With the release of SolidWorks 2007, the entire PDM product offering is undergoing some pretty major changes. One of the most noticeable changes has been the renaming of the classic PDMWorks product to PDMWorks Workgroup. This was made necessary with the acquisition of the Conisio PDM product which has now been re-named PDMWorks Enterprise.
One of the major focus points in the development of PDMWorks Workgroup 2007 was performance. Searching the vault can now be enhanced with the use of the Microsoft Indexing Service. If installed on the vault computer, the service can index the metadata inside the vault which will result in a significant performance increase when using the Search tool in any PDMWorks client. Another area that has been enhanced for faster service is in the area of document check-in. When you select the option to find and include associated drawings upon check-in, each drawing found is not opened into memory during the search process. This operation by default will occur after the check in is initiated. There is now an option that will prevent the referenced drawings from opening into memory upon check-in in the Vault settings called “Skip drawing validation during check in”. (If you select this option, drawing views and metadata links in the drawing will not be updated.)
Maybe the most popular addition to the software for everyday users is the new “My PDMWorks Cleanup” feature that is available in the client software. This tool allows you to quickly view your local working directories and compare them to files in the vault. With multiple combinations of settings you can identify different files in the directories according to their state in the vault. This is particularly handy for cleaning out files that are “equal” to the versions in the vault if you choose not to automatically delete files upon check-in.
One enhancement that system administrators will love is that it is no longer necessary to restart the vault each time we undergo a time change. PDMWorks Workgroup also now carries a time zone stamp that can assist in situations where users are working in different time zones with a common vault.
PDMWorks Advanced Server has been removed from the product offerings. The advantage for existing users who did not own this product will be the addition of PDMWorks Triggers to the PDMWorks Workgroup Server installation. Triggers allow you to setup events based on actions occurring inside the PDMWorks Vault. It essentially allows bi-directional communication between a custom application and PDMWorks through the API. The Web Portal which was previously part of PDMWorks Advanced Server will now be sold as a separate product called PDMWorks Workgroup Viewer.
Have we covered all the changes? No, not quite. The PDMWorks Standalone client is no longer available. Don’t panic just yet. This functionality, which was crucial for non-SolidWorks users, has been moved to…..SolidWorks Explorer. It is actually an “Add-in” to SolidWorks Explorer. When this Add-in is enabled, SolidWorks Explorer can also be called PDMWorks Workgroup Contributor. As was the case prior, all document types with exception to SolidWorks data can be checked in through this PDMWorks client.
At the end of the day when you look at the combination of all the enhancements in this release, the result will be time saved for end users and system administrators alike.