“That rug really tied the rooms together,” -The Dude Lebowski
Today’s post will cover some best practices in tying linking data together within PLM 360. Items from one Workspace can call upon and provide a link to items in another Workspace. There are a number of ways to do this, and the advantages include ease of navigation, removing duplicate data entry, and (intended) transparency of information within PLM 360. First, we’ll examine the use of picklists to draw Workspaces together:
A Picklist is a drop down of predefined values used during data entry. They display in a variety for forms such as single choice, radio button, check box, and multiple choice to name a few. The advantage is the predefined nature of them, allowing user to select rather than type in values. A Linking Picklist takes that a step further and provides access to Items in another Workspace of your choice. During configuration of a field, choosing Linking Picklist will lookup values available in the other Workspace and establish a link, thus the name.
What’s even better is that Picklists are global in your PLM tenant. Meaning good, well built Picklists that reference other Workspaces can be used over again in another field, another Workspace.
The Relationships tab is yet another way to establish links between Workspaces. This tab is enabled through adding permissions on the role of a Workspace. Once enabled, anyone with permission can add a direct link to an Item from another Workspace and establish this as either bi-directional or uni-directional from the active to the related Item.
Workspace Relationships setting on the Workspace
Building upon the previous paragraph, the Workspace Relationship setting on each Workspace allow the administrator to link multiple Workspaces to each other. Certain tabs actually lend themselves to Item relationships as in the image below. Project Management tabs need other projects, tasks, and activities to link to, forming a project gantt chart. Bill of Materials needs BoM items, Revisioning Workspaces need Revision controlled items, and the Relationships tab needs well, something to relate to.
Finally, Workspaces can be tied together through the use of an action script that spawns a new item in a difference Workspace. This in turn provides a direct link back to the item from whence it came. A great example of this is an Inspection that leads to a Non conformance, which leads to a Corrective action.
This can even extend from the Corrective action to a Change Request and onto a Change Order. At each step, a link back to the item record that spawned it is available for audit trail purposes.