Wild Enterprise Searches

December 14th, 2009


The searching powers of SolidWorks Enterprise PDM are pretty cool. (What did you expect, it is built on SQL)

Did you know you can get pretty fancy with just simple Enterprise searches?

Here are some points to remember:

  • * – is a wildcard character that can stand for any number of characters
  • ? – is a wildcard character that can stand one character
  • the space character means OR, if you don’t want the space to act like an OR use quotation marks
  • Searches are not case sensitive

You can use as many wildcards as you wish in a search. The search function will assume your entry is enclosed inside of asterisks unless you actually type a wildcard character. Thus “J” returns the same as “*J*”, “J*” returns the same as “J*”.

Here are some examples of what files are returned if you enter different values in the file name box in a search:

J all files containing the letter ‘J’ (same as *J*)
J* all files starting with the letter ‘J’
*y all files ending with the letter ‘y’
.doc all files containing the letter letters ‘doc’ (this could return all .doc and .docx files)
*.doc all files ending with the letters ‘doc’ (.docx files would not be returned!)
J*S all files starting with the letter ‘J’ and ending with the letter ‘S’
J*SWEENEY*.PDF all .pdf files beginning with the letter ‘J’ that have the letters ‘SWEENEY’
J .pdf all files containing .pdf AND all files containing with the letter ‘J’
J* *.pdf all .pdf files AND all files beginning with the letter ‘J’
Jeff is cool all files containing the word ‘Jeff’ AND all files containing the word ‘is’ AND all files containing the word ‘cool’
"Jeff is cool" all files containing the words: ‘Jeff is cool’
C?T.doc all .doc files starting with the letter ‘C’ and ending with a ‘T’ (cat.doc & cot.doc would be returned, coat.doc would not nor would cat.docx)
*.doc? all files ending with ‘.doc’ and one additional character (*.doc files would not be returned)
*.sld??? all SolidWorks parts, drawings and assembly files
J*.sld??? all SolidWorks parts, drawings and assembly files that begin with the letter ‘J’

This logic works with any Enterprise variable, not just file names. As an example “3?? S.Steel” in the material text box would return all parts made from 304 S.Steel or 316 S.Steel.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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5 Responses to “Wild Enterprise Searches”

  1. Jason says:

    Some of these don’t seem to work for variables, only file name. What if I want to search in the description field for two words, find “PDM” or “PLM”.

  2. Jeff Sweeney says:

    I haven’t yet found an example where these don’t work for variables. To your question: Two ways… ‘P?M’ or ‘PLM PDM’ (no quotes) would return both PDM & PLM files.

  3. Jason says:

    Still no luck on the description. I’ve tried quotes and not.

    It does work in the filename field. For example I tried searching for “196” “200” in the file name field. Our files are named with the drawing number. All files containing those two strings of numbers were returned. I then cut and pasted that text into the “Drawing Number” variable field and got no results.

  4. Jeff Sweeney says:

    Are you sure the file names are actually in the variable “Drawing Number”? This would not be typical, because that value is not updated if the file is renamed.

  5. Jason says:

    Its not linked to the file name. They just happen to be the same in this case and it seemed like a good example. The syntax works fine when searching on file name….but enter the exact same thing in the Drawing Number field variable and get no results.

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