31 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2014 8:58 AM by Mark Coleman

    EPDM + Epicor?

    Adrian Velazquez

      Our company is looking into changing our ERP System. They are looking at Epicor, any one who wouldn't mind sharing their experiance with it, and it's interfacing options with EPDM (or SolidWorks directly)?

        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
          Kenneth Barrentine

          I've used it.  It's a pretty good system, one of the better ones out there.

          I believe Web Services is the standard method they use to connect to another database.

          Epicor is not cheap.

           

          No experience with EPDM.

           

          As long as you have your workflows defined it's pretty straight forward to connect.

          This process is also pricey, be prepared.

          • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
            Jesse Seger

            We looked at Epicor about a year ago and management decided not to get it.  As a developer who does itegration between systems like PDM and ERP, it would have been a dream to work with it compared to what we chose in the end.  Epicor is probably the only company that got it right it my opinion.

            • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
              Adrian Velazquez

              Thanks for your feedback guys.

                • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                  Charles Culp

                  Huh, interesting responses. We use Manage 2000 from Epicor. I'm not sure what else is available from their suite, but what we have was horribly implemented. I've seen japanese soft drink commercials that make more sense then what we use. We do not use EPDM, and so it is stand-alone for production control.

                   

                  My post is not meant as a valid criticism for Adrian, just an observation from what we have. I'm sure our issue all has to do with the implementation and purchasing choices on our side.

                  • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                    Wayne Matus

                    Your best bet is to have your VAR give you a list of contacts at companies that have both products.

                    • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                      Christina Seay

                      We use Epicor and EPDM... and I thought the same thing going in... the ERP/MRP capabilities in Epicor 9 are great... in documented thoery.  It 'should' work like this: 

                      EPDM exports an XML file to a specific location

                      Epicor - via a tool called Service Connect - monitors that folder for new XML files

                      When Service Connect finds one, it uses the workflow that you build through it's designer to build the BOM in Epicor

                      And then life should be good

                       

                      This concept sold me enough that I helped cast our department's vote for Epicor... then we got started implementing it...

                       

                      Where we found problems with Epicor:

                      • Our BOM's are fairly simple, and using Service Connect and it's Web Services, a small BOM took 14 hours to go through.  When you data right away, this is a problem.  Their answer is that most companies don't need the BOM data available in Epicor semi-immediately.
                      • This rulled out Service Connect as a viable tool for us.  But... It uses Web Services, so our next plan was that we can use those through a .NET application and still get BOM data in.  Worked... but took 4 hours instead of 14... so better, but not good enough for us.
                      • Finally... Web Services use the Epicor .dlls... I can use those in .NET... and we can send BOMs into Epicor in 4 seconds.  So it worked... but not using any of their tools really... and no automatic grabbing of XML files with this method.

                       

                      Where we found problems in EPDM:

                      • XML Files do NOT contain any Weldment Cut List data.  Which means that Cut List parts cannot exist in Epicor if you're reading from the XML files.  SO Epicor can't charge labor/material to these parts, and can't calculate anything about them individually.  You do get the main weldment's information, so you know how much it weighs, but not what it's made of.  As of a week ago, SolidWorks said they're planning to fix this in 2014.

                       

                      So... what I'm actually stuck working on doing right now... I have to read the EPDM BOM from the EPDM SQL database with SQL queries in a .NET application.  Then when I have the data, I have to brute force my way through creating the part in Epicor... which is no small feat.  AND, there is no documentation for either.

                       

                      The only bright light in the future is that SolidWorks will have EPDM fixed in 2014.  And Epicor is working on fixing Service Connect and is about to release Direct Connect that will use the Epicor .dlls to increase speed.  I have a contact with Epicor that isn't a salesman, and he tells me that he's noticing a huge speed increase with it so far.  If the developers did what we talked about when they brought them out to visit me after all the work I've done here with the dll files, then I would expect it to be working right.  BUT, if you need the cut list items to exist individually like we do here, then you're still kind of out of luck since you can't get the benefit of the XML files.

                       

                      That's my experience over this past year and a half with Epicor and AutoCAD/SolidWorks and this past 6 months with Epicor and EPDM.  To better put my comments in perspective... I was a drafter that migrated to Computer Programmer about 4 years ago in the same company.

                        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                          Anna Wood

                          Christina,

                           

                          Thank you so much for your follow up post.  We are implementing Epicor 9 right now.  One of my plans is to connect up our SolidWorks data properties direct to Epicor.  Your post gives me some insight on where we need to go when we start coding.

                           

                          Cheers,

                           

                          Anna

                            • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                              Jesse Seger

                              I find myself brute forcing data into databases alot.  It's getting to be more of a headache than being fun anymore.

                              • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                Christina Seay

                                Anna - It was a bit easier when we were going from SolidWorks and looping the tree and getting properties to create the BOM and Parts in Epicor.  I ran into an issue when we started using Weldments though... I found a way to read all the Cut List parts, but I couldn't get quantity of each cut list part used in the weldment.  I could get that it has 6' of this type of steel, but not that there were 2 of them in the weldment.

                                 

                                And Epicor was not able to help me with the .NET coding side of things to make the BOMs and parts in Epicor.  They didn't have anyone that knew enough about what I was trying to do.  They gave me one contact that I could ask basic questions to when I got stuck and he was pretty helpful, but I still did a lot of trial and error.  You have to create Part Records, Part Plant Records, Part Plant Warehouse Records, Part Revision Records, Etc... just to create the part... that's not any of the BOM data.

                                 

                                Just out of curiousity... who's the person leading up the implementation on Epicor's side?  Our company was so complex that we actually had to get a new project manager half way through from Epicor before we could get done, and he's still here on a regular basis nearly 2 years later.

                                  • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                    Anna Wood

                                    We have an outside consultant helping with our Epicor implementation.  Our IT guys are handling that.  We are not that complex so that helps.  Our big issue is we are currently using a very old implementation of Epicor Vista.  We are still doing test dumps of our current Vista database into an Epicor 9 sandbox to make sure our data comes over properly.  We are also still working through the Epicor install to be sure we have all the functionality working the way we want.

                                     

                                    Our people here that will use Epicor 9 everyday have been very active in test driving the new system to make sure we have a minimum of issues when we go live.

                                     

                                    Appreciate the info.

                                     

                                    Anna

                                • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                  Terry Raymond

                                  Christina, any updates on EPDM + Epicor?

                                   

                                  We have been trying to implement Epicor + Pro.file (epicor's pdm) for a year now, and I'm starting to look elsewhere.

                                   

                                  Re your service connect problem... I can get a sizeable BOM (~200 parts) from profile to epicor in a few minutes thru SC.  One part takes about 30 seconds.  It sounds like you had a timer that wasn't configured properly.

                                    • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                      Christina Seay

                                      I'm still trying to make it work... and pulling my hair out with it.  We couldn't find a way to make Weldment data come out of EPDM.  We got 99.9% of all the data we needed for Epicor out... but that 0.1% is important enough that without it, we're stuck.  We're working with our Var at the moment to get XML files out of SolidWorks... and we've been doing that for the past month and a half and still don't have that working.

                                       

                                      As far as the time it took you to run a BOM in with service connect... you might be on the latest version.  They updated it based off our feedback from our implementation and it's suppsoed to work off of the .dll's directly now instead of web services and it's supposed to hold the data in a cache for the duration versus reading the whole file anew every time it needed one piece of information.  We're supposed to be updating here sometime this year.

                                        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                          Terry Raymond

                                          Man I wish I'd spoke with you back in April...

                                           

                                          Profile has no weldment support.  Their workaround is to export the cutlist from a drawing to an excel sheet, run a macro on the excel sheet to format it correctly, then import the excel sheet with a custom tool into profile.  Then it all goes to epicor without issue.

                                           

                                          What is the 0.1% you are missing?  Just the above quantity problem?  Can you add in the missing information manually in EPDM?

                                            • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                              Christina Seay

                                              I'm missing cutlist quantity per item when I do it directy from SolidWorks' API. 

                                               

                                              When I was in EPDM, I tried reading through it's API, and that wouldn't work for Weldments, they don't have support for reading that BOM. 

                                               

                                              EPDM has support to export XML files... but not if the file is a weldment.  I submited a SR via my var.. and SolidWorks put it on the lsit to fix in 2014.

                                               

                                              Then I tried doing it by accessing the EPDM stored procedures directly in the database... which sort of worked... but I can't get the length of a cut list part consistently.  Apparently that's more of an issue between SolidWorks and EPDM than with EPDM itself though.

                                                • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                  Terry Raymond

                                                  That sucks.  But are you able to fix the quantity in EPDM manually?  Or are you stuck with an incorrect quantity?

                                                   

                                                  A thought that probably won't help - I remember in SW2008, if weldment members had the same description, SW had trouble separating them in some cutlists.

                                                    • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                      Christina Seay

                                                      It was length/area that I had issues with... and I wasn't able to get it or fix it.  At one point our SW consultant even went through and pulled every file out of the vault and put them all back in after supposidly fixing the issue so EPDM would update... but it didn't fix every file.

                                                       

                                                      If you can get all the data Epicor needs to display consistently in the BOM that you look at in EPDM for a weldment cutlist.. then the method of executing a SQL Stored Procedure in EPDM's database (BomListProc) would work.

                                                        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                          Terry Raymond

                                                          Wow so you can't manually fix a value inside EPDM?  That doesn't sound right... but if it is true, I guess it would be a reason to avoid EPDM for the time being...

                                                            • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                              Christina Seay

                                                              If it's just a manually created property, you can map it to a file card value and then updating the file card would update the SW file.  Some properties... like length, mass, area, etc of a SW part are just there by default (not properties) and EPDM reads those.  That's what we couldn't get to work right.  We tried mapping that auto-created value to a property and going that route, but the property wouldn't update from the value correctly and half the time the property would have a value in it like mas@@partname

                                                • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                  Leslaw Ludwig

                                                  Christina looks like you did a huge amount of work on Vantage to get it working.

                                                  Our company is using Vantage 8.03 + EPDM 2012. I was looking at an easy way to connect both just to update part records in Vantage from EPDM but service connect was not very useful. Would you be able to give me some pointers on which dlls you have used etc?

                                                   

                                                  Regards,
                                                  Les

                                                  • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                    Bryce Hooper

                                                    I realize this thread is likely long dead... but I have to ask...

                                                     

                                                    Has anyone found any documentation on interfacing with Epicor?  The company I work for wants a custom bridge between EPDM and Epicor.  So far Epicor keeps dancing me around departments to find the information for me.

                                                      • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                        Corey Hinman

                                                        I've used PDM+EPICOR+CADLink for over a year now. What specifics would you like to know?

                                                          • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                            Bryce Hooper

                                                            When I hired on I was told we were doing CADLink... lately I've been told to create something to do it.  Its something I have done before in Syteline, but I did it by brute force and I don't think the IT dept here will be as happy or compliant as my last job. 

                                                             

                                                            It's also looking like CADLink isn't going to do 100% of what this company wants anyways.  That's why I've been asked to do this.

                                                             

                                                            Obviously this is all possible to run through the software rather than around if CADLink is doing it.  However, talking to Epicor on the phone now just left me feeling a few brain cells light.  I spent 10 minutes explaining that I do not have a customer for this... I am YOUR customer looking to do this myself.

                                                    • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                      Patrick Brochu

                                                      Late reply to this thread.  Are you aware of an EPDM partner named Qbuild?  They provide a bridge between Epicor & EPDM.  This will not address the missing Cutlist info but may be of use to others.  Qbuild is out of Ontario.

                                                        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                          Dean Dickemore

                                                          It appears this thread has quieted down substantially since April '12.  I've been watching this thread for a while with interest as my company is implementing Epicor in early 2013.  There has not been an embracing of Enterprise or any PDM system here as of yet, and that itself is a challenge with 30+ users.

                                                          I'm most interested in the success and challenges that have been realized with the pairing. Especially with not only SolidWorks data but data from any of the other parametric CAD packages as well.  We recieve a broad cross section of file types to deal with, not unlike many here do I'm sure. I would appreciate any input or comments either way.

                                                           

                                                          Thanks,

                                                          Dean D.

                                                          <><

                                                        • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                          Adrian Velazquez

                                                          Hello everyone, hopefully I can revive this thread.

                                                           

                                                          So we are finally going thru implementation, our company already bought CADLink, but i'm not sure it's the best choice for us, this is why:

                                                           

                                                          -We don't use EPDM BOM functionality

                                                          -We import the BOM  to our Current ERP System via a .txt file which is generated from the SolidWorks Drawing BOM.

                                                          -We have a paperless workflow, our Engineers/Designers put all the effort in ensuring the Drawing BOMs are production ready.

                                                          -CADLink runs from the SW Assembly file

                                                               -This would create a disconnect between the Model BOM and the Drawing BOM.

                                                               -Our models are setup to works with multiple SW-BOM Templates that conflict with CADLink property mapping (Materials)

                                                               -For multiple reasons (Permissions, Versions, Bugs...) models could open differently than the intended As-Built version.

                                                               -While testing CADLink experienced issues with our modeling structure for some products (Promoted Assemblies, Mirror parts, Inserted Parts...)

                                                           

                                                          In short, I believe CADLink does more than what we need it to do, and it's complicating things. We already have a system that is effective by relying in the Drawing BOM,

                                                           

                                                          Is anyone doing a Service Connect from data in the Solidworks files (not EPDM)?

                                                           

                                                          Any feedback/input would be appreciated. Thanks

                                                            • Re: EPDM + Epicor?
                                                              Mark Coleman

                                                              We're currently in the process of implementing EPDM within the Design office, hopefully going live towards the end of the month.

                                                              Then, we look to go live with Epicor 9 across the business towards the end of the year.

                                                              We have a conference call with a Service Connect tech guy from Epicor next week to prepare for a meeting.

                                                               

                                                              I'll keep you posted with our thoughts and proposals.

                                                              MarkC