With each license of SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium, a license of SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard Editor is included. In this article, I will provide an overview of the PDM Editor Add-in for SOLIDWORKS.
First though, let’s review the Editor License. The Editor includes a Contributor and a Viewer. Below is a brief description, of these different PDM components types.
- Editor: Adds an Add-in in SOLIDWORKS, which allows a user to interact with the vault from with-in SOLIDWORKS. This includes Checking Out files so they can be edited, Checking In files so that they will be saved to the PDM server, searching for files as well as other vault related activities.
- Contributor: Offers the same functionality as the Editor, but uses a Windows Explorer interface.
- Viewer: Offers view only capabilities. Users can view files, but cannot check-out files for editing.
Even though three components are included with each license of the PDM Editor, this does not mean that these components can be used concurrently, by three users. Each license can only be used once, regardless of which component is being used to access the vault. A user can choose to use a different License Type, but unless there is a bundle of network licenses, that include Contributors and/or Viewers, this will not free up a license for another user.
The Editor is an Add-in which needs to enabled, inside of SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS PDM Add-in Features
When the PDM Add-in is enabled a new tab will available from the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane. The Task Pane is normally on the right side of the SOLIDWORKS window.
Clicking on the PDM tab, will provide access to the vault. Along the top of the vault portal, is a Command bar. From this location, a user can Check-in/Check-out files, Transition files to different State, as well as other vault related activities.
Below the Command bar, the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree lists the files opened, in the currently active window. The Version of each file is shown, as well if file is Checked-out and by whom. Other information can be viewed by dragging the bar, along the bottom the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree. The information that will appear on this panel is controlled, by the PDM Administrator. Icons beside each file’s icon, provide additional information about the file, such as whether the file cached locally, is the same as that of the vault.
A preview of a file, selected in the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree, will be shown below the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree.
In the last panel, a summary of information for a selected component is displayed. This is similar to the information found in the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree.
A user can customize some aspects of the PDM interface. This can be done by selecting SOLIDWORKS PDM>Options, from the Tools Pull-down in SOLIDWORKS.
The Server tab. controls how information from the PDM Server, is managed by the Client. This includes, the renaming of components by an automatic serial number generator.
View Settings allows control of how some information is presented, such as what information will be displayed in the SOLIDWORKS PDM tree.
Much of the way that the Client interacts with the vault will be controlled by the PDM Admin. Most of what can be customized in Client, is intended to enhance the user’s interaction with the vault, with the exception of Serial Numbers. Serial numbers are the terminus of an automatic serial number scheme and should be set the same, on all clients accessing the same vault.
This article is intended as an overview of SOLIDWORKS PDM Add-in. To efficiently work with PDM and to take advantage of all its tools, I would strongly recommend taking training.