Why are they not keen on SW PDM? Which SolidWorks PDM are you referring to? Workgroup or Enterprise PDM?
What are your expectations of what PDM is gong to do for you?
Enterprise PDM is what I have a brochure on. What is the difference between Workgroup and Enterprise?
We have the basic SW package, no frills unfortuneately.
To be perfectly honest I was never given a reason why they are not keen on it, but they do control how the money is spent. I have to give an argument for one, and if it's a SW pdm I'll also have to add why it's better.. All I want from a pdm is to be able to control SW and Autocad drawings from one place. We have a problem now where drawing numbers occasionally used more than once because someone drew a product in SW and another person drew a similar part and used the same drawing number. I believe this could easily be fixed, all anyone has to do is look first in both file extensions. Somehow this is impossible for some people..
We also have two different locations for SW and Autocad on our server, I would love to be able to merge them somehow.
I would like to be able to track check-in/check-out of drawings and or models and asm's and etc.
I hope to get a couple other options and peoples opinions of these, just to compare and like I mentioned before, make an argument for whatever I feel works best for us.
EPDM is a separate software package. It is sold separately from SW.
In Professional and Premium versions of SW, there is an integrated PDM called Workgroup PDM. It comes with the software and it only costs extra in that it requires you to have a Pro or Premium license instead of Standard. It does take some setup and is capable of storing non-SW documents (i.e. ACAD dwg's) but there is no easy plug-in available in AutoCAD that allows you to easily access and monitor those documents.
Unfortunately, for those of us that use Workgroup, DS has stopped enhancing Workgroup and because of this support for and information about it are getting harder to come by. These forums seem to be the best source because there are lots of users that still use it.
My suggestion is to contact your reseller and see if they can help you with testing it out. Otherwise, search the Data Management section of these forums for as much information as you need for the sake of "convincing" your bosses.
Thanks for the reply and the information. There was a thought in-house about upgrading (me) to SW premium. Do you think workgroup is being phased out, or just they don't make any money on it so they don't put much of an effort into it?
This has been an ongoing discussion for a couple of years now with a couple VARs putting it out there that it is being phased out. But every time I see that, someone at SW seems to respond to the contrary. For the time being, Workgroup seems to be here to stay, SW just stopped enhancing it and support for it has been getting harder to come by.
So to answer your question, yes, because they make a lot more off EPDM than Workgroup, they stopped putting in enhancements. There are pros and cons to that. No more additional training is required as there is no additional functionality introduced. However, what you have is what you get. If you want more functionality, you have to upgrade to EPDM.
If you do decide to upgrade only your license to Professional (the lowest level available with Workgroup) and not the others, be aware that now you are the only to manage the vault. The other users would not be forced to produce unique filename or check an item into the vault. They would not be able to access standardized parts that are kept in the vault. You would have to checkout any items that would need revising if they would need access to them.
My suggestion is to put all licenses on the same level to ease the workload that would come with having only one computer that accesses the vault.