37 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2019 4:25 AM by John Wayman

    PDM Standard Implementation

    Peter Fortin

      Has anyone taken a company from nothing to PDM Standard?

       

      I'm not too worried about the data migration, the VAR will be handling most of that.

       

      What I need to come up with a plan for is what to do once we're migrated. There is very little in the way of (reliable) meta data, and file organization is, let's just say, "quirky" to be kind. So I'm curious what people have done to schedule organizing files and adding meta-data? How have people reacted to adding the meta data?

       

      And I'd love to see what people think are the most important things on data cards... especially from people who work HEAVILY with configurations, as we do.

       

      Thanks all!

        • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
          Chris Saller

          We are in the process. I'm waiting for our IT guy and VAR to get the process rolling.

          • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
            Nadia Shea

            'What' data you put on cards is highly subjective..  I'm sure lots of people will give you lots of great suggetsions.

             

            For me, the more variables you have, the more critical it is to make sure the card layout is clean and effective. Make use of tabs. My rule of thumb is to design a card with the main tab intended to be 90% populated, 90% of the time.

             

            The only time users really distrust card is when they're empty (no one else is filling them out, so why should they?) or cluttered/hard to read.

             

            I make a 'MASTER' card for all SOLIDWORKS files types, that includes everything. Once' it's done, I save them to the respective file types and delete the un-needed variables per file type (Ex. Material is quite often left off of the assembly card). This way, the interface is identical for all file types and users can develope their 'muscle memory' and you don't have to waste HOURS trying to get a card boxes to match in location.

             

            Last tip I use alot is in KB: S-053208 - How to import variable data from Excel into PDM. It's a little customer program. While most data migration services are concentrated on the actual files themselves, you might be identifying new variables you want that aren't necessary on the files. This tool can help you populate your newly migrated files with the newly defined variables in a bulk method.

            • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
              Christian Chu

              Peter Fortin wrote:

               

              Has anyone taken a company from nothing to PDM Standard?

               

              I'm not too worried about the data migration, the VAR will be handling most of that.

               

              What I need to come up with a plan for is what to do once we're migrated. There is very little in the way of (reliable) meta data, and file organization is, let's just say, "quirky" to be kind. So I'm curious what people have done to schedule organizing files and adding meta-data? How have people reacted to adding the meta data?

               

              And I'd love to see what people think are the most important things on data cards... especially from people who work HEAVILY with configurations, as we do.

               

              Thanks all!

              I'm not clear of your question. From nothing to PDM Standard, why you worried about data migration? as I'd suspect you're upgrading from wPDM to PDM standard?

              • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                Peter Fortin

                Follow up question:

                If I have 35 files, and I want to associate them with a product. Is there a way to change all 35 of the data cards at once? Or do I have to do this 1 at a time?

                  • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                    Nadia Shea

                    PDM Standard- this will be challenging. 1 at a time.

                     

                    PDM Pro - Added ‘Dispatch’ function will allow you to do this in bulk.

                    • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                      Austin Broeker

                      Like Nadia said, you would have to do this one at a time, unless this is a variable that can be set when you first add the files to the PDM vault. We have PDM Pro so I'm not 100% sure on what you will/won't have access to, but I think you should be able to specify values that variables should default to when they are first added to the vault, and you should be able to configure the value based on other conditions. You would have to figure out what conditions to read and how they would be set though.

                       

                      Also, this would only work if you have this set up before adding the files to the vault - once they are saved in the vault you would have to update them one-by-one.

                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                        Martin Solem

                        To bulk update data cards you can also:

                        1 - use the Update values in files option, which will use folder data card values to update file data cards inside that folder.

                        2 - use a transition in the workflow to update value.

                         

                        Martin

                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                        Phil Johnston

                        One important aspect to consider is how your current document control system is set up. Meaning, what variables and data are you tracking, making revisions on, and so on?

                         

                        So make sure to capture/include that on your data cards. PDM configuration and data cards directly both have specific tools for addressing configurations, but what you need from them will be unique to your workflow and product structure.

                        • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                          Dan Harlan

                          First, what is your intended end state?

                          - Are you looking for a fully implemented PDM system that has workflows, electronic signatures, Change Management, lifecycle states...?

                          - Are you looking just to have a place to store files shared by users?

                          - Are you goin got only be storing only SW files or all engineering data? Are you going to be storing other company data?

                           

                          Then ask yourself things like;

                          - What groups/roles/functions of people are going to have access to the data?

                          - Is that data of different classes? i.e. can Group A only access some data or does everyone interact with all the data the same?

                          - What states does this data have? i.e. "In Work" "Under Review" "Approved" "Released"...

                          - What attributes/variables/metadata does each type of data have?

                           

                          Then, go back and revise all your requirements to limit the different groups and data classes and states etc. In short, simplify! Try to use the same variables whenever possible, use the same workflows and approval and everything else whenever possible.

                           

                          Then figure out how you are going to get "there" from where you are now.

                          • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                            Thomas Voetmann

                            Just thoughts.

                            Assuming you have different part numbers assigned to different configurations on the same part (we often have 50+ different items/part numbers in the same part file)

                            Remember to set the vaiable to write to the Configuration Specific tab on the part/assembly properties. Also delete any values on the Custom tab that might be duplicate to any in the Configuration Specific.

                            Make sure your users set the option not to show the @tab to avoid "pollution" in the Custom tab.

                              • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                Peter Fortin

                                Sounds like good advice, this is the kind of stuff I want to read up on! We make furniture, so we do TONS of configs. I have a table with almost 300 configs, and yes, the configs are named by p/n.

                                 

                                This looks like it gets set in Explorer, on each individual's computer, yes?

                                  • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                    Thomas Voetmann

                                    Yes, it is set in Explorer.

                                     

                                    Another idea to populate properties is to use Assembly Visualization from a top level assembly.

                                    You can open an assembly (eg. a complete cabinet), open Assembly Visualization and assign your properties to columns. Then you can write property values direct in this table while in the assembly, and they will migrate to the individual parts. Make sure the property name is already present in the parts Configuration Specific tab. Also be careful to save all your parts/subassemblies as this might not automatically happen when you press save from the assembly.

                                    This way you can write many different property values relatively fast and - lot least - see what is missing. All while you have the graphic overview.

                                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                        Peter Fortin

                                        I learned something new today.

                                         

                                        I didn't realize that was all editable, that will be a great way to fill in project info quickly. I only every really used that to look at rebuild times. Cool tip!

                                        • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                          John Wayman

                                          Thomas Voetmann wrote:

                                           

                                          open Assembly Visualization and assign your properties to columns.

                                          I can add columns, but I can't find how to assign properties.

                                          I'm sure it's easy, but...

                                          <<Edit>>

                                          I was right, it is easy!

                                          There is a little triangle on the right hand side of the column header of any added column: Right-click the triangle and select the appropriate property.

                                           

                                          Now all I have to do is remember...

                                           

                                          SW2018, SP5

                                           

                                           

                                          John

                                    • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                      Chris Saller

                                      Our VAR contacted us yesterday to start the PDMW to PDM Standard process.

                                      We found out from him that our vault is too large for PDM Standard to handle and will crash. We may need to move to PDM Pro.

                                      I couldn't sell this to management last year. Now, this year parts of the business is being sold off and I don't know what is going to happen.

                                      I may go ahead and to the process and cross my fingers.

                                        • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                          Matt Peneguy

                                          Chris Saller wrote:

                                           

                                          Our VAR contacted us yesterday to start the PDMW to PDM Standard process.

                                          We found out from him that our vault is too large for PDM Standard to handle and will crash. We may need to move to PDM Pro.

                                          I couldn't sell this to management last year. Now, this year parts of the business is being sold off and I don't know what is going to happen.

                                          I may go ahead and to the process and cross my fingers.

                                          How large is too large?

                                          Edit to Add:  The reason I'm asking is that PDM Standard is supposed to be a replacement for Workgroup PDM.  So, if they're telling you that, something doesn't add up.

                                            • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                              Chris Saller

                                              Current size 116 GB, 24 years of data.

                                                • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                  Matt Peneguy

                                                  My understanding is that the Vault size isn't the limiting factor, but the index can only be something like 10GB which is a limitation in SQL Express.  I have forgotten, but does WPDM run on Express or full SQL Server?  If WPDM runs on SQL Express, I'd guess you should be fine.

                                                  Maybe someone on the forum with more knowledge can speak up.

                                                    • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                      Steven McCallion

                                                      Solidworks PDM Standard - what does the 10Gb database limit mean? | MySolidWorks

                                                       

                                                      Indeed, there's someone in that thread with a 4.2Tb archive, with only a 11Gb database.

                                                       

                                                      But whether or not that much data can be PRACTICALLY moved from Workgroup to Standard is a completely different matter. The PDM guy at our var recommended to just archive the old data, and start fresh, and I think we've only got about 5Gb of data.

                                                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                        Chris Saller

                                                        I'm not sure either. We have our server gurus looking into it. This isn't my area.

                                                        • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                          Phil Johnston

                                                          WPDM, or WorkGroup PDM, does not run on SQL, or any other main database engine. It is really more like a folder structure with rules.

                                                          • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                            Nadia Shea

                                                            I've done some pretty large PDM migrations before (pretty darn close to 1TB).  They are scary and require a lot of planning/testing/work but I'm sure you and your VAR will find a solution together if you keep the line of communication open.  Frankly, I was more surprised that huge WPDM was even functioning (barely) than the migration finishing.

                                                             

                                                            SQL Express does have limitation on what how many resources it can draw on, but the migration tool should be parsing that out so it won't be overloaded.   (For every day usage, the limitation on connections witih SQL Express doesn't prevent more than 10 users accessing a PDM Standard vault, it's just their commands/functions start 'queuing' up to be processed in SQL Express. It won't be the best performance though.)

                                                             

                                                            I won't lie, the longest migration I've seen took over a week with relatively decent hardware/configuration.....

                                                             

                                                            Quality and depth of data matters as well. If you're going for all files, all versions, it can exponentially grow the amount of time to migration. All files, latest version is much easier. The challenge there is version is not the same revision in Workgroup, especially if you are using secondary/tertiary in your scheme. If there are projects and data you don't need in Workgroup, ID those and do not include them.  Junk files with corrupted *.pdmrc files or broken references from when a team first started learning Workgroup PDM are fairly common and slow things down. Users who actively got into the WPDM archive and directly manipulate files (more common than you think) can also present some interesting scenarios, but it all slows down migration efficiency.

                                                             

                                                            Also make sure you don't have random folders of stuff outside Workgroup PDM, that is very common for Workgroup PDM environments (Toolbox HAD to be outside the vault.)  A migration tool can get those in the target vault and heal those references but it's a pre-setup before WPDM migration.

                                                             

                                                            If it's a hardware limitation, you need ideally 3x the amount of the original data size to even think about a successful migration and it would best if all the components are on the same machines or machines with direct network connectivity and loads of bandwidth. SAN/NAS/Cloud/external drives all have I/O considerations that can slow down migration.

                                                             

                                                            (I went off again and got on my soapbox.. Sorry for the data bomb... hope some of this info helps).

                                                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                        Christian Chu

                                                        Chris Saller wrote:

                                                         

                                                        Our VAR contacted us yesterday to start the PDMW to PDM Standard process.

                                                        We found out from him that our vault is too large for PDM Standard to handle and will crash. We may need to move to PDM Pro.

                                                        I couldn't sell this to management last year. Now, this year parts of the business is being sold off and I don't know what is going to happen.

                                                        I may go ahead and to the process and cross my fingers.

                                                        Chris,

                                                        Hopefully your VAR did not mislead about the size here

                                                        How large you mentioned here?

                                                        PDM Standard runs on SQL Express which is limited to 10 GB database server  but this "10 GB" is  only for megadata such as text  file (few kb each) - do the math -   and you can have millions of files while your actual SW files are stored in Archive server which has no size limit

                                                        The only limit I can see from PDM standard is the RAM which is  1GB compared to 128GB with PDM pro. - so the number of users is limited to less than 10 for PDM Standard

                                                      • Re: PDM Standard Implementation
                                                        Robert Wright

                                                        I did a PDM pro migration for my employer with zero experience prior (4 sites with distinct CAD/practices/procedures). The primary site had 5000-6000 legacy drawings and tons of old models. Another site had a legacy PDMWorks vault that was migrated.

                                                         

                                                        The things that caused headache... Trying to migrate assemblies that both referenced similar parts that had been copied many times by previous users, prefixes and suffixes on old drawing files (learn to use powershell for mass renaming), and poor or incomplete processes for engineering release/changes. If the company is not strict about adhering to their established standards, this needs to be sorted out before you do anything with your pdm installation or you will be chasing down problems after implementation (otherwise you'll be determining if you can or can't add certain functionality).

                                                         

                                                        Hopefully you haven't been given an overly aggressive, unrealistic timeline by the higher ups