I just had an interesting discussion with my VAR about migration from Workgroup PDM to PDM standard.
Here are a few nuggets:
It is not expected that users will implement PDM standard without help and training from the VAR. Cost approx £1500 per customer, £1000 for implementation and £500 for training.
Almost all Workgrpoup PDM users installed it without any training, as I did. There is lots of useful info on how to do it on youtube etc, as its a mature product that hasn't changed much recently. As PDM standard is new there is little help from others with experience!
Transferring data from Workgroup PDM to PDM standard is a very complex task and the tools for doing it will only be released to the VAR and not to users. The VAR has enough difficulty. They estimate three days to transfer my data. So I'm looking at £2500 plus £1000, for implementation, the training included in the £2500 - at least, if it goes well. Yes, if they cant get it to work by the third attempt (they are allowing for three attempts as that seems to be the norm...) then I will have to pay more.
Workgroup PDM will not just stop having support, it will simply not work at all beyond 2018. ie any data you have in Workgrpoup PDM will not be accessible if you upgrade to 2018. or at least that is the plan so far.
Workload on VARs to provide help to migrate data is high, and it is not advisable to wait and see or your data migration might be delayed and hence your implementation of 2018 might not be possible. Though it sounds to me like it is very sensible to let your VAR learn how to transfer the data efficiently with as many other customers as possible before you queue up for the service!
Explaining to customers about this extra cost to transfer from one "included in the licence" product to another "included in the licence" product is proving very awkward and customers are not at all happy about the unexpected cost. I am not the first to feel I am held to ransom over access to my own data.
I deeply regret implementing workgroup PDM, and locking my design data into a system that my VAR knew full well had limited lifespan when they were advising me to do it (not that they knew the resultant data migration costs would be so crazy).
What do I get from PDM? (compared to windows file system)
- Where used data, very useful at times.
- Ability to refer to past versions, well sort of, looking at past versions without overwriting the latest is not so easy - well I used that 3 times in 2 years. I had the last 6 weeks available on std file system backups anyway, and an archive of previous SW versions.
- Thank goodness I didn't spend time on any API stuff in workgroup as PDM standard doesn't have any of that.
- Better file sharing and file locking - but my colleague retired so we are now only two users rather than three, so that advantage is pretty limited.
- More hassle than I had before
What advantage will PDM standard have over Workgroup PDM.
Well, of course its newer, better technology. Its a much better system. It has a clear upgrade path to PDM pro (enterprise PDM) (which I need about as much as SAP).
It seems as far a the user experience is concerned there is no advantage. Only a loss of API functionality. It is easier for the VAR and Solidworks to support as its the same (but limited) product as EPDM so they save cost and training and we pay to migrate our data or lose access to it.
So my conclusion is to wait, surely there is no way users are going to take this costly hit to migrate.
SW 2018 will arrive and users will not move to it until a migration path to PDM std from WPDM is provided at a sensible cost, or in a way they can implement themselves.
Meanwhile, I will be looking to find out, not how to implement PDM std on my own, but how to extract my data back to a windows file system myself.
I'm sure that can done for a lot less than the cost of the data migration.