SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 288 - SolidWorks PDM Integrations

SolidWorks PDM Integrations:

This podcast covers the "out of the box" integration with some of the core features and gold partner add-ins with both SolidWorks Workgroup and Enterprise PDM. Topics covered:

- Compare Utilities (Drawings, Documents, Geometry, Features, BOM)

- Workgroup PDM issues with Compare tools in Windows 7 and Vista. (SPR 419281 & 335748)

- SolidWorks Revision Tables

- SolidWorks Toolbox

- SolidWorks Design Library

- CircuitWorks Libraries

- DriveWorks Pro 6 & 7

Over the years I have talked about PDM and the various tools in SolidWorks that can talk to PDM but I wanted to highlight some of the tight integration attributes for the SolidWorks user.  Many of the compare tools have been able to take advantage of the version/revisions within the PDM environment.  Workgroup PDM has always been the highly integrated option for SolidWorks users but Enterprise has really taken the lead in the past couple of releases.

Despite the advances, Enterprise PDM still lacks some of the tool-specific integaration like Workgroup into the compare tools, revision tables and the design library.  With the adoption of Windows 7 (starting with Vista), almost all the compare tools are no longer available to Workgroup PDM due to the lack of the vault browser (located on the left side of Windows Explorer in the File Open dialog).  This has been missing now since SolidWorks 2007 Pre release, when Vista was in testing, and officially was supported with SolidWorks 2008.  I am surprised this has not been remedied to date since the only workaround is to check out one version, save a copy, and repeat for another version to compare.  This approach side steps PDM and adds a substantial amount of work and manual file management to the user.  

To many users' surprise, both CircuitWorks and DriveWorks Pro have integrations into both PDM products from SolidWorks.  Out-of-the-box integration to PDM helps the adoption of add-in products like CW and DW! As PDM becomes more mainstream with the SolidWorks user, tight integration will become an important evaluation criteria! ~Lou

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