SOLIDWORKS 2018 and later will not support SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM. Will you be migrating to EPDM? Are there any other good options?
have you looked at PDM standard? starting with 2016 it is included in pro and premium licenses.
SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard | SOLIDWORKS
This is the right answer. They aren't simply not supporting Workgroup without a replacement, Standard is that replacement, and licensing is similar to Workgroup: SOLIDWORKS Pro and Premium have it included (though it does require some special setup).
While this is the best answer there are a few problems. Having never used Workgroup I don't know how difficult it was to implement but PDM Standard takes some doing. Having read the manual and having used EPDM before I think I can sort of get the software setup. However I know the files need migrated to the database format and I am not finding this information anywhere. I can attend a class put on by our VAR but the Powers That Be are not too receptive to the $1100 expenditure to replace storing our files freely on the server. I am having difficulty proving quantitative benefits.
Having actual structure to workflows, file locations, revisions, ability for visibility based on conditions......all of these add up to well above the $1100 you would be spending. Have them figure out what your hourly rate average is for your department. Divide $1100 by that magical number. I'd put money on it's less than 20 hours of down time. You'll easily make that up in time saved by understanding what you can do with the system.
I was at a job where they thought that IT should be running ePDM, because, you know, they're smart. It was the MOST cluster eff of a system. No one knew how the workflow worked. Basically IT gave up because they couldn't figure it out and used the vault as a place to just lock down files upon check in. They were literally saving the files with the revisions on the end of the name. That was their revision control.
Wait until something you've been working on gets corrupted saving over the network. I've seen that several times in my tenure as an Application Engineer for a VAR. Also, wait until somebody copies a file to another directory and now you have to figure out which version should be the right version.
As for the migration, if you aren't currently using any PDM, there really isn't any "migration," you just need to get your files into the vault (copy-paste works). If you are using Workgroup, your VAR would have to do that.
The setup of either of these programs (Workgroup/PDM Standard) is not that difficult, but there are enough potential pitfalls that your VAR should be the one doing the install. Then, if you aren't concerned with complex workflows or revision schemes that go beyond A, B, C, the administration is fairly straight-forward.
There are several benefits to PDM, and with a good tool available for free (except for the initial install), I would find it hard to justify not using it, especially if the current method is just to save to a network location.
I've see a couple of spot on ROI comments, one to add would be that Workgroup will no longer be supported within the next couple of versions of SolidWorks.
Good luck devising any sort of convincing ROI to justify several thousand pounds just to replicate the system already in use, with no change. In my experience, the argument 'If we don't spend this money, the system will mysteriously stop working because the software vendor says so.' is not very persuasive.
On the other hand, if you can live with not migrating the existing data, but maintaining a legacy vault, then using the new system for forthcoming projects, the cost is relatively small. You can set it up yourself, without any VAR consultancy days.
It depends on the type of business your company is in.
We looked into EPDM. In the end we ended up going with CSI Design Data Manager which we found comparably cheaper to EPDM
Personally, I think a PDM system is a necessity not just a luxury. Even at our company where we are working in a less formal workflow. We can find the correct version of a file infinitely quicker than when we manual managed files.
I wouldn't underestimate the time that it can take to set a system up to your specific needs. CSI are really pushing to make their product the best they can for you and don't just stop at installing a piece of software. I very much doubt that an EPDM reseller would be able to provide this service in the same way as I cannot see what they would gain from it.
DDM is on quite a fast development program and is bringing out new releases every month. There have already been several new features added from my personal request. These releases take little expertise to install. (I did an upgrade yesterday on my own in 8 minutes)
I would recommend checking them out.
Their website is:
We're exploring DDM right now, I have a trial version running. I like the fact DDM does not care which version of SW files I need to manage - we have files in 2014, 2015 and 2016 from different customers. Out of the box compatibility with Pro E and Inventor is a big plus as well.
Could you comment on your experience?
I use DDM to manage my SW and other CAD / non CAD data and have rolled out a couple of other successful client installations over the last few years. DDM really is PLM straight out of the box, where initial set up can be done yourself and the first license is free. This is great for smaller business who have no choice but to deploy the system themselves with minimal investment or consultancy. Beyond the initial roll out the more specific configuration is very straightforward and again doesn’t necessarily mean consultancy is needed. Although I have easily created all my own workflows and their corresponding routing folders CSI now offer standard templates for processes such as Engineering Change, Non-Conformance and Corrective Action (there are others). DDM is not just about the management and flow of CAD generated information but it also caters for the wider “enterprise” and the management of non-engineering specific information and how that flows through the organisation. With this in mind DDM office licenses (non-CAD) cost less than DDM-Pro licenses (CAD-integrated) and it is highly likely you’ll have more non-CAD users than CAD users even in an engineering company. This should not be over looked when trying to manage the whole product development cycle and NPI throughout the organisation not just managing the CAD files the designers generate.
Glad to see some remarks on DDM. It does seem to do what we need.
Like a few other people have suggested in this post DDM is worth a look. We investigated data management options 18 months back looking closely at ePDM, PDM, GrabCAD and DDM. After having demo's of all the options we settled on DDM. GrabCAD & ePDM didn't meet all the requirements we wanted and PDM just didn't seem as flexible as we wanted it to be so we settled DDM which offered more bang for our buck. A year on and it really is proving it's worth. If DDM is out of your price bracket then GrabCAD might be worth a look, but if you can stretch your budget I would recommend going for DDM.
We have been using DDM since Jan 2016. Had been using PDM works since 2008. Biggest problem with PDM works was no BOMs. Had to manually export BOMs as CSVs so manufacturing had problems keeping up wth revisions.
What I like about DDM is
1) Easy BOMs and with BOM revision compare.
2) DDM can revision manage any document type
3) Simple to setup4) Can attach other documents to SW files (I use this to attach pdf data sheets to Motors , gearboxes etc.)
5) Part numbering and revision schemes can be configures to suit individual company requirements.
6) Cost effective and simple to added licences
7) Web viewer can be used on every pc in the company (no licence restriction)
8) Simple but effective interface.
I would like to get more info regarding your DDM implementation experience and some additional DDM functionality I am looking for.
What would be the best way to contact you.
How DDM handles the part/assembly configurations or inseparable assemblies? This is one of the most important PDM functionality we are looking for.
John, I understand this. My Vault will cost $3-4,000, cost days of downtime, days of training, and not be movable workstation-to-workstation.
It feels more like ransom-ware than any real improvement.
PDM Standard is not a replacement for Workgroup PDM.
That is like having a five seat car for your family of five, with a toe bar for your caravan and you exchange it for a two seat smart car without a toe bar and try to get to the south of France with your caravan!
They have taken all the API away , there is no way to hook into PDM Standard and so there is no comparison with workgroup.
I looked into PDM Standard for where I work and price shock. We currently are using Workgroup and to migrate our vault over and implement the new software is close to $10k from our VAR.
Grab it, that Cheap!
Cost us over £11,000
Big con for users who use workgroup by taking out the api from the workgroup "replacement".
And they know it!
Price shock is just the beginning. There are many limitations in PDM Standard. Several times I contacted support just to be told that what I wanted to do was available only with PDM Professional.
We were very happy with Workgroup.
I wonder if people know they have an option with Teamcenter. That is multi-CAD and they have a Rapidstart product too!
Do you have any questions about SQL database installation? I am a 1-2 CAD station consultant, running SolidWorks since 2000, independent since 2009, designing med devices and inventions. Do you know of a smiple guide for installing SQL for DDM?
We are looking at implementing a PDM system, but I want to make sure what we get does the job, without breaking the bank. While Solidworks has standard and professional pdm, I don't want to get standard installed and find out "oh, that feature you need is in PROFESSIONAL", and have to upgrade. I've used Teamcenter at other jobs, and it works great, but I'm afraid it may be priced out of our league. DDM looks like a good option, but we'll have to compare features and make sure we get what we need. It's nice to know there are more options than just SW PDM.
I read through a few the comments here, found that we share the same limitations issue. I now know that I am not the only user SolidWorks purposefully misinformed about PDM Standard.
I based my decision to recommend that we migrate to PDM Standard because of the information I read in a WorkGroup EOL paper on my VAR's website. The paper described the change as only an upgrade to the SQL platform. I tend to believe my VAR received the information from SolidWorks.
I lost the very handy and regularly used PDF Export function. I have made many attempts at exports with Task Scheduler, but I cannot get Task Scheduler to export the drawings as PDFs correctly. I refuse to give up, so I am still searching for a motor to get us out of the river (we're way beyond the proverbial creek now).
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