SOLIDWORKS 2020 Data Management What’s New Top 10

Article by Rod Mackay updated October 1, 2019


SOLIDWORKS 2020 introduces many new enhancements to data management with SOLIDWORKS PDM and SOLIDWORKS Manage providing new features and workflow improvements, you can check out what we think are the SOLIDWORKS 2020 Data Management Top 10 Features below:

01. Enhanced SOLIDWORKS PDM Browsing Experience

From generic file browsing to looking up references and accessing details, the improved performance of SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 makes your day-to-day experience more efficient. When you access files and folders, data is now loaded asynchronously. This means you do not have to wait for the file contents to load before you can browse into a sub-folder.

This also means that you can toggle between the Bill of Materials, Contains and Where Used tabs without delay. Details continue to load in the background and are cached until you move on to another file.

Not only do you have more browsing flexibility, but the improved communication between you and the PDM server delivers a faster experience overall. This is also seen with the SOLIDWORKS CAD Add-in.

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Browsing

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Browsing

Benefits: Browse through the PDM Vault more quickly as you no longer need to wait for all data to be loaded.

02. Enhanced Search Interface With Advanced Features

Searching for files in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 is made simple using the new Quick Search functionality. Easily access the new search field in the top right corner of File Explorer or hit CTRL F on your keyboard and start typing. Predictive search is enabled based on your search history and you can use your arrow and enter keys to easily select and repeat a common search.

Quick Search is also configurable where you can choose to search from one or many variables in addition to location and version details. You can now use operators like AND, OR, NOT, EQUAL TO, LESS THAN and GREATER THAN so you can find exactly what looking for without filling out multiple fields or manually sorting through various search results.

Traditional search cards can utilize the new multiple-variable fields as well so you can improve their usability and efficiency. In both search environments, columns can now be easily moved with a drag and drop so you and every other user can organize  search results as you please. Searching with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 enables you to find the correct data fast with a simple experience.



Benefits: Refine your search and find the right product data more quickly and easily.

03. Child Reference State Conditions

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 introduces a new workflow condition to validate the state of referenced files. For example, you may want a part and its drawing to travel together through their lifecycle or at the very least, ensure the part is released before OR during the release of its drawing. Use the new Child Reference State condition to enforce this behavior:

  • Define conditions based on the state of immediate child references to control the parent file transition in SOLIDWORKS® PDM Professional.
  • Prevent a parent file from moving through a workflow if the child references don’t match the specified condition. For example, you cannot move a PDF to the “approved” state if its child drawing is still “under development.”
SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Child Reference

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Child Reference

Benefits: Create more-precise product workflows based on the relationship between parent status and child status.

04. Bill of Materials Tab in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2

New for SOLIDWORKS 2020 you can now access Computed bill of materials, Weldment bill of materials, Weldment Cut Lists, and SOLIDWORKS bill of materials in read-only view in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Web2.



Benefits: View bill of materials from any device with any screen layout by using responsive design technology.

05 List of Files to Download in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2

When you want to download any PDM Web2 data, a new Download with References page provides options to help ensure you’re downloading exactly what you want. Choose the associated versions, drawings, simulation data and more from a simple, responsive user interface.

  • Review the list of files to download in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Web2 when “download with references” has been used.
  • View the list of files in a table where columns can be customized in the “download with references” user interface.
SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Web2 Download with references

SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 Web2 Download with references

Benefits: Save time by examining your files to see if they contain the right data before you start a massive download.

06. SOLIDWORKS Manage Plenary Web Client

Keeping yourself and others current with constantly changing information in your company is a challenge. SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 introduces new ways to access and share this information and alleviate the burden. When you want more in-depth access remotely, use the enhanced Plenary Web Client from your internet browser, allowing you to view and interact with file data in SOLIDWORKS PDM. With SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020, the Home and Projects modules in addition to expanded capabilities with SOLIDWORKS PDM are now available.

SOLIDWORKS Manage Plenary Web Client

SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 Plenary Web Client

Benefits: Use the full capabilities of the SOLIDWORKS PDM desktop client remotely and enjoy a better user experience.

07. SOLIDWORKS Manage Outlook Integration

Information is everywhere and aggregating it manually can take more time than its worth. SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 makes this effort easier by introducing Microsoft Outlook integration and expanded integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM. Emails in Microsoft Outlook can now be saved directly in SOLIDWORKS Manage.

For situations where you have an existing process or case, click Save emails into existing record in Outlook and search for the record of interest. When you need to access the email in the future, go to the Emails tab on the record to view it.

With this integration, you don’t have to remember additional steps to associate emails with records. Simply link the email to a record directly from Outlook. Accessing emails like this and ALL of the additional information available in Manage are now accessible directly in SOLIDWORKS PDM. Just navigate to the desired area in the SOLIDWORKS Manage tab.

With the integration with Outlook and PDM, SOLIDWORKS Manage streamlines your experience capturing and accessing important information.

SOLIDWORKS Manage Outlook Integration

SOLIDWORKS Manage Outlook Integration

Benefits: Easily incorporate important email data directly into SOLIDWORKS Manage.

08. SOLIDWORKS Manage Sub-process

Process standardization leads to improved quality, productivity and morale. To aid this effort, SOLIDWORKS Manage provides powerful process management capabilities to automate simple and complex workflows. With the 2020 release, these capabilities have expanded, making it easier to incorporate unique details and data from various sources.

When you start a process in Manage like an Engineering Change, you can simply add affected items AND their related references. This is easily accomplished by right clicking on the primary record and choosing to add related records. With SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020, multiple related records can be added at once even if they are stored in different objects like libraries, bill of materials, PDM, and beyond. This greatly reduces the time to accurately capture the necessary records when  starting a process.

SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 also supports new scenarios for processes. Special Objects, like risks, projects issues and product
requirements can now be added to a process so you can automate their disposition. If process items need to be split so that they go to different stages, you can use the new sub process capability:

  • When sending multiple records through a process, move some of the affected items into another connected sub-process for greater flexibility.
  • The sub-process retains the history of the parent process.
SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 Sub-process

SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020 Sub-process

Benefits: Streamline your workflows and increase flexibility when working with multiple affected items in a process.

09. SOLIDWORKS Manage Project Management

Managing a project is no simple feat. Project management with SOLIDWORKS Manage however, enables you to tightly integrate with resources and deliverables throughout your organization. With the 2020 release, it is easier to get started by importing current and upcoming projects, visualize the life of your projects and plan the capacity of your resources.

If you have projects in other tools like Microsoft Project, you can now import them as XML. Start, finish, duration, predecessors and registered users are automatically recognized so you can start connecting tasks and deliverables right away. Load charts, PERT charts and network diagrams are now available so you can visualize your project how you want and communicate your projects in a variety of formats.

Often, you may have multiple active projects with common resources. With the new Capacity Planning in Manage, you can automatically calculate available time from your resources as well as the demand from your projects. Holidays and Absences may be included as well so you can easily take control of your operational efforts and costs. Improve the effectiveness of your project management with SOLIDWORKS Manage 2020.

SOLIDWORKS Project Management

SOLIDWORKS Project Management

Benefits: Manage your projects and user workload more effectively.

10. SOLIDWORKS Manage Dashboard Viewer

With the new dedicated Dashboard Viewer installed on community monitors, you can display relevant information to keep everyone up to date with your company activities. These dashboards are displayed in real-time by using the automatic refresh setting. With this, you never have to manually publish updates again:

  • Continuously display key dashboards on community monitors with the new Dashboard Viewer application.
  • View dashboards in full screen mode for greater visibility. Dashboards update periodically
SOLIDWORKS Manage Dashboard Viewer

SOLIDWORKS Manage Dashboard Viewer

Benefits: Provide relevant information to all stakeholders in an easily accessible and up-to-date format.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.