Sneak Peak – ProjectWise ‘Soft Delete’

One of my lectures this week at the Bentley Information Mobility and Asset Management conference provides another idea for your ProjectWise Rules Engine.  As you may recall, I explained in one of my previous blogs that the Rules Engine allows ProjectWise Administrators the ability to create non-linear workflows that replace the delivered “Next”, “Previous” and “Change” State options.

This new application for the Rules Engine stems from the age old ProjectWise conundrum of “should we allow any user to delete a document in ProjectWise”.  Many organizations setup restrictions for this by controlling delete rights through Project/Folder security, applying dynamic security via a workflow or by simply disabling the users delete permission altogether.  Another trick is to create an attribute in your ProjectWise Environment called ‘Delete Me’.  When a user believes a file should be removed, they simply enable this option. Administrators can periodically run (albeit manually) a saved search, looking for any document that has been flagged for deletion.

Another thought from new ProjectWise Administrators is to simply setup a “Trash” folder in ProjectWise and have users move a document into it that they believe should be discarded.  The trouble is that the ProjectWise Move command actually “copies” and then “deletes” a document, so the same problem exists.

However, now with the Rules Engine, you can incorporate what I call a “Soft Delete” command within your workflow.  This option simply changes the workflow state of a document to one that all users – save for ProjectWise Administrators – do not have read access to, thereby creating the illusion that a document is deleted.  Further, you can setup a ProjectWise Messaging Agent, which can send an email to your ProjectWise Administrator, indicating that a document is in the Soft Delete workflow state.  In conjunction with the Soft Delete option would be an additional option called “Remove Soft Delete”, allowing an Administrator to “restore” a file back to its original State, if they feel the file should not be removed.

softdeleteAs with virtually any ProjectWise option, there are some configuration notes that you need to be mindful of, including but not limited to:

Document not actually deleted:  Remember, the document is only hidden via workflow security.  So if the user tries to import the document with the same Document Name/File Name, they will receive different results, depending on how they are attempting to import it (No Wizard or Advanced Wizard, for example).  So training is key.
If the user truly wants to replace the file:  Instead of using the ‘Soft Delete’ option, the user should simply ‘Replace’ the file attached to the document in ProjectWise via Document Properties.

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