System Options

Automatic AlternatePath Selection


During an Optimize or Expedite, this feature allows APS to select which AlternatePath it uses to schedule a Manufacturing Order. In cases where there are multiple methods of producing an item you can use Automatic Alternate Path selection to do the work of selecting which method to use. The selection of Alternate Paths is based on the concept of defining a “default” Path and then allowing less desired Paths to be selected as the Need Date of the M.O. approaches.

Alternate Path (Route) Example


  • To enable automatic selection of AlternatePaths for Optimize and Expedite,
    1. Check the “Auto Select Alternate Paths” check-box under Data | System Options’ Enable Features tab.
    2. Configure fields mentioned in the Details section below.
  • To manually switch a MO’s alternate Path, move an operation from one path to another while holding down the Alt key.


The following fields determine which paths are eligible to be released and the release timing. Paths are chosen as a result of a Resource selecting the M.O. after it has been released to production; hence the importance of the release date fields below.

  • AlternatePath.AutoUse: Whether the Path can automatically be selected during an Optimize or Expedite. It’s possible values are:
    • IfCurrent: The Path isn’t automatically released. It’s only released if it’s already the CurrentPath. (For example, if it was manually selected.)
    • RegularRelease: The Path is released at the M.O. Release Date, DBR Release Date or JIT Release Date, depending on the Optimize Option for Release Rule.
    • ReleaseOffsetFromDefaultPathsLatestRelease: The path is released based on the AutoUseReleaseOffsetTimeSpan as described below.
  • AlternatePath.AutoUseReleaseOffsetTimeSpan: A TimeSpan that defines when the Path becomes eligible for automatic selection. The Alternate Path will only be usable after the Default Path’s Release Date + AutoUseReleaseOffsetTimeSpan. For instance if a Manufacturing Order has 2 Alternate Paths and the Default Path’s Release Date is January 1 and the second AlternatePath is setup for Auto Path Selection with AutoUseReleaseOffsetTimeSpan=1 day, then the second Path could potentially be used on or after January 2nd. The Path that ends up being selected will depend on the optimization rules and Resource availability. (Note that this value isn’t used to determine the release date of the Default Path.)
  • ManufacturingOrder.LockToCurrentAlternatePath: If this field is set to true, only the CurrentPath will be released (alternates will not be used)

During an Optimize, any of the following conditions will cause the Manufacturing Order to be scheduled on its CurrentPath only:

  • Any Activity progress is reported
  • Finished Activities
  • Started Activities
  • The ManufacturingOrder’s LockedToCurrentPath flag is set
  • Any Blocks are Resource Locked
  • Any Activities are Anchored
  • The Manufacturing Order is scheduled to start before the optimize start time

An Expedite is similar to an Optimize with the following Exceptions:

  • Resource Locks won’t prevent the ManufacturingOrder from being scheduled on different Alternate Paths
  • An Anchor won’t restrict a ManufacturingOrder to the Current Path if the Anchor After Expedite Setting is turned on

Related features that aren’t currently compatible with this feature include:

  • Job.CanSpanPlants
  • MO.CanSpanPlants
  • MultiPlant scenarios
  • MO.LockedPlant
  • Batching ManufacturingOrders
  • Successor and Predecessor MOs