Questions about Workgroup PDM

We’re probably going to swap over to Workgroup PDM this fall. If your team runs it, I have a few questions:

  1. How do you host it? Dedicated hardware or on some cloud instance? We were thinking about getting a used rack mount server. Is that overkill?

  2. How do you access it from home/not where the server physically is? VPN/port forwarding/the like?

  3. What are some tips, tricks, or “ah-ha moments” that you discovered? Any pitfalls we should know about?

And my bonus question: anyone tried out network rendering? Most of our students work on inexpensive laptops or ultrabooks so it might be a fun thing to experiment with.

As always TIA!

I’ll post my team’s experience with Workgroup PDM. Keep in mind, we used it a few years ago, so things may have updated. First off, our team has a bit of a problem. Internet at our shop is extremely slow. Because of our shop’s location, we are forced to purchase extremely expensive business class internet, so I think we’re getting something like 5 mbps downloads/5 mbit up or something like that. Second, we like to work on CAD both at the shop and at home. I would say we generally get more lower level subsystem stuff at home and we spend time at the shop doing more integrating, but that’s not always the case. When we set up Workgroup PDM, I had it set up on an Amazon AWS instance, which turned out to be rather expensive because it MUST run on a Windows OS, and those instances can get rather expensive. Because it was hosted remotely, it was SLOOOOW at our shop, but was awesome at home. If we had set it up on a server at our shop, we would have had just the opposite problem. Our “Ah-ha” moment was to just forget about Workgroup PDM and move to GrabCAD. This worked out great because there is a little noticed peer-to-peer feature for computers in the same network. This let us set up a GrabCAD server in our shop that continually syncs with the remote GrabCAD server, so while we’re at our shop, all CAD data can be pulled very quickly from the local server, but stays synchronized when we work from home.

I believe Workgroup PDM is end of life at the moment. I’d avoid it.