12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2018 6:06 AM by Ronan Carrroll


    Ronan Carrroll

      I have looked at both of these products.

      Back ground information. We have used Solidworks since 1996
      and PDMWorks since 2007. At present we only use one license of SW 2014 and 3
      contributor licenses. Will probably have a second SW seat soon.

      Reasons for need to change PDM system is primarily we  started using Open ERP least last year.

      PDMworks does not produce usable BOMs. Basically want people
      to be able to pick up the BOMs directly from the PDM system.

      My other major problem is on setup of PDMWorks I followed
      the recommendation of not putting library files in the Vault. That was a big
      mistake. I need to rename many of them.


      From what I have seem of both PDM systems DDM & EPDM

      Both interfaces are nice.

      1. DDM can handle configurations. Each configuration
        can be saved as an apparently different file but is actually all the one file. EPDM have been told by the Var doesn’t like configurations.

           2.According to Var I can rename a file in the
             Vault and it updates the references or links  where it is used. Would that show the new name
              in the BOM?

             DDM been told you need to have all the
             assemblies etc. where the file is used open in session before renaming file.
             Can anyone confirm this because that is a big drawback.


            3.I see EPDM uses both issue and revisions. It stores
               all issues of saved model changes aswell as released revisions. Something like
               what Smart Team does. That strikes me as being very disk heavy.

              As far as I know DDM does not do the above.

              I am concerned here about administration burden. Less is good.


            4. At present I have PDM works mounted on My
               Computer. About 60G vault. I also run a parallel folder structure I so I don’t have
               to keep checking things out. I don’t want to put the new PDM system on our
               server as then I would be opening large file across network. Was thing of
               having a 2nd Pc beside mine for vault. This would have a direct link
                to mine (avoiding company network) for file opening and the purchasers can view
                vault on the network. Been told a NAS(?) drive will do this. Anyone else do

             5.DDM can open an assembly “as built” or “use
                latest revisions”. You pick and choose as it suits you.

                Is EPDM as flexible on this?

             6. EPDM well supported on web

                 DDM can’t even find a user forum and not must
                 user information available. They do have good You Tube videos though and monthly
                upgrade releases.

      I am interested in hear others views and experiences on


      Message was edited by: Ronan Carrroll Edit numbering

        • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
          Brian McEwen

          Ronan, Lot of stuff you cover there... 

          Migration is one of the more painful parts of PDM.  But if the way your PDM plays with OpenERP (now called Odoo) is really a deal breaker maybe you don't have a choice. For a place with only one seat of SolidWorks I'd make sure it is really worth switching to a more heavy duty PDM system though.


          ... Started to address your points, but got confused for a minute due to name changes... You currently have WPDM (SolidWorks Workgroup PDM - formerly PDMWorks). You are thinking about switching to DDM or EPDM.  (Enterprise PDM was formerly PDMWorks Enterprise)


          I have no experience with DDM. EPDM can be a pain at times (Re: Big List of EPDM Enhancements), but I think it handles most of your list, and it is pretty good at the basics once set up.


          1) EPDM can handle configs  - just don't try to do multiple PN under different Revision levels in one file. If all configs are okay at same rev level then not much problem. Different rev levels are possible, but not really worth it.


          2) This is an important consideration.  EPDM handles renaming quite well. Main pitfall is renaming something while the parent is checked out, by someone other than the person renaming. This will break links but can be avoided with a quick Where Used.


          3) Not a big deal. You can auto delete Versions (what you called "issues") using Cold Storage settings. Released Revisions are kept. Many Versions with only database changes (vs actual SolidWorks changes) use almost no extra space.


          4) One advantage of EPDM is it accesses the files on the server less often -  you work on a local harddrive copy. Master (checked-in copy) is on the server. But your way may work, it's over my head.


          5) EPDM can do something like this.  Depends on your settings and exactly what you want. SolidWorks will tend to open the newest, then I use Get Version. 


          6) Weak forums - I found this be an issue with Adept (locked forum) and DBWorks also.  EPDM stands out. 

            • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
              Ronan Carrroll

              Thank you Brian.

              You addressed my points very well. Really we have to move to something better. The open ERP users need to be able to pick up the BoMs from the PDM system or have the PDM system automatically export the BoMs to a folder when an assembly is released. Haven't looked at the concept of full integration.

              Regarding configurations. Don't need independent revision numbers. I do use different part numbers for different configuration names as needed. I set the part No. in the configuration properties when I need it to be different from the file name.


              Now does anybody on this forum have experience with DDM they can share?

                • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
                  Tom Cote

                  I have used and now manage EPDM (and WorkGroup) for different companies around the country.  Currently I'm living with these kind of decisions ALL the time.  I have looked at DDM and lost interest when I realized that you cannot rename files and have it update your references.


                  1. I agree with Brian's reply

                  2. I think you will find that this is a huge drawback to DDM (even the "free” WPDM (free with SolidWorks Pro and higher) can update file references when you rename a file.  That alone may be enough to make you rule them out.

                  3. I agree with Brian, and to even add to this you might find that having versions between releases might be helpful.  I have some EPDM customers that have referred back to a version during the design process.

                  4. With EPDM the files you are working on are cached to your local HD so it really cuts down on the network traffic.

                  5. I agree with Brian's reply

                  6. With EPDM, Google or the forums are an awesome resource and tend to be great for information with setup, tech help, etc… and then there is always the VAR’s help.


                  Another thought that you did not mention although I would not call it a "show stopper" but EPDM is a SolidWorks product so if there are any communication / hand shake issues it all one company so there is less finger pointing.


                  Hope this little bit of info helps.  Good luck with your decision.



              • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
                Philip Kitchen

                Hi Ronan,


                I've not used EPDM but had fun and games with DDM. DDM was installed by the software company April/May 2013 onto the15/20 CAD workstations, on some machines it worked on others it didn't. If you were at work that day and logged in as yourself DDM worked if the software was loaded under the IT admin then it didn't work and needed to be re-loaded.

                I found whilst trying to set DDM up that the software was unstable and unpredictable, the stock answer was not our software. Despite asking numerous times both verbally and in writing to visit other companies that had DDM, no visits were forth coming.

                I had ago at the DDM software company in writing on how its staff would contradict what others had said and done, often deleting what had been setup and worked.


                I finished my contract February 2014 and DDM was still not working despite one person working exclusively on trying to get DDM to work from November onwards and supported by myself and one of the companies IT engineers. DDM is still not working/being used to date.


                Assuming all the problems were with the companies IT System and not DDM, PDMWorks still needed to be maintained as DDM could not take the contains of the vault and all is revision history automatically unlike EPDM.


                There are only allegedly 500 companies worldwide using DDM with the majority being non UK and not all companies are using DDM to manage CAD data let alone Solidworks CAD Data.


                DDM will give a good sales pitch and repeatedly tell you that the video from a UK customer using DDM and Solidworks did the video off their own back, ask for visit and wait and wait.


                My personal opinion is avoid DDM at all costs, there are other Data Management software companies out there.


                I know your VAR will be biased but talk to them about DDM.

                • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
                  Joe McBurnie

                  Hi Ronan,


                  I am the CEO at CSI the developers of DDM DesignDataManager and I have been
                  following this conversation so thought I would give you some answers straight
                  from the horses mouth.

                  1. Configurations: DDM is a part centric PDM solution not a file centric
                    version management tool. On the basis of this we can manage configurations. If
                    you are using configurations for families of parts then we have a unique part
                    number and record for each part so that it can be searched for directly in the
                    database rather than having to search for the default configuration and then
                    selecting the required part. This also helps with the correct parts being added
                    to BOM's.
                  2. Renaming: DDM can rename parts either at a Work in Progress or Released
                    Status. If the part and any parent assembly is at a Work in Progress
                    Status then the rename is straight forward and as we do not have a check in
                    check out use model all data will be updated. If you wish to rename a part that
                    is released or used in parent assemblies that are released then you must be a
                    member of a special group. This group is controlled by the administrator as I'm
                    sure you will agree this is a very powerful function and used incorrectly or
                    without considering the full impact could be very dangerous Parts and
                    assemblies do not need to be in session to rename.All rename activity is recorded against the parts and assemblies involved
                    giving you full historical traceability. We always try and promote best working
                    practise of giving parts and assemblies the correct number from concept but
                    understand and accept that there are occasions when this is a requirement and
                    it is not our place to decide if it is right or not.
                  3. Issue and Revision: DDM supports both Issue and Revision. While a
                    particular Issue is work in progress we keep a new file Revision with each
                    incremental save. Once an Issue has its Status changed to Released we have an
                    admin setting that can automatically purge old Revisions keeping file storage
                    to a minimum.
                  4. Network Performance: DDM does not have a check in checkout use model so
                    all files are always loaded and saved direct to the server to ensure full data
                    integrity is maintained. In order to optimise load times and reduce network
                    traffic DDM has a local file cache option. The cache option is configurable on
                    a client basis to specify directory location and cache size. Side note, the
                    addition of an SSD disk at approx. $100 as a hardware performance boost also
                  5. Load Rules: DDM has load options of “As Stored” “Latest Issue” or “User
                    Defined” were the user can choose the specific Issues of each subpart, if as
                    and when required. This is very useful if you have an assembly that was
                    Released in the past and need to load it now as it will highlight any parts
                    that have been up Issued and Superceded since Release.
                  6. We do not host a Forum but do encourage the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
                    We have a new release each month with accompanying enhancement videos. New
                    releases of DDM can be installed with a single executable within an hour provided
                    the users are logged out. The exception to this is multi-site database and file
                    server replicated environments that require a few more steps but can still be
                    upgraded within an hour or 2 max.
                  7. We have had difficulty with one of our UK based customers installing on
                    their client machines. These machines are running MS Windows XP and are not

                  I will be more than happy to personally demonstrate (live online) any or all
                  of the above points to anyone interested. Please feel to ask any further questions.
                  Best regards to all, Joe

                  • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
                    Adrian Velazquez

                    Ronan,  just curious... would the BOMs you be exporting be originated on your SW Drawings, or do you manually create them outside of SW?

                    • Re: EPDM Vs DDM
                      Ronan Carrroll

                      Just to update my original question as I came across it again. We purchased DDM in Jan 2015. Now have 4 SW licenses and 3 office licenses. We are happy with it.


                      1 DDM can specifically save out different configurations.

                      2 CAD files can be renamed in DDM without having them open in SW. A feature since Jan 2015