9 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2018 6:32 PM by M. D.

    PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?

    Gordon Rigg

      Now that with 2018 WPDM will no longer work, how are you finding PDM standard compared to WPDM?

       

      I'm using PDM standard.

      Its OK.

       

      Problems I have had

      • Inexplicable issues where users cannot rename of delete files from PDM due to insufficient privileges. No explanations for this, the issue randomly appears and goes away. When it occurs it doesn't matter who you are, the administrator is just as stuck as anyone else.
        We just leave that delete/rename job and try again tomorrow - that usually works.
      • My toolbox is in the vault. But it seems only one machine (irrespective of logged in user) can configure hardware. Our VAR gave up and just suggested we use that machine if we want another size of screw...we hope a version upgrade might cure that...
      • I'm still on 2016 SP5, one reason being that the version update is more complex than it was with WPDM. I plan to update soon and will go to 2018 with the vault first as it can go two years ahead of the application.
      • Although I have tried to keep the workflow simple, functionality restrictions still mean all 10 states are used for something. I'm having to go through temporary states just to get the revision updates to work because I have a major and minor revision (as was a standard feature of WPDM).
      • I get there is only one workflow, but there is also no way to save that workflow to a file. No way to restore a workflow if you didn't like your edits. All you can do is save a screenshot...
      • The settings and functions of a transition or work state cannot be copied edited or saved to use on another very similar transition or work state. This makes setting things up extremely time consuming, and of course the final thing is just "there", it cannot be recorded easily outside the system as far as I can tell.
      • Using PDM standard has introduced extra unnecessary complexity for my users (compared to WPDM) that quite often wastes a lot of time for them and me.
      • Sometimes the floating license hasn't released correctly meaning we run out of PDM licences even though we have not really. The fix is just to "try again".
      • VAR support is very hit and miss. There is little knowledge available and you usually need "the person who knows about PDM". A cut off time then seems to operate because they simply cannot spend too long helping anyone with PDM issues (see unsolved issues with licence release, toolbox configuration, file rename and delete etc above!).
      • I see loss of API functionality as a major disadvantage. Some customers must be absolutely spitting feathers over that!
      • I spent a lot of personal time saving my employer the cost of transferring our legacy data by doing it myself rather than paying the SW "ransom fee" to maintain access to our own data. Initially my VAR was refusing to provide ANY support for my PDM installation unless I spent time and $$$ on a training course with them. I would say I now have limited support only (though when we reached agreement about that they didn't say it would be limited, but its probably limited for everyone as mentioned above). TBH I don't really hold this against the VAR as SW have stitched them up good and proper!

       

      On the plus side, it is possible to look at previous versions and revisions of the files before actually overwriting the latest. That is a functionality improvement on WPDM.

       

      In summary:

      I do not think I see any actual user benefit overall from this new system compared to WPDM

      (other than the fact it will actually operate for the foreseeable future).

        • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
          Jim Sculley

          Gordon Rigg wrote:

           

          Now that with 2018 WPDM will no longer work, how are you finding PDM standard compared to WPDM?

           

          I'm using PDM standard.

          Its OK.

           

          Problems I have had

          • Although I have tried to keep the workflow simple, functionality restrictions still mean all 10 states are used for something. I'm having to go through temporary states just to get the revision updates to work because I have a major and minor revision (as was a standard feature of WPDM).

          I'm using Pro, not Standard but the limitations I see state that you are allowed two revision schemes.  I have two Revision Number Components (Letters and Numbers) and one Revision Number scheme consisting of the two components. This allows me to revise things like this:

           

          A...B...C..0...0A...0B...1...2...2A...2B...3 and so on.

           

          Are you sure you can't set it up to work the way you need it to?  Revisions in PDM are tricky, and sometimes what you think is a limitation is just a problem in your implementation.

           

           

          • I get there is only one workflow, but there is also no way to save that workflow to a file. No way to restore a workflow if you didn't like your edits. All you can do is save a screenshot...

          Is there no File....New Export File option in the Admin tool for Standard?  In Pro, it lets you export the settings for the entire vault or just the things you want (and anything they depend on).

           

           

          • The settings and functions of a transition or work state cannot be copied edited or saved to use on another very similar transition or work state. This makes setting things up extremely time consuming, and of course the final thing is just "there", it cannot be recorded easily outside the system as far as I can tell.

          You can't right click states and transitions in the Workflow editor and Copy...Paste in Standard?

           

           

          • I see loss of API functionality as a major disadvantage. Some customers must be absolutely spitting feathers over that!

          This was a boneheaded move on SOLIDWORKS' part.  The replacement feature should never has less functionality that the original feature.

            • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
              Gordon Rigg

              Jim Sculley thanks for the response!

              Regarding the revisions

              workstates.png

              I could not get a single transition with a choice of minor or major, and then only one transition is allowed between two states, so I have to go through an unnecessary state to got a major revision rather than a minor revision. There was a fair amount of discussion on this is this was the best we could come up with.

               

              Is there no File....New Export File option in the Admin tool for Standard?  In Pro, it lets you export the settings for the entire vault or just the things you want (and anything they depend on).

               

              I do see an export option. I guess I need to try to apply it. I'm a little nervous about losing my in use workflow setup...

              I made some export files, and they are offering to open in PDM.... but I have no test environment to try them in...

              The first export process seemed to offer options of what to export. Subsequent ones didn't and are much smaller files. I need to look into this functionality somehow. Perhaps it is restricted to a single export set. Looks like it should be investigated at the beginning and understood before going live with a system

              I don't think its possible to build a separate test system to play with. At least not without taking the live one down for a while.

               

              You can't right click states and transitions in the Workflow editor and Copy...Paste in Standard?

              Yes, sort of. As i have used work states up to a limit all I get on paste is 'sorry mate you have no spare work states' (when I thought I was pasting a transition). So without deleting some work states I cant test it. Now all my work states have been used by something (transitioned through by at least one file) I cant delete them, only edit them into new things...unless I delete the files that passed through them. So catch22 on copy and paste for me!

               

               

                • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                  Jim Sculley

                  Gordon Rigg wrote:

                  ...

                  ...

                  ...

                  I could not get a single transition with a choice of minor or major, and then only one transition is allowed between two states

                  Why do you say only one transition is allowed between states?  PDM Standard doesn't allow Parallel Transitions, but those are a different thing altogether.  If it doesn't allow multiple unrelated transitions from a state, the documentation does not reflect that.  I see that Javelin lists this as a limitation, but the EPDM docs do not.  That limitation would really cripple PDM to the point of uselessness in my opinion.  If this truly is the case, ignore the stuff below about revisions and jump to my comments after.

                   

                  Here's a workflow that can change the letter or number portion of the revision when switching between two states, depending on which transition you use:

                  A new file is created and checked in.  It has no revision at all:

                  The Submit transition gives it a revision of A-01:

                    A Minor Rev transitions yields revision  A-02 and subsequent Minor Rev transitions yield A-03, A-04, and so on:

                  A Major Rev transition at this point yields B-01:

                  Another Major Rev gives us C-01

                  If this is what you are looking for, let me know and I'll post the detailed setup.  If it isn't what you need, explain your desired revision scheme with the level of detail I provided above.

                   

                   

                  I do see an export option. I guess I need to try to apply it. I'm a little nervous about losing my in use workflow setup...

                  I made some export files, and they are offering to open in PDM.... but I have no test environment to try them in...

                  The first export process seemed to offer options of what to export. Subsequent ones didn't and are much smaller files.

                   

                   

                  If you right click the vault name and select Export, you will get an export (.cex) file with everything in it.  If you select File....Export from the menus, you get an empty file that you can drag items from the left into.  If you drag a workflow into the file, you'll get the workflow, and users/groups with permissions to the workflow, any variables altered by the workflow, etc.  The problem with these export files is that they do not overwrite existing items when you import them.  So, you cannot export them to a test system, make changes and then reimport.  The import will create copies of everything instead.  So My Workflow  becomes My Workflow(2) and so on.  Instead of re-importing you have to meticulously keep track of what you change and then duplicate the changes in the original system. Very annoying.  Vote for SPR 987655 to allow comparing of vault setups.

                   

                  You can set up a quick and dirty test environment by simply right clicking the vault name in the admin tool and exporting to a .cex file.  Then create a second vault and import the settings to it.  I say 'quick and dirty' because the database tables between them will not have the same IDs so comparing them is pretty much impossible.  The proper way to set up your development vault is to follow the instructions in solution S-017826 in the knowledge base.

                   

                  You can't right click states and transitions in the Workflow editor and Copy...Paste in Standard?

                  Yes, sort of. As i have used work states up to a limit all I get on paste is 'sorry mate you have no spare work states' (when I thought I was pasting a transition).

                  That's a bug:

                   

                    • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                      Gordon Rigg

                      ONE TRANSITION.png

                      I am stuck with one transition, and yes, it adds a lot to the effort for the user to manage workflows and revisions as there are a few work states existing only to pass through (and there are also no automatic transitions either!). This restriction makes the 10 state restriction very much more restrictive than it first sounds!

                      The inability to delete work states that have been used by any file still in the vault adds to the problem. The reason is that in order to sort my files, get all the links working and get the old WPDM revision status synchronized there was a whole different workflow, using most of the ten allowed,  that afterward has been edited into my working workflow (because the used workflow states cannot be deleted, only edited).

                       

                      I had not realised i could have more than one vault. I thought that too was restricted to one.

                      I will definitely have a look at that. Thanks!

                      My workflow cannot become my workflow2 (probably) because there can only be one in each vault. I have to import the workflow into a new vault...

                       

                      I will investigate adding myself to SPR965569. That restriction is annoying.

                       

                      I can only hope that in future releases (I am on 2016 still) there is some change to the restrictions in response to feedback. Unless they envisage PDM standard as a taster product (like the express products!) Groan!

                       

                      Thanks again Jim Sculley!

                      • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                        Gordon Rigg

                        Of course you cannot add yourself to an SPR unless it is an enhancement. If it says Enhancement:No you must hassle your VAR to add you to the SPR. This is a great way of increasing the popularity of enhancements and reducing the number of people reporting bugs.

                        A nice piece of creative accounting indeed.

                  • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                    Abilash V.

                    PDM standard is just a way to push customer to buy PDM Professional.There is no full grown feature.It is just like a 30 day trial version for PDM.Based on functionalities WPDM is superior to PDM standard.

                      • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                        Gordon Rigg

                        Abilash V. wrote:

                         

                        PDM standard is just a way to push customer to buy PDM Professional.There is no full grown feature.It is just like a 30 day trial version for PDM.Based on functionalities WPDM is superior to PDM standard.

                        Well not really. Because it isn't limited to 30 days or anything like that.

                        It does seem that the functionality is restricted in a rather random and ill thought out way. But there is absolutely zero chance of most of us investing in PDM professional. That is a Disneyland price compared to the functionality most of us actually need, quite apart from the increased overhead of managing it.

                        From my experience with PDM standard so far I can see that the main problem is it is more complex and flexible than it needs to be. They could have locked many more things down so that only WPDM like options were available and that would have made it actually much more attractive to existing users.

                        Instead they locked out API functionality that was available to existing WPDM users.

                        But we all know that existing users are the last in line for consideration - we have already bought in.

                          • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                            John Wayman

                            Roughly 6 weeks in from migrating to PDM Standard from WPDM, by coincidence there was a staff survey, asking for people's observations about the state of the company and what is good and/or bad about working here.

                             

                            One of the responses went along the lines of:

                            'The introduction of the new PDM system has been a godsend. Whilst budgetary constraints prevented us installing the one with all the bells and whistles, this one is a good step in the right direction'.

                             

                            We have been using PDM Standard 2018 with SW 2017, but this week we moved to SW 2018 SP3.

                            So far, so good...

                             

                             

                            Just thought you might like to know.

                             

                            John

                        • Re: PDM standard. What do you think of it so far?
                          M. D.

                          I get there is only one workflow, but there is also no way to save that workflow to a file. No way to restore a workflow if you didn't like your edits. All you can do is save a screenshot...

                          That sounds cruel and unusual!  PDM Pro is pretty nice.

                           

                          And you are paying for PDM support as the yearly maintenance so they better offer you FULL support or else I'm sure Solidworks would like to hear about your failure of a VAR!