Managing collections

Collections can have system-wide impact.

  • Other users should not be using the system while you're making changes to your collections.
  • Close all item records in your workspace before you begin.
  • Change forms should be Released, Completed, Canceled, or Rejected before editing the Change Forms collection.
  • Close the PDXpert client and start it again when you've finished.

Each collection contains one or more members with attributes or rules. Each collection member may be simple (like a country name) or complex (a Change Notice). More complex members may reference simpler members, and items (parts, documents, change forms) are assembled from simple members (like Organizations), complex members (Part Types) and user-entered text and relationships.

A collection member has at least a name, description, three common attributes (below), and often a lot more.

Referenced and copied attributes §

Each collection member has a set of attributes that are either referenced by, or copied to, the items that use them.

  • Referenced attributes are defined on the collection member and cannot be changed on the item that uses it. If an administrator edits a collection member's referenced values, then all items that reference the member immediately show that new referenced value.

    For example, a unit of measure each is defined as a unique member of the Units of Measure collection. While a user may select the each member for a part's default unit of measure, the user can't edit the name from each to EA. If an administrator edits the collection member's name, every part that previously showed each would now show EA.

  • Copied attributes have an initial value in the collection member. This value is copied as a starting value that can be edited. If an administrator edits a collection member's copied values, then previous items values are not affected; only new items created after the update are affected.

    For example, users can edit an individual part's Number after the Sequences:Number value has been copied to the part. Previous items' numbers won't be changed as a result of changing the Part Types member to use to a new number sequence, or editing the sequence to use a different Prefix or Next number value. Creating a new Units of Measure collection member has no effect on parts that have been assigned a unit of measure.

In summary: If a user cannot change the setting value on the item (say, the Type name or whether the Files list is shown), then this is a referenced value. All administrator edits are passed to all related items (past, current and future). However, if the user can edit a member setting on the item, then this is a copied value. Administrator edits on the related collection member won't affect the assigned value on existing items.

Custom attributes are similar to copied attributes but have their own rules for how existing items are affected. See the Custom attributes help topic.

Common attributes §

Each collection member has a Name, which should be unique among all members in the collection. Some collections have an Abbreviation (or Code or Display name), which should be unique among all of the collection's Active members. After a new member name is entered, the system may suggest an abbreviation, which can be accepted, changed or replaced.

Active: users can select §

When this checkbox is marked, the member shows in selection lists for new objects. When cleared, the member shows only on previous records and cannot be selected for new objects. You can modify this checkbox. At least one member of each collection must be active; setting all members of a collection inactive may cause system errors.

An inactive collection member name is shown as dimmed in the Collection Explorer tree: Inactive member

Default member of collection §

When this checkbox is marked, the member is given to new items that use the collection. Only one member of a collection can be set as the default member. If this checkbox is marked, then Active: Users can select is also marked and locked.

The default collection member name is shown as bold in the Collection Explorer tree: Default member

Permanent member of collection §

This is a system-managed value. When the checkbox is marked, the member is required for proper operation. The member cannot be deleted from the collection. Even when the checkbox value is locked, most other member attributes can be modified.

Related topics


Help Guide Contents [as PDF]