11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2014 9:38 PM by Craig Schultz

    EPDM v WPDM

    Rob D

      Users,

       

      I was hoping somebody could either give me a summary or point me toward an existing summary of the major (and minor if they are there) differences in E vs. W PDM. I was hoping to be able to compare them and present a comparison in order to decide which we should be working with.

       

      Our goals for the PDM system:

      • Manage design solid models and assemblies
      • Manage design drawings
      • Manage processing solid models (configurations for each operation) (NOTE: Processing will not have assemblies)
      • Manage processing drawings (in process dimension sheets)
      • From the drawing files, control a PDF file that updates upon revisioning.
      • Manage some data about these files:
        • Revision control
        • History log
        • Get old versions
      • Search by Custom Properties/Metadata

       

      I know EPDM can search by $PRP (once the information is pulled into the metadata), and I know WPDM can handle revisions. What I don't know about is workflow management differences. We do not use the templates and other file types in EPDM. We generally will be using it for SLDPRT, SLDASM, SLDDRW, and the controlled PDF files from the SLDDRW files. Can WPDM search using $PRP? Can WPDM or a simpler-than-EPDM add-in handle the PDF files?

       

      Thank you,

      Rob

        • Re: EPDM v WPDM
          Faur Arama

          Rob,

          All of your goals can be achieved with EPDM. There a lot information about EPDM on youtube.The main differences are workflows, users and groups right on folders or states. You can search not only about SolidWorks $PRP properties. You can search for any data that are inserted in file data card or variable values that are updated by transition in workflow.

          Of course it's more complex to configure epdm than workgroup.

            • Re: EPDM v WPDM
              Rob D

              Faur,

               

              Other than the revision control in EPDM, the fields we would search by are stored in $PRP already as done by automation we do in house. We'll have to work with setting fields by workflow transitions, but I don't think that is something we're going to be using. The only usage we've needed that for thus far is to push the revision number to metadata so it can be shown in the columns. We still have to check if this can control the $PRP data so the revision is stored internally as well.

               

              Thank you,

              Rob

            • Re: EPDM v WPDM
              Toby Schnaars

              Hi Rob,

              in your description of what you are looking for in a PDM system, you mentioned that one of your requirements is "From the drawing files, control a PDF file that updates upon revisioning."

               

              Workgroup PDM has a function to automatically create a new PDF whenever a drawing document (.slddrw) is checked into the vault.  However, this document is not a true revision controlled document.  The PDF can be called up (via a right click request) and the revision of the drawing when last checked in will appear on the title block (based on annotation links) but the PDF itself will not be stored as a "revision controlled document" inside of the vault.

               

              The primary implication of this limitation is that once a user checks a drawing into the vault the user would have to perform an additional step:

              -  RIGHT CLICK THE DRAWING and choose VIEW PDF

              -  SAVE THIS PDF off into a location where it would be accessible to other users in the company

               

              When you are checking in a single drawing this is a minor inconvenience, but when you are working with an assembly and checking in hundreds of drawings at the same time, this can be a serious limitation of Workgroup PDM.  EPDM offers a far more elegant solution to this limitation.

               

              The remaining requirements you mentioned can all be facilitated by Workgroup PDM.  You can search a WPDM vault based on properties of the contained files.

               

              Aside from the differences that Faur mentioned, some other things to consider are the Workgroup PDM is established for SINGLE SITE data management where Enterprise PDM can handle replication to facilitate multiple sites in different geographic regions.

               

              I posted a series of videos describing how to get started with Workgroup PDM on youtube.  Search for SolidWorks Toby and you will find our page.

               

              Hope this helps,

              Toby

                • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                  Rob D

                  Toby,

                   

                  Thank you for the input, and thank you for outlining the PDF process. I actually have watched the first 2/4 of your YouTube videos before posting this, but wanted to get some analysis about what the differences are. We do have multiple sites, but the data being handled by the PDM integration is very concentrated, and the product line between the 3 sites is different. Basically, the benefit to having the Enterprise level software is one location for all files across the 3 sites. However, each vault would really need to be set up completely on its own. Maybe 2 sites could share similar infrastructures, but the third makes a wildly different product line.

                   

                  Thank you,

                  Rob

                • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                  Simon Gatrall
                  1. Workgroup can only handle one version of SolidWorks at a time. If you work with clients who aren't on the same version, you're stuck.
                  2. Workgroup only understands revisions or a working rev (plus revs). EPDM has versions and revisions. Versions allow you to track/check-in as many changes as you want, but only bump rev when you're ready to share with manufacturing, or a vendor. Coming from WPDM, this is a breath of fresh air.
                  3. Workgroup has up to three revision schemes and parts of a workflow. It can't have more complex workflows, or different ones for different types of files.
                  4. Workgroup is 32 bit and isn't being actively developed to be 64 bit.
                  5. Workgroup is fine for smaller teams, but isn't built for larger teams with more complex.
                  6. EPDM vaults can be replicated to other locations over the internet for teams that aren't all on the same LAN.
                    • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                      Rob D

                      Simon,

                       

                      Thank you for the input. I do have some questions related to your answers, if you don't mind.

                       

                      1. By that, you mean Workgroup will work across all 20XX, but cannot integrate with 20XY, correct? How is this different than EPDM? I've read and seen that EPDM cannot handle an earlier version of SW (or may be vice versa on that one)?

                       

                      2. Even though it does not bump the revision, is there a check out/in history log when a change is made? If so, is it possible to comment on this history file?

                       

                      3. What do you mean "Parts of a workflow"? and, does the 3 apply to that as well? Do you mean the equivalent of States in EPDM?

                       

                      Thank you for the help, this forum has been a huge asset to the implementation process for us.

                      -Rob

                        • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                          Craig Schultz

                          1. By that, you mean Workgroup will work across all 20XX, but cannot integrate with 20XY, correct? How is this different than EPDM? I've read and seen that EPDM cannot handle an earlier version of SW (or may be vice versa on that one)?  It can handle previous versions of SW files, not future.  ePDM 2013 can do 2013, 2012, 2011, .....  Not 2014.  If I remember correctly WPDM and SW have to be 2014/2014, 2013/2013, etc.  Which can be almost impossible if you have outside customer which drive which version you use for them.

                           

                          2. Even though it does not bump the revision, is there a check out/in history log when a change is made? If so, is it possible to comment on this history file?  Complete history.  You can add comments IF there have been changes.  That's simple enough as making a change and then changing it back right away if you just want to add a comment to the history.

                           

                          3. What do you mean "Parts of a workflow"? and, does the 3 apply to that as well? Do you mean the equivalent of States in EPDM?  WPDM is very linear in revision schemes.  ePDM you can make up pretty much whatever scheme you want in combinations of minor, major, numeric, aplha-numeric.

                           

                          PDFs can be automatically created through transitions, it can overwrite old revisions (same name).

                           

                          Initial cost might be more with ePDM, but from what I've experienced once you get your workflows, data cards, yadda yadda yadda in place, there's much less behind the scenes administration.  We run all of our engineering list, DXF creation, PDF creation through ePDM.  It saves us probably 20+ hours of work per week between 2 sales guys and 2 designers during the busy weeks.  That's only on new projects, not including mistakes avoided.

                           

                          Thank you for the help, this forum has been a huge asset to the implementation process for us.

                          -Rob

                            • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                              Simon Gatrall

                              1. Actually EPDM can do 3 versions, including at least one newer. We're running EPDM 2013, and we have SolidWorks 2012, 2013 and 2014 in our vault.

                                • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                                  Rob D

                                  What's the upgrade/update process like for EPDM? Does it go rather seamlessly? Obviously, there are new features in some releases, but other than handling how those will work/affect the program, how simple is it to update the EPDM software for a release? Does it have to be done on all of the computers using it, or is the client side software consistent for some/many releases?

                                   

                                  Thank you

                                   

                                  -Rob

                          • Re: EPDM v WPDM
                            Stephen Reed

                            One difference I don't see addressed here is cost. WorkGroup is included at no cost if you have SW Pro or higher. Enterprise represents quite an investment in software (initial & subscription), hardware (it's own server recommended) and training (both admin and user).  Add to that a startup cost that will likely include help from your VAR to migrate your data from whatever your current system to EPDM and to get users setup and running.

                             

                            WorkGroup, while it doesn't have all the capabilities of EPDM, it's learning curve is small and requires little to nothing in hardware.  We were on WorkGroup for several years and EPDM for the last 1.5 years.  It all depends on what you need and are you willing to pay for it.

                             

                            Steve R.