I recently attended our recent PDM Users' Conference, The Dog Days of PDM, an event where everyone gets together over Chicago Dogs and Bratwurst to discuss what works well with Enterprise PDM and where they need help. It's a valuable forum where likeminded individuals can share how they tackle a wide variety of problems for the benefit of people with years of PDM experience to those who have just seen it.
We covered a variety of topics from stubborn users fighting iron fisted admins to risks of managing files outside the vault and how untraceable sabotage can be a few clicks away without file management. However one question came up that got my intrigue is that of clearing the local cache - A seemingly simple and benign maintenance operation that carries some risks.
Clearing the local cache is a useful tool for clearing away old data from a user's machine, often performed at the end of a project or the beginning of a week. It ensures that when a person goes to look at a file they will looking at the latest version when next they get it. There are even times when it can be necessary to do so for troubleshooting.
However there are some things one should know to minimize risk, because as many of us have learned, the Clear Local Cache tool is a dangerous one. The main fear with doing this is if a user has many files checked out that are modified and they clear the local cache, all these files will be deleted. That could be weeks' worth of work waiting to be lost, depending on the frequency one checks in. Every day is a good practice - and for those who wish to know where they left off there is an option to "keep checked out". This will check in the changes but keep the file exclusively checked out to you.
You can control how much gets cleared away from the local cache when doing this operation, the levels are: the entire vault (careful!), all files within a folder (or selected folders), and an individual file or collection of files. To do a selected file, simply highlight the file and then go to Tools: Clear Local Cache.
The process is the same for a folder or any combination of many files and/or folders.
Remember, the best practice for this tool is to check in all your files first. Also one can clear the local cache of files on check in when done with a project - and this is the safest method. Remember from above, the check in dialog box. Just to the right is the "Remove Local Copy".
Check that and your work is truly done.