Our company is implementing Cideon SAP-PLM integration software. Has anyone had any experiance with this PDM tool?
I am a consultant starting a project to integrate SAP to SolidWorks. Currently SW is used with the Enterprise Vault and not connected to SAP.
Planning to use SAP CAD Desktop application and Cideon middleware. Can you share your SAP/SW connectivty experience.....issues, advantages, pain points, etc. Thanks
We eventually got Cideon/CAD Desktop to work. It is not an eligant solution compared to other systems. Our users are unhappy with it and constantly compare it's lack of useability to the system they have moved away from. The other system (PLM++ or ECTR, by DSC) intigrated UG to SAP.
Is this company commited to this solution or are they still in the investigation stage? I would be happy to discuss our experiance in greater detail.
Peter, thanks for your response. I am very interested in discussing your experience. The client is installing SAP DMS content servers to hold the large number of SolidWorks and ProE documents. As there are remote sites - both in the US and Europe, Cache servers are also being installed at the remote sites to improve performance.
In their current non-SAP SW system, they are using Enterpsise Vault for storing SW and related files. In the to-be system the SAP DMS system will becom the vault. Question that has come up is in the interim period when all the files have not been converted from 'legacy' to SAP 'Vault', can the 2 vaults co-exist? Is there any software out there that might enable the 2 vaults to be synchronized? In other words can they go-live with the SW-SAP system prior to all the SW documents 'converted over' to SAP?
Any experience related to your SW-SAP integration is most welcome.
How has your experience with SAP-PLM gone so far? I'm looking for reference accounts or other companies that are running ECTR and would like to share their experiences and feedback, preferably in California...
Have you had any luck with this? I am currently in the same boat.
No luck finding a reference account in California. I'd heard of a few accounts in Germany/Europe, but nothing in the US.
We've been using ECTR for over a year now, with not many positive things to say to date, from the engineer's point of view.
The pain is now bearable, but it's still not "fun". I'm considering using PDMVault for prototype development and file management, then move it over into ECTR at the point of ECO release. Not sure if that's the right answer, but I'm thinking about it.
Thanks for the response! What kind of issues do you see with variants?
Variants introduce a bunch of confusion, that we still do not understand, mostly with how our part numbering scheme was introduced.
Our number scheme uses the last 4 digits to represent the "variant" and the "revision".
ECTR creates a "document number" that represents this.
There is also a "material number". This is what purchasing buys. Documents are connected to materials.
Both of these have "version" numbers as well.
Our BOM's double count configurations, so BOM quantities have to be verified and manually changed.
If you don't connect the materials to the correct variant in your model, the material will not show up in the BOM.
My biggest issue: to say that "my company does not use configurations" is like saying I have to design using only blue pencils! Configs are a very powerful tool in SolidWorks, and I don't like the fact that I can't use configs because my PDM tool makes it painful to use them.
On the bright side: I found that ECTR does not manage display states and virtual assemblies...this has been my work around for some drawings.
We've used the SAP-PLM interface for a few years now. We generally avoid configurations so that hasn't been a problem for us. iIagree that the error messages are not very helpful. The settings in general are also very cryptic. There are a lot of clicks involved, and the software definitely likes things done in a certain way. Daily users do ok after the learning curve, the occasional users have more trouble.
Agree with everything you said, except the last statement. I think that SolidWorks Power users do ok after the learning curve....occasional SolidWorks users have lots of trouble. I've been using ECTR for just over a year now, and I still feel that I'm on the learning curve. I feel sorry for our EE team that have been avoiding the migration to ECTR...on the other hand I can't wait for them to "feel the pain"!
Would you say this is more of an issue from SAP usage? Or does ECTR itself add complexity to the process? What kind of bugs do you see and how frequently do you experience them?
It is sad to hear that your experience with ECTR is not going well. I started this post back in 2011, when we were attempting to launch Cideon for SolidWorks. We had been using ECTR for UG-NX and it was solid. Our experience with Cideon was crippling. We had to abandon it because we were unable to have multiple users working on different sub-assemblies within the same master assembly. The master could not be closed until the users saved and exited in the order of opening the files. Try that over two states, with 50 engineers.
We developed ECTR for SolidWorks in conjunction with the company that makes ECTR. It ended up working much like it did with NX, and the engineers were thrilled. The drill down capability, to go from part to Where-Used, was an invaluable time saver. The coded icons for status, the ease of setting up a status workflow. As I recall it was very easy to change the status of parts and documents within ECTR as well. All that being said, we did not use variants, or tabulated BOMs.
I am at another company and we use AX as our PDM system, it is not as powerful or as easy to use as ECTR.
Maybe it was our experience with ECTR for NX, but when we were done with the development of ECTR for SolidWorks, everyone was happy to be back to a functioning PDM system.
Is anyone else currently using ECTR with SOLIDWORKS? I am wondering if the user experience has improved since January.
What are the Pros and Cons for ECTR versus PDM?
The user experience has improved, only thru "on the job training", and constant testing and badgering of our IT department. It still cannot handle all SolidWorks functionality, and right now we are dealing with version compatibility issues.
I do not think you can compare ECTR to PDM Enterprise, if that is the question you are asking. ECTR is a front end interface to SAP. PDM Enterprise is it's own databased designed specifically for 3D CAD/SolidWorks.
To be blunt - SAP is not designed to manage 3D CAD, which is why ECTR is created. If you tried to do PDM directly in SAP you would probably quit your job (yes, it's that bad). ECTR makes it manageable, but is still not very good. You will need about 6 months to a year just to get the hang of it.
Hope that helps. Avoid it if you can, but if you have no alternatives, it's best to "go with the flow" and don't fight it.
Many thanks, Allan.
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