How to ease the pain of writing a PDMWorks Enterprise addin


Writing and debugging VB .NET addins for PDMWorks Enterprise is not a fun task. First you cannot step through your code and watch your variables update so finding the problem is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack… additionally, between the builds you need to constantly unload the addin, start/stop the explorer.exe process, compile the .dll, then reload the addin.

-Too much work for me. I typically write a majority of the code as a “Windows Application” then after I get that working I’ll convert the application into a “Class Library” (in the project’s properties screen). Granted there is a little cleanup to this step but I think that pales in comparison to writing the code as a class library from the beginning.

4 comments on “How to ease the pain of writing a PDMWorks Enterprise addin

  1. Jeff –

    Try setting up your application to run wordpad or notepad. This would allow you to run it in debug mode.
    If you are at SOLIDWORKS World, look me up and I’ll have someone show it to us….


  2. “I should have been more specific. I was referring to the Express version of VB .Net. You can step through your add-in code if you buy .NET from Microsoft.”

    Hi Jeff,

    I was told that you could not use a debugger to step through the DLL added into PDMWorks. Your statement above sounds like good news. Could you elaborate a little on the version of PDMWorks and Visual Studio I would need to allow stepping through the code. Also I assume (or hope) this would allow breaking at and then stepping over function calls to the SOLIDWORKS API.

    Also if there are online resources, documents, or books that you could point me to with regard to this I would be very thankful.


  3. I only have the Express version so I cannot tell you exactly how it is done. At SOLIDWORKS World I saw this amazing feat accomplished with both the Standard and Professional Editions of Visual Studio. (It was a setting they set somewhere in the debug section.) The presenters were able to create break points, watch variables and step through their code!

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