I just got back from a site that is using SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM because they are doing a joint project with their customer. There is a replicated archive server at each location, this gives the two companies the ability to work together on the same project within the same vault. The solution works very well – updates are seen by both companies automatically. It isn’t much different than if they were in the same building -even though they are several states apart.
The solution worked so well, that the location I was visiting decided they wanted to buy EPDM for their own use, but they didn’t want to have two archive servers. Essentially, they wanted the same computer to store both their customer’s vault and their own.
I wasn’t sure if this was possible, but turns out it is possible and very easy to do. I installed the new database at their location, went to the administration tool on the archive server (that was only connected to the remote vault), RMB clicked on the server, chose to add the new vault and the wizard took over from there.
Now their archive server is replicating to their customer site and serving their local vault too. Each user has two vault views in their local cache so it is easy for them to track which vault they are using.