SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Installation

Article by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) updated August 19, 2015


SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM (WPDM) software helps individuals and small workgroups manage projects and control their design revisions.

The simple data vault of WPDM provides file security with little IT support, and its tight integration with SOLIDWORKS design software makes WPDM easy to learn. Advanced search, notifications, and secure file access increase productivity across your entire design group.

WPDM is Included with the SOLIDORKS Premium and SOLIDWORKS Professional packages. If you have a SOLIDWORKS standard license, you need to get a WPDM license to be able to install it.

Use the steps below for a SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Installation on both your server and client machines.

Server Side

Creating a Vault

The best practice is to use SOLIDWORKS installation manager for all SOLIDWORKS installations.  This can be started by inserting a SOLIDWORKS DVD or navigating to the downloaded files and double clicking on the setup.exe.

1- On the welcome page for the installation type, choose choose Server products; this will expand a list of these types of programs. Select Install SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Server (vault) on this computer. Then, press the Next button to continue.


2- The Summary page will show you the installation location and the products to be installed under the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Server heading. Download Options allow you to change the location of the source files. Click the Change in front of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Server.


3- In the next page you can modify these settings.

  • Installation location
  • Workgroup PDM Vault: this is where your actual data (files & metadata) is going to be stored. If you are upgrading an existing vault, be sure this is the same location you were using originally. If you are loading for the first time, the vault data can reside at any networked drive. Though it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this location reside on the same physical server as the PDM service is being loaded under Installation location.
  • You will need to obtain a Validation Code to install your vault. Enter your email address and choose a validation method. Your serial number should automatically be populated. If you wish to Validate automatically over the internet, click Get Code to automatically retrieve your validation code. If you wish to Validate manually by email, please follow the on-screen instructions to obtain your validation code. Once the validation code has been entered, press the Back to Summary button to continue.


4- Press the Install (or Download and Install) button to continue. Follow the steps till the end and press the Finish button to complete the installation.

Vault Administrator installation

Once the WPDM server is installed we need to install the WPDM AdminTool on the server. The SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin program is a tool that allows administrators to control vault settings and user access. It is also the tool for setting up the revision scheme, life cycles and other vault options.

1- Insert your DVD or navigate to the downloaded files folder. Start the setup.exe and on the welcome page for the installation type, choose Individual or Modify the individual installation and press the Next button.

Installation Manager

2- Enter your SolidWorks serial number on the following page. With SOLIDWORKS Professional or Premium licenses you do not need to enter a serial number for SolidWorks Workgroup PDM. But, if you have a SOLIDWORKS Standard license then you need to purchase and enter your SolidWorks Workgroup PDM serial number too. Press Next after you have entered your serial numbers.

Enter Serial Number

3- Select the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin component and deselect all other SolidWorks programs and then select Next.

Select Products

4- Press the Install Now or Modify Now to continue. The Vault AdminTool will be installed on your server.

Client Side

When you are done installing WPDM on the server it is time to install and set it up on the client machines. To install WPDM on the client machines follow the steps below:

1- On an existing SolidWorks client machine, use Control Panel to change the SW installation.

2- In Installation Manager, modify the individual installation.

3- With Professional or Premium you do not need to select SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, just click Next. But, if you have a SOLIDWORKS Standard license then you need to purchase and enter your SolidWorks Workgroup PDM serial number too. Press Next after you have entered your serial numbers.

4- Expand SolidWorks Explorer/Workgroup PDM section and check off SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM x64 Client Add-in. Click Next and then Modify Now to install.


5- When installation of WPDM on client machines is finished, there are a few configurations that should be done before users can actually use WPDM on their machines.

  • The first step is to enable the WPDM Add-In in SOLIDWORKS. To do so go to Tools->Add-Ins and check off WPDM add-in and press OK. The log in window will pop up asking for the name of the server and your credentials.

  • The most important option to setup on client side is the “local save in folder”. This is where the projects will be saved temporary when they are checked out of the vault. To setup this folder right click on the vault view and select SolidWorks Workgroup PDM options.

Within the “SolidWorks Workgroup PDM options” window switch to the Folder tab and then set the folder you want to use as your “local save in folder”.

Workgroup PDM Troubleshooting

If you have installed Workgroup PDM on your server and clients machines and having problem, you can use this article on basic troubleshooting of Workgroup PDM

Related Links

Want to do more with SOLIDWORKS PDM?

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Saeed Mojarad (CSWE)

Saeed Mojarad is an application engineer at Javelin Technologies. He received his B.S from Mazandaran University, Iran; and his M.S. from École de technologie supérieure (ETS), Canada. He has several years of experience using SOLIDWORKS in different industries such as manufacturing and aerospace. Currently located in Calgary, he is helping SOLIDWORKS users all across Canada as a technical support and SOLIDWORKS instructor.