11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2011 7:42 PM by Steven Patkus

    PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks

    David Hales
      We have been using DBWorks for the past 3 years. We have 25 users and 45000 documents being managed. Management is considering making a change and moving to PDMWorks Enterprise. Can anyone please give me the Pros & Cons of making the switch. Any info would be appreciated.

        • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
          Pete Yodis
          Could you list why you want to switch from DBWorks to PDMWorks Enterprise? 45,000 documents and their revisions is a lot of info to move... Hopefully there are some VERY good reasons for moving. I wouldn't mind hearing them.

            • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
              Neal Rusy
              I have worked with DBWorks and PDMWorks workgroup and right now hands down I prefer DB. I cannot reply on PDM enterprise but the customization for DB is far better than workgroup. The functionality and customization is much better in DB at least that's my opinion
            • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
              David Hales
              The reason the switch is being considered is that our VAR has severed ties with Mechworks. They now only support PDMWorks. We can still get tech support for DBWorks through Mechworks, but the feeling is that it would be beneficial to have our tech support under the same roof. That way there would be no finger pointing and they would be not be able to deny accountability.
                • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                  Spencer Smith
                  Hmm. I think I can lend some insight here, as I am 6mo into a new job where I now use PDMWE and used DBWorks for about 2.5yrs at previous job (admins for both).

                  Unfortunately, IMHO there are benefits to both and I only wish that the developers of each system were in tune with what their competition is doing well and make attempts to improve their respective products.

                  That being said, in general PDMWE is much better at a 'seamless' integration with SW and the interface is nearly brainless. DBWorks, on the other hand is much more powerful and has some out-of-the box features that are pretty slick - you don't realize how easy you had it until those features are gone.

                  Although PDMWE has made strides improving (actually, adding) BOM functionality with v2008, it still doesn't come close to how well DBWorks does it. Even from a UI standpoint, the ability to have the directory 'tree' behave like a BOM in DBWorks makes navigating a lot easier. Even though you can see the same file twice in the tree on the left, the actual file only exists in one place. This means that in PDMWE when you want to open a part that you have referenced from another project, you have to perform a search to figure out what directory that part exists in, because you can't even open a file from the BOM tab in PDMWE.
                  PDMWE virtual parts and virtual quantities...almost useless. DBWorks handles these with ease, as long as you use the DBWorks BOMs in your drawings (they take awhile to set up).

                  Another piece of critical functionality missing in PDMWE is instant notification of changed data. Say you are working on an assembly and your colleague is working on a child subassembly. In PDMWE, if he makes a change that affects the form/fit/function between the two, the only notification you get is a delayed red highlighting of the version -if- you happen to have the PDMWE flyout open on the right. With DBWorks, the instant that your colleague refreshes the new info to the DB, you get a pop-up window with a graphic of the new part asking if you want to ignore or load the new part. I used to take that functionality for granted - now with PDMWE each user has to be EXTREMELY aware of whether someone else is working on related information and use Get Latest Version religiously, otherwise you and your colleague can be working in two different directions for days on end.

                  In DBWorks, you can turn on 'linked drawing' mode. Essentially, this treats a drawing and it's child as one with regard to check in/out and revisions/approvals. What a time-saver. PDMWE forces you to perform these tasks separately, although I have had a few occasions where this comes in handy.

                  This one blows my mind...DBWorks handles configurations better! Not only are configurations represented as separate database entries (as if they were separate files), but you have the option to point all configs to a single drawing (think tabulated drawing) or have a separate drawing for each config - this is file-specific, not a global setting. Nice.

                  Here's what PDMWE does well by comparison:
                  -Handling of non-CAD filetypes is a breeze in PDMWE. In DBW, it takes some careful configuration and usually some scripting from your reseller, but ultimately the same functionality can be reached.
                  -Administration of PDMWE is very straightforward by comparison. DBW takes some getting used to, but ultimately you have more configuration options and more control over how data is handled.
                  -In PDMWE, user-level control is included. For DBW to have user-level control you have to buy the Enterprise version.
                  -PDMWE can handle persons working offsite easily, since files are copied and worked on locally (offline). Even the Enterprise version of DBW requires constant connection to the server, making offline changes impossible. For DBW to do this, you have to go with DB site replication or use the web server add-on. DBW gets expensive here.

                  All that being said - it's pretty obvious that PDMWE will be around at least as long as SW. From what I have seen, MechWorks is losing market share in the US and as a result is not selling as many seats of DBWorks as they would like. On the upside, the European market for DBWorks is strong so there probably isn't any risk of the company folding, although it may become difficult to get support here in the US for tweaking those pesky scripts.

                  I'm sure that there are more little things I have come across that are easier/harder in PDMWE, but those are the major things. I'd be happy to provide some insight to any PDMWE developers out there who will give a listen. I think my VAR is getting tired of hearing "Well, in DBWorks I could..."

                  The big one is BOM functionality. PDMWE is still in it's infancy here, and even though they added ERP integration options, the lack of robust BOM functionality would give any ERP integration fits. A few more advances here and PDMWE would be top notch.

                    • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                      Neal Rusy
                      Spencer good call! I do the same in as much as DBW does this or wow all I had to do is this in DBW. I feel far less problems in DBW than in PDMW. I have been using PDMW for almost a year now and hate it.I don't like that every time I want the stuff I am working on to get backed up you have to check it in leaves room for mistaken bump in rev! I know I can backup my working folder but that is a PITA so much easier to work off of 1 file location. It's nice to see someone else going down the same road with the same feeling about the software
                      • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                        dan burmenko


                        "I'd be happy to provide some insight to any PDMWE developers out there who will give a listen. I think my VAR is getting tired of hearing "Well, in DBWorks I could..."

                        Well I'd be happy to discuss this subject with you or whoever else wants to provide some insight.

                        Fill out the PDM survey and provide your contact information there. Mention your thoughts on DBWorks in the questions, and I will get in touch with you. or Let me know another way to get in touch with you.

                        • Re: PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                          Steven Patkus

                          We are currently a SW/DBWorks house.  We have had DBWorks for about 6-7 years.  We recently became part of a larger organization that is looking for a single solution PDM for multiple sites.  I am putting together a comparison of DBWorks vs. EPDM.  Do you have any updated information/thoughts?  Your comparison back in 2008 was very thorough.  It looks like many of the issues seperating them are still the same.

                      • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                        David Hales

                        Thanks for the info, especially you Spencer. I am going to pass your opinions on to management. Maybe this will help sway the decision to keep what we have.

                        Thanks again,
                          • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                            Spencer Smith
                            No problem.

                            Also, let me clarify to anyone reading this posting...my intent is not to 'bag' on PDMWE at all, or even pick one over the other. PDMWE is an excellent app, and I hope that SW continues to develop the product and refine it to be something that rivals the PDM apps out there that run the big companies. For right now, PDMWE is still pretty new and has some definite maturing before it can be a true enterprise application, working in tandem with ERP/MRP systems to make the product development world a less hostile place for us designers and engineers.

                          • PDMWorks Enterprise vs DBWorks
                            Alessandro Frattini
                            my opinion, the greatest difference between DBWorks and PDMWorks Enterprise is that DBWorks Enterprise is "almost" a complete solution.
                            For example, tools that are installed "free", a small / medium company can start work without surprises, having always available at least one script that can solve an urgent problem.
                            PDMWorks Enterprise living instead on consulting, the basic engine is certainly reliable (also though the "vault" has serious limitations in my opinion), but needs a consultant for the implementation, which sometimes takes days and days of programming.
                            The result is that the basic engine is guaranteed by SW, but the effective implementation is the task of the various resellers / consultants.
                            This can give problems on interchange of documents from one installation to another, if you are pushed customization too forward.
                            Another simple example for the model "shared documents" of DBWorks, against the "vault" PDMWorks Enterprise:
                            Upgrade from one version to another SW (2007 to 2008).
                            The process, which is typically made from DBWorks DIRECTLY on file server, PDMW Enterprise needs (as in all systems "Vault") of a local-transfer / conversion / re-transfer-on-vault.
                            Note that some customers have about 1 million files, and then imagine what could count speed is this process.
                            Of course I could speak here also of other "little" details such the ability of DBWorks to manage configurations in a "smart" mode, for example, with filters that allow you to work with a model in which only some parts are treated as "configurated".
                            I could also mention the ability of DBWorks to manage cut-list and then produce the BOM.
                            But I do not want to seem too partisan...