2 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2016 5:01 PM by Chris Clouser

    Synergis Adept PDM - Rev 2

    Chris Clouser

      Some of you may have been wondering where my post on Synergis Adept PDM vanished to.  I’m wondering the same thing!  Here is the message I got from one of SolidWork's moderators:

       

      “I have removed your post from last year regarding your experience with Synergis. The overall message was not necessarily an issue, but posting the correspondence from your reseller is a problem.”

       

      As I understand it, a moderator is not a Nazi, but rather a go-between.  Yet in this case, fascism won the day and the post was deleted instead of first addressing it with me and we could focus on and edit any specific, offending material.

       

      As an analytical problem-solver myself, I would have just thought that this would have been the natural course.  But instead they went all ISIS on my post.  Just imagine my post on its knees, hands tied, and a bag over its head.  That’s kind of what happened to it.

       

      NOT COOL!

       

      Along with my post were deleted some of the comments by other forum members as well.  I remember at least one of those posts being moderately complementary of Adept.  Now that information is gone too.

       

      I assume that this reckless censorship was at the request of Synergis.  Why else would it be pulled?  Somebody had to have whined. 

       

      So in the spirit of playing nicely, I have edited the post to remove any correspondence, actual or inferred, with Synergis.  If I have missed something, I would like to know about it before my post is deleted.

       

      Now Synergis, why don’t you do the same? Play nice.  Address these issues I’ve pointed out and explain how they’re being fixed for your customers.  EVOLVE. It’s for your own good.

       

      If you fix these problems, you might have a halfway decent product.  (Still no EPDM though.)

       

      One has to ask themselves what is a PDM package for. First, for protecting files.  It is my humble opinion that Adept often does the opposite.

       

      Next, I would think that you want to save money, in other words improve productivity.  Based on some of the data below, at the time in question I had calculated roughly a $250,000 annual dollar productivity loss at the small division for I worked after the implementation of Adept.  I can only imagine what it would be at the corporate level.

       

      And right now I just called one of my former coworkers and he said that they still hate Adept.  They will design something and then after they put it into Adept, it’s “ten times slower” (his words).  Now, to be fair, knowing just how bad Lindsay’s IT lead is (hopefully they’ve come to their senses now and found somebody new), there may be some problems on the IT administration side that are causing this slow down as well.

       

      To contrast that, I’ve heard from EPDM users that they feel that their productivity had improved after its implementation by 10-15%. And EPDM always updates with SW, as it should.

       

      I’m sorry about all the negative feedback reposted below, but it is necessary to help others when they are deciding on PDM package. I believe all people have a moral obligation to warn others of danger.  I would be forsaking that moral directive if I were to stay silent.

       

      All the engineers reading this will know that a stable control system required at least one negative feedback loop.  Synergis apparently does not have an effective internal negative feedback loop, so I am providing an external one.

       

      This is an INCREDIBLY valuable service, and even though it would be proper to compensate me handsomely for my efforts, I only require that they address these significant flaws for the betterment of any of their remaining customers and for the good of humanity.

       

      Synergis has every right to rebut anything I have said here.  I encourage and welcome it.  As I have explained, this is all my opinion based on my experience.  I fully expect that many of my complaints and those of my former coworkers have hopefully since been resolved or are being addressed. This would be one appropriate venue to enlighten us regarding such progress and would show good will to your customers.

       

      It might also provide some hope to those still using Adept that I’ve talked to and are feeling somewhat “trapped” by the software.

       

      Additionally, anybody who uses and likes Adept can also comment below.  But judging by the last go-around, there were a lot of cricket sounds.

       

      I’m very disappointed to have to go through this again. Reading through my original post in order to edit anything that may have been objectionable (such horror such as “correspondence from my reseller”) has brought back all the negative emotion of time past, not unlike a war prisoner rereading his mementos of his time spent in the prison camps.

       

      Edited “original” post:

       

      ----------------

       

      The magazine “Desktop Engineering” has been sending out a lot of emails and printing articles on a PDM system called Adept. Anyone considering using Adept, wondering why their productivity has all but disappeared since they’ve implemented it, or wanting to know why we called it “Inept”, read on…

       

      A couple of years ago, I was working as a Senior Engineer for Lindsay Corporation.  I was with a sub-division called Barrier Systems.  We were using SolidWorks on large machine assemblies, some in the 20,000 to 30,000 part range.

       

      Lindsay was mostly using AutoCAD with a little bit of SolidWorks sprinkled in.  They were using Adept for their CAD data management.  We weren’t using anything except procedural controls.

       

      Lindsay is one of those companies that don’t quite get it. Their lead IT guy was probably the most incompetent I’ve ran into in my career.  Their upper management didn’t understand the issues of trying to integrate sub divisions into a single corporate policy.  It sounds good saying it out loud, but for those of us who have been through this before, it is obvious that small subdivisions do not have the resources or personnel to deal with major corporate changes.

       

      Because of that, when implementing new processes, such as PDM, it is wise to extremely cautious.

       

      I penned much of this a couple of years ago as a reminder of one of the worst experiences I’ve been through in my professional career and as an attempt to help others avoid what could be one of the worst mistakes they could possibly make when choosing a PDM system for SolidWorks. Now that Adept is aggressively marketing their product and I’m seeing their crap in my inbox, I must speak out. It was so bad that I quit my job over it.  I’m reminded of the medical profession today under Obamacare.  The majority of doctors no longer recommend medicine as a rewarding career path to the younger generations.  How sad.  Yet this is what Adept did to my job, it made me hate it.

       

      Before I start the story, let me just give you the moral to the story in advance.  Spoiler alert:  USE EPDM!! You’re a fool if you don’t.  P.S. I have nothing to gain by endorsing EPDM except for my self-respect.

       

      -----------------

       

      August, 2012

       

      I wanted to bring my experience to light here in the SolidWorks forums.  Had somebody done this previously, I would not have gone through the harrowing experience I just did.

       

      Several months ago, our company decided that everybody needed to get on PDM.  A couple of years ago, I tried to get our division on Enterprise PDM.  We were all approved and budgeted, but it got held up at some bean-counter’s desk and ended up falling through the cracks.

       

      Fast forward a couple of years and our corporate branch needed to update a bunch of Adept licenses that they had as well as purchase more.  They wanted all of their subsidiaries to be on the same system.  They were using AutoCAD and slowly transitioning to SolidWorks.

       

      I discussed the differences between Adept and EPDM with GoEngineer at length.  Here is what GoEngineer sent me in writing, which I forwarded to the rest of our organization:

       

      1. Vendor. Adept claims that you will be closer to them as they are an independent company. On the surface this is true. However, the company was started as an Autodesk VAR (and the owner still gets most of his revenue from that side). Their dedication to SolidWorks product line can be called into question. You also need to ask yourself, what’s more important, you CAD tool or your PDM tool? I would assume it’s your CAD tool and your relationship with the same vendor/support/R & D team for both the CAD and PDM tools should mean quite a bit.
      2. Vaulting Method. I won’t go into the encrypting (which we don’t do) or scrambling (which I guess EPDM does do) as I’ve already responded on this. Know this, the ERP linking is fundamentally flawed as they showcase it. In an ERP system and item record you will want to link to the “latest” release, their system of linking files can’t do this. You would need to update the ERP link on every change. With EPDM, we can use a standard Windows hyperlink and with this set flags that would control it to be the latest release. If extracting data out of Enterprise PDM is a major concern, I’ll give you my word that we will script this out at no cost in the future to help put this issue to rest.
      3. Adept’s replication technology hasn’t been around that long and is not as robust nor production tested as Enterprise PDM.
      4. CAD Integration. Enterprise PDM has great integrations with AutoCAD/Inventor (we have several Autodesk only customers of Enterprise PDM due to its simplicity and ease of use). Who’s product do you think would be the best integrated now, and in the future that SolidWorks own product (same R & D team!)?
      5. Visualization. Enterprise PDM also supports Oracle’s AutoVue (we are an Oracle partner and sell it with our PLM offerings). It’s true that SolidWorks uses its own viewer (because they have one) for CAD files and another embedded viewer for other formats. One of the true differences here is that again, the viewer that you need for your mission critical files is owned by the same company that deploys your CAD and your PDM tool. How much influence do you think a $2-5 million dollar company will have with a $36 billion dollar company come the latest release of SolidWorks?
      6. Transmittals. This is typically only used in the AEC (architects/contractors/facility management) space. We don’t see a need for this in the Mechanical design space as vendors can easily have direct access through a web client or you can utilize a tool called CopyTree in order to take a project and zip it up to send out.
      7. Workflow Automation. I fully believe that Enterprise PDM’s workflow is not only easy to use, but is significantly easier to tailor and configure without writing customer code. I can only base this on what I’ve heard from other user’s experience.
      8. PublishWave –PDF creation. Included for SolidWorks files, no extra cost and takes only minutes to set-up (so easy, that it’s generally just mentioned as part of the Workflow Automation).
      9. Microsoft SharePoint Integration. Since your team uses Microsoft Dynamics, I don’t think SharePoint is being utilized (I could be wrong). We too have a 3rd party SharePoint Integration.
      10. End User experience. Again I got back to why SolidWorks has been so popular and widely received. It remains one of the easiest to use and greatest CAD tools focused on the end user experience. Their PDM tool is no different. It’s integrated into Windows Explorer. 70% of what you need to know you already have. I show you how to right-click on a file and use the Check in/out and Change State (Workflow) options and now you are hovering around 90%. As an implementation plan, we really DO NOT ever do end user training (we have to be talked into it), because it’s an unnecessary cost and not needed.

       

      The last point that I will leave you with. Adept become Gold certified in 2003. If you took a look at the PDM market for SolidWorks in 2003 there were about 40 different applications globally that provided “integrations” into SolidWorks. In 2006 SolidWorks Corporation went out and acquired a PDM system. They chose a product called Conisio and brought it internally to be integrated into the SolidWorks R & D Team. That product is now the Enterprise PDM product. There were several big reasons that I could guess at, but for sure the Adept product wasn’t purchased by SolidWorks Corporation…

      I forwarded the above information to the decision-makers as well as pleaded that they choose EPDM for the following reasons:

       

       

      • I believe that based on my research and my 12 year history using SolidWorks, EPDM will be the most painless and transparent solution for our division. 
      • I believe that Adept will also work, but it will require either additional manpower or a significant increase in our lead time to the customer.
      • I believe that the difficulties which may arise due to our division and corporate using two different PDM packages will be much less than the ones our division will face using Adept.
      • I believe that any cost savings from using common software (if that turns out to be the case) will quickly be eaten up by lost productivity.
      • I believe that the implementation time will be significantly less for EPDM over Adept.
      • I believe that since EPDM is a SolidWorks product, the constant version updating we are subject to will go a lot more seamlessly.
      • I believe that by having both products come from the same company, we will receive better technical support (no finger pointing).

       

       

      Based on the statements I made above and what actually happened showed how little I knew about the subject.

       

      Due to whatever internal forces were at work in our corporation, Adept was chosen as our PDM package.  Above, I ignorantly made the following statement:  “I believe that Adept will also work...”  How little did I know…

       

      I was chosen as an admin for our team.  Admin training was over a week long and it was, in my personal opinion, a nightmare.  I knew little more about Adept than when I started.

       

      In 2012, software should not feel forced or be confusing. I shouldn’t have to play the memory game every time I’m looking for something.  “Where was that?”  “What was it called?”  It should be intuitive.  It should not look like an old Atari program.

       

      We somehow survived the training, but I admitted to everybody that I was not ready to be let loose.  I hadn’t even used the program yet and I’m supposed to be administering it?

       

      A point to note here:  if you do choose to implement Adept, be sure that there is somebody in your organization that is already proficient in it or hire somebody.  It will be worth every penny.  We did not have such luck.  It was the blind leading the blind.

       

      Our other problem was that our subdivision had a rock star of an IT guy.  Definitely not Lindsay’s IT manager moron.  I blame Laurence Griffen, because if he wasn’t so brilliant, we would have never gotten it to work in the first place.  He was doing things with the program that had never been done to date, such as managing multiple vaults, etc.  Yes, this is one of the only times where I wished the IT guy was a dummy.

       

      Regardless, we set up our system per Adept’s recommendation, and they had one of their people here for about a week to get things dialed in. After a week of moving files, extracting data, etc etc., well, we basically had a big mess.  Picture a digital grenade going off in the middle of your cad files and you wouldn’t be too far from where we were at.

       

      When we opened assemblies, parts would be missing.  We would then have to go find the parts and reextract the data so that Adept would relearn the Parent/Child relationships. 

       

      Here’s a note I made during the extraction process:

       

      I did a quick extraction run on 38 drawings.  It took 19 minutes.

      We have 8525 drawings to extract.  This does not include parts, assemblies, or dwg’s.

      Based on this, it is 4262 (71 hours) minutes to extract just the drawings.

      Sigh…

       

      This process literally took me several weeks to do for only one of my assemblies (which, granted, are fairly large at about 20,000 parts). About four of those days were almost entirely spent on the phone with Adept’s tech support.

       

      Our division has somewhere around 100,000 CAD files, be they assemblies, parts, drawing, or AutoCAD drawings.  The arranging and data extraction of those files took forever.  I lost almost a month of productivity while I dealt with this process.  And in the end, it was still a mess.

       

      During this tedious process, I made the following note:

       

      I moved about 10 files from the holding vault to the final vault and it took somewhere between 20-30 minutes.

      We have literally thousands of files, therefore it could take months and months simply to complete this move.

      Several CAD operators were saying that they would save their assembly in the evening before going home and then the next day when they opened it, many if not all of the changes they had made the day before were gone. Nobody knew why.  Here is an email from one:

       

      I had similar problems to what Chris described.  I managed to do a limited amount of work outside of Adept but no luck with what I was trying to accomplish yesterday.

      I simply tried to open the XXXXXXXXX assembly.  It took roughly two hours.  Once it opened I had to make some minor changes.  To do so I had to assume ownership of the files.  This tied up my computer for another 2 hours. 

      When it was done, it still said the file was “read only” and I got a countless number of error messages similar to what Chris attached to his e-mail.

      I proceeded to sign out the files through Adept….this ate up the rest of my day.

      They are telling me that there are still 30,000+ files that need to be moved to their proper locations before these problems go away.

      Our corporate branch had been using Adept with AutoCAD.  Not having parent/child relationships to keep track of, Adept was apparently working just fine, so they were of the impression that using it with SolidWorks would be about the same.  But once they did begin using it with SolidWorks, it was another story:

       

      Hi Chris,

      I work with assemblies much, much smaller than yours and I’m having issues as well. Lots of connectivity errors, children that don’t show up in the relationship browser (this is the worst IMO because I have to check every time I sign in a new assembly), duplicate files that are labeled as new. Now that I’m using SolidWorks with Adept I have been experiencing all sorts of problems, so I can understand how frustrating it can be.

      OK, so it wasn’t’ just me.  Up until this point, I was being labeled as a complainer and not a team player at corporate.  Their inept head of IT called me up and chewed me out as if this mess was my fault because I was just a whiner and it was MY responsibility to fix the disaster that he created!! 

       

      Now a side note here, as the one who is responsible for the design content of a very sophisticated family of machinery, I believe that I have an ethical responsibility to say something when I see a policy or program being implemented that will hinder my team’s effectiveness.  Additionally, as a public company, I have a responsibility not to stroke the delicate ego of the IT manager, CEO, and anybody else who made such a bad decision, but to the shareholders, of which I am one.  This failed decision cost our company well into the six figure range. The total damages can never be calculated.

       

      I finally got a chance to start using the program as well and was finding several chinks in its armor.  Some of these deficiencies are deal-breakers in my mind and exceeded my worst nightmares.  If you remember, I thought that Adept would at least work somewhat satisfactorily.  I really hate being wrong, though.  In my opinion, it is unworkable.

       

      Finally, after getting my one top level assembly “clean”, working in Adept, and seeing some of its deficiencies, I decided it was important to do some serious bench testing and write down my objections. This is what I put together:

       

      Starting Friday afternoon, LG and I spent a significant amount of time with Adept tech support.  We spend a large chunk of Monday and most of Tuesday on the phone with them and for awhile we had four of their people trying to help get things working properly.  About an hour Wednesday morning was also spent on the phone with their tech support.  Total time was probably 8-10 hours.

       

      Up until this point, I had spent several weeks continuous trying to get everything to work properly which consisted of mostly moving files and extracting data.  I’m sure I spent somewhere between 80-120 hours doing this.

       

      After the tech support sessions with Adept, we had updated the complete CAD model for the XYZ machine in Adept to the point where we all agreed that it looked to be fairly workable.  There were a few remaining issues, but these I would not necessarily attribute to Adept.  Some issues were with old toolbox hardware and files that were probably existing on people’s hard drives, etc. 

       

      Most of the “AFS Exception” errors were fixed.  [ADDED: WE HAD THOUSANDS OF THESE ERRORS] This is certainly a big help.  This was done by installing the latest version of their client on my machine [ADDED: NOTE THAT WE HAD TO INSTALL AN UNRELEASED VERSION OF ADEPT TO RESOLVE ISSUES] as well as doing some stuff on the server side of things with the files [ADDED: NOTE THAT YOU NEED AN IT GURU 24/7 TO DEAL WITH THE DEBRIS ON THE BACK END].  So I think as it stands, I have a different client than everybody else at Corporate.

       

      I believe for the most part, the system is working as it’s supposed to, that is for the one machine assembly that we focused on.  I cannot say that if I try to open other machines or assemblies we will have to go through the same extensive process.

       

      Assuming now that everything is working right, I can only guess that the single remaining issue would be the location of the database and whether or not it is influencing performance.  In house would certainly speed things up, but maybe not significantly.

       

      Here is a short test report of the current performance, based on the XYZ assembly:

       

       

      Adept Times:

      Save the assembly: 6:40

      Exit the assembly: 0:36 (after saved)

      Open the assembly:  FRVP:  5:35    Total:  17:00

      Open SolidWorks w/ Adept: 0:43

       

      W/O Adept Times:

      Save the assembly: 0:33

      Exit the assembly: 0:07 (after saved)

      Open the assembly:  1:20

      Open SolidWorks w/o Adept:  0:06

       

      Deltas:

      Save the assembly: 6:07

      Exit the assembly: 0:29

      Open the assembly:  15:40

      Open SolidWorks w/o Adept:  0:37

       

       

      The times above do not represent the overwhelming initial times required to populate the Virtual Library and Work Area.  I’ve seen anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to do this.  This fortunately is a onetime issue per project so I didn’t include the actual time.

       

      During the troubleshooting session with Adept mentioned above, many more significant concerns came to light.

       

      First, one must understand the design process in SolidWorks.  SolidWorks is a huge success because it uses a very natural and intuitive working environment. Basically, the software allows the user to be immersed in the design and not in the software.

       

      SolidWorks was originally started by a group of employees from ProE.  They knew that they could build an easier-to-use CAD system and basically set the bar for others to follow.  Now most CAD platforms mimic SolidWorks usability.  ProE released its WildFire version to mimic the functionality of SolidWorks. Dessault Systems who makes Catia, a super high-end CAD platform, liked it so much that they bought SolidWorks in order to implement its interface into their product.  AutoDesk’s Inventor is basically a SolidWorks knock-off.  Etc…

       

      That proves how critical the functionality of SolidWorks is, and it is SolidWorks usability that makes it such a valuable modeling tool and allows a team as small as ours to be even remotely productive.

       

      Now consider that Adept is basically a colossal bureaucracy that is placed between the user and the design.  Much of the functionality of SolidWorks is now disabled or significantly abridged when using Adept.

       

      For example, when using SolidWorks in its innate form, one can open an assembly and then open and use lower level assemblies and parts.  Once these lower level assemblies and parts are changed, they can be saved, closed, reopened, and resaved at will.

       

      This is only partially true when using Adept.  One can open an assembly (parent) and then open and modify sub assemblies and parts (children), but one cannot check them back into the vault unless the original, top-level assembly (parent) is first closed as well as any other assemblies referencing that which is to be checked in (in other words: asinine).  With an assembly such as our machine, closing the assembly and reopening it when it’s finished checking in the subassembly may take somewhere between 20-30 minutes.  Before Adept, this process was not necessary.

       

      There is a good analogy for this.  It’s like driving a car and wanting to apply the brakes.  As it stands, one would simply apply the brakes anytime one wishes.  If Adept were installed on the vehicle, one would foreseeably have to shut the engine off first, then apply the brakes, and then restart the engine.  Anyone who suggested that this was an acceptable practice would be laughed out of town, but this is how Adept works (in other words: asinine).

       

      Knowing this, and understanding that one may wish to check in dozens of parts or assemblies in a day, restarting the upper assembly would be required just as many times. That would mean that for only ten check-ins, the workstation would be inoperable for about 24 minutes X 10 or 240 minutes or about 4 hours each day!  This is obviously not workable, so the operator is forced to only do check-ins once a day or less.  This is bad practice, especially in light of the fact the other team members may be working on assemblies relating to the changes and would need those updates as soon as possible.

       

      Adept is a deterrent to even the simplest good design practices, such as saving one’s work often.  Knowing that SolidWorks can occasionally crash, and much more often when using huge assemblies [ADDED: AND EVEN MORE WHEN USING ADEPT], a good designer naturally saves often, perhaps every 10-15 minutes.  Having to save while in Adept is like striking your thumb with a hammer.  In other words, it’s painful.  A six minute wait to save is unacceptable. Should one want to save every 15 minutes, that would add 24 minutes of inoperability every hour as it takes Adept an extra 6:07 to save the assembly!  How is this even remotely realistic?  Well if you’re one of those people that only has a dozen parts in their assembly, maybe you can live with it.  But for those of us who work on sophisticated machinery, this won’t fly.

       

      How is it that somebody completely green with their product, such as myself, can immediately see major functionality problems with a supposedly mature product?  This scares me.

       

      Here’s a short list of what I remember:

       

      • As mentioned above, not being able to sign in child documents while parents are open!!!!

      This is unacceptable and has had a tremendous impact on performance.  If we were dealing with assemblies of a hundred parts or less or perhaps only AutoCAD files, then this would not be an issue.  This is the most counterproductive defect in Adept.

       

      • Not being able to sign out an open document!?

      I pointed out that the software should be able to automatically close the virtual part and kindly load the signed-out part from the vault for the user.  The way it is now, one would have to close the part first and then sign it out through the bureaucracy known as Adept before it could be opened and edited.  Not intuitive in any way.  Not convenient, not productive.

       

      • Not being able to Obtain Ownership from within the SolidWorks Adept tab!?

      I pointed out that the software should do that for you, and you should be able to obtain ownership right from the SolidWorks/Adept tab.  If somebody already had the part, then a dialog box could alert that user that the part was unavailable. Problem solved!

       

      • Excessive typing! 

      Typing is not productive.  There are places in Adept where the part number you want is showing but you can’t right click it and launch another function in Adept.  I pointed out several such places to them.

       

      • Searching only through Adept.

      Adept is so controlling, that one can’t just go into Windows Explorer and browse through the files.  In the past, we would often go into Windows Explorer and using the icons browse through a directory looking visually for something we wanted.  This functionality is gone.  There is a thumbnail view in Adept, but this is only for ONE file at a time.

       

      (Windows) Explorer is a good name for the product, because it allows one to explore.  Adept does not allow exploration.  If you know the file name or some nomenclature, you can hunt, but Explorer lets one visually search through hundreds and thousands of assemblies fairly quickly.  If a gadget was designed years ago and nobody remembers what it was called or what its part number was, Explorer would allow one to visually search for it.  In Adept, one would be rendered helpless.

       

      Often our standard nomenclature does not work for a search.  For instance, when looking for a particular piece of hardware, it may be that somebody forgot to put a space in the proper position.  Then the search in Adept would not work.  In the past, we would just look in the appropriate hardware directory and visually identify the part.

       

      • Adept crashes.

      Adept crashes A LOT!  When it does, SolidWorks needs to be restarted in order to get the Adept task pane to work again.  It even crashed during the tech support session with Adept.

       

      There were several other issues I pointed out that I didn’t write down, but the bottom line is that Adept is CLUNKY!!!  Adept does not like to adapt to the user, it forces the user to adapt to it.

       

      The administration of Adept is also cumbersome.   Having been asked to add this responsibility to my already lengthy list of duties, it must be understood that there will be a significant impact on the quality and quantity of my output.  Due to the complexity and magnitude of our system, it is all I can do to keep it all straight in my head.  Adept will undoubtedly reduce my focus on my primary job of machine design and therefore increase the possibility of expensive mistakes. Yet, the intended purpose of Adept is exactly the opposite of that!

       

      Moving forward, in order to finish the XYZ machine, our department will need to pull the files back out of Adept and work as we did before.  I strongly believe that this will be the case for any further machine designs as well.  I do not, at this point, believe that it will be possible for us to use Adept unless we have a couple more CAD designers to compensate for the loss of productivity.

       

      If there are any questions or any of this is unclear, feel free to let me know and I will do my best to answer them.

       

       

      One administrator at our company had the following grievances:

      • The virtualization needs to be greatly improved to allow the SolidWorks system to open faster.
      • If an assembly/part already exists in the user’s work area it should not be ignored when the virtualization of the top assembly has been completed, and indicate that the assembly/part is read only when trying to opening from the just opened assembly.
      • The Adept icon the in the SolidWorks design tree should be refreshed at the same time the assembly has finished loading and avoid the need to refresh the virtualization a second time.
      • Allow for editing of an open assembly/part, make it optional for the user to edit it without having to go to the client and sign it out for editing.
      • Launching Adept for the first time in the morning should be greatly improved, make it faster when login in for the first time.
      • Significantly improve the time it takes SolidWorks to launch for the first time.
      • Allow SolidWorks to work if adept is not loaded.
      • When an assembly/part has been loaded in SolidWorks using the “task pane adept feature” and a need to open the drawing is required, Adept should allow SolidWorks to open the file when “right clicking” on the design tree. Currently adept does not allow it and a new search for the drawing needs to be launched in the Adept client or the “task pane feature” in order to open the drawing.
      • When searching for drawings using the adept client, adept should allow the user to quickly open the file without having the need to copy it or sign it out to the work area. A “launch application” command is available but not usable.
      • Adept should allow the SolidWorks “e-drawings” to view drawings, assemblies, and parts without needing to sign out the file. Replace Adept’s viewer with the SolidWorks viewer. It is easier and faster to use “e-drawings” then Adept’s viewer.
      • Adept should allow SolidWorks to be able to include drawings when a “pack-&-go” command is launched from SolidWorks.
      • SolidWorks “Large Assembly” and “Light Weight” mode settings should be left intact by Adept, it will greatly improve working with large assembly files. Adept should only manage read/write access to the files and not force to resolve when assemblies are launched in SolidWorks. Make it so that it resolves only on demand.
      • With all of these improvements I expect to see a 25% – 35% increase in productivity if not more.

       

       

      Another significant grievance I have with Adept is how their customer support works.  EVERY time you call, you will get a recording.  YOU WILL NEVER TALK TO A PERSON.  You will have to leave your name and phone number on a voice mail and they will call you back WITHIN FOUR BUSINESS HOURS!!!!!!!!!  Are you kidding me?  What an insult.

       

      I hope that this synopsis will serve as a serious warning to anybody wishing to implement Adept.  If you are a Network/IT Guru and are expert SolidWorks user and are just looking for a little more challenge in your day, then by all means, I recommend Adept. But for the rest of us, who simply want to focus on our designs, we would prefer a much more transparent solution such as EPDM.

       

      I gave it my best.  For about two months I immersed myself in Adept and found it slow, lacking, and obtrusive.  I now refuse to use it.

       

      If this saves just one engineer the pain that I’ve been through, it will all be worth it.

       

      ---------------------

       

      The above was written in August 2012.  It’s my opinions based on my experience.

       

      Since then, I have not heard a single positive report of Adept from my former co-workers.  In fact, they said that many CAD files vanished.  Not sure how a “document management” software loses files, but there you have it.

       

      Adept will probably say that they’ve resolved many of these issues.  Well that’s good.  But you’re, as they say, merely “polishing a turd”.

       

      If this just saves one design job, it will all be worth it.

       

      ------------End of Original Post

       

      Synergis, below is where you can start explaining how you are fixing this mess:

        • Re: Synergis Adept PDM - Rev 2
          Thean Ping Ang

          Chris,

           

          Thanks! and many many thanks for sharing the experience.

            • Re: Synergis Adept PDM - Rev 2
              Chris Clouser

              You're welcome!  If I can save one person the absolute Hell I went through, it's worth it.

               

              Adept was one of the major reasons I left the company that implemented it (and the fact that they didn't respect their people enough to listen to them when we advised to not use it and use EPDM instead).

               

              Three years or so later and the people that are still there still hate it.  They take the assemblies out of Adept, work on them independently from Adept, and then check everything back in.  That doesn't sound like an efficient process to me.

               

              On another note, I'm looking forward to trying the new PDM Standard that SolidWorks is offering!  Just waiting to get a dedicated engineering server first.