An Introduction to SOLIDWORKS Manage
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional is the most popular option for data management among SOLIDWORKS users. It’s the tried-and-true method to handle all your data management needs within a product-driven engineering department. With SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, you can centralize the storage of all your engineering data and related files. It acts as a safe and secure repository for all your engineering information. Users can check-in and check-out files to ensure version and revision control. The check-in and check-out help ensure you don’t step on other users’ feet or take control of a model being used by someone else. The integrated workflows allow you to automate your approval process for faster review and release of designs. Because it’s built into Windows Explorer, the SOLIDWORKS PDM client can be adopted quickly among new users.
If you’ve been using SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional for very long, you’ve probably heard about SOLIDWORKS Manage. I get many questions about the basics of SOLIDWORKS Manage when I chat with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional users. In this article, I wanted to formally introduce you to SOLIDWORKS Manage and hopefully answer some of your questions concerning its capabilities.
What is SOLIDWORKS Manage?
SOLIDWORKS Manage is an add-on to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. SOLIDWORKS Manage adds powerful capabilities to your PDM system. It gives you powerful tools that enhance your project management, process management, item management capabilities, and introduces interactive dashboards and intelligent reporting to your data.
SOLIDWORKS PDM is generally thought of as “document-focused”. You have a document living in a folder. That document lives in one state within one workflow at any given time. Every document has a data card that stores the metadata about that file.
SOLIDWORKS Manage is an advanced, record-based system. Items in SOLIDWORKS Manage are represented by a record that contains searchable fields of information. Whether you are looking for a CAD file, project, process, BOM, etc., you look for the record that represents that file. To make things efficient and connected, your SOLIDWORK PDM Vault is synced to SOLIDWORKS Manage and in turn, every PDM file can be represented by a record within SOLIDWORKS Manage. You can also create records that represent an item without a file. For instance, you can create a record to represent a cardboard box or plastic bubble wrap. These items might need to be accounted for in the shipping BOM, but you don’t want your engineers modeling bubble wrap or a cardboard box.
What functionality does SOLIDWORKS Manage give me?
The core functionality of SOLIDWORKS Manage is built on 4 main pillars:
With SOLIDWORKS Manage, you have complete visibility into all projects, enabling organizations to plan, manage resources, connect project deliverables, and monitor status right down to the task. Resources can be allocated to each stage of a project, and tasks can be defined and assigned to project stakeholders.
SOLIDWORKS Manage streamlines engineering-focused business processes. SOLIDWORKS Manage allows you to automate your complex business processes, to ensure they work the same way every time. This standardization gives you the reassurance that all stakeholders are involved at the right time, and nothing gets missed. During a process, you can attach affected items and files, as well as enable ad-hoc approvers, or assign specific user tasks. Because of the tight integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can utilize processes in SOLIDWORKS Manage to drive your SOLIDWORKS PDM workflows in your existing PDM vault. SOLIDWORKS Manage is a great option to manage your business-critical processes for Engineering Change Management and New Product Development.
With SOLIDWORKS Manage, you can create, edit, and compare complete BOMs using records and files. You can maintain connected but separate BOM variants for your organization’s products. Records for SOLIDWORKS configurations can be automatically or selectively created. Because of the integration between SOLIDWORKS CAD and SOLIDWORKS Manage, you can push BOM data directly to SOLIDWORKS drawings.
Visualization (Dashboards and Reports):
SOLIDWORKS Manage offers powerful dashboard and reporting tools that can pull data, including project progress, resource allocation, and quality performance from every aspect of the system and present it in a very easy-to-consume way. Additionally, the Dashboard Viewer allows users to view and interact with dashboards without consuming a SOLIDWORKS Manage licenses.
How is SOLIDWORKS Manage Licensed?
There are three basic client types targeted at different user roles:
SOLIDWORKS Manage Professional Editor
A Windows-based client for engineers and designers who work with SOLIDWORKS and other popular design tools. It includes all the functionality offered in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor, and provides application-specific integrations to manage the complex file relationships and file properties. In addition, all the capabilities for managing projects, participating in processes, creating and editing BOMs, and accessing dashboards and reports are included.
SOLIDWORKS Manage Professional Contributor
A Windows-based client primarily for people who need to manage development projects, create product structures (including CAD and record-based components), and participate in various business processes. In addition, it includes all the functionality offered in SOLIDWORKS® PDM Professional Contributor and is targeted at people who author non-CAD file data and other product-related files (such as Word and Excel).
SOLIDWORKS Manage Professional Viewer
A Windows-based client for users who need to search, view, and print documents. In addition, it includes all the functionality offered with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Viewer licenses. It is also appropriate for people who need to participate in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional-based workflows and SOLIDWORKS Manage-based processes, and who need to view dashboards, run reports, and view project progress.
PLM Solutions Architect
Computer Aided Technology