Why Do We Struggle With File Names in PDM / PLM?

Why Do We Struggle With File Names in PDM / PLM?

I read David Dillon blog post on SolidWorks Geeks – File Name and PDM. This short write-up made me think about relations between File Naming and Data Management strategies. It is very interesting to see how industry is struggling to solve this problem for the last 15 years. So, I want to share with you what I think about that.

PDM – File Names vs. No Names

Since early PDMs, the question of File Names was always important. The intent of PDM systems was to release end users from File Naming hassle. Some PDMs included options to manage meaningful File Name vs. use automatic numbering mechanism. The community of engineers, actually, split in their decisions. When you are live inside of your PDM system, the File Name can be considered as an obsolete thing. However, when you start thinking about some intermediate work where PDM will not be available, the question of File Name comes again.

File Naming or File Numbering

Do you remember my old blog about Part Numbers- PLM Data, Identification and Part Numbers? I think, in the context of File Names, the same questions are coming again. To use smart numbering system vs. to use internal numbering mechanism supported by multiple PDM/PLM systems? In my view, pros and cons are the same. Intelligence naming system can be very beneficial. However, within time it becomes more and more irrelevant. People have a tendency to forget file names and numbering systems they invented in the past.

PDM / PLM No Files- The Bright Future?

I can see a very interesting trend these days. CAD systems are trying to consolidate PDM platform as part of CAD feature. Even 3-4 years ago, it can be considered as a suicide. However, technology changed these days. In addition, PLM vendors started to understand the value of embedded data management into CAD. These systems basically are going to replace an ugly PDM-CAD integration solutions. Having a complete control on CAD system, vendor can invent any data management solutions.

File Names and Cloud

Let’s take few more steps towards the future? Do you think File Names will disappear with cloud? There are some people who believe that cloud is going to release him from local hard discs and file systems. There is a good reason to think that way. However, I don’t see it happens in a visible future. In addition, cloud solutions are trying mimicking local systems (including files) on the cloud.

What is my conclusion? The File Name is dead. Long live file names! I can see a long term trend towards the situations where File Names will become obsolete. We still need file names. Even such a cool device as iPad, requires a file name get things in and out. So, for day-to-day practice, you better think about reasonable file numbering system. However, if you are going to implement  modern PDM/PLM system, you can consider starting to remove file names as an obsolete feature and hide it in data management structures.Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Share This Post