Use the Windows Explorer plugin
Use the Dimensions CM extension for Microsoft Windows Explorer to perform operations from Windows Explorer without starting a desktop client session.
Windows Explorer extension overview
An integration with Windows Explorer enables you to:
View a number of file properties in relation to the item in the repository from which it originates.
Perform item operations such as check in, check out, update and deliver.
Use optimistic locking features to synchronize the files or folders in your local area with the corresponding project files or folders in the repository.
In most cases, Dimensions CM can determine automatically which file versions are the latest, and update both the work area and the project with the correct versions. This way of working is referred to as optimistic locking, and the developer only needs to make a manual decision if Dimensions CM detects that there is a conflict between two versions of a file.
Work with either streams or projects.
The Windows Explorer plugin adds a set of icon overlays and additional columns that indicate the status of item files and folders.
To view the Dimensions CM-related properties of items and folders, it provides a Dimensions tab in the Windows Explorer's Properties dialog box.
You can use the Windows Explorer plugin to carry out development work in a Dimensions CM project without needing to use the desktop client or web client. For example, you can create a folder on your local machine, set that folder as a work area folder for a project, and perform a update to populate the folder with the contents of the project. You can then work on the files in your work area and subsequently perform a synchronization with the Dimensions CM repository.
You can launch the Synchronize wizard in Windows Explorer, which means that you can work from Windows Explorer without needing to use the desktop client.
The Synchronize wizard enables you to synchronize the files in your work area with the files in the Dimensions CM repository. For details, see Use the Synchronize wizard.
View Dimensions CM attributes
You can view certain Dimensions CM attributes in Windows Explorer.
Note: A Windows Explorer property called Dimensions is not related to Dimensions CM. It gives the height and width in pixels for some non-text files.
To view Dimensions CM attributes:
In Windows Explorer, select View > Details.
Right-click one of the column headings, and select More.
Select the additional columns to display.
You can select the following Dimensions CM-related file properties:
|The item revision number.
|Displays the type of change that has occurred between the work area compared to the repository.
The status of the item when the metadata was updated.
Note: This is not a real-time value. If the item status has been updated in the repository since the file was fetched, this is not reflected.
|If the file has been renamed or moved, the original path and file name is displayed.
Note: If the file is renamed or moved when synchronized, the original history is not lost. This unique feature uses the Windows Explorer facility to track moves and renames to keep track of the file relative to its original location within the project. This information is used by the Synchronize wizard to offer a single rename event to the user that preserves original history of an item, as opposed to the traditional way of tracking as two separate deletion and addition events where originating item history is broken.
When a folder in your work area has been used for Dimensions CM item file operations, a metadata folder is created beneath that folder called .dm.
You can turn off the creation of metadata in the desktop client's Preferences. Clearing the Write metadata option on the Configuration tab means that metadata is not written to the work area during file operations such as check out or update. For details, see Set configuration details.
Note: Dimensions CM does not maintain metadata for folder items. Operations that rely on metadata, such as deliver, update, and synchronize, may not work as expected for folder items.
The metadata folder contains files storing Dimensions CM-related information about the files and folders in that folder. By default, these folders are hidden in Windows Explorer.
To view metadata folders:
In Windows Explorer, select Tools > Folder Options.
On the Views tab, select Show hidden files and folders.
To hide the folders, select Do not show hidden files and folders.
We do not recommend that you change the contents of the metadata folders.
To view the details of files or folders that have been deleted from the work area since the last update, use the compare feature provided with the Windows Explorer plugin.
Note: If a file is renamed or moved when synchronized, the original history is not lost. This unique feature uses the Windows Explorer facility to track moves and renames in order to keep track of the file relative to its original location within the project. This information is used by the Synchronize wizard to offer a single rename event to the user that preserves original history of an item, as opposed to the traditional way of tracking as two separate deletion and addition events where originating item history is broken.
When the Explorer Plugin is active, and there is a difference between a file and the item in the repository, the file icons are overlaid with an icon, indicating the type of change that has occurred in the work area compared with the repository.
Note: A folder rename is interpreted as an addition and a deletion.
|Modified: The contents of the file have changed.
|Added: The file has been added.
|Moved (or renamed): The file has been moved and/or renamed.
|Moved (or renamed) and modified: The contents of the file have changed, and the file has been moved and/or renamed.
Checked out: The file in a project has been checked out.
Locked: The file in the stream has been locked.
|Checked out and modified: The file has been modified and is checked out.
|Checked out and moved (or renamed): The file has been moved and/or renamed and it is checked out.
|Checked out, moved (or renamed) and modified: The file has been moved and/or renamed and modified. The file is checked out.
|Project root folder: This folder has been set as the root folder for a project.