SOLIDWORKS has released 2015 version of their CAD and Enterprise PDM software systems and it is currently at service pack 2.1. With the release of new versions, we experience increased volume of EPDM support issues due to faulty upgrades. Please review the following steps to ensure the upgrade process will not cause any problems and downtime:
- Test Environment – Setup a test environment and run through a standard scenario. Create new files, workflows, revision bump etc. Even though resources and time will be needed to set up a test environment, the transition to the new version will be less painful. Remember, once you upgrade the systems, there is no going back. If any issues pop up during the test, you have the time to work through the problem. When the systems go live and you encounter an issue that could have been discovered in test, productivity will suffer.
- Documentation – Please refer to the Enterprise DVD for excellent documentation related to the upgrade process. Installation Guide.pdf can be accessed from \Support\Guides\GB folder. This PDF has a section called "Upgrading Enterprise PDM" that explains the upgrade process in detail.
- Server Backup – Ensure you have a complete backup of the EPDM system before starting the upgrade process. Backup should include the File vault Database, Enterprise PDM Master Database, Archive server settings etc. Please refer to the "Backing Up and Restoring File Vault" section in Installation guide.pdf for more details.
- Client Backup – If a user has EPDM related data checked-out to his/her local view, it is recommended to check these file back in before the upgrade.
- Client upgrades – EPDM server and clients have to match versions and service packs. So, server will have to be upgraded first and then the clients. You can upgrade EPDM before SOLIDWORKS, but do not upgrade SOLIDWORKS to 2015 without upgrading EPDM.
- Operating System and Software Compatibility – Make sure your server and client operating systems are supported. EPDM 2015 server supports Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 server O/S. EPDM 2015 clients are supported on Windows 7, Windows 8 & 8.1 O/S (64-bit only). 32-bit version of Windows 7 is not supported. Windows XP, Vista clients and Windows 2003 server are not supported. Microsoft SQL 2008 R2, 2012 & 2014 database versions are supported. Refer to http://www.SOLIDWORKS.com/sw/support/PDMSystemRequirements for details.
- License – New license keys are mandatory for version (not service pack) upgrades. The license keys can be accessed from the SOLIDWORKS web site under customer assets section. Remember, for EPDM 2015, SOLIDWORKS has changed the licensing mechanism. Make sure that you have installed the SOLIDWORKS Network License Management application and activate your EPDM licenses prior to the upgrade.
InFlow has an experienced team of Enterprise PDM professionals that can provide consulting upgrade solutions packages ranging from a "start-to-finish upgrade" or just "best practices" to ensure a successful transition. For "do it yourself" upgrades that develop issues, the InFlow support team can be available for help or assistance during normal business hours, but may need to schedule dedicated paid consulting time based on the complexity of the issue. We will do our best to make sure the issues are resolved in the shortest time possible. You can contact us by phone at 800-875-3009 or email support@InFlow-tech.com.
An upgrade to the latest version of SOLIDWORKS and Enterprise PDM should not be a painful process. With proper preparation, testing, backup and training, it can be a smooth transition with positive results. To reduce the risk of any issues occurring, plan on using InFlow's consulting services for your next scheduled upgrade. Please contact your CATI Sales Representative or InFlow PLM Consultant for additional information.
Did you know InFlow Technology now offers annual maintenance packages for Enterprise PDM? Through remote access to your EPDM server, we will setup/manage database maintenance processes, backup routines, hard drive space management, and resolve server/client issues. The maintenance package will also include one major release upgrade per year, thus reducing the risk of issues during the upgrade and minimizing impact on daily operations. In summary, InFlow will be your Enterprise PDM administrator managing all issues related to your implementation. This offer is also highly recommended to customers who have limited IT resources. If interested, please contact your EPDM sales contact at CATI for details.