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The future of SOLIDWORKS Data Management

Tuesday January 26, 2016 at 12:05pm

In the summer of 2015, SOLIDWORKS announced that the existing WorkgroupPDM (WPDM) platform was no longer viable for development on modern operating systems and as such was entering an End of Life phase. WPDM users are being encouraged to review their current and future Data Management requirements with a view to considering a move to SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or PDM Professional (EPDM). 

SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is a new product within SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium which offers document management capabilities based on the same architecture as the current SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM (EPDM) product. Like EPDM, there are three client license types, CAD Editor, Contributor and Viewer. Additional Contributor licenses for non-CAD users creating other documents or interacting in the vault as Checkers / approvers etc. and 5-pack Viewer licenses will be also available for purchase for use with PDM Standard. 

 With respect to the ongoing support for WorkgroupPDM the following time line was announced…

  • SOLIDWORKS 2016 release – SOLIDWORKS WGPDM will still be included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium and as separately purchased products. 
  • SOLIDWORKS 2017 release – SOLIDWORKS WGPDM will still be included with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium and as separately purchased products. Release planned for October 2016. SOLIDWORKS 2017 and SOLIDWORKS WGPDM will be supported until December 31st, 2018.
  • SOLIDWORKS 2018 release - SOLIDWORKS WGPDM no longer supported for new or existing customers.

The following information will hopefully address some of the questions you may have around capabilities and migration options, however in order for you to fully understand the capabilities of PDM Standard and determine if it would be suitable for your business to migrate to, we would suggest that you call your Account Manager who would be happy to advise.

What is PDM Standard?

 SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is a new product from SOLIDWORKS offering simple document management capabilities and is based on the same architecture and interface as the product currently known as SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM (EPDM) – now known as PDM Professional

Who is it for?

 With benefits including a low cost of entry, low learning curve and the ability to quickly streamline you design process through Workflow automation and an easy upgrade path to PDM Professional, PDM Standard is being targeted at the following Customers

  • Small Workgroup PDM implementations.
  • Single site SOLIDWORKS customers, not currently using any PDM
  • SOLIDWORKS Customers who’s main need is to only manage SOLIDWORKS and DraftSight (DWG/DXF)  files

Technical information


PDM Standard is based on the same solid platform (Microsoft SQL) and user interface (Windows Explorer) as SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. PDM Standard uses SQL Xpress (free but limited) where PDM Professional uses SQL 2014 Standard edition (with an SQL CAL included for each PDM license).

All PDM Licenses are concurrent (floating) and managed using the SolidNetwork License Manager.


As well as basic PDM functionality similar to that available within Workgroup PDM, PDM Standard also offers…

  • Windows Explorer interface, ensuring that PDM Standard is ‘integrated’ into all desktop applications for seamless open, save and search operations.
  • Ability to model a Workflow combining ‘States’ and ‘Transitions’ to define and track the ‘approval’ of a managed file
  1. States define security model (can add/rename, can see, can change, can share, can delete etc.)
  2. Workflow can contain up to 10 States
  3. Transitions join States and are also permission based to provide the ‘routing’ a file can take.
  4. A State can have multiple ‘transitions’ to allow routings to other States in the Workflow.
  •  Workflow Notifications
  1. Built in ‘In Box’ mail client delivers notifications to uses with hyperlinks to files with user defined comments.
  2. Transition Notifications can be to ‘fixed’ recipients or ‘ dynamic’ allowing user to ‘select’ an Approver to notify
  3. Delayed In State Notifications can be added to alert user(s) if a file has been (for example) ‘Pending Approval’ for too long
  • Workflow Automation
  1. Update Drawing with Approver’s name / date, revision letter etc. without having to check out / save the drawing after release
  2. Prevent ‘Release’ if password not entered (electronic signature)
  • Bill Of Material management (CAD and Non-CAD items)
  1. Computed BOM (based on CAD structure plus any user defined ‘pasted’ references)
  2. CAD BOM (Displays the BOM direct from a Drawing or Assembly model)
  • Manage ‘Any file’
  1. ‘FileCard’ with Card Editor to define metadata rules using text, lists, radio buttons, check boxes and date selectors with logic.
  2. Direct Open / Save any application with a standard Windows dialog boxes
  3. Optionally allow duplicate filenames / folder names (enabled by default)
  • Add-in for DraftSight Professional
  1. Toolbar within Draftsight to enable in-application management of files similar to tools available in SOLIDWORKS
  2. Read / Write Property information via mapped Attributes as part of blocks in a Drawing frame
  • Concurrent licensing model (all licences float using the SolidNetwork License Manager)
  • No new Interface to learn – the PDM Interface IS Windows Explorer for both CAD and non-CAD users
  1. Integrated Search capabilities with configurable Search ‘Cards’ based on log in
  • True Database based Document Management (PDM Standard 2016 sits on top of and installs, Microsoft SQL Express if required)

Implementing PDM Standard

Foundation Implementation: Single Day, on Site


  • Foundation is an Implementation Service, it does not include the licenses of PDM. If you require additional Editors, Viewers or Contributors these should be purchased prior to the installation day.
  • We will need to request your PDM Serial Number
  • You have Server(s) which match, or exceed, the minimum requirements for PDM Standard as published on
  • Your nominated System Administrator must be available throughout the deployment day
  • IT support must also be available throughout the deployment day to handle User rights (installations) and Firewall exceptions etc.

 What’s included

  • Install SQL Express + PDM Standard Services
  • Creation of a single Vault based on ‘Foundation’ Template with basic ‘localisation’
  1. ‘Ready to Use’ Workflow for Managed Data (CAD / Documents)

§  User permissions and required ‘routing’ configured as part of localisation

§  Alpha or Numeric Revision Scheme configured as part of localisation

§  Notifications (email) within Workflow transitions

  • ‘Ready to Use’ DataCard for CAD files (SOLIDWORKS, dwg)
  • ‘Ready to Use’ DataCard for Documents (MS Office, Images, pdfs and Email messages)
  • ‘Ready to Use’ Document / CAD Search Card
  • ‘Ready to use’ Bill Of Materials column set and associated Explorer ‘Column Set’
  1. Installation of (up to) 3 Clients as time permits
  2. Advice on Migration of existing (non-managed) legacy data
  • Customers requiring a Migration from WPDM will need to talk to their Account Manager. Each migration will need to be assessed on a case by case basis to determine the time, resource and therefore costs that could be associated to this.
  1. Training
  • ‘Basic’ Administration Training as part of set up (e.g. create new Users, change State Names in Workflow, Map PDM Variables to SOLIDWORKS Properties, Change permissions)
  • Full Administration training would be a 1 day course that can be taken at SSM
  • ‘Seminar style’ User training

§  1hr session to a maximum of two groups to cover the basics of usage.


Wayne Marshall

Elite Applications Engineer


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