DriveWorks Solo does not integrate with SolidWorks EPDM. DriveWorks Pro does. The integration began life as a Plugin that could be downloaded from the DriveWorks User Community, however it now comes preinstalled and is full integrated on all installations of DriveWorks 10.
More information on the integration can be found here:
The advantage of having models automatically checked in and out of EPDM is that you remove that manual process before and after model generation. Whether or not you are using EPDM is up to you, however if you are then DriveWorks can handle the checking in and out of models/drawings automatically.
I know the guys at Razorleaf have also created a plugin for DriveWorks and EPDM integration that has some additional functionality such as assigning file numbering automatically. http://razorleaf.com/tag/driveworks-customization/
I hope that helps answer your question
Razorleaf is a services company that performs implementation and customization services for both SolidWorks EPDM and DriveWorks as well as integrating the two. We have clients using the tools together in a few different ways. There is a standard integration plug-in that handles the basic EPDM functionality which is built into DriveWorks. That is generally sufficient for most of our clients. The thing to remember is that DriveWorks is primarily what we like to call a PUSH system, it is used to generate outputs like SolidWorks models and drawings. SolidWorks EPDM is a repository designed to manage these files once they've been created. DriveWorks certainly does have the ability to reuse components, so it doesn't have to rebuild the same part each time (although this does have its advantages, but that's a white paper in and of itself), but most people use DriveWorks to create unique models/drawings for each client that they can store "as built."
Both DriveWorks and SolidWorks EPDM have an API/SDK (Application Programmer Interface/Software Development Kit) that allows us to access more functionality within the packages and integrate them more tightly. We have utilized these to perform additional EPDM tasks that people want DriveWorks to perform. For example, one client wanted DriveWorks to grab the next available serial number from SolidWorks EPDM when a new design specification is started, utilize that part number within the Word and Excel documents that DriveWorks generates, then check a model/drawing into the vault with that part number at the end of the process. A large majority of the SolidWorks EPDM functionality is available within the API, which allows DriveWorks to access it and vice versa.
As to whether it makes sense to have DriveWorks put your documents into the vault, a lot of our clients do think so since EPDM protects those files, makes them available to a wider audience, process them through workflows, and allows the users to continue to develop them. It's important to note that DriveWorks creates live, properly featured and fully functional SolidWorks models. So many of our clients let DriveWorks create the start of their products, then modify them in SolidWorks to add truly custom features that could never be anticipated. EPDM allows them to manage this further design along with the review and approval processes.
If you would like to discuss this more, or have further questions, I'll be more than happy to share our experiences.
Business Process Sherpa
Thanks Paul. I will digest this and more as we move to PDMWorks Enterprise and begin to use DriveWorks Express in a test fashion. Its good to understand the scope of possibilities first, I think.
Harold Beck and Sons