Basic Troubleshooting of a Workgroup PDM System – Communication & Ports

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE updated April 15, 2013


As it is the time of year when many engineering and IT groups seek to update their software, we thought it might be nice to share some of our troubleshooting tips when it comes to setting up a Workgroup PDM System.

Most of the common issues surrounding a SolidWorks Workgroup PDM installation involve communication.  Anything that blocks communication on the few ports that the workgroup Server uses to communicate will lead to the server not being available to the client systems.

Please ensure that the following ports are open in your Server’s firewall and on the client systems:
Port #: 80
Port #: 20000
Port #: 30000
Port #: 40000

Another typical occurrence is that the name of the computer hosting the vault has changed during the upgrade process. The clients will then be required to enter the new location for the vault on your network:

For those that are attempting to login to the workgroup vault for the first time after an update, the Workgroup PDM login dialog is called when:

– SolidWorks is launched with the Workgroup PDM add-in enabled
– SolidWorks Explorer with Workgroup PDM add-in enabled
– VaultAdmin tool is launched

If the login dialog does not remember the last vault connection or fails to login to the vault with the error “Could not login to PDMWorks Workgroup. Please check that the vault computer name is correct and that the “PDMWorks Workgroup Server is running on that computer”.

Another possible workaround is to login using the Workgroup Servers IP address instead of the Workgroup PDM Server hostname.

Below are the steps to open the required ports in the firewall, for the most popular operating systems hosting workgroup vaults.

Firewall exception rules for SolidWorks Workgroup PDM can be created using the following procedures for Windows Server 2008.

  1. Select Start -> Control Panel -> Security and System – > Windows Firewall
  2. In the left pane, select “Advance settings” link
  3. Select the “Inbound Rules” and right-click to choose “New Rule”
  4. Select “Port” and click on the “Next” button
  5. Make sure “TCP” is selected, type in port 20000 for the “Specific local port” field and click on the “Next” button
  6. Select “Allow the connection” (which should be the default selection) and click on the “Next” button
  7. Select the desired Profile to apply the exception (select all the profiles if unsure)
  8. Enter a name for the rule and click on the “Finish” button
  9. Repeat Steps 3 through 8 for Ports 30000 and 40000.

Please follow the directions below to add a rule to Microsoft Windows 7 Firewall settings.

  1. Launch the Control Panel
  2. Select System and Security
  3. Click on the Windows Firewall link
  4. Click on the Advanced Settings link in the right pane
  5. Click on the Inbound Rules and select New Rule
  6. Select Port and click on Next
  7. Type in the port 20000, 30000, 40000 in the Specific remote port field, choose TCP,  and then Next
  8. Click on the Allow the Connection option and select the desired profiles
  9. Click next and type in the name for the rule.

We hope that the steps above will save you a little bit of PDM setup grief.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006 and migrated along with his team members to the TriMech Solutions team in 2021.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.