PDM (Play Data Management): How PDM won the Broncos the Super Bowl

Ok, I am not even sure if any company/team associated with the NFL is using PDM. ‘Really, this is just a poor ploy to get you to read this blog post. ‘But now that you are here, let’s imagine the Denver Broncos secured their plays in a PDM Vault with file permissions set up so well that not even the New England Patriots could spy on them. ‘We will discuss permissions within PDM and how they relate to different departments coexisting.

Before we create permissions we need to create USERS and GROUPS. ‘Shown below are a list of users and groups for my test ‘NFL’ Vault.

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Think of Roger Goodell as the PDM Admin; he has the most permissions within the company. ‘Bill Belichick and Gary Kubiak are engineering managers for separate divisions, they have more permissions that regular engineer. ‘Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are engineers. ‘Brandon McManus is a part of manufacturing or operations. ‘Roger Goodell and Admin belong to the Executives group. ‘Peyton Manning, Gary Kubiak, and Brandon McManus belong to the Denver Broncos group. ‘Tom Brady and Bill Belichick belong to the New England Patriots group. ‘We have one company with two separate divisions that require some level of secrecy from each other.

When adding the Commissioner Goodell user, I copied his permissions from the Admin permissions. ‘

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One permission that I do not want Commissioner Goodell to have is the ability to destroy files. ‘I only want the admin user to have this permission because by accidentally selecting Shift + Delete Commissioner Goodell can permanently delete files. ‘This permission is a necessary because even the commissioner of the NFL can make mistakes (i.e. Lockout of 2011, destroying spygate tapes, initial handling of Ray Rice, and every fine on James Harrison). ‘This permission can be found in the user’s properties under ‘Folder Permissions’.

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Below is an example of the top level Vault folder structure. ‘Obviously, the Patriots should not be able to see the Broncos playbook and vice versa. ‘Both groups are going to need to view each other’s Injury Report because this is information that must be shared across the entire league.

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You can assign group permissions for individual folders by selecting the individual folder in the folder permissions tab. ‘All of the permissions for the Patriots have been removed from the Broncos folders except the Patriots can still ‘read the file contents’ for Broncos Injury Report. ‘So when Bill Belichick looks at the NFL Vault, the folder structure looks like the image below.

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Notice how Bill can still see the Broncos Injury Report folder. ‘They cannot add a file within this folder because they do not have the permission to check out a file. ‘We may want to assign only ‘read file’contents’ ‘permissions to Brandon McManus as well because there is no way I am letting my kicker call the plays.

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This was just a basic overview of permissions. ‘The purpose of this article was to get a fundamental understanding of PDM using sports (and to remind you that we have to wait 6 more months for football to be back). ‘For more information on permissions within a PDM Vault, please see the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Tool Help.

For another sports related article, check out this blog on determining foot traffic within a stadium using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation.