One of the common questions that we come across is about the integration of Microsoft SharePoint to SolidWorks PDM (EPDM). Although doable, the bigger question should be, “How do you want to integrate SharePoint to SolidWorks PDM?”
Based on our experience, we see three common scenarios around integration between the products. We do recognize there could be many more specific customer scenarios.
- Upon a change state in SolidWorks PDM i.e. change state to ‘Release, create a PDF of the file having the change state being performed on it. And upload the PDF file and meta data form SolidWorks PDM to a specific SharePoint library
- Upon a change state in SolidWorks PDM, find a corresponding file in SharePoint and change the status of object in SharePoint to correspond to the State in SolidWoks PDM
- The ability from SharePoint to search and view data in SolidWorks PDM and vice versa.
We recently implemented the second scenario for one of our customers. This is allowing them to save critical time from having engineering hop between two systems to keep data in sync. We will also be extending the solution to allow changes in SharePoint perform change state events in Solidworks PDM.
Believe it or not, for scenarios one and two, to provide such integration is fairly straightforward and not expensive. As for our customer who benefitted from this integration, a few thousand dollars investment will yield a great return on investment through savings. Such integration can easily work with various versions of SharePoint and SolidWorks PDM, including the new SharePoint 360 (cloud based solution).
Though with any integration, the devil is always in the details. A plan needs to be in place on how the integration will work. Here are some sample questions that should be addressed:
- What variables will be transferred over?
- Would data only interact with one SharePoint library/list or multiple ones?
- How should multiple revisions of the same file be handled?
- What system should be considered the master system?
If you have Microsoft SharePoint and SolidWorks PDM and see benefits in linking the two together, we would be happy to discuss and provide assistance. Leave us a comment or contact us!