32 Replies Latest reply on Aug 25, 2010 12:41 PM by Rich Trnka

    What are other PDM's in use?

    Matthew Lorono

      I'm getting curious about this topic.  Besides Enterprise PDM or Workgroup PDM, what are other PDM's that SolidWorks users are commonly using?

       

      http://www.fcsuper.com/swblog/?p=266

        • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
          Tony Cantrell
          I dont think its that common, but we use Matrix.
            • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
              Matthew Lorono
              I'm seeing some interesting stuff out of Oracle, keytech and Enovia right now.  Might have some thoughts about these soon.
                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                  John Layne
                  Keep us posted
                  • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                    Jason Parpart

                    My company has used SmarTeam (now part of the Enovia package) since about 1998.  At the time, there weren't many PDM systems out there that had SolidWorks integration, so we kind of ended up with it by default.  For our company (~125 employees, ~20 CAD users), it's big time overkill and, in my opinion, far too complex and user unfriendly for our use.  We are planning to migrate to EPDM next year and I am very much looking forward to getting back those many hours a week I spend administering the system, cleaning up user boo-boos, and continuously re-training users.

                     

                    Also, even though SmarTeam is a Gold Partner (and even owned by Dassault), it is generally about 1 year behind SolidWorks in reliable compatibility.  For that reason, we've always been held back at least 1 version of SolidWorks due to this lack of compatibility.

                      • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                        Samu Niveri

                        All the PDM`s have their own "features". If you are changing one to other you just get new problems. I have been using smarteam at 2004-2005 and EPDM at 2009-2010 and my opinion is that smarteam is more advanced and usable than EPDM. And what goes to support with SW versions: what new things you can do with SW2010 that you can not do for example with SW2008? Or is it just that everything has to be up to date no matter what it does cost? In big companies I have been working SW is updated in 2-3 year cycles and that is wise as it still takes time to check that everything works before anything is really installed to users.

                        • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                          Raymond Pearson

                          Jason,

                           

                          What are your long term plans regarding SmarTeam? What do you think of the Artizone spinoff?

                        • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                          Kenneth Barrentine

                          If you're referring to Oracle (Agile) Engineering Collaboration I would be interested in that.

                            • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                              Matthew Lorono

                              Kenneth,

                               

                              My personal assessment on Agile Engineering Collaborator is that it is either for very small operations that aren't likely to grow, or used as an interface in conjunction with various PDM's in a complex multi-CAD environment.  It's not a true PLM by its own right.  It basically just piggybacks Agile's Item Master with the same clunky interface.  You and I should talk if you are interested in looking into PDM's or PLMs in conjunction with SolidWorks.

                               

                              Matt Lorono

                              SolidWorks Legion

                              Twitter: fcsuper

                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                  David Fraley

                                  Hi Matt,

                                  We are migrating from PDM Enterprise to Agile. (dont ask why)

                                  You mentioned this is good for very small company operations? Can you tell me your experience with Agile.

                                  Pros / Cons ?

                                   

                                  Thanks

                                  Dave

                                    • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                      Matthew Lorono

                                      It depends.  Are you going to use the Agile EC module?  If not, then you are in deep-hell if "they" expect you to put your files raw in to Agile PLM.  It's important to make clear that for SolidWorks, the file structure itself is part of the design intent and IP.  If SolidWorks files are forced into a system that does not maintain SolidWorks file associations, then engineering data is literally being destroyed!

                                       

                                      So, I sincerely hope you are at least going to get Agile EC module.  It will allow Agile PLM to control SolidWorks files and maintain their relationships.  It's not the best for this job, but it should work for small operations (as I noted before).  There are limitations, such as the lack of named BOMs, but I'm sure you can work around this.  The worse part of Agile EC is really its crappy unmanageable interface.  It is what it is, there's not much you can do to it.

                                       

                                      Might I recommend an alternative solution.  I have heard (not personally seen) Agile EC used in conjunction with PDMs, where Agile EC serves as the intermediate platform to moving files into Agile PLM.  This way, you can still maintain your engineering vault to preserve file associations, maintain named BOMs and other common PDM functions while still having files in Agile for whatever crazy reason someone would want to do that.

                                       

                                      I hope this helps!

                                       

                                      Matt Lorono

                                      SolidWorks Legion

                                      sw.fcsuper.com

                                      Follow me on Twitter

                                      • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                        Brian Walsh

                                        Hi Dave,

                                         

                                        Re. (dont ask why)

                                         

                                         

                                        I'm afraid I have to ask!

                                         

                                        Can you give some info as to why EPDM didn't work out for you?

                                         

                                        Brian

                              • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                Brian Lindahl
                                DBWorks.  Will be implementing at a 2nd site soon, and then have real-time data replication, too.  It seems to do a good job for what we are using it for right now.  Very customizable options, and programming is open, too, with MS Scripting, capable of initiating SW Macros from within scripts, and database information fully accessible to other applications.  There is a lot of functionality that we don't have turned on yet, but maybe as we poke around in the application and become more familiar with the tools and its full capability, we might start to use more of it.
                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                  Christopher Thompson

                                  I use DesignDataManger (DDM) by Concurrent Systems Inc Ltd (CSI). Before I was a SolidWorks user, I used Pro/Engineer (PTC) and DDM was an alternative to PTC's PDM products. DDM was created for a multi-CAD enviroment (SW, Pro-E, SE, Inventor, and IronCAD).

                                   

                                  I have not tried to use SW ToolBox with DDM. You may wish to ask other SW users how they integrate Toolbox into their PDM system.

                                  • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                    Dwight Livingston

                                    Matt

                                     

                                    We are using Adept by Synergis. In a year or so we will be moving to an SAP module by Cideon, which from what I've seen of the demos should be much better.

                                    • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                      Thomas Huggins

                                      We're supposed to be using SolidWorks EPDM, but it still sit's on the shelf in a nice pretty box waiting for our IT dept and VAR to get everything set up..... and waiting..... and waiting......

                                       

                                      Anyway my last company used AutoDesk Vault and it worked pretty good, (anything is better than nothing).  I'll be glad when we get the SolidWorks EPDM up and going - someday.

                                      • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                        Troy Peterson

                                        We use Teamcenter as it integrates with SAP.

                                        • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                          Tom Helsley

                                          I've been looking at Aras Innovator, and ProFile (by ProCAD), as well as the others mentioned here.  Aras is pretty interesting because the licensing cost is $0, but you pay for support and implementation.  I actually setup a server with Aras, but I haven't figured out much of it yet.  It seems to be at the same level as Agile (Oracle), MatrixOne, and TeamCenter.  The downside that is you have to get a third party (so far, only xPLM) to setup the CAD integration part.  The upside is that it is CAD neutral - good for multi-CAD environments.

                                            • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                              Raymond Pearson

                                              Tom,

                                               

                                              What was your cost for support, maitenance and the third party? The integration is not free. What I found with Aras is that yes, the initial licensing cost is $0 (ecept the CAD integration), but the support is "all or nothing", so if you are not going to use it all, it can be expensive. Then, the CAD integration is not free, and you have maintenance and support from that 3rd party. As other functions/integrations are deveoloped by other 3rd parties, they too will become not free and you can end up with a lot of segmented support and maitenance fees.

                                               

                                              I don't want to scare you off Aras, as it looks very interesting.

                                              But have you run into the same cost model? 

                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                  Tom Helsley

                                                  That's good to know about the support costs.  I haven't gotten that far yet with them.  I'm still comparing software.  From what I read, Aras charges for implementation, training (naturally), and if you choose to do so, for access to the 'open' source code.  I would like to eventually use all of it, except I don't want access to the source code (not enough programming resources).  Of course maybe when I learn more about Aras, I'll change my mind.

                                                   

                                                  I do expect some integrations and other 3rd party tools to cost.  I also expect managing maintenance would be fragmented, unless possibly done through an integrator.  I definitely don't expect it to be free, but I would be concerned if for comparable functions, its cost grew up to or beyond the other products.

                                                   

                                                  One othe things that I really liked was that they have a lot of add-on projects in their community area.  Although it has it's risks, I see a lot of potential there.

                                                    • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                      Raymond Pearson

                                                      Yes, it has huge potentential. You would need to add up all module costs of say somthing like Windchill to truly compare. One other thing to note is that I beleive you can skip a year of support without penalty (but would need to confirm). So once your system was stable you could do some risk assessment and possibly skip support here and there.

                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                  Scott McFadden

                                                  Matt,

                                                  I personally have used Solidworks PDM work group, but the company I am currently with (at least for 7 more days)

                                                  was looking into Smart team and Windchill (PTC product)

                                                  Windchill for the cost was way more then we were looking for.

                                                  I think they will end up going with Smart team because of it's ease in working with not only Solidworks files, but Pro-E

                                                  and it's intervening with Oracle.

                                                    • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                      Matthew Lorono

                                                      Recommendations:  SmarTeam is now a sideline product (Dassault has spun it off to its own company and is moving forward with Enovia V6 instead).  However, I'm not going to count it out completely.  That aside, you should also look at Enterprise PDM, Keytech PLM and Enovia V6.  All of these options work with Pro E and SW fairly well (to varying degrees).  I'm not saying any of these are the best solution for you, cuz I don't know anything about your company. They are options that give you some choices and bargaining position once you do pick one.  Also, there are relatively cheap options to get Enterprise PDM to work with PLMs (such as Agile).  SmarTeam has no advantage in this area as far as I can tell since it's custom programming or scripting work regardless to which PDM you pick.

                                                        • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                          Raymond Pearson

                                                          Matt,

                                                           

                                                          What does Agile give you in this scenario?

                                                            • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                              David Fraley

                                                              Agile.....As far as I can see so far as we migrate from EPDM to Agile is that it is 3 steps backwards!!

                                                              This coming from an engineering /design standpoint. I am sure Purchasing and Doc Control will be happier..

                                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                                  Raymond Pearson

                                                                  David,

                                                                   

                                                                  From what I understand of Agile (which is very little), is that AGile is not really a vaulting tool or CAD Intergation/management. It was primarily for pubilishing data. I don't waht has changed under Oracle in the past few years.

                                                                   

                                                                  Is this your experiemce so far? Would it be better to use the Agile tools on top of EPDM, rather than migrate?

                                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                                  Tom Helsley

                                                                  My VAR told me that Agile is actually used by many companies as a secondary, enterprise-wide PLM system.  As I understand it, although it can handle CAD file references, I was told that most companies use it in conjuction with the PDM systems that go with each CAD software.  The Agile (Oracle) folks actually recommend a two-tiered PDM / PLM approach.  The WIP files would be managed in the CAD software's PDM, and all released files (production and pending production) or something would be transferred to Agile.  While it's an interesting idea, I don't understand why they recommend it that way.  When products like SWEPDM have a lot of overlap with Agile, I don't understand why a company would want both.  Anyway, I still have a lot of questions about Agile and how it works.

                                                                   

                                                                  Where would the CAD system's PDM stop and where would Agile continue?

                                                                  Why can't all the data management be done in one PDM / PLM system?

                                                                  Does anybody use just Agile?  If so, what are the limitations?

                                                                   

                                                                  If anybody has experience with this, please pitch in.

                                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                                  Tom Helsley

                                                                  Last year, I heard that unofficially SmarTeam and other Dassault PDM products were going to be replaced by MatrixOne.  Maybe this is the same as what you are saying, Matt.

                                                                    • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                                      Jason Capriotti

                                                                      I hope MatrixOne is better than it used to be. I used it with its CAD instegration to UG NX and it was terrible to use. All of the devleopment engineers and designers worked on projects on the network until it was time to reelease. Then we loaded it into Matrix since it was required. Its checkout proceed and interface was horrid. Just getting a file into the system was multi step process that involved a bunch of "non standard" dialogues. Nothing like the easy drag and drop of Enterprise.

                                                                       

                                                                      Matrix does have more tools available for creating objects/items in the system and various kinds of link between the objects. Its mostly a blank tool set that can be tailored. ePDM is more geared toward engineering and cad file management and because of that its easier to use and plays much nicer with CAD. It just lacks the customization ability that most higher end PLM systems have.

                                                                       

                                                                      The higher end PLMs system also seem to have a better web interface.......most seem to be going exlcusively in that direction. ePDM is falling behind on that....the web client looks to be very limited and its ActiveX requirement means that its limited to Internet Explorer.

                                                                • Re: What are other PDM's in use?
                                                                  Rich Trnka

                                                                  have used DBWorks and Enterprise PDM... personally, EPDM is easier to program, more scalable, and offers functionality that does not require hourse of writing code and searching thorough .lst files when something is wrong. After adminstrating DBWorks for 6 years I moved on to another company with no PDM.. I wanted something that was easily customizable, easier to program, and was scalable for large data with 15+ users. EPDM was the answer and I don't look back!

                                                                   

                                                                  Side note: amongst the group I collaborate with several had Adept, smarteam, and oracle... all would prefer EPDM after taking a look at what we have done with our system. Along with software costs, you have to factor if you can do ALL of the programming yourself or if you will need outside help. The company next door to mine, spent over $75000 in PDM software and then ANTOHER $100,000.00 in customizations, upgrades and coding to make it work for them. Fully define what you want and be sure you are getting a product that fits not only your needs, but your ability to grow and adapt in the future.