How to import folder structure with lots of subfolders (path too long)

Tendering or Contract partners will quite often supply us with (cd or usb-sticks with) documents in a complicated structure of folders and subfolders, using long names for folders and documents. Thus exceeding the limited Windows path of +- 255 characters.

When trying to drag&drop the folder structure in PW this gives errors (and lots of frustration too)

How do others deal with this? Shortening the path name is a very time-consuming labour; besides we usually are not allowed to change document names, that come from the partner's EDM system. We also need to keep the file complete in the structure it is delivered to us.

Any help is appreciated!

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  • In my research on this issue, as you have found, this is a limitation of Windows.
    In ProjectWise you can create the folder and sub folder structure longer than 255 characters, because on the back end the folders are stored in a flat hierarchy and the database maintains the real folder hierarchy.
    However because of the 255 character limit in windows, you would not be able export such a folder structure from PW.

    A possible workaround to this problem then, is in windows, cut the folder structure in half at some logical point and move the sub folders and files to a temp folder at the root.
    Drag and drop the remaining folder structure into ProjectWise. Then once the higher level folders are created in PW, navigate down the structure to the location of where the subfolders should live, then (from the temp location in windows) drag and drop them into their respective subfolders in ProjectWise. (run scanref if needed for reconnecting reference files)

    For exporting; if you need to export the entire folder structure from ProjectWise to give back to the contractor, you would need to do the same thing, exporting out the sub directories first, temporarily move them to a temp folder in PW, then export the top level hierarchy to windows, and then put the two back together in windows and in ProjectWise. (run scanref if needed for reconnecting reference files in PW)

    One other thought.. if possible educate the contractors on the issue of using such long, complicated file names and folder structures, not only for ProjectWise but for Windows as well.

    Answer Verified By: Dana Guthrie 

  • Thanks Dana. Indeed we use that workaround, and of course we constantly hope to educate our contractors.... not very successful though :(
    While working, people often use shortcuts to folders or documents; they aren't even aware of the problem then.
  • Dana, we are running into a major issue while trying too export project files, is there any way to configure Projectwise to disallow too many folders/sub folders? Users are creating too many subfolders, when we try to export in order to send files to our client, Projectwise errors with "Folder export failed, directory path name too long". We do try to educate our Users but with little success so a Projectwise solution which could limit folder creation after a certain limit would be very useful.
  • There is not a way to limit the number of subfolders. The only way to keep users from creating to many folders is to remove their permission to create folders, and or remove their user setting that allows them to create folders. If I may suggest.. of the users I work with a lot of them come up with a "project folder" template, with subfolders that include the discipline names etc.. the user must work with in this folder structure, and if they absolutely must have a new folder the project admin can create it. I will check the enhancement database to see if someone has already suggested the folder structure limit and get back to you on that