8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2011 1:06 PM by Christina Seay

    EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...

    Christina Seay

      I'm just curious on something... I recently did a comparison between Autodesk products and Dassault products and Autodesk really blew my mind with their vault client.  Their viewers are actually web-based and unlimited, free seats as opposed to EPDM where you have to buy 5-user packs of Viewers seats, install and maintain them.

       

      There are a lot of advantages to this... cost, user training, maintenance cost/time, etc.

       

      I'm wondering if anyone knows if Dassault plans to head EPDM in this direction or not?  It seems to me that they'd have to in order to stay competitive since that offers a very substantial cost savings with a highly competitive product... but I figured I'd ask and see if anyone else has heard anything.

        • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
          Wayne Tiffany

          I have not use the Autodesk Vault, but in listening to others that have, the main thing is that it doesn't do anywhere near the stuff that EPDM does.  Stuff like letting you move files and updating all the references, BOM's, etc.

           

            WT

            • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
              Christina Seay

              Actually... from what I've seen of it during my comparison.  It does.  It doesn't handle the Copy Tree/Copy by Design functions as well... but in the next release it will.  It just didn't use the serial numbers when it did it and they're fixing that. 

               

              I'm mostly interested in the viewers though, not the clients.  It's a daunting task buying, installing and maintaining viewer clients.  In our company... we'd need about 100 viewers and only 30 clients.  That equals a lot of time and money on viewers when compared to Autodesk Vault.  Since we use EPDM though, I'm curious is Dassault is looking to offer an unlimited free viewer web-client anytime soon.

                • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                  Jason Capriotti

                  This is a big failing on SolidWorks part. ePDM is powerful in what it does but it's web offering is very weak. Like you say....the viewer option is poor and not offered with the web client, it requires an expensive contributor license.

                   

                  Also the ePDM web client requires ActiveX which limits it to Internet Explorer. The Autodesk equivalent seems to run on any browser, even an Ipad.

                  http://autodeskmfg.blogspot.com/2010/10/data-management-on-apple-ipad.html

                   

                  I'm wondering if we can write our own web interface bypassing the ActiveX thing altogether. We have internal web sites that pull and present data from SQL databases on Manufacturing process status for various equipment....I don't see why we can't do the same here. Anyone tried this?

                    • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                      Lee CS Young

                      Jason Capriotti wrote:

                      I'm wondering if we can write our own web interface bypassing the ActiveX thing altogether. We have internal web sites that pull and present data from SQL databases on Manufacturing process status for various equipment....I don't see why we can't do the same here. Anyone tried this?

                       

                      I've done something similar in the past using webservices. I exposed some of EPDM via a web interface for ECN purposes. (Wheer used, BOMs, file previews, etc.) It worked well. We weren't checking in and out though.

                        • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                          Christina Seay

                          There's a separate tool for doing redlining and markup that's also free that requires an installation with the Autodesk one... but for viewing only, the viewer seems to work and it stays up to date with the latest content in the vault.

                           

                          I haven't messed with EPDM web viewer.  I'm not sure if it's something they charge for or not either... ?

                           

                          EPDM sells 5-user packs of Viewer only seats too... you don't have to buy Contributor seats.  But you still have to set up and train and maintain the users from what I'm seeing with those.

                           

                          Lee.. I'd be very interested in hearing more that project where you exposed the web services?  Does the person running the web services like that have to have EPDM installed?

                            • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                              Lee CS Young

                              Christina Seay wrote:

                               

                              Lee.. I'd be very interested in hearing more that project where you exposed the web services?  Does the person running the web services like that have to have EPDM installed?

                               

                              Christina, I think you're misinterpeting what I mean by webservice. See the entry on Wikipedia.

                               

                              EPDM did not need to be installed on the client. A quick and dirty explanation:

                               

                              • The client visits a web page, asks for information about various parts/models/whathaveyou,
                              • The webserver would relay that information to the webservice
                              • The webservice would ask EPDM for the information
                              • The webservice returns the answer from EPDM to the webserver
                              • The webserver displays the information to the client.

                               

                              It was great for what we were using it for and that was for handling ECN's and the like. I wouldn't want to try and develop a full blown client using web technologies.

                                • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                                  Christina Seay

                                  I've done a little bit of development with webservices with our ERP software, but it wasn't much at all.  So I appreciate the clarification on how they work.

                                   

                                  We don't actually have a formal ECN process here.  The only thing I'd be looking at doing with a web service is allowing people to view/print files in the vault, return the next number from a serial number (for part naming), and possibly include a send email link that would just include the file's path in an email to standardize/start an ECN process.

                                   

                                  No workflow steps or anything like that.

                      • Re: EPDM vs Autodesk Vault Viewer Client...
                        Todd Puckett

                        Our AutoDesk Vault use is very limited but here are some reasons we haven't changed.

                         

                        Vault clients are only included with certian AutoDesk products, so in our situation our $5000 copy of Inventor includes 1 vault client, same with $3500 AutoCAD Mechanical.  For any user that did not have a qualifying AutoDesk product we would have to purchase an additional client for about $700 each.  I see you mentions free easy to update viewers, that must be new.  Our users always seem to find something they need to do that the viewer can't.

                         

                        The last I knew Vault does not offer file replication for remote locations, major problem when working with large files. 

                        Setup and maintance is about the same as EPDM (if you do it yourself) - Server, clients, upgrades, etc.   Call your local AutoDesk VAR and find out what they charge to get you setup, $$$.  Oh and ask them if they have any SolidWorks customers that are using Vault 2011 that you call talk to.

                         

                        One more thing, go to their forum and read the questions and answers, very disappointing - http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/Autodesk-Vault/bd-p/101

                         

                        Overall very little cost or time savings for us, but they do keep getting better every year.