17 Replies Latest reply on Mar 2, 2012 4:20 PM by Ryan Reid

    Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?

    Chris Jones

      We are currently exploring PDM solutions and have been told by competitive solutions that EPDM does not manage 3rd party CAD data well.  We are standardized on Inventor 2010.  Any feedback, pro or con?

       

      THanks

        • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
          Mike Sveda

          EPDM works "ok" with Inventor.  The downside is that you have to fill out data cards for drawings manually.  With Solidworks, the data card for the drawing auto-fills from the model.

            • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
              Wayne Matus

              To eleborate more on what Mike is saying. In SolidWorks you can map custom properties from the drawing's referenced model to fill out the title block on the drawing. In EPDM, these model custom properties are automatically mapped not only to the model data card but also the drawing data card. So a user only has to key in the information one time, in the model custom properties, and information is automatically added as metadata in EPDM for both the model and the drawing.

            • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
              Scott McFadden

              Chris,

              Welcome to the forum.

              EPDM will manage all types of data input.  Obviously Solidworks it manages the best

              because it is created by the same company.  If you are a prodomently an Inventor company and you ahve not purchased

              a PDM system as of yet you might want to look into Autodesk's Vault professional.  This is the equivalent of EPDM.

              • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                Ryan McVay

                If you are using AutoCAD Electrical product you might not have any choice but Acad Vault.

                 

                What are you "pain points" that you are looking to elevate when using a PDM system? Answering this will allow everyone to understand your objectives and lead/guide you in the right direction. You do have a lot of options but they truly all depend on what your objectives are and if you just want to control data (revisions and workflow) or looking to extend your data beyond engineering/design- a PLM system.

                  • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                    Chris Jones

                    Thanks for the feedback.

                     

                    Ryan - we are looking to manage our Inventor CAD data, release accurate drawings to multiple manufacturing stations, and formalize a redlining and change management process.  Hope that helps to clarify the situation.

                      • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                        Ryan McVay

                        From a standpoint of a business solution, I would stick with a single vendor. In your case I would stick with Autodesk Vault. There doesn't appear to be any business need to complicate things by inserting a second vendor (Dassault for EPDM). If you were to go with EPDM then you introduce a new variable into you systems. That variable will allow your two vendors to point fingers at each other if something was not quite working the way you expected. Updating your software is another reason to stick with one vendor. You may find yourself waiting additional time as you wait for one of the vendors to release their version which works with the other solution. Same thing can be said for the software prerequisites. One may require a different version of sale SQL or Server software. Best thing is to keep it simple and in one camp.

                          • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                            Ryan Reid

                                 I want to caution you on sticking with Autodesk vault. I am a CAD Admin of Vault Pro in an autodesk house (with a few seats of SWX).  We are looking to move to EPDM or something better yet.  Vault does not give you nearly the capability that EPDM does, they are improving but not fast enough to keep up with EPDM or their competitors.

                                I understand that their may be situations that EPDM might not handle some of the basics as vault but i think that it would be easier to bandaid those problems with your VAR and have more room for growth and capability with EPDM (or their competition) than to be restricted with Vault for a long time at your company.  This is a major and costly decision, make sure that you are going the right direction to support growth in your company.  My vote is for EPDM at this moment with all of the add-ins that are available it hard to argue against it. IMHO

                              • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                Scott McFadden

                                Ryan,

                                Welcome to the forum.

                                While you might be correct in your statements about EPDM being a stronger and have more manageability

                                with files in general, I agree with what ahs been said.  It makes sense if the files being managed are Inventor,

                                they should be handled with the autodesk vault.  Anymore then it makes sense to manage SW files with autodesk vault

                                instead of EPDM or PDM Workgroup.

                                Why drag another VAR into the picture.  I personally think that would bring confusion into the company mix.

                                  • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                    Ryan Reid

                                    Thanks scott,

                                         If Seperate VARs is the major roadblock then my general opinion is no loyalty to VAR's,  get the product that will be best for your company for the long term.  Autodesk has made an empire with loyalty that has suffered individual companies because they dont look to see what else is out there.  Those companies never realize their potential because of this. If you are looking to "formalize a redlining and change management process" then he will be dissapointed with the restictions of AV.  Both programs though will accomplish the other two tasks that he is looking for.  As for company confusion, there shouldnt be much because he doesnt have anything inplace yet.  Your VAR can have your EPDM never mention SWX if you like.  This also all depends on how many seats your looking at, if you have two seats and can yell to the other to communicate a change process then vault will work fine.   If you have 20 seats the you will be disapointed with vaults collaboration opportunities.

                                     

                                    Ask your potential EPDM VAR for a proof of concept for your inventor capabilities and I think that you will be plesantly surprised.  Competition remarks are just that, competition remarks to dissuade you.  I am completely unbiased and am looking at a bunch of different competitors right now.  Make them sell you on their capabilities and not their interpritations of other software (that they dont really know anyway).

                                     

                                    IMHO

                                      • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                        Ryan McVay

                                        I think there was some confusion. In my reply I used the word "vendor" not VAR. Sticking with a single vendor as a technology partner. We also have some confusion because two of use are name "Ryan". Which is a good name, by the way.

                                         

                                        Ryan R. has the experience with Autodesk Vault. I would defer to his experience with red lining over my knowledge of Autodesk Vault. I would still think that Vault should be able very capable of handling the workflow for change management.

                                         

                                        Scott's point is very valid when it comes to mixing vendors for solutions. When something breaks down you will never get a solution- as one vendor with point to the other. You also have to play the "Wait and See" game when it comes to moving your technology forward. You have to wait for the other vendor to release its version of software that will support the version of the other component- if at all!

                                         

                                        Now with all that said, we have a different conversation than originally posted and I apologize for the hi-jacking of the thread.

                                         

                                        To get back to the original question which was related to EPDM and multi-CAD support. It has some capabilities but it all depends on what type of management you are looking for as a business solution and if you plan to leverage the data beyond Engineering. There are plenty of PDM solutions out there. Heck using a MS folder and permission strategy you can create your own PDM system. You can use SharePoint and even bring in workflow and many other features. Then you have full enterprise solutions like Teamcenter, Teamcenter Express, ENOVIA, Windchill and others. As you can see, there are many solutions for your to choice.

                                        With that I will fall back on Ryan R's logic of just don't go with "loyalty". I would you that logic against those in the SW world as well. You have a very similar "passionate" following as well.

                                        My advice is to sit down and then write down the functions you require followed by the ones you want. I would then examine the functional list with my business goals, mission and vision. If these don't mesh then scratch it off the list. What you are left with is what you need to go back to you vendors with. Then have them show you how they resolve these issues. Then ask them how they are going to grow as you grow! Don't forget that question. You need to understand the future of the product you choice. You could find yourself on a very glamorous boat that isn't leaving the docks!

                                          • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                            Ryan Reid

                                            Thanks Ryan M. it is a good name.  it means little king if you didnt allready know.  I will concede that AV can handle change mangement.  the term "handle" is where the details are.  it can process a change relatively efficiently, but it can not communicate that chanege efficiently throughout the company and that is where other vendors shine and that is what (IMHO) change management is really about.  like you say MS explorer can handle revision control.

                                             

                                            Per your point of support, I agree that this influences update timing.  i personally feel that timing is pretty negotiable.  many conmpanies want the best CAD version available right now as soon ans it comes out and they have some good points.  If your company is requiring that then consolidated vendors is probably required.  I would urge a reconsideration of that practice with a step back that looks at all of the technology out there and the direction of technology before making that decision.

                                             

                                            Ryan M.'s advice is very well grounded and i would suggest the same approach.  I personaly have just finished developing a "vision" document to start the conversation with my upper management based off of the technology that is out there now.  We will negotiate a shared vision and and move forward with that to find the best vendor.  This vision is based purely off of features available.  Examples are: comunication services(video/chat/email notifications), MCAD capabilities, reporting services, tasking, to name only a few. You should understand he capabilities of any of your vendors with regard to functions that you want and need before looking seriously at anything. this thread seems to be a good starting point.

                                          • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                            Scott McFadden

                                            Ryan,

                                            Obviously you and I could go back and forth on this all night and ultimately this is Chris's decision in the long run.

                                            Listen, I am not saying I disagree with you.  My opinion is if you are going to stick with Inventor files then vault

                                            is a better system to go with.  Yes the professional version of vault pails in comparison with EPDM.  Not going to argue that one red bit!!

                                            Bottom line for me is this.  Inventor/vault falls short in comparison with Solidworks/EPDM.  But, those pairs are best

                                            for each other.  To cross mix them I don't think works well.  They are all suited best with their own kinds.

                                            Hope this makes sense.

                                    • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                      Scott McFadden

                                      Chris,

                                      Another thought since you have a lineage of Inventor files you might want to post this same

                                      question on the Autodesk Vault discussion group forum.

                                  • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                    Todd Puckett

                                    Chris,

                                    I’m sure Vault will work for you but I know from experience EPDM will do a very good job. 

                                     

                                    We have about 40 AutoCAD Mech\Inventor 2012 & 2011 users, 8 AutoCAD Electrical 2011, 5 SolidWorks 2012, Catia 6, Microstation V8, and NX 7.5.  We have been using Inventor with EPDM since 2008 with very few problems. Our CAD manager would love to use Autodesk Vault but every time we sit down and look at the advantages and disadvantages EPDM wins.  He is very bias to Autodesk products, the others involved in the decision making process want what works best.  We’ve had 2 Autodesk VARs both offer poor support and that is without supporting Vault.  Our EPDM VAR is very good; they haven’t pointed any fingers at Autodesk when problems arise. 

                                     

                                    As Ryan mentioned EPDM will support SolidWorks first, but since you are not using the latest version of Inventor this shouldn’t be a problem.

                                     

                                    Todd (PDM manager)

                                    • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                      Ricky Jordan

                                      We are currently managing both SolidWorks and Inventor data in our EPDM install.  The Inventor guys really seem to like EPDM.  The biggest thing I saw was that they were able to pickup the UI and the use of the software very quickly.  It works the way they were used to working. 

                                       

                                      I had one user tell me that he had worked off and on with Autodesk Vault for two years and still didn't get it.  Within a DAY this guy was rolling along with no issues in EPDM.  I can't speak on the features of Vault, I mainly go off what others have told me - and the feedback I've heard hasn't been good.

                                       

                                       

                                      Ricky Jordan

                                      • Re: Does EPDM Manage Inventor 2011 data well?
                                        Ryan Reid

                                        One thingn that i should mention is Autodesks new software called PLM 360 that help fill the holes that AV has but it is only a couple days old so i cant speak to it too well.  it is very cheap in cost though.