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Release Management Control of Drawings

Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
Is it just me or does it seem like it is very easy to mistake a released drawing for the Main workspace and any subsequent changes after a drawing Revision is Released? 

For example, I released Revision "B" of the attached drawing.  I then deleted a single dimension.  But when I return to the drawing in the Main workspace, this drawing still says revision "B" like in the image?  It seems like an accident waiting to happen by sharing a drawing or even another CAD person simply printing out a copy to give to a fabricator or machine shop...thinking they were giving out "rev B" but in actuality, it is whatever changes are after Rev B.

What am I missing with this?


  • raj_Onshaperaj_Onshape Onshape Employees Posts: 91
    Right now the state property in a workspace is always "in progress" and can only be changed in versions. If you are using Onshape default workflows you can only change them through our release process.

    1. Is your expectation that revision should always be empty in a workspace and not editable in workspace ?
    2. What if in a pinch you had to copy the drawing or part it out to share it with somebody, Would you want your drawing to change because the copy has not been released.

  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,119 PRO
    I think this is a valid point, Once you have a released drawing that is released managed, that should be the one that is referred to, not the one in the workspace which could have changed. Maybe there should be an option in release manage to watermark non-released drawings

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    The watermark is something I put in as a feature request with a copy to our company's designated contact.  I consider this not a feature but a genuine issue.  At the very least, the drawing as it exists in the workspace can no longer have Rev Level letters/numbers on it as it is in a state of limbo between Revisions.
  • michael_bromleymichael_bromley Member Posts: 110 PRO
    Doesn't this issue exist with parts and assemblies as well?  In main the part is labeled as the same part number and revision until it is released again.  You can check the version history for the last released state, but that requires someone to look into it and the same could be done for drawings.
  • rachel_ardenrachel_arden Member Posts: 14 ✭✭
    @michael_bromley I don't think it's the same thing. To see a part or assembly revision number you have to go into the properties, where you will also clearly see its state. With a drawing the revision is right there when looking at it but not its state.

    This can cause big misunderstandings, the whole point of drawings with revision numbers is so things are both not duplicated and changes are approved.

     If someone is working on an drawing and the revision number is the same as the previous release, and someone else comes alongs, maybe not familiar with onshape, a sale person or a new user, and wants to export out that revision they could easily accidentally send out the changed workspace one. And most importantly, once it has been exported and is 'frozen' there is no way to tell which one is the correct one without going back to onshape and comparing. 

    Has someone already made a forum IR for this?

  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Rachel, I consider Release Managment broken and unacceptable until this if fixed.  If you feel the same, please share this feeling by contacting your Onshape Customer Success Manager(company accounts I think) directly and/or put in a "feedback" request.
  • lougallolougallo Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,995
    @Bill_Martin There are a few things to point out here.  The name of the version that was created from a release called "Rev B" is simply the name you gave that release package and it used that name to name that version.  Remember that is only capturing the items in that package and you could (in some cases) have parts from that version linked to another document that undergoes a release and it would also live there in that same version for parts that might not have been in the first release and now occupy that same version.  I know this can be very hard to follow but in designing this, complex workflows had to be thought of.

    Back to your drawing question, it seems that when you released Rev B.. You hit the APPLY button in the release dialog which we added so users could push that metadata to the workspace to double check drawings and other places to ensure the metadata was updated.  It is just metadata and we lock it down once it is released into a version.. What displays in the workspace is "In progress" and could simply be cleared.  We will add more controls as we iterate but many users were controlling this manually prior to RM and there will be other controls that may address this in the future.

    Data management processes are different for everyone and RM today is working as it was designed for the initial release and we will continue adding more functionality to it.  If you have suggestions to what you think should happen to the metadata that is used for the release after the version is saved, let us know.
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Lou, I do not want to engage in trying to decipher metadata, linking, workspaces, etc.  In my opinion, what needs to be put in place is an unbreakable method whereby a drawing that has a certain revision level attached and has been Released(in any manner provided) can never be changed without also increasing the revision level on that same drawing.  Until that happens, for me, Release Management is not useful.

  • michael_bromleymichael_bromley Member Posts: 110 PRO
    @Bill_Martin if I understand correctly your issue is in that after a release the drawing shows the same rev letter even though it could potentially have changes on it?  It will not reflect and updated revision until the next release.  Is that correct?

    If so I believe that it is a culture/user shift to only look at drawings in a released version and not the main workspace.  A released version is a snap shot in time and will not reflect any current changes that have occurred.  I agree that this can be slightly confusing, but you have to think of the main as always in-work and if you want to see a released state you have to go back in the version history.
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    If you use Onshape to its fullest and share documents instead of print and distribute them, the average recipient is not going to dive into the History to find a drawing at the moment of release/versioning.  The average person is going to act on the drawing that pops up onto the screen which is the most current from the current workspace.  May or may not be the same as the last approved rev level of the drawing.

    It is asking for trouble even with trained people and there is no reason for it.  Onshape has done a great job of building in flexibility and collaboration tools, they now need to turn 180 degrees and enter the world of Engineering Change Control where there are no exceptions, shortcuts and there are firm rules checks and balances and error proofing.  If they can find a balance to prevent "approval bottleneck" yet protect and embrace the concept that approved and released drawings are not to be changed without also changing the rev level of the drawing all the better.

    Training is always a weak answer for root cause and corrective actions to prevent future mistakes.  Sometimes its all you have to go on given money or other constraints.  In this case its easily solved and I look forward to Onshape taking this seriously and dealing with it promptly.  I was disappointed this past cycle of improvements did not deal with this at all.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,119 PRO
    This is a problem for me too, I am wondering if there could be an option in the release management setting to place a watermark on the drawings in the workspace after a release version.

    I would like to hear peoples thoughts on changes to a drawing without a revision level, ie spelling mistakes or an extra dimension, in a perfect world this shouldn't happen but my experience is that there sometimes things need fixing but ideally without a new revision however maybe a new version would be required. I havn't investigated if this can be done with a new version and release Mgt, I think it probably can be,  however if url's are shared they will need to be updated. 

    In openBOM I find that it auto creates a link to the workspace the BOM is created in however what I really want is to create the BOM, version the DOC and have the BOM link that that version/revision, not the workspace.
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • romeograhamromeograham Member, Simulation EVP Posts: 606 PRO
    @Bill_Martin, this is another good reason to enable sharing to a specific Version (or Release) only. This way, the folks that shouldn't be "working" in the document (but only reviewing Released data) will never be able to see any drawing except for the Released one. 

    This has been a longstanding request of mine, and would help with this issue too.

  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,466 PRO
    In some other thread we were talking about automatically saving pdf of drawings into Onshape when printed. That could happen also when drawings are released, I don't see a reason why locked version should have toolbars etc. and pdf is accessible way faster than opening drawing workspace.

    The main idea was to hold those pdfs inside Onshape, automatically created and accessible with direct link. 
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Sorry, but I am digging my heels in on this one.  There is NO WAY two drawings with DIFFERENT CONTENT, however minor, should co-exist with the same Rev level.  EVER.  Anything else is a band-aid.
  • pmdpmd Member, Developers Posts: 56 PRO
    How about a special property/attribute called 'StrictRevision' which is either Revision for any actual frozen version or Revision with bold cross out for non-frozen workspace. This way the user can decide if they need to use this and much more visible than a watermark.

  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    @pmd How would you handle this special property for Title blocks? 

    Seems the one Rev level property is good enough provided Onshape actively manages it.  If the drawing is modified after a rev level has been Released it must have the revision mark removed or incremented higher WITH some other identifier to indicate it is an "in progress" drawing and not to be used until Released at that new level.  The identifier can not be removed until released again.  Even drawings BEFORE the INITIAL release must have this identifier must clearly be interpreted in whatever language necessary as "not to be used" in its current state.  Seems silly but a Giant Red circle(semi transparent is a nice touch) with line through it is probably the most universal symbol.

    Currently it seems Onshape provides only global control of the method of handling Release Process through the account settings.  Within a particular company, if there is to be a mix of casually handled drawings and those under strict Revision control they would have to provide some case-by-case override for this.  This is not a concern of mine at this time as all must be handled strictly for my company.
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    @pmd ........
    Currently it seems Onshape provides only global control of the method of handling Release Process through the account settings.  Within a particular company, if there is to be a mix of casually handled drawings and those under strict Revision control they would have to provide some case-by-case override for this.  ...........
    I must correct this as I remember that Onshape allows Company Admin to decide if members of a company or the Admin alone has he permission to mark a document(and presumably everything it contains--not a mix by tabs) as managed under the Release Management System or not.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,119 PRO
    edited April 2018
    @robert_morris that is a nice solution however it would nice if it was a watermark rather than another section on the title. Most company wouldn't be obliged to add an extra section just to suit Onshape. 

    Bill, another solution is to switch all your drawings once released to reference the released version from the workspace. I think this would solve your problems, however, it would require manual switching of the drawing after release. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • robert_morrisrobert_morris OS Professional, Developers Posts: 156 PRO
    @brucebartlett I agree, a watermark would be nicer. That was just a test and possibly something to use until something better comes along.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,119 PRO
    @robert_morris was a very good suggestion, but hopefully, we see a better solution
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • MBartlett21MBartlett21 Member, OS Professional, Developers Posts: 2,000 EDU
    Great solution!
    mb - draughtsman - also FS author: View FeatureScripts
  • raj_Onshaperaj_Onshape Onshape Employees Posts: 91

    Bill, another solution is to switch all your drawings once release to reference the released version from the workspace.
      This solution doesn't address all of Bill's concern. As far as I can tell he is worried about the released state of the drawing and not of the actual part/assembly it refers to. 
  • Bill_MartinBill_Martin Member Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Thanks all for keeping this dialog going.  I think it is important to sort out.  I trust Onshape feels the same and will implement a rock-sold solution as they have obviously proven capable of that. 

    I feel like I have not much more to offer or say on this--to me it all revolves around Onshape putting in controls making the current released drawing the only likely drawing a person of average skill can access and that the released drawing, marked with current Revision level, can not be changed from when it was released. 

    I can appreciate Onshape has some challenges in reconciling this with other concerns people have reported like multi sheet drawings in a Document with a part studio and having to bump revisions on all parts simultaneously rather than part-by-part even when a part has not changed.....One can only hope that the balance of ease of use and "cloud nature of things" can be preserved without overly complicating things.
  • john_whitesidejohn_whiteside Member, Simulation EVP Posts: 8 PRO
    Hello All - FWIW from a veteran CAD user and administrator:  I had to create a "watermark on release" function for my business (using a different but very similar CAD package).  The reason is because the drawings are pushed to an Oracle based server where users do not have access to OnShape (for example, purchasing and inspection departments).  To satisfy ISO requirements, we needed a way to uniquely identify one source of truth for the published document.  I hope this is not asking for much, but a water mark in a corner of the drawing border that says something like: "Exported from OnShape (c) <MM/DD/YR TIME>: Drawing Revision XX, Version XX" would satisfy this need.  
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