6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2017 6:03 AM by Marijn Van Den Heuvel

    Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?

    Samuel Bailey

        I recently called up the Australian retailer for Solidworks (Intercad) about obtaining the Serial Number for PDM Standard, they informed me that I should be aware of what I'm doing because if I mess it up it'll cost a lot of money for them to come out and fix it. They asked if I've used SQL servers before and they wanted to make sure I know what I'm doing. I've never had anything to do with SQL servers, though I've managed to set one up and I'm half way to setting up the PDM Standard. So my question is, how could I screw it up? I know the purpose of PDM and have used it in another work place for a number of years (I believe it's called Enterprise PDM..?) - I just never set it up. Is there something I can mess up with the SQL server? There's a lot of forums on setting up a PDM and things to consider etc, but just wanted to know where I could go wrong. I'm the only Solidworks user at my company, we don't have loads of drawings, and when they need one printed they ask me to print it. No one accesses the current drawings/models except from me. All the drawings/models are stored on a Windows Server 2012 machine, also on a side note - I'm informed that it's best to set up the SQL server on the Windows Server 2012 machine - is this correct? I'm no expert on servers, I'd just like to use PDM Standard.


      Intercad mentioned that they can drive (over 800 km) to come and set it up for us, but it'll cost $3000+. There's no way my work place would pay for that when what I've already made works just fine - it's just that a PDM system would be better. So I guess if there's a lot that I can mess up then I'd forgo using PDM Standard. What do you think?

        • Re: Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?
          Jeff Holliday

          That price seems excessive to me for helping to setup pdm standard. I would think there could be some remote access to your computer which should allow a VAR to help you through the process. If you were looking to use the PDM Pro version there are more options available which may justify the higher cost. Regardless of which version of pdm it is always a good idea to make a plan of how you plan to use it before jumping in with both feet.


          All companies do need to balance what seems like high setup cost with a reasonable estimate of what any lost time (or worse, lost files) will cost overall.

          • Re: Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?
            David Stone



            Having just recently launched PDM Standard within our company, I would strongly suggest you get help setting it up.  There are so many options and the 200 page administration manual doesn't necessarily cover these.  Also PDM Standard has a number of restrictions compared to the pro-version which we also had to work around.  It still took me weeks of testing and tweaking to get the system set up the way we wanted it so I have no idea how long it would take if I hadn't used the VAR for training and implementation.  We paid a lot more than $3000 for this as well so while it may seem like a big cost, I think you'll find that it could be worth it.


            However, even though we had VAR assistance, we still set up a sacrificial test vault rather than jumping in with both feet.  I'm sure you could set up a trial PDM vault and get an idea of whether you could wing it alone or if you need outside help.  The SQL setup was fairly straightforward and even though we initially set it up incorrectly, I was able to edit the settings.


            Hope this helps

            • Re: Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?
              Ian Banfield

              Hi Samuel,

              I have just gone thru this with Intercad & was pleased with what they did.

              I still have a lot to do in moving the data across, but was glad of the help.

              It is not cheap but am told that they will help with any problems in the vault as they set it up.

              There PDM expert is very helpful.


              • Re: Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?
                Tim Webb

                Hi Samuel,

                My apologies for being blunt. You and your management team need to hear this.


                These questions should guide your decision to either get help setting it up or try to white knuckle it yourself. I would strongly recommend spending a little extra money to get this right. Thank God it's not $10,000, right?!


                Here are some questions to consider:

                1. How much does your company value "their" product revenue data? Bear in mind, this isn't your data, it's seed that grows their product revenue. Since you have no experience with it, do you really want your company's data to be your prototype?
                2. What you "made/built" today works but is your company wanting a solution that they can grow into or grow out of? Ask them. Give them some skin in this game. Consult the stakeholders.
                3. Your #1 priority is your employer's business of doing business. What if you leave the company? Who will support what you "made"? That could leave them in a non-workable position and as a business leader, I would actually prefer to spend the money to get a supported data management solution than keep what you built. Sorry, that's business.


                My clients who try installing and configuring this system on their own are the ones calling me later to help them get restarted with PDM after they've spent a year or more and lost significant time trying to make it work only to realize they created a mess to cleanup. If you have never installed SOLIDWORKS PDM with SQL, let those experienced with it handle this one for you.


                If the travel is driving the cost, ask them to quote this work doing remote web session setup. SW Resellers in the US do this all the time and its completely possible to do all configuration and launch remotely. My company is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Solution Partner and we do 90% of our PDM consulting remotely as well.


                Hope this helps,

                Tim CEPA


                • Re: Should I get a Solidworks retailer to set up PDM Standard?
                  Marijn Van Den Heuvel

                  I stumbled agros this topic.

                  I do not agree with most of the users here.

                  Do it yourself.

                  Setup a test system.

                  Start using it slowly.

                  Do not be afraid, the options are not that big.

                  I don't hink you need some specialist that as they say know better what you need than yourself.

                  This advice is probably to late for the topic starter, but I hope I can help others that stumble across this topic.

                  And VAR should stop seeding fear in their customers!!!