49 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2017 2:54 PM by Andrew Foss

    Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration

    Devin Wyatt

      Hi,

       

      As you all know, Workgroup PDM is being phased out over the next two releases. I've decided to get a jump on this and switch over now rather than waiting until this time 2 years from now. But I have some questions about general best practices for setting up a PDM system. Is there any such document laying out best practices for those of us starting with a blank slate? Some specific questions below that I'm trying to find answers to.

       

      1. How should I structure my vaults? Should I just have one vault with a series of folders within for each project/product? Currently in our Workgroup PDM system we have projects for each different product, then sub-projects for versions of that project. Should I take a similar strategy here with folders? I'm assuming I shouldn't create a new vault for each product/project. What about things like the Toolbox and my Design Libraries? Should they be in their own vault? Or just their own folders in my main vault? We are a very small company, I am currently the only Solidworks user. At most we may have 3 of us that access the PDM system some day.

       

      2. Even higher level than that, when I setup my archive server, should I set my root folder to a folder on my server's OS drive? Or a storage drive? Does it matter? I know Workgroup PDM always seemed to insist on having it in C:\VaultData. Should I follow a similar strategy here? Obviously I'll be setting up backups and all that as well. Is there any benefit to having multiple root folders? Should I put each vault in a different root folder? I see lots of instructions on how to do things, but next to none on why I would do things one way or another.

       

      3. Currently I have a shared Toolbox (hosted on our server) and a shared Design Library (also on the server). These are not in our current workgroup PDM system. But I would like to move them into the new system. Will this require I open all of our assemblies to update the references to their new locations? Or can I automate this in some way? Again, we are a small company so manually opening everything wouldn't be the end of the world. It would be a bit of a pain but totally doable. I'm thinking maybe get the Toolbox/Design Libraries into the new system, then migrate each product one at a time manually and update references as we go. I also just updated to 2016 SW so I could use this opportunity to upgrade files to 2016 as well.

       

      4. The big thing I'm struggling with right now is how to import a file with a particular revision and have it set the revision in PDM Standard correctly. For example I have a file with revision B-03. This was set by Workgroup PDM and is stored in a custom property. When I check this item into the new system, it gets 'no revision'. Then I move it through the workflow and it goes to A-01. How can I override this automatically so that it goes straight to B-03 on my first import? Since this is PDM Standard I can't have multiple workflows so I think I need to add a section to the default one for importing existing stuff. This would somehow sync the revisions rather than assigning a new one ... my VAR pointed me to here: 2016 SOLIDWORKS PDM Help - Synchronizing a Revision Variable to a Revision Number but from what I can tell that doesn't help me. All it does is synchronize the variable (custom property) with the revision number. I want to do the reverse of this ...

       

      5. What are people planning on doing with their legacy data? I will only be migrating the latest versions across to the new system since I've been told it is a ton of work to do more than that. So how will people access their legacy stuff after 2018? Will I have to keep a copy of SW2018 installed forever so that I can access my old vault? Any suggestions for the best way to handle this? Should I setup a virtual machine with my SW vault in it? At least that way it's contained and easy enough to fire up whenever I need it.

       

      Sorry for the long post. Just trying to get my head wrapped around all this before we get too far into it.

       

      Cheers,

      Devin

        • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
          Prasad Bhonsule

          Hi Devin, I've added some replies to your points below, hope this helps somewhat

           

          1. The vast majority of customers I have implemented PDM for have 1 vault with sectioned off for different departments (if required). They have a central area for projects/designs. PDM has templates you can create to automate the folder structure, if you have a similar setup for each project. As for toolbox and the library, you can have inside the PDM vault as folders which users have read-only access to.

           

          2. The Archive Server root folder can be set to a storage drive, it does not have to be installed on the Server's OS drive. There is no benefit to having multiple root folders over having a single root folder if you plan on having multiple vaults.

           

          3. A way to go might be to move your Toolbox and Design Library into the PDM vault first, then adding your assemblies, checking them in and opening them up from within the PDM vault. There is a update references tool you can use, as well as setting up file locations within SolidWorks settings so it searches within the vault for referenced documents.

           

          4. Talk to your VAR about migrating from Workgroup to PDM. VARs have a Workgroup-to-PDM migration tool supplied to them that they can use for a customer. When we have done this in the past, we have spent some time with the customer beforehand, learning about their current WG PDM setup (lifecycles, revision schemes, library folders, users, number of projects etc). We then come up with a solution using the migration tool on how to best migrate the customers data. With regards to syncing revisions, you will need to most likely create a import workflow (separate from your day-to-day design workflow) in PDM to update the internal revision counter within PDM to match the WG revision.

           

          5. Legacy data is always a thorny issue. You are right, it is a lot more work to try and import versions of your model rather than just the latest version. One suggestion might be to save versions of your legacy data as separate files bit by bit, and bring it into PDM as needed.

           

          Kind regards,

           

          Prasad Bhonsule

            • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
              Gordon Rigg

              I am promised a visit from my VAR on this subject this coming week.

              My VAR stated that migration from workgroup PDM to PDM standard was complex, and moving the data across wouldn't be possible to do myself, I would need help, and it 'would not be cost free'.

              Well I was encouraged to use workgroup PDM by this vendor when we had a few annoying issues with our small (3 seats) user base collaborating on assemblies. I cannot say that workgroup PDM was a resounding success as an overall solution as it has produced a fair bit of hassle to solve that minor problem, but at least it didn't incur added cost.

              But now my data is in it, and migrating back to the windows file system is not really an option.

              What I fear is that PDM standard is going to provide less functionality than workgroup PDM, and that it might really be more of an Enterprise PDM "lite", existing purely as a taster to sell enterprise PDM. My VAR has already hinted that we might want to make further investment to have something more suited to our needs than PDM standard. They know we only have 3 seats, and possibly only two next year as one user retires!

              I am concerned that SW would retire a product it provided as part of our licence and replace it with another without providing a simple transfer path - and in fact that transfer path might incur considerable cost and effort. I feel like we might have been "fished" here - because really I have no choice but to pay whatever it takes to keep our data useable. Like I might be held to ransom to retain our own intellectual property in a useable form.

              I hope for a constructive meeting with my VAR this week!

                • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                  Jonathan Leeper

                  Gordon- you have voiced a lot of the same concerns my co-workers and I have. Workgroup has worked well for us as a revision management tool for AutoCad and SW. 

                  We are very unhappy with the new Solidworks PDM model.  In many ways PDM Standard looks like a step backwards; and having to pay for PDM Professional to maintain some of our Workgroup functionality is ridiculous.

                  Unfortunately, in talking with other PDM providers I have discovered migrating data from WPDM is going to be money and time intensive- whether we stay with Solidworks PDM or switch to another vendor.

                    • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                      Devin Wyatt

                      And that's really the crux of the issue here. We're stuck in an old system with no way to easily move to a newer one of any kind. SOLIDWORKS should have provided us a utility to easily extract our data from the product they are killing off. Maybe they still will, they just haven't gotten around to it yet? They have 2 years to do this I guess. I would sure be annoyed if in 2 years they release a tool for everyone to use after I have paid my VAR to do it for me.

                    • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                      Devin Wyatt

                      Let me know what your VAR says! I'll be talking to mine this week as well and we can compare notes. I am also frustrated and annoyed at SOLIDWORKS for their strategy. At the very least I would have hoped they provide a tool to us to do this ourselves. I understand in the past it was optional to move to PDM, but now that they are forcing us I would expect them to make it easy (since we literally have no real choice) or at the very least eat the cost of the VAR doing it for us.

                       

                      I'm also worried about the feature set of the new PDM Standard. As you have pointed out, it doesn't do all the things that the current free Workgroup PDM does. This is ridiculous in my mind. At the very least this new forced 'upgrade' needs to do what the old version could do. I can see how a lot of what it does is superior to WPDM's way, but things like not being able to automatically generate PDFs (no access to Tasks or Dispatch in Standard version) is frustrating.

                      • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                        Steven Will

                        They are going to tell you only they can do it because with my VAR its like 400-500$ an hour to migrate. It can take up to 24 hours depending on how much data you have in your vault. If you are tech savy, you can either write a program to do it, or find a program that someone else wrote.

                          • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                            Devin Wyatt

                            For real?! They charge by the hour for a program that is automated? I understand charging by the hour for the setup part, but that's ridiculous if they charge while it is running for 24hours!!!!

                             

                            I am pretty savvy, I double as our companies programmer, so I may be able to figure out some API stuff. Although I'm not sure that helps ... I don't think we have access to the PDM Standard API? Maybe there's an undocumented way of doing it - the official tool must have some sort of API it uses. Time to do some research.

                             

                            The only thing I really care about is getting the latest revisions out and being able to set them in the new PDM Standard. I've seen several 'solutions' where you create a workflow to increment the revision. Basically doing a 'if B-02' then 'increment Major 1 and Minor 1' which moves it to the correct revision. But you have to have a case for EVERY possible revision ... how that's even a suggested solution I don't know. Maybe if you only used letter or number numbers (A, B, C, ... etc) it would be manageable but as soon as you have multiple components it becomes ridiculous. And it turns out it's not even an option with PDM Standard because we don't have access to automatic workflow transitions!!

                              • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                Steven Will

                                I found a program that someone wrote that did the same thing a while ago. Cant remember for the life of me where it was but I know they exist. What I am probably going to do is get away from Solidworks. One function that I could not live without thats in WPDM and not PDM standard is the fact that it produces a PDF for you when you have it checked in. In order to unlock this feature you have to pay more for EPDM. It seems like all they want is more money. For this reason and many more, when WPDM stops being supported, i'm switching to a different program. Have you looked into any other programs?

                                 

                                I forgot to mention the classes which you can take for like a grand or something ridiculous.

                                  • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                    Devin Wyatt

                                    I haven't seriously considered any other programs since I assumed the migration was going to be fairly straight forward (and cheap).

                                     

                                    We do have another document management system we use (M-Files) which has been great for our office documents. But I don't think it would be happy with SOLIDWORKS files. I'm sure they could be put in there, but revisioning and all that would be difficult. Plus side is we have the full version of M-Files so we can do scripting and all that. Could probably make something work for revisioning ... but it doesn't integrate with SOLIDWORKS so that's a non-starter I think.

                                     

                                    Do you have any suggestions for other software I could look at? Free is appealing to me ... which is why PDM Standard is where I was looking at going. I already spend a ton on SOLIDWORKS every year (for the small company we are) so I don't really want to spend even more on some other program.

                                      • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                        Steven Will

                                        I am looking into new programs now for myself and my company. I would talk to other companies that have a similar program to solidworks, solidedge, and say " Right now im using solidworks, but the price is what is forcing me to find a different program, what deals can you give me?" You can also try talking to your VAR now and asking what deals they can get you. The price of the data transfer was just for my VAR, Fisher Unitech, in Ohio/Michigan. the price could vary where you are. The best thing I can say is do it NOW, dont wait until they stop supporting, because then you will be in a rush. Price out a bunch of different programs, see what each one offers. Most VAR's want to keep you, so they will try and give you the best deal if you ask for it.

                              • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                Devin Wyatt

                                Hi Prasad,

                                 

                                Thank you for the detailed response. I will definitely go with the one Root Folder and one Vault layout. No point over complicating things.

                                 

                                I think moving toolbox/design library in first and then my other assemblies will be the way to go. I did some testing of that and it seems to work pretty smoothly. All references are found in their new locations automatically. I guess just the fact that they are in the vault makes them easy to find? I should have had my design libraries in my old vault too - several times I've re-arranged the structure of my design library and it always breaks references.

                                 

                                I should be talking with my VAR sometime this week (waiting for them to get back to me). Our vault is pretty simple, no lifecycles at all, and I'm the only user. I do have quite a few projects, probably 20 or so and then 1-5 sub-projects within each of those. Total files in the vault is about 4,000 which includes drawings. Probably half of that is what I would call 'legacy'. Perhaps I will just export that manually somewhere and as you said bring it into the new vault as needed.

                              • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                Chris Saller

                                The VAR's do have a program that they charge $ to convert the data for you.

                                I suggest update your vault first, then make a copy of it to another server. Ask your VAR for support to update the copied vault to PDM Std, do a test here until you understand how to do it and how it works. Then you can update the real vault.

                                • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                  Peter Farnham

                                  Hi Devin,

                                   

                                  I am going through the same at the moment.

                                   

                                  Be prepared to pay BIG and I really do mean BIG huge bucks for changing to Solidworks PDM.

                                  You WILL need training as it is completely different to workgroup, worse still is that the same terminology is used but means something totally different!!

                                   

                                  PDM Standard is rubbish if you use api or pdf.

                                   

                                  The only good thing is that HUGE amount of cash you will need to spend does include the data transfer from your old vault. Phew!

                                  P.S. you may need a new server depending on your current server's age.

                                   

                                  were-all-doomed.jpg

                                   

                                  Regards

                                  Pete

                                    • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                      Devin Wyatt

                                      Thanks for the input Pete. I'm thinking of skipping the training. I've used several different document management systems in the past (including setting them up) so I think I should be okay. I'm playing with the setup/admin side right now and it's all pretty straight forward. And the admin guide is actually pretty thorough. Are you saying they give you the file transfer for free if you sign up for the course? That's the other things about this - they somewhat expect people to take the course as well so it's a double whammy. Not only do we have to pay them to move our data to the new system, we then have to pay them to teach us how to use the new system! The system we never wanted in the first place!

                                       

                                      I think my server should be fine. It meets their minimum specs anyways. If performance is bad I'll consider upgrading it or moving it to our newer server (which is currently used for other things).

                                       

                                      Cheers,

                                      Devin

                                        • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                          Jim Steinmeyer

                                          Our VAR informed me that SW is not providing documentation about actually setting up the vault and migrating because they want vaults setup somewhat standard for service calls. For $1100 we can get 3 days of training and a template for setting up the vault. They will then get us started in migration and we will be able to complete the migration. Not sure if that's good or bad but it is what is available to us.

                                          • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                            Peter Farnham

                                            Hi Devin,

                                             

                                            No you get the free transfer for buying PDM Professional.

                                            $1100 Jim!

                                            It has cost us in the UK double that amount for training and then having to buy the software too, took us to $22,000 working on $2 to the £1, total.

                                             

                                            That 1 person vault training and 2 seats client training + PDM Professional install + subs.

                                             

                                            Regards

                                            Pete

                                              • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                Jim Steinmeyer

                                                $22,000 WOW! What a bargain for an included add-on! Good thing you aren't forced into it by having WorkGroup phased out or any thing. The quoted price for us is for 1 person's training and setting up Standard. We are looking at about $22,000 plus training if we go to Professional too. We are hoping that we can get by with Standard since we are just using  folders on a drive now.

                                          • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                            Devin Wyatt

                                            Just wanted to post an update on the progress I've made migrating my Workgroup PDM vault into PDM Standard WITHOUT ANY HELP FROM MY VAR. They are supposed to be calling me to discuss my options but so far not a peep from them. At this point I don't think I need them.

                                             

                                            I've managed to write a program (in c#) that used the Workgroup PDM API and took my vault and extracted all the latest versions to a folder structure that emulated my vault structure. I also had it extract every version of every file and save them into another folder structure, this one with a folder for each file and inside that folder all the different versions with the version appended as an extension. For example, a part named "Part1.sldprt" would have a "Part1.sldprt" folder and then inside "Part1.sldprt.A-01", "Part1.sldprt.A-02", etc. I'm going to save this somewhere for legacy purposes - I should now be able to track down any version of a file without needing to keep around my old Workgroup PDM vault or an old install of SolidWorks. I may revise how to handle the revisions, this was just a proof of concept for now.

                                             

                                            The next task was getting the latest revisions into PDM Standard. Well, I've pretty much got that sorted out now as well. The big problem I was having was how to increment the PDM Standard revisions to match existing part custom property revisions without the use of automatic transitions or any API access. I also didn't really want to deal with manually working with the SQL instance. I have found a solution that will work for me and it's pretty straight forward. I found out that it is possible to use the Set Revision function in PDM Standard to synchronize a revision (i.e. copy the custom property revision to the PDM Standard revision property) but for this to work the desired revision needs to be available in the 'New Revision' drop down (you can't just enter an arbitrary value here). What's in this drop down is determined by the Revision Numbers settings for the document's current workflow state. For example, if the workflow state has Revision Numbers set to increment Minor by 1 and set Major to 2, then the available options in the 'New Revision' drop down will be B-01 through B-26. Similarly, if you have a part that is C-04, you need that one to have C-01 through C-26 as available options.

                                             

                                            This is when it hit me - if I create a different state for each major revision, where each state has different Revision Numbers settings to provide the correct range of revisions, then this might just work! So, it was a bit of work to setup the workflow (30 minutes), but once it's setup, it literally takes only a few clicks to do everything else plus some time waiting for it to all happen. Note that I've only tried this on a small sampling of my vault so whether it works on the entire thing at once is still something I need to test.

                                             

                                            1. Setup an import workflow. This should have an initial state that all the files will go into (mark it as 'initial state' for now) and then have transitions to each of the major revision states. For me I have 6 revision states - A through F where each one has Revision Numbers settings to increment Minor by 1 and set Major to be equal to the one I want. So for the A state I set Major to 1, and for F state I set it to 6. Then setup your transitions from Initial state to each of the revision states. For each transition, add a Condition that looks at the Revision custom property and makes sure it contains the correct value. For example, in the B state transition, set a condition to check that Revision contains "B-". This saves us time later because we can select all files in vault, and then try to transition them to each of the revision states. Only the files that are of the correct major revision will make the transition each time (all others are blocked and remain at initial state). By the time you run through all 6 (or however many) transitions, all of your files should now be in one of the revision states. You will also need a transition from each of the revision states to your final released state. This transition should have no conditions or actions, you just want it to move them all to be Released or whatever.

                                             

                                            2. Now copy your entire vault into where you want it in PDM Standard. This will put the files in the initial state.

                                             

                                            3. Check in the files. This sets their internal revision to 1 and we don't have any Revision Numbers configured for the initial state so the revision should still be undefined.

                                             

                                            4. Now select all the files and go through changing the state to each of your revision states. For me this means selecting all files and trying to move them to each of my 6 revision states. Each time you try this it will move only the files that are the correct version to the state due to the condition for the transition. After doing this for each revision state all of your files should be in one of the revision states.

                                             

                                            5. Now for the magic. Select all of the files (or folders) and select the Set Revision option from the Modify menu. Now right-click in that dialog and select the "Update Data Card Variable of All Files" option. This will check the "Update Variable" box for every entry. You are also welcome to go through and check all the boxes if you really want ... with thousands of files I will choose the easy way out . After the boxes are checked, right click again and choose "Set All New Revision Values to Card Variable Value". This is the magic. It will select the appropriate New Revision to match the existing revision custom property! Click OK, wait a while, and that's done! You should now see that the Local Revision (gear) should match the Revision (gold nugget) and be whatever the file was when you imported it! Success!

                                             

                                            6. Now select all your files again and change state to the Released state (or whatever state you want to put your imported files in).

                                             

                                            7. After all your importing is complete, fix up your workflow so that new files go into a work in progress or whatever. I'm going to leave my import section in there for future use. Would be nice if we had access to multiple workflows in PDM Standard but we don't so my one workflow is going to have extra chunks that are only used for certain situations.

                                             

                                            If there's any interest I may write this up a bit clearer with screen shots and all that. I may also be willing to share my code, it's pretty hacky right now though so would take a lot of work to fix up and make easy to use. For now it would require opening the code in Visual Studio, modifying it as necessary, and running it. I'm just happy I was able to make something work without a penny spent to my VAR! And about a day worth of my time.

                                             

                                            Cheers,

                                            Devin

                                              • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                Steven Will

                                                Devin, its pretty funny that you answered your own question. Glad all of us could help you arrive to where you are now. I would greatly appreciate pictures, and maybe that program. I don't know much code so im not sure if i could change what you have to fit my needs. One question that i have is why did you extract all the latest version files into one folder, and all the older files into a different one? Is there a way to lump them all into one folder so I could check out a later revision, or is there a major disadvantage to lumping them into one folder?

                                                  • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                    Devin Wyatt

                                                    Haha, yeah I do that sometimes. I post something online and then I end up coming up with a solution myself Oh well, now at least hopefully someone else will find the info useful.

                                                     

                                                    I extract the latest versions to their own structure so that it was easier to import into PDM Standard (just copy/paste the whole tree). Then I extracted everything (including latest versions) into the archive structure where each file has a folder that contains all the revisions of that file (including latest revision). I hope that makes sense? This just gives me peace of mind that I have every version saved in a way that I can access it without any need for Workgroup PDM. Probably won't ever need it, but doesn't hurt to be prepared.

                                                     

                                                    I'll spend some time writing things up a bit clearer/with pictures and I'll clean up the program a bit too so that you can at least use it without having to manually enter things into the code itself (for example, currently the username/password and address of the vault to connect to is hard coded into the code. I can easily enough change it so that it prompts you for this information when you run it. Perhaps also give you some options for where to save the exported data.

                                                  • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                    Brian Hoerner

                                                    Devin,

                                                     

                                                    Just curious, how large is your current WPDM Vault size, and how many users do you have that will need to access PDM Standard?

                                                     

                                                    Brian

                                                    • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                      Chris Were

                                                      Hi Devin,

                                                       

                                                      Great job!  I am looking at doing something similar here; we are putting in PDM standard to replace our 2011 era PDM workgroup, and we aren't sure if the standard version's 10GB metadata will cope with our database; our vaultdata folder is around 400GB, but we have a trivial workflow with little or no custom metadata; its really just used as a pure version management repository.

                                                       

                                                      We have been quote some big dollars from our VAR to put in PDM pro, configure, train and migrate, all up over 30k USD, and if its not needed I certainly rather not spend it.

                                                       

                                                      I'm coming in a little cold to the PDMW API side of things but am competent writing software, Delphi being my goto tool.  I'd definitely be interested in seeing your C# code if that's possible?   

                                                       

                                                      Thanks,

                                                      Chris

                                                        • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                          Devin Wyatt

                                                          Hi Chris,

                                                           

                                                          In light of you showing some interest in my code, I took the day and cleaned it up significantly. I have hosted it in a public GIT repository on Bitbucket which you can find here: keosci / PDMW_Export — Bitbucket . From there you should be able to either clone the repository and go from there or if you go to the downloads section and then Tags tab you can download a .zip of the source code.

                                                           

                                                          The big thing I cleaned up was removing all my hard coded fields (server, username, password, etc) and providing command line options to set these. Feel free to use as is or to just use it to get a feel for how to work with the Workgroup PDM API. Note that I'm not a c# developer - this was really my first c# programming experience so it might not follow all (or any) best practices

                                                           

                                                          As for whether PDM Standard can handle your repository, I'm really not sure. Here's my numbers though: my database is currently about 28MB in size for a repository that is 4.2GB. Scaling that up I would expect around 3GB database for 400GB repository? Metadata-wise I'm pretty lean at this point with just the basics (Description, Number, Revision, Approved By, Approved On, Drawn By, Drawn On, Comments).

                                                           

                                                          I will say, after having completed my 'official' migration just this week, the biggest pain was references. Part of the problem being that I was also migrating my design libraries and toolbox into the vault (which I did first). Then it was a matter of going through all the assemblies (one by one) and using the update references tool to fix everything up before checking it in for the first time. The tool will automatically find the references once you tell it to look in the vault, but it's still something I had to do manually for every assembly. It took me the better part of a day to do this step. If you have 400GB repository, this might get crazy. Although if you don't restructure things like I did then maybe you will get lucky and not have this issue. For me it was my design library parts that had moved that caused the problems and also parts that are in a project different than he assembly (meaning the files are in a different folder). The potential problem if you don't do this is that things get checked in and these references are severed and it will be a TON of manual work to get them back.

                                                           

                                                          Long story short, do lots of testing first. Let me know if you have any questions about my code!

                                                           

                                                          Cheers,

                                                          Devin

                                                            • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                              Chris Were

                                                              Thanks Devin, that is awesome! 

                                                               

                                                              Before I can get properly into it we need to provivion the new server properly; after firing it up at the weekend it crashed the VMWare host (and with it the 5 virtual servers therein), and after beginning to install a copy of workgroup pdm server 2011 on it this morning... it did it again.  Some gnashing of teeth around the office as a result, and looks like I'll have to hold off until next weekend.

                                                               

                                                              I'll take a look at your code in the meantime.

                                                               

                                                              Thanks again,

                                                              Chris

                                                          • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                            Gordon Rigg

                                                            Devin Wyatt - I sent you a PM but I guess you didnt read it yet.

                                                            I look forward to extracting my data to windows file system using your code next week, when my IT colleague is back from vacation.

                                                             

                                                            Messing about with the workflow to achieve the revision matching does seem to have some drawbacks...

                                                            I can see how creating a state for each major revision works. I wonder why the minor revision 01-99 (in theory), stops at 26 in the drop down list? (though I don't think I went past 26 in my existing data...)

                                                            The problem is that if the files in the vault have been in a particular state, then that state can no longer be removed from the workflow, it can be disconnected, it will always count as one of the 10 states that are permitted (it seems like you can delete it, but if any file has been in that state when you save it reappears).

                                                            This means that you must keep careful documentation of your workflow, so you can recreate it by rearranging all the temporary states you had (there can only be 10 states, and there can only be a single transition from one state to another, but there can be multiple transitions leaving one state leading to different states.

                                                            It is very easy to accidentally reset or incorrectly set the PDM revision during there temporary transitions, and there is no easy way back, so it is essential to keep a backup set of data and work through it methodically so that when that happens you know where you are up to and which data to delete and re insert.

                                                             

                                                            Devin Wyatt I'd much appreciate comparing notes with you and also find out your experiences using your imported data the last couple of months.

                                                            Thanks for your work on this.

                                                            If you didn't finish assembling your guide on how to do all this I'd like to help gather that together and publish something as a guide to others.

                                                             

                                                            Gordon

                                                          • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                            Gordon Rigg

                                                            Its great to see that people are making progress on their own, and perhaps eventually we might reconstruct a method of migration that works, but that doesn't change the fact that solidworks should be providing that service for us.

                                                            I was encouraged to use Workgroup PDM by my VAR, and by the fact that it was included with our licences. We have only 3 users, and one retiring so possibly only two going forward. Using the windows files system only caused problems occasionally but SW support recommended that I we use workgroup PDM as a solution.

                                                            Its very dubious that we actually got any real added value from that move, we eliminated a few file sharing issues - but generated a whole load of extra procedural hassle, and had to invest in hardware for servers etc.

                                                            Now our data, our property, is locked into THEIR system. $22,000 ? forget that kind of fee. That is not happening. I would have to resign if it came to that kind of "ransom fee" to maintain access to our own intellectual property.

                                                            If I cannot transfer to PDM standard for a few hundred (rather than a few thousand) then PDM standard is a non starter. What
                                                            I need is not a way to migrate to that, I need a way to migrate my data back into a windows file system with the references restored.

                                                            Back to what I had before I took the bait and was hauled in, when they knew already they were pushing me into a system that was going to be killed off.

                                                            Then I guess I'll cancel all my maintenance and stick to 2016 forever, or migrate to another CAD product - that sounds like less work and less cost than moving to PDM standard anyway!

                                                            Actually I feel for the VAR, who has been put into such a bad position by Solidworks.

                                                            It is  unprofessional of Solidworks to do that.

                                                            • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                              Gordon Rigg

                                                              Thanks to Devin Wyatt's most excellent work, I now have all my WPDM data extracted into Windows folders with the project directory structure reproduced as windows folders ready to copy into PDM standard.

                                                               

                                                              Initially the extraction fell over at a particular file, which turned out to be archived (and also not in the vault). Not something I'd knowingly done. Anyway seems that file was lost anyway. I had to insert a new file (drawing) with the same filename to overwrite it to get rid of it.

                                                               

                                                              It is necessary to install visual studio 2013 (or later) to load Devin's files and create an executable. If you want my .exe drop me a message.

                                                               

                                                              Updating the files in PDM standard to reproduce the legacy revision status is the next problem. If you have a single part revision its easy - but if you have major and minor revisions its is more problematic. I will post some screenshots next week probably.

                                                                • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                                  Gordon Rigg

                                                                  A trap for the unwary.

                                                                  If you want to do any macro processing of your data, do it before you put it in PDM standard.

                                                                  For example, I have a macro that swaps drawing sheet formats to new ones. I will use it to swap my drawing sheet format to one that incorporates a field for file status.

                                                                  The macro I have works not only on a windows file structure, but also in the workgroup vault. I used it when we changed address, and again when we changed company name.

                                                                  But I must do this for may data before it is in PDM standard, as I will have no way to process the files automatically - as far as I know.

                                                                   

                                                                  Unless someone knows better?

                                                                • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                                  Gordon Rigg

                                                                  I wrote a step by step of what I did to get my data into PDM standard (attached)

                                                                  good luck, its no small job.

                                                                  Big thanks to Devin Wyatt

                                                                  The serious issue is restoring the links between assemblies.that is extremely laborious.

                                                                  The next issue is transferring legacy revision, for which the supplied tool is laughably inadequate.

                                                                   

                                                                  It seems to me that just a few days work by solidworks could have made this job really quite easy. Because its not quite possible to find an easy way to do each step, things don't quite work completely. But they chose not to do that work. They chose instead to make customers like me extremely unhappy!

                                                                  • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                                    Chris Saller

                                                                    I'm also currently working on getting ready to transition from PDMW to PDM.

                                                                    I'm having a tough time convincing mngmt to purchase EPDM.

                                                                    So, I'm currently working with IT to install PDM standard and slowly transfer data to test/learn the new system myself.

                                                                    • Re: Workgroup PDM to PDM Standard Migration
                                                                      Frank Sandoval

                                                                      Would anyone by chance be able to post a copy of the compiled version for download? I don't have a copy of Visual studio and wouldn't know how to use it to create the program to begin with.