SOLIDWORKS PDM 101: Setting Document Revisions

In a previous article, we discussed the inner workings of PDM versions. In a nutshell, versions are the way PDM tracks the changes to individual files. Every time we make an official change to a file, a new version is created and added to the file’s history. The good news is that the system handles versions for us automatically. If you want to know more about versions and how they work, check out our last PDM 101 here. People often ask if file versions and file revisions are the same thing. In some other systems, the term is interchangeable. That means whenever a change is completed by the user the […]

SOLIDWORKS: PDM Products Simplified

Occasionally, I will talk with a customer that is new to Solidworks Products or has been newly or temporarily assigned in an administration or project role for the company’s vault. This information is for you folks… you know who you are . 🙂 The SOLIDWORKS PDM products can be a bit confusing to short timers. The names are similar and there is not an easy way through normal communication to differentiate or identify what product you use. First, Solidworks PDM products are client server multi-user applications that helps companies control, share and make document management more efficient and effective. All Solidworks PDM Products have a vault with secure user based access […]

SOLIDWORKS: Help!!! I Have Cyclic PDM References

I have seen, on more than one occasion, an assembly that has multiple cyclic references in an assembly. Now, I totally understand that when you’re under a deadline, it may save time initially to just copy a part to use for another assembly as opposed to searching your vault, especially if you have a large data set that can take a considerable amount of time, also assuming the description is incorrect, etc. However, as previously noted, while you may be saving time initially, the implications to having duplicate parts can be astronomic, several versions down the road, especially if the assembly is to be used in multiple other upper level […]

SOLIDWORKS PDM 101: What is a Document Version?

One of the fundamental parts of any PDM system is its ability to track the history of documents. How it tracks that history can vary from system to system. With SOLIDWORKS PDM, it does this through document versions. So, that begs the question, “What is a Version in the SOLIDWORKS PDM vault?” The short answer is that a version is a “snap shot in time” of a particular document. Versions are created in PDM as we make changes to the files in the system. By default, all the files in PDM are locked down and read-only (vaulted). In order to make a change, we have to take ownership of that […]

SOLIDWORKS: Registry Update to Connect PDM Clients to a New Server

If you moved your SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard database or archive server components to a new server, your existing clients will not be able to connect, as the server connections are hard-coded into the registry.  The best way to point to the new server is to remove the vault view and re-add it.  However, you can also edit the registry to make this change.  You will need to change the keys for the database server and the archive server if you have moved both the SQL database and the archive server to new hardware or renamed existing hardware. On each client, update the SOLIDWORKS PDM registry keys […]

SOLIDWORKS: Understanding PDM Workflows

New to Solidworks PDM or considering it as a solution at your company?  Maybe you have used Solidworks PDM for years but workflows are still a bit of a mystery?  I hope to provide you some workflow basics that will take some of the mystery out of how they are configured and their benefit potential. This is not a replacement for Solidworks PDM Administration Training or a comprehensive functional description.  As always, Inflow Consultants are available to assist you in any Solidworks PDM activities that you find beyond your current capability. Definitions Here are some simple terms that will help you to understand the concepts presented. Work Product A work product […]

SOLIDWORKS: Administrative Image Installation Troubleshooting

Utilizing administrative image installation for a system administrator can allow you to customize multiple installations and deploy the installation to all clients with one command, which allows all users to have the same install and setup. This can make the admin install process significantly easier and provide uniformity throughout the company. However, as you can imagine, there are several steps that need to be perfected for this process to work and to be deployed to all users. In the unlikely event that you encounter a snag while doing your own administrative image installation, here are a few recommended decisions to help get you and your team back up and running quicker. Decision Tree: […]

SOLIDWORKS: PDM Overwrite Latest Version Option – New in 2017

PDM Overwrite Latest Version Option In the 2017 release of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and Standard, a new feature was added to allow users to replace previous versions of documents in the vault. When a user checks in a file, they can choose the “Overwrite Latest Version” option when checking in the file. The benefits: Cut down on all the versions that get stored in the archive as users are checking in their files each day. Give a power user the ability to fix a “non-critical” issue on a document without pushing the file through a state change or revision change. Allow users to change “common parts” in your vault without […]

Self Upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM

If you choose to self upgrade your SOLIDWORKS PDM Products there are a few things that are commonly missed and some fundamentals that should be considered for healthy system and minimal downtime.  Also don’t forget to check the SOLIDWORKS PDM System Requirements! 1) SOLIDWORKS PDM Products are highly configurable to suite many types of business and company practices. This can make upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM to a new version of software less than intuitive. 2) Each Version can introduce new challenges or practices. Make sure your Installation guide and reference material is up to date. The Whats New guide for PDM Standard and PDM Pro can help you understand new features or developments […]