The SOLIDWORKS Background Downloader is all cool. Behind the scenes it is collecting all required files to make upgrades a quick and painless process….but maybe for PDM Standard and Pro users it is too painless?
Don’t forget that all PDM users need to be on the same service pack as the PDM server. The 3DVision Technologies technical support guys have been reporting that they have had several tickets from customers who have [in the past] allowed their users to upgrade their SOLIDWORKS service packs whenever they wanted. What you have to be careful of is that when upgrading, by default the installer uses the same settings to upgrade as were used for the last install. Assuming you installed the PDM client during the last install, if they forget to deselect the PDM upgrade, suddenly their computer will no longer be able to connect to the vault. This will make you sad.
At this point you have to either:
1. Upgrade the vault (and then everyone else, and I bet you didn’t budget time for this here in the middle of the week)
2. Smack the anxious young user into submission and revert his machine back to the approved service pack
So what’s the overall solution? Disable the Background Downloader for everyone? Teach users that they can update their SOLIDWORKS but not their PDM? I think the answer depends on your company size and the experience of your users. If I was Earth Czar, I’d disable the downloader and start doing the install with administrator images. In 2016, the PDM client install can be included with admnistrative images. So now your company pays one guy to do the download and install -instead of paying everyone on the design team. This should improve efficiency AND now everyone is running the exact same version making debugging issues easier.