You need to start looking for the cause within your environment. I have 50 users working with assemblies in the tens of thousands.
While we would occaissionally like the system to be faster :-) we do not have the issues you describe.
Have you witnessed the crashes or are you recipient of the complaints about crashes? If it is the latter, I recommend verifying it yourself because you may be hearing the "I don't like change" complaint about the change from WPDM to EPDM. Unfortunately, I have seen this myself on numerous occasions. I am not claiming this is the problem, just merely putting it on your radar. Come to your own conclusions.
See if the issues are being generated from one or two specific users, take some time and shadow their work process to see when the crashes occur.
I second Joy's recommendation. We have 40 users divided among CAD Editors and Contributors. Our CAD Editors work with assemblies containing parts in the hundreds without issue. In December, I returned from working at a company with 30 CAD Editors using thousands of parts and assemblies with hundreds of parts & 70 Contributors and viewers without the issues you describe.
I must admit that I do not trust the vault and my people pick up on that. I have seen files saved and checked in only to be retreived the next day with the previous days changes lost. I now have very little trouble with the vault but I try to always work off line. I do my work off line, get on line to either check in or check out files and go back offline. My engineer that experiences the most problems tried working as I do for a week and did not have any crashes during that week. The next week she went back to working on line and had many issues. I am sure that we have created some of our own problems but it is also full of bugs. The search function only sometimes works in the window view unless you activate it from the drop down menu. Try searching for files that are checked out by you and opening them by double clicking on the file, it will crash every time. We have demonstrated these issues and others many of which are known bugs. Unfortunately we haven't yet identified all the bear traps that keep us from being productive. I do have an engineer that works online and has very few issues so we need to observe his working practices and adopt them. Thanks for letting me know that it can work.
Glad to offer some insight Adam. I sensed the situation was a bit more than technical.
What version of EPDM and SolidWorks are you using? Are your SolidWorks licenses on a license manager or stand alone? How many licenses of EPDM do you have?
As the leader, if your users pick up on your lack of confidence in the system, they will lose confidence naturally and form their own solutions. If a controlled solution is not offered, lots of uncontrolled and unapproved solutions will erupt. One of these I have seen is users working with assemblies half in EPDM and half on their desktop with EPDM references pointing outside the vault.
The idea has to be YOU setting the vision for where you see EPDM in a year. This will be your stake in the ground out front. Tie a rope between the stake and every EPDM process that is needed to reach that stake and use the ropes to pull yourself to the stake. That is your process development roadmap.
Sounds like one of them is for you to gain the confidence and troubleshooting skills needed to navigate these rough waters. I am not highlighting a deficiency on your part at all, in fact I was once experiencing your woes.
Your facility is still in the growing pains of EPDM and YOU as the admin are on the verge of a discovery and growth with your skillset.
One of my latest projects is recovering an EPDM implementation that did not launch, I have also seen some "unreal" situations, and yet I have also accomplished the best work of my career with EPDM so I may be able to offer some helpful guidance if you would like it.
Here is an idea: I would be glad to "talk" with you about 2-3 of the high level issues you are experiencing and discover your mission statement. I am willing to spend half an hour or so on a conference call free of cost to you. After this week though, my workload is going to skyrocket for the next 4 months so if we do, let's visit this week.
Send me a PM if you are interested.
YOU can make this work and work well.
Adam, from what you describe a big part of the issues seem to be related to lack of training or understanding of the users of how EPDM works. If working off-line solves some isses than the servers are not configured properly. Did you get support from your VAR during installation?
We have 50+ users with assemblies well over 50K. Yes he have issues here and there but nothing catastrophic.
Something else to keep on the radar.
A user who reports work is lost but they don't know if they are looking at the vault version or the local cache version.
I hope it is not something this dumb but it could happen.
Sometimes what you see on one pc will not be the same thing you see on another pc.
Hopefully you are all more advanced than this though.
We are alos losing files in the vault (several users) on an ocaasional basis. On several occassions we create new files including Solidworks or Adobe PDF files created from a Solidworks drawing that do not show in the vault. We cannot locate them in the vault using the Search feature within ePDM but the files are in the recent file list. These files remain accessible as long as they are available on the Recent File list.
This phenomena occures without a crash of either Solidworks or ePDM.. There are others who are experiencing the lost work with crashes but I have no details on that.
We are running SW2012 SP5.0 and SolidWorks Enterpirse PDM 12.5B916.
I have previously "lost" files in my vault. However, when I looked further into the issue my lost files were in a state the the user could not see. It might be worth checking to see if your lost files might be due to a permissions error in your flow.
If can browse to the file in Explorer you can right click on the file and pick add to file vault. There are a few SPRs out there related to files not getting added to the vault which I reported when we went to 2012. We are now on 2014 and still see it here and there. I received a notice that his was fixed in 2015.
We have 100 plus users and have issues here and there but not to your level. One of our users that said he was loosing the work he checked in turned out to be a similar part that he was actually working on not the one he thought. Found that out by looking at the SW backup directory and finding a model from that date with the changes he made but it was not the model he thought he made the changes he made tem to. This same scenario happened multiple times. I am not saying that EPDM did not hiccup in your case but this is what I have seen.
Your users should not be loosing work if they are saving and they have backups turned on. Backups will have you last save of that file. I am not talking about Autosave which sees to be a crap shoot.
Like Terry mentioned as well the dialog that asks you if yo want to get the latest version has been an issue with us as well. These messages are not always the most intuitive as well as the proper user training needs to be in place (that falls on me). I am going to retrain everyone here because of the different levels knowledge along I do not know what my predecessor provided for training.
One other thing to take a look at is the option settings for EPDM in SolidWorks. There are many checkboxes control when the feature tree updates. You may want try and uncheck some of those as a test with a user that is crashing a lot. They will have to right click in the EPDM tree and pick refresh to update the tree but if it reduces the crashes you are on your way to narrowing it down.
Lastly EPDM is the last place you want to be underpowered and in reality if you have a large database need to be over powered. We currently have over 7 million files in our vault...
I've had users complain about losing files and crashing solidworks.
For the losing files, it is because they are not checking out the file they are working on. They make the changes to the local (in-memory) copy.
Then when they go to save, solidworks sometimes asks if they want to get the latest version of the vault. User says yes, then bam work gone.
For the crashing, I've seen the users clicking the EPDM plugin buttons faster than EPDM can keep up with them. If the computer doesn't respond immediately, they click the button more times. "See look when I click this button it crashes!!" they told me. I had thim click it once and wait 3 seconds then magically it didn't crash.