We try not to get too deep into the nuts and bolts of SOLIDWORKS PDM licensing, because there's actually a lot that goes into that license fee that you might not be aware of. But one of the important components to SOLIDWORKS PDM is the database that drives PDM's ability to recall all of the pertinent info we need without having to open up the file in SOLIDWORKS. The database in the case of SOLIDWORKS PDM is Microsoft SQL Server (Microsoft SQL Server Express for PDM Standard, and SQL Server Standard for PDM Professional). This is a near-ubiquitous database that is both powerful and flexible.
Here at Converge, we're proud to serve every one of our clients on a daily basis. When we were invited to participate in this year's SOLIDWORKS User Advocacy Day event at the SOLIDWORKS headquarters, we were given the daunting task of choosing one of the thousands of clients to participate with us. For the past 5 years, SOLIDWORKS has invited 20-30 members of the national community to participate in a day of networking and hobnobbing with SOLIDWORKS developers and executives. This year is the first year that SOLIDWORKS has invited a representative from each client's VAR to attend and help select the participant the event as well.
Here at Converge, we think a lot about SOLIDWORKS Subscription Services. Love it or hate it, this Subscription Service model allows users to access future full-versions and Service Packs, as well as the ability to request support on a given issue with the SOLIDWORKS software. However, beyond those two key points, what are you getting for your annual Subscription Service renewal?
In the last blog post, we discussed Flatter Files. The next step in the data management marathon involves resource management. We're finding more and more small and medium businesses are adopting a Cloud-based ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to manage the physical resources that allow the business to run. Again, SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional has a connector that works with most ERP systems, so that problem is partially solved by built-in functionality. However, PDM workflows and processes don't grow on trees, as they say. Instead, companies are clamoring for a solution that fits within their existing CAD investment that allows them to collaborate more seamlessly with these internal and external stakeholders.
In the last blog post, we discussed the built-in options for automating some tasks using SOLIDWORKS PDM Tasks. However, to solve the rest of the Data Distribution issues that plague any given design firm, we present one of our favorite solutions that addresses these needs and more: Flatter Files.
In our last installment, we spent a bit of time talking about the data creation and management pieces, and fortunately we are seeing SOLIDWORKS PDM adoption climb along with our users' knowledge of SOLIDWORKS. PDM instantly solves most of the data management needs for SOLIDWORKS users. However, the need that most companies are failing to address, regardless of their data management situation, is distribution of data.
"What we've found over the past 5 or so years, is that the problems most companies face today are not related to usage of the SOLIDWORKS software anymore—most of their problems are data management and distribution problems."
-Chad Garrish, Co-founder and EVP of Converge
We're all familiar with the SaaS model, or Software as a Service, whether we know it or not. Think of Software as a Service as a subscription model that allows you to use software, or in some cases install it locally when you're paid up on your subscription. Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, and even some CAD suites are examples that adhere to this model. OnShape and Autodesk's Fusion 360 have pioneered SaaS in the CAD space, and the makers of SOLIDWORKS are poised to enter the market with the much anticipated 3D Experience Platform. In the near future, it's a safe bet that most, if not all of the software you use today will be delivered in the SaaS manner.
Over the past several weeks we've looked at different aspects of the question of Private vs Public Cloud. We started with an overview. From there, we talked about pricing, security, and then management. Today we'll take a look at how the two options compare in the areas of reliability and performance.
Last week in our series on Private vs Public Cloud, we discussed Security and Compliance. The final and most important part of the puzzle for EpiGrid when considering Public Vs. Private Cloud is the ability for Converge to manage not only the Cloud-host, but also the PDM Vault as well. With a Private Cloud, we're able to deploy, train, AND manage the vault seamlessly after the fact. Since EpiGrid owns the hardware and licensing at the host, instead of carving out virtual servers from a conglomeration of servers, we are able to manage the solution top to bottom, all while reducing the amount of time your design team spends on IT impediments.