Powerful Data Management


SOLIDWORKS PDM (Product Data Management) improves workflows, transforms how to store and work with data, and protects files and intellectual property.
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How Can SOLIDWORKS PDM Help With Data?

SOLIDWORKS PDM core data management and powerful workflows enforce standard processes, keep everyone aware of statuses in real-time, and allow you to automate your repetitive and manual processes. Files stored in its data vault have metadata or properties associated with them, so your search results are returned much quicker with SQL running on the backend.

Using SOLIDWORKS PDM, you can:

  • Attain quality certifications quickly while safely securing your files.
  • Reduce Windows searches on directories of any size to find files fast.
  • Allow teams to take ownership of files when needed.
  • Manage versions and revisions and eliminate data loss.
  • Have granular permissions capabilities and a check-in and check-out process.
solidworks pdm file management screen
  • File Management

    Maintain your data in a single, secure vault. SOLIDWORKS PDM manages file references and automatically updates them if and when you move or rename a file. This type of file management eliminates broken references and the time required to locate and manually fix lost references.

  • Design Reuse

    Easily find and reuse existing design data. Locate files quickly with PDM’s tools rather than spending time searching for prior designs on shared drives or local workstations – or recreating designs when you can’t find them.

  • Revision Management & Control

    Avoid errors associated with manual revision control methods by using SOLIDWORKS PDM to track changes and maintain a history of revisions through the design’s lifecycle. 

    You can also use custom file naming and revision control schemes to ensure you are working with the correct version of the design.

    Check-in and check-out procedures allow for no-risk collaboration when working with large designs (such as industrial equipment) when many users make design changes.

  • Secure File Vaulting

    SOLIDWORKS PDM has a secure vault, so you can control access to your proprietary product data. You can assign specific access rights to individuals and groups.

  • Audit Trail

    Some industries, such as the medical field, require a complete audit trail of product development and testing.

    SOLIDWORKS PDM maintains a complete history of your design, engineering, and product development activities for reporting and auditing as soon as you start using the software. It automatically records every action on a file, including date, time, and user stamps.

  • Integrated Search

    Quickly find your data using powerful search tools within SOLIDWORKS PDM. You can search multiple file types, including CAD, Microsoft Word or Excel, and more, and use multiple search criteria, including name, date, metadata, and workflow status.

  • eDrawings Preview

    View eDrawings, SOLIDWORKS, and AutoCAD documents in eDrawings from within SOLIDWORKS PDM.

  • Unlimited Document Workflows

    Handle all your file types with unique workflows. These workflows can help you get all the stakeholders involved in approval processes for your different document types.

  • Additional Workflows for Regulatory Compliance

    Compliance with industry standards and government regulatory requirements, such as FDA, RoHS, ISO 9001 and 140000, and ANSI, for all your document types with unlimited workflows.

  • Automated Bill of Materials Viewing

    SOLIDWORKS PDM will easily reflect all your design data contained within the CAD files you create. You can view BOM files without having to open SOLIDWORKS.

  • Distributed Collaboration and Enterprise Scalability

    Collaborate throughout your organization while keeping people connected, current, and working on the same data set in the vault, regardless of their location across your entire enterprise.

    Secure file vaulting eliminates “silos” of information, duplicate files, and unsynchronized revisions.

    Configure your PDM system to notify users automatically when documents progress through various states or stages in your established electronic workflow.

    SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional includes tools that allow you to configure and customize your PDM system to match the specific needs of large and small organizations.

  • Advanced Search and Favorites

    Get instant access to your most popular searches by saving and sharing search criteria as “favorites.”

  • Multi-Document Preview

    Preview nearly any file type before ever opening them, such as images, Microsoft Office documents, and email files in the Preview window with PDM Professional.

  • Automated Neutral File Creation

    Save time by configuring the software to create neutral file formats automatically. PDM Standard creates PDFs from SOLIDWORKS drawings. PDM Professional creates DXF, STEP, STL from CAD files and PDFs from Microsoft Office documents.

  • Custom Configuration

    Map variables to predefined properties, such as Title and Author, and custom named properties in your files. If your SOLIDWORKS file contains configurations, the configuration names appear as tabs in the data card. Configuration-specific values appear in the corresponding tab.

  • Automated Data Import and Export

    Import variable values from an XML file into a vault database. In the vault, existing files or items that match import criteria acquire the values at specified points in the file workflow. You can also create a rule to export SOLIDWORKS PDM BOM variables that can be read into ERP systems.

  • Serial Number Generators

    Use serial numbers to automatically assign names to files and folders, assign unique IDs to items (part numbering), or add unique running values to card controls. You can set up as many serial numbers as you need in each vault. Generate unique item IDs with “Item Number” serial numbers by default.

  • Remote, Mobile Access

    Your staff and partners can contribute through web-enabled portals from connected devices such as smartphones and tablets.

  • Automated Approval Process

    Automatically facilitate multiple required approvers with parallel transitions and from different departments for any document type.

  • Email Notifications

    PDM Professional can notify individuals via email if they have an action item to follow through on, such as releasing for manufacturing.

  • Application Programming Interface (API)

    PDM Professional has an API to help you customize the functionality of your PDM environment and develop custom add-ins for anything that the system doesn’t currently do out of the box.


Speeding Up the Process with PDM: Khapheide

Knapheide made the switch from AutoCAD to SOLIDWORKS over a decade ago and has never looked back. See how Knapheide uses SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM, DriveWorks, and Composer to automate mundane design tasks and increase their throughput and speed of development.

Engineering Success Together

Services & Customer Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store data other than SOLIDWORKS files in the vault?

Yes, you can. We recommend storing all associated files in your PDM vault. It’s common to store other files, such as Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, and other CAD formats, in SOLIDWORKS PDM. You can also revision-manage or set unique workflows for these files when storing them in PDM Professional.

What license types are available for SOLIDWORKS PDM?

There are three SOLIDWORKS PDM license types available: Viewer, Contributor, and Editor.

  • Viewer licenses provide basic read-only access to files in the vault.
  • Contributor licenses add the ability to work with and update the files and data in the vault. Contributors may benefit from working with the integrated Microsoft Office Add-in for PDM Professional. They can interact with the vault directly within Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  • Editor licenses include the same functionality as Contributor licenses, and it also enables the CAD add-in, so users can access SOLIDWORKS PDM functionality from within the CAD application.
Do I have to have SOLIDWORKS installed to access the PDM vault?

No. It is common for people who are not using SOLIDWORKS to continue using PDM. One example would be assembly employees who often would need to view assembly and part drawings in a PDF format but never access the actual CAD files.

Can SOLIDWORKS PDM integrate with other business software (ERP, MRP, CRM)?

Absolutely. There are several pre-built connectors available as well as an API for PDM Professional that can be used to develop anything you need.

Can you access and use PDM remotely?

Yes, there are several ways to access PDM remotely, such as Remote Desktop, VPN, and Web2. Here at Hawk Ridge Systems, we can even host the server components on the cloud.

What do I do with my existing data when I implement PDM?

You have several options.

  • You can draw a line in the sand and choose to design all your new products and projects in PDM.
  • You can manually drag and drop any existing design files into PDM to add them to the vault.
  • Our team here at Hawk Ridge Systems can provide full migration services to ensure data integrity and correct metadata mapping.


We will work with you to determine what makes the most sense for your business and wallet.

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