7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2014 3:23 AM by Steven Taylor

    EPDM upgrade from Workgroup

    Walter Breuer

      We are considering upgrading from Workgroup pdm to Enterprise pdm.  I am looking for pros and cons from those of you who have done this.  We are a small company but are managing around 40000 files.

        • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
          Scott Pinnow

          Walter, look to the right side of the screen in the More Like This to get you a head start to some answers.

          • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
            Kip Speck

            Walter,

             

             

            Before blindly giving you blanket statements, it is a good idea to know why you are migrating to EPDM, not to argue the merits of it but to understand what are the important factors that define your requirements.  Here are some questions,

             

            1. What is it about EPDM that Workgroup does not offer your company?
            2. What feature in EPDM do you feel is the most important, i.e. Workflow's, Revision Control, Security, etc.?
            3. Are you using Revision control in Workgroup? if you are you will need to make sure that the migration accommodates it.
            4. Model References and Version Control, how important is it to maintain Version Reference Integrity when migrating to EPDM?
            5. Variables or Custom Properties, what are you using in Workgroup?  What do you need in EPDM?
            6. Can you get all of your files in Workgroup checked in before the migration?
            7. Have you defined the Workflow's, Security, Folder Structures for EPDM
            8. What types of users/licenses will you have in EPDM
            9. How much training will be required for the users?
            10. You will need to do installs of EPDM on all workstations, are you ready for that?
            11. Do you have the Server and infrastructure required?

             

             

             

            As Scott pointed out there are many posts on this topic so there is a lot of good nuggets of information out there.  I have done several of these, there is a tool from SolidWorks (you may need to get it from your VAR), to do the heavy lifting for the migration.

             

            When you decide to do this, make sure that you have a Migration Plan, make sure you know how long it will take (this will directly effect the users and production)

             

            This should get you thinking,

             

            We offer Migration services at Stratus-X so if you would like assistance please look us up.

            www.stratus-x.com

             

            Kip  Speck

            Kip.Speck@stratus-x.com

              • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
                Walter Breuer

                Kip,

                Thank you for all your thoughts.  To make a long story short, our current workgroup PDM is very, very slow when it comes to checking files into the vault.  We have 4 SW users and a typical check in of a drawing and assembly takes about 80 seconds.  Also, when one operator is checking a file in the other operators are at a stand still.  Their SW applications basically freeze up.  We have had our VAR tech support look at everything pertaining to our set up and hardware.  They tell us that our last option, other than going to EPDM, is to create new projects and split our one large project up into projects of around 1000 files per.  The only way to do this is to take ownership, do the "change project" command, and then release ownership.  This will take around 1 minute per drawing/assembly combo, so at 20000 combos it will take around 333 hours.  That is quite a committment of time and money.  I am also concerned that one day in the near future, workgroup will no longer be supported and the switch over to EPDM will need to happen sooner or later anyway.

                 

                What I am mostly curious about, is if Enterprise will significantly speed up our check in times or not.  I will of course research some of your other questions prior to making a decision on this, but am looking for any other ideas before spending alot of time doing the research.  Thanks again.

                  • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
                    Kip Speck

                    Walter,

                     

                    Thanks for the information.

                     

                    As for your current problem as it relates to speed, When you do the migration to EPDM you will want to split the files into separate folders, EPDM and any Folder based system is subject to the performance issue with having more than 2500 files in a folder.

                     

                    The migration will take some time as well, and you will DEFINITELY need to do some test migrations to make sure that the references remain in tact.

                     

                    If you can not separate the files into separate folders during the migration process, you will need to do it after the files are migrated, this still causes a time problem for your company.  EPDM does do a great job of managing references once the files have been Checked into EPDM.

                     

                     

                    As for SolidWorks supporting Workgroup, I can not answer that but I have not seen them "Abandon" anything that has been in production.  They may at some point announce an End of Life, but I do not know if that is in the plans.

                     

                     

                    Have you tried creating a New project in Workgroup and add new files to it, to see if the performance is any better?  Not suggesting that your VAR is incorrect, but there are a number of reasons that could cause this issue.

                     

                    Thanks

                     

                     

                    Kip  Speck

                    Kip.Speck@stratus-x.com

                    www.stratus-x.com

                      • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
                        Walter Breuer

                        Kip,

                        Yes, we have created new projects and tested our check in speeds to the new "empty" project verses the standard project.  The  speeds are the same.

                          • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
                            Kip Speck

                            Sorry, if you have already investigated these things you can say we already ruled out of of that.

                             

                            Have you looked at:

                            1. File IO speeds of your server and
                            2. bandwidth.
                            3. Latency
                            4. Copied files from client to server outside of Workgroup to see if the times are comparable?
                            5. Checked to see if you have any router or Hub issues?

                             

                            Are you plannig to put EPDM on the same server as your Workgoup?

                            • Re: EPDM upgrade from Workgroup
                              Steven Taylor

                              Not that I profess to be an expert at EPDM implementation, but your check in issues suggest networking and/or server server issues.  I know that when I implemented EPDM at my previous employer's business, we had a remote location with users as well.  I remember having significant issues getting decent response times at the remote site (we were using a web connection to the main server there). 

                               

                              I remember one of the options was setting up a sort of "mirrored" server at the remote site which would update the main server after the workstation had already done its thing, but our problem ended up being an issue with security protocols between the main network and the remote network, and the IT people ended up fixing it on their end.  Transactions worked pretty much instantaneously after that (or nearly as fast as similar transactions made at the main location).  If you do go down the EPDM road, you may want to purchase a good server, and I wouldn't skimp on spending a bit for high performance...people will be much happier.

                               

                              These guys have some troubleshooting suggestions and tools you may want to look at too:

                               

                              http://www.javelin-tech.com/blog/2012/10/epdm-connectivity-issues-ping-test/

                               

                              For what it is worth, I'm attaching an excerpt from an implementation pitch to management I put together.  This excerpt is an overview of software requirements and possible network structures that could be used to implement EPDM.  Keep in mind, this was in 2010, but I think it should still be accurate if you were to use up to date versions of all the softwares.  If you want to see anything else you think might help you, let me know and I can at least point you to some of the resources I found out there

                               

                              Everyone else who answered your post has given you excellent input, and I hope you've got everything worked out already, but if not, I know when I was in your situation I felt like I could use all the help I could get!

                               

                              Steve

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