SolidWorks: Product Data Management for Engineers
This is more a ranting review of SolidWorks’ own Product Data Management solution – Enterprise PDM.
As an engineer, and ultimately being charged with not only creating data but protecting, I usually find myself frustrated by the lack of courtesy people generally afford those who do so – me in this case. I spend hours, sometimes days or weeks, working through projects. Every little detail has a purpose for being there or not. The very idea that all that work can be simply undone by some ogre mashing buttons on a keyboard frightens me terribly and is the root of my recent insomnia.
In a nutshell, here is what a product data management system does. Think of it as a library where your data are books on a shelf, filed neatly and safely away. I walk into the library, see the book on the shelf and decide that I want to take it home so that I too can learn to curtsy like Meg Smith. But before I’m aloud to take that book home, I must first identify myself with some formal ID, sign that I am taking it, and will bring it back. It’s just that simple, really.
This keeps people from stepping on others’ toes. And all seems to go really well, most of the time.
I have used A LOT of software over the years. I have even had a seperate computer to run beta software as a beta tester for several companies. I’m not a software nerd, just an enthusiast. I would consider myself above average when it comes to understanding the why’s behind a failing software. I can usually sense when a software seems premature, or in this case, amateur.
I love SolidWorks. As an engineer coming from the drafting board, and then on to AutoCAD; you can imagine the joy of finding out that there IS a better way. And SolidWorks, it just works. Very stable. Well thought out. Love the GUI. Can’t say enough good.
Enterprise PDM, however, bad. I can’t count the number of calls and emails to tech support for simple things like just checking data into or out of the vault (library). This is the most basic of functions of the software. Something that is at the backbone of why we bought it. You would think that you’d atleast get THAT right. Right?
Most people have no clue what this even is. So I’m not going to spend too much time spelling it out. I just needed to vent. I’m so frustrated right now I could spit. This software will make or break the fact of whether I have to work tomorrow or not. It’s not working, currently, so I will assume that by the time tech support gets around to calling me back, I will have accomplished nothing today and will end up having to work tomorrow. Thanks EPDM. Thanks for pushing out subpar software and selling it at a premium.