Turkey, Stuffing, and... SOLIDWORKS PDM?

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States and I’m excited to sit down, watch the parade and some football, and eat my fill of delicious, home-cooked food. While everyone is off with their families and friends, I thought today would be a great time to write about 5 features in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional that I’m thankful for. Each of these features covers a key need in the SOLIDWORKS community and each of them needs to be spotlighted. So, without further ado, let’s get to the list!


I had to start off with a well known classic that I think we can all agree makes our lives better. Cards are everything in my system. I utilize them to find the parts I’m trying to find and I use them to help store all of the file properties I care about. I use them for creating entire folder structures in a few buttons clicks and I use them to track information about my folders. Cards let me store the information I care about the most and then easily access it later. I’m thankful that I can have everything I need right when I need it. That makes it worthy of being one of my five favorite features.


The versatility of workflows lands them at number 2 on my list of favorite features to be thankful for. We’ll start with the obvious: I know that the right people are seeing the right files at the right time in the files’ life cycle. But I also really appreciate the fact that transitions can write file properties for me. I love the automatic email notifications I get whenever a file is transitioned to the Awaiting Approval state. Lastly, I’m especially thankful for the multiple workflows that I have set up for my different processes. How great is it that my quotes, CAD data, and quality control documents all have their own workflow?


This may be one of the most under appreciated features in SOLIDWORKS PDM – the search tool. Think about it: how fast is your typical Windows search? It gets the job done most of the time, but it doesn’t compare to the speed and flexibility of the PDM search tool. We can search for any document based on anything we know about it. And not just that – we can even look for something that we know is inside of the document with the content search option! Having the integration into SOLIDWORKS makes building my assemblies faster than ever and the new quick search ability makes the tool even easier to use. Searching is among my favorite features for good reason. This tool has it all, and I’m thankful that we can all find our data faster and easier than ever.


Replication falls fourth on my list of five favorite features. I may not utilize this option very much, but I know that if I ever need to access files from across the world, I would be thankful to have replication turned on. If we have a branch of the company working in Australia and the home base is in New York City, there’s no way my engineers would want to have to wait to pull files across the United States and then across the Pacific Ocean. Instead, I would use replication (either Scheduled or On-Demand) to make sure my files are also available on the Australia server. I’m thankful that customers around the world are able to quickly access the files they need thanks to replication.

Move Tree

Finally we get to Move Tree on my list of five favorite features. This is one of those sneaky things to be thankful for. Have you ever needed to quickly rename a whole group of files? Well we can use the Move Tree command to do that. And I can hear you now: “Nick, I’m not moving the files, I just want to rename them.” Who says you have to move the files? Move Tree asks where you want to put the files. We can just use the same folder where the files already are and just change the name. We can use the serial number function to make sure the files are named correctly and uniquely. There you have it, the ability to quickly and easily rename a batch of files. That’s certainly something I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Those are five features in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional that I’m certainly thankful for this holiday season. Each feature makes my life easier than it would be without it and that’s something I’m always thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Nick Sweeney

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