What are your thoughts on the best PDM for SolidWorks?
Just to include some...
I am also interested in specific catagories...
Rev control/Scheme - Highly customizable and tied to each user if need be
WorkFlow - Designed from a GUI, able to travel out to 3rd party ECO programs if need be
Link Management - I assume you mean drawings, if so this is standard/built in. Virtual components available too. Another feature is generic promotion; ie, an existing DWG is in your system and you want to move to a 3D model, DWG's history is maintained in new 3D part/drawing
Performance - Runs on client. The only thing the server handles is file permissions, messaging and SQL hosting.
Searching - Able to tie-in to SQL table indexes, incredibly fast!
Multi CAD - Can work with ANY Windows-compatible file-type (full integration with Inventor, SolidEdge and partially AutoCAD)
Multi site - Ability to do either data replication (metadata), file replication or both to multiple sites.
Web interface - Newly designed Webviewer allows users to work with nearly-full capabilities of ironside PDM client (check-in/out, revise, upload, PDF creation, etc)
With regards to Link Management and Sw.
- How well does it handle the drawing-part-assembly relationships. Eg, renaming files, changing part revisions, moving files within the database and maintaining the correct links.
- Does it have a relationship mapping feature?? I have used Intralink for ProE in the past and it had a feature that allowed you to view the relationships of an assembly via a graphical interface. This allowed you to see potential circular references or conflicts. Also allowed you to easily identify the relationships you needed to break to make a part independant. etc.
We are thinking of implementing PDM works but after going through a major Intralink upgrade at a previous site, I am hesitant about implementing similar software without researching this first.
What makes EPDM better? Can you make some comparisons to other PDMs?
How is intralink? Have you used it with SolidWorks? How is the web portion. What are the differences between Intralink and Windchill?
We are transitioning from ProE/PDMLink to SW/PDME - and what a .... difference!!!
OK it boils down to what you need to be able to do, but SW far surpasses our needs and far surpasses ProE in usability and in making drawings. Witch where some of our main review points.
Back on topic.I do not think PTC will support Intralink for longer than they absolutely need to and they have already stated that they have stopped supporting it (at about Wildfire 2), but sort of continued (They are at Wildfire 5). In my opinion this is because of many issues with PDMLink/Windchill. I've used it, and still need to use it as we still have our legacy data there, and I just hate it. Many many many issues, lost files just to have them reappear and whatever. We really missed the Intralink days. PDMEnterprise is really a big relief
So in my opinion: Don't go anywhere near Intralink/Windchill/PDMLink!
One would instinctively think that when the cad supplier also have a PDM system, it would be the best. But that just can not be the case with PTC
I have looked at Adept demos and I think it is a good contender, especially since it adds document functionality as creating transmittals. But is this something you need? The fact that 3.rd party suppliers will lag 2-3 months when upgrading may not be an issue if you like to wait for the first service pack before upgrading.
Thank you for a very detailed reply. I'm very intrested in the web interface. You say you can check in and out over the web. If you edit an assembly over the web (add or delete parts), will the links in the PDM update over the web?
With regards to viewers, does the data card use an embedded viewer or just thumbnails? That is, how does the read only community view files?
You also said you access the vaults directly?
How well does dbWorks keep up with SW versions and other dependancies (.net, java)?
When an assembly is checked out from the Webviewer, opened locally and modified that assembly must be saved and then checked back in--which in turn uploads the changes--so that the assembly structure is updated in the database.
The read-only community uses the tool called DBWorks Standalone. This is the same interface that is used in the Solidworks-integrated version of DBWorks. And instead of a card like EPDM it's a client program where you view the vault based on project structure. It will view Office apps natively along with an eDrawings module for SW parts, PDF's in a full interface along with DWG's in an interface that you can zoom, pan and turn layers on and off.
DBWorks does not store versions of files in a separate folder structure it actually stores them in a .gz in the same directory as the original file (there is an option to store non-active versions elsewhere too). For instance, if your parts/files live in \\myserver\myproject\project1 that's where you will find the active sldprt, the old versions of the files in .gz along with other files (assy/tree structure--hidden by default). Whereas with EPDM the file Part1.sldprt is actually stored in <drive>:\Program Files\SolidWorks Enterprise PDM\Data\<vault>\2\000000a2.
How well does dbWorks keep up with SW versions and other dependancies (.net, java)?
DBWorks does well to keep up with .NET and is actually moving away from Java dependency. The developers try to stay on track with Solidworks as far as when Solidworks supports something DBWorks tries to stay in tow; ie, when SW 2010 supported Windows 7, DBWorks was ready with a version that supported Windows 7.
Here is what I have to comment on about SolidWorks EPDM System. I have been a PDM/PLM consultant for over 10 yrs now and am an expert in SmarTeam and Conisio/PDMWE/EPDM (same product, different names). I have also worked with Ennovia LCA and Product Manager. EPDM is by FAR the easiest to use software. Other than its ease of use, the best thing about it, is that it is all inclusive. There are no "add on modules" to figure out. You just decide on the seat type, Editor, Contributor, Viewer, and Web. The software comes with CAD management, all other file management, Items Class management, Workflow, Data Exchange, email notifications, and Vault Replication. No add-ons to purchase like with some other packages. I am going to address your list below point by point:
Rev control/Scheme: you can set up multiple rev control schemes. Most customers have 2 set up, one for production and one for prototyping. However, you can create more if needed.
WorkFlow: Out of the box workflow. You can create and configure as many flows as you need. Workflows can be daisy chained to handle larger more complex processes. The workflow can automate signoffs, changing variables, stamping revisions, and a whole host of other automated tasks.
Link Management: Part, Assembly, and Drawing relationships are handled automatically for the following CAD packages, SolidWorks, Inventor, SolidEdge, ProE Wildfire, and AutoCAD Xrefs. Changing the name of a file (child or parent) automatically updates the link so there are no missing files or lost references. This is also the same for moving a file from one folder to another inside the system. All links are updated automatically.
Performance: the system is very quick and easy to use. All files are copied from the server to a local machine for working/editing. Then they are copied back to the server once the work is done and the files are checked back into the vault. This provides the best performance for the CAD software.
Searching: There is a search interface that contains "everything" but you can also create your own search cards and templates and favorites to facilitate fiinding information. Once the information is found a simple click can take you to thar information in the vault, OR you can export it out to an XLS file and create a report, such as "all documents pending engineering release" or something like that.
Multi CAD: see my Link Management Paragraph above.
Multi site: Built in file Archive Replication allows the system to be configured to replicate the entire vault, portions of the vault, or only specific projects or even just released files. Replication is "free" there are no add ons or packages required. You just need to set it up and you are ready to go.
Web interface: There is a web client that can handle check in/out workflow state changes etc. It is not recommended for the pure CAD user, but those working with MS Office and other "light weight" file types are good to go. Again, there is no added cost for this, you just purchase web licenses and set up the web server and you are ready to go. (web server software is included in the base package, as are all other functions in the system.)
Viewers: the system uses the eDrawings viewer to view CAD file types and the Stellant "Inside Out" viewer for all other document types. The Stellant viewer supports over 200 file types. These are "full viewers" where you can zoom in/out/pan/rotate/etc and even print. If you have a file type that is not supported, you can plug another viewer into the EPDM system and tell the files of that type to use another viewer instead.
I hope that answers all of your questions. Please check out www.razorleaf.com for EPDM Newsletter tips, tricks, whats new etc. and let me know if you have any other questions that I can help you answer.
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