Extend your investment in SolidWorks PDM with the right customization

In the previous post, we discussed, “Top Three Comments for SolidWorks Data Migration to ENOVIA V6.” As a sequel to it, we’d like to share excerpts from our, “Different Customization Approaches and Options for SOLIDWORKS PDM,” technical presentation. Ilan and I shared our knowledge on different customization options and its benefits to an eager audience.

The moment you hear the word “Customize” users immediately associate huge costs and difficulty in maintaining and upgrading their PDM or PLM software. In reality, customizing— when done right by the right experts, can actually yield tremendous benefits to the end users and the company itself. However, the key to a successful customization is clear understanding of the customer’s specific needs, recommending the right customization approaches and developing the solution(s) in a sustainable manner with proper documentation.

SolidWorks PDM

During our presentation, we had interesting discussions; the highlights of it are:

  • Prospects and customers always like to hear their peers’ success stories on customization and address specific issues in their environments. For instance, for a customer, we explained how to get data card specific values to appear on the Bill of Materials (BOM) view of their SolidWorks drawings
  • We discussed some really cool customizations that we have done. Ilan and I gave examples of various customer scenarios that we’ve faced at xLM Solutions. Some of them are automating the engineering change process; creating batch plot tools for watermarking; auto sending of prints or PDF to external parties; all different kinds of reports and integrations with different ERP systems, SharePoint, etc.
  • Some of the attendees were interested in knowing the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that xLM experts use to develop code. We prefer the Visual Studio Professional from Microsoft (https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/visual-studio-homepage-vs.aspx) as it has all the functionality that we need, including the ability to debug. For SolidWorks PDM we normally develop code in either VB.NET or C#.NET, depending on the users preference for the code.

In short, if I could present the top three suggestions for anyone who is considering customization for SolidWorks PDM, that would be:

  • To test and validate all scripts before deploying in production
  • Use Visual Studio as its debuggers allow you to step through the code and see what each line in the code is doing.
  • Make sure to get or maintain your source code and proper documentation. Store them in a common location (i.e. with your other PDM or PLM documentation). Saving these data in an easy-to-access location is critical for making any future changes to the customization.

When you’ve made a significant investment in SolidWorks PDM, why not extend its potential with customization, which meets your specific needs?

Don’t be afraid to customize with the help of experts! It can actually reap you immense ROI. We’d love to hear about your specific scenarios and explore different customization approaches. Call the experts at xLM or contact me direct—we’d love to chat!