Files and select the transaction log.

A maintenance plan can be setup to periodically rebuild the indexes on the vault tables. This reduces data fragmentation. Note: Never create manual indexes on an EPDM database.

I hope these ideas help with your future search efforts. Good luck!