Can Windows SharePoint be used as your SOLIDWORKS PDM?

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 has been out for nearly a year now. It certainly adds a lot of collaboration tools over WSS 2.0. I think that just the simple fact that 3.0 now supports blogs and wikis makes WSS a nice design collaboration tool. With all these new collaboration tools now included, can it replace PDMWorks Enterprise?

There certainly is a lot of overlap between WSS and PDMWorks Enterprise. Both products allow you to check in and out documents, have a nice easy to use interface and provide file version control; but to date neither product can truly replace the other. Bottom line: WSS is great product but it is not an engineering tool. It is very weak as a CAD document manager -especially for SOLIDWORKS files.

Just a few quick examples:

  • No toolbox support
  • No configuration support
  • No automatic part numbering for SOLIDWORKS generated parts (mirrored parts and assemblies)
  • No automatic SOLIDWORKS parent/child relationships. WSS knows nothing of assemblies -this means the BOM need to be manually calculated.
  • No automatic parent/child relationships also means finding where a part is used or what an assembly contains is a manual process.
  • With PDMWorks Entperise you can check in and out documents while they are opened in your assemblies. WSS makes this a manual process.
  • WSS does not have an integrated SOLIDWORKS interface.
  • With WSS you work on the files over the network – you lose the speed you get working on your local hard disk as you get with Enterprise.


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