Author Topic: Revision History  (Read 23435 times)

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CADaver

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Revision History
« on: January 06, 2005, 08:19:29 AM »
To avoid hijacking a thread over HERE and to instigate yet another spirited debate:

1.) What is the thought process behind renaming files to match the revision?

and/or

2.) Creating an entire other file directory structure (including XREf's) for revisions?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Renaming files destroys thier use as XREF's and duplicating the entire contract folder for each revision is a maintenance nightmare looking for a place to happen.  
Why go to this effort, what purpose is served, what advantage is gained?  Why not just revise the file and be done with it?

hendie

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Revision History
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2005, 08:39:09 AM »
my EDMS controls the revision system automatically ensuring I always access the latest revision but can access prior revisions when required.
Personally, I don't use X-ref's but it can be configured to automatically accommodate the X-reffing.
We're just about to update the EDMS to another system entirely but I belive the new system (Adept) also takes care of X-refs and links automatically.

Keith™

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Revision History
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2005, 09:15:35 AM »
In my line of work, we frequently change the drawings, maintaining a set of drawing revisions including any xrefs works well for us because we deal with people, and people make mistakes and change their mind.

Take for example, one client who wanted their plans in a certain layout, after revising the plans 3 or 4 times, the final result was that the client wanted to revert back to an earlier incarnation. Keep in mind that when I speak of revisions, I am not talking about corrections, I am talking about things like .... move this wall, change that cabinet, move this wall, stretch this end, move these lights, add this widget, etc... when the client gets the drawings, they frequently, like 85% of the time at some point want to revert back to an earlier incarnation. It is for this reason alone that we maintain these files. It makes our job significantly easier. If we were not dealing with outside clients, it would basically be a WYSIWYG situation, so a revision history becomes unnecessary.

Imagine if one of your clients came back 6 months after you have completed a job and told you that he wanted to go all the way back to the second set of revisions..... If you have no revision history, you would have to aquire a set of the drawings of that revision and recreate that drawing, if the changes were significant enough, you would relish the thought of having a drawing to refer back to. Keep in mind, the client has already paid for this service and he may well expect that if you have already done the drawing previously, it is available. He will not want to hear that you have to recreate it and therefore incur additional expense.

So, I guess I have the best reason of all, it makes my job significantly easier, the boss is happier, the client is happier, and we get more work because of it.
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hendie

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Revision History
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2005, 09:25:00 AM »
I agree totally that having a revision history is of prime importance. The question is "how best to handle the revision process" and that, like almost everything else in CAD is best determined by the user.

rktect3j

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Revision History
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2005, 09:59:55 AM »
We make seperate revision drawings as well.  As of today I have never had to go back to a previous revision set for something.  Guess I am lucky in that.  Still a revision set is different then the original set and should be treated as such.

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2005, 11:06:49 AM »
Quote from: Keith
Imagine if one of your clients came back 6 months after you have completed a job and told you that he wanted to go all the way back to the second set of revisions..... If you have no revision history, you would have to aquire a set of the drawings of that revision and recreate that drawing, if the changes were significant enough, you would relish the thought of having a drawing to refer back to.
Okay, how did you accomplish that prior to CAD?  See I go back to manual drafting, and we NEVER recreated a drawing just to keep a revision history. We revised the ONE drawing when it needed to be changed, backing up to a previous revision required an eraser.

Quote from: Keith
Keep in mind, the client has already paid for this service and he may well expect that if you have already done the drawing previously, it is available. He will not want to hear that you have to recreate it and therefore incur additional expense.
If he requires additional work, he needs to be ready to pay for it.  Again how was this done in the manual drafting days, once the originals had been revised?  The client paid for the changes or he didn't get 'em.   And that's the way we still contract our projects.

The major advantage to CAD is accomplishing the desired task faster.  If we unnecessarily burden the system with procedures that we never implemented for manual drafting, we've lost some of that advantage.

Rktect3j stated that he has never had to retrieve a previous revision, and in the last 30 years, I've only needed to do so 2 or 3 times (only once with CAD).  So it seems maintaining previuos revisions may be spending a dollar on a safety net for a dime.

Now back in "those days", we kept a print of each revision in the project file, just for paper trail reasons.  We accomplish the same today by using PDFs of each issue.  This gives us the advantage of a plottable format that is not dependent upon XREF's, CTBs or anything else, and it's a considerable smaller file.  We're not burdened by multiple files and extensive directory systems, nor XREF file path maintenance.

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2005, 11:07:55 AM »
Quote from: rktect3j
Still a revision set is different then the original set and should be treated as such.
We never did so prior to CAD, why should it be necessary to do so now?

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2005, 11:08:55 AM »
Quote from: hendie
I agree totally that having a revision history is of prime importance.
In DWG file format? Why?

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2005, 11:20:11 AM »
Quote from: Keith
Imagine if one of your clients came back 6 months after you have completed a job and told you that he wanted to go all the way back to the second set of revisions.....
In my inductry the drawings would be the least of his problems. By then concrete is poured,  steel is flying, and pipe is fabricated.


Quote from: Keith
So, I guess I have the best reason of all, it makes my job significantly easier, the boss is happier, the client is happier, and we get more work because of it.
If that is truly the case then by all means carry on.  
BUT... (always one of those eh?)
how often do you really NEED to go back, and how much time does it REALLY save, and is that savings REALLY enough to offset the cost of maintaining the history?  And there is a cost involved in maintaining such a history, even if much of it is automated.  There is still storage spcae required, time to find the right file(s), making sure the process is properly implemented, making sure something isn't missed, the time spent trying to find the desired file when it IS needed.  Is the daily drain of a minute or two here and there REALLY offset by the retrieval of one drawing in a hundred? or a thousand?

rktect3j

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Revision History
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2005, 11:23:30 AM »
Quote from: CADaver
Quote from: rktect3j
Still a revision set is different then the original set and should be treated as such.
We never did so prior to CAD, why should it be necessary to do so now?


I think the answer is because its easy and we can.  Also, we have so much memory on our computers it would be wastful not to use it up.  Disks are cheap as well and they can handle more information these days even without zipping them.  This is just my take on it.

hendie

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Revision History
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2005, 11:32:52 AM »
Quote from: CADaver
Quote from: hendie
I agree totally that having a revision history is of prime importance.
In DWG file format? Why?


oops... did I mention DWG format ?
I merely stated that having a revision history is of prime importance. the "history" can be in whatever format you prefer ~ it could be in dwg format, pdf, paper copy. It could even be in braille... whatever twangs yer strings
The exact format is immaterial, what IS important is that you have the history.
On average I carry out about 100+ revisions per year. Quite often I have clients request a new design which is remarkably similar to a previous revision ~ which is why I keep my revision history in dwg format.
The reason I originally started keeping a rev history in dwg format is that most of my sales contacts are based all over Europe & the Far East and language diffculties resulted many times in an incorrect design being requested, also many sales associates requested an amendment when what they actually required was a new design. Keeping a revision history in dwg format means I can respond quicker if that happens and it also means less work for me in the long term.
Additionally, in my particular discipline, 99.9999% of designs are Evolutionary and NOT Revolutionary, therefore the more building blocks I have at my disposal the quicker I can respond and the easier my work becomes.
When I receive a new design request, I can search my dbase of 10000+ dwgs in about 12 seconds against the new design criteria. If the closest match happens to be an old revision of some dwg, then that's the design I will use as the base for my new design.

why create work for myself ?

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2005, 11:53:07 AM »
Quote from: rktect3j
Quote from: CADaver
Quote from: rktect3j
Still a revision set is different then the original set and should be treated as such.
We never did so prior to CAD, why should it be necessary to do so now?


I think the answer is because its easy and we can.  
I think that is probably the real reason, "We can, so we do".  But, just because we can does not mean it is necessary, or desirable, or profitable to do.  In fact I've seen evidence that it may NOT be desirable to do.  A few weeks ago, a supplier sent us the wrong revision of a major piece of equipment.  It was close and he missed his directory structure by just one click.  It cost him about $5000 in back charges, and me a week of duration I really couldn't afford.


Quote from: rktect3j
Also, we have so much memory on our computers it would be wastful not to use it up.  Disks are cheap as well and they can handle more information these days even without zipping them.
Even if it was free, it still costs manhours to maintain, secure, search. Sure hardware and software are relatively cheap, but our average designer billing rate is near $45 an hour, that's 75 cents a minute spent making sure files are copied properly, directories are setup properly, finding the right file, etc.

CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2005, 11:59:32 AM »
Quote from: hendie

oops... did I mention DWG format ?
I merely stated that having a revision history is of prime importance. the "history" can be in whatever format you prefer ~ it could be in dwg format, pdf, paper copy. It could even be in braille... whatever twangs yer strings
The exact format is immaterial, what IS important is that you have the history.
Okay, we're on the same page with that then, I agree.


Quote from: hendie
On average I carry out about 100+ revisions per year. Quite often I have clients request a new design which is remarkably similar to a previous revision ~ which is why I keep my revision history in dwg format.
...
When I receive a new design request, I can search my dbase of 10000+ dwgs in about 12 seconds against the new design criteria. If the closest match happens to be an old revision of some dwg, then that's the design I will use as the base for my new design.

why create work for myself ?
Okay, you're using it as a design resource, not so much a retrieval of a previous release, I'll buy that.  We do that a little differently by cataloging basic designs and using them as seeds for new design, sorta like big blocks.

TR

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Revision History
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2005, 12:54:58 PM »
Get a document management system. It makes revision control a breeze and it automatically stores old revisions for you (in dwg format) so you can access them later. Which I end up doing quite often.


CADaver

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Revision History
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2005, 01:20:52 PM »
Quote from: Tim Riley
Get a document management system.
Have one, thank you.

Quote from: Tim Riley
It makes revision control a breeze and it automatically stores old revisions for you (in dwg format) so you can access them later.
Still loking for a profitable reason to do so.

Quote from: Tim Riley
Which I end up doing quite often.
Really? Why?