Q&A - 20 things worth knowing about Cloud PDM - PLM Group EU (2023)

3DEXPERIENCE is an efficient and user-friendly way to manage all your CAD-related data. In the February 22, 2022 webinar - Anders Wentzel and Christoffer Stokkebor gave a comprehensive overview of the advantages and functions that users can benefit from in3DEXPERIENCE platform.

This webinar paved the way for an excellent question and answer session. The questions are so good that we decided to gather 20 of them in this article. So that you can tooreap the benefits of managing data in the cloud.

Q&A - 20 things worth knowing about Cloud PDM - PLM Group EU (1)

Benefits of 3DEXPERIENCE

Before we dive into the Q&A, we'd like to talk a little bit about the benefits of3DEXPERIENCE and how it will benefit you and your company.

If you are using PDM, you might wonder what the differences are between3DEXPERIENCE and PDM are. In terms ofProduct data management, regular PDM is still superior when it comes to customizable workflows and automation. It is still “just” a product data management tool, while the3DEXPERIENCEplatform is a complete ecosystem for the entire company, not just your files.

Everyone from the designer and engineer to the machinist in the shop and the manager in the office can benefit from this system and its collaborative potential.

If we look at it from an engineer's point of view, the3DThe EXPERIENCE platform offers the following:

  • Cloud based:It is no longer necessary to have a working VPN tunnel for the company when working from home or on the road. You just entered3DEXPERIENCE from any available device with an internet connection and you are good to go.
  • Communities:By creating communities throughCollaborative business innovatorpaper you are virtually eliminating the need to communicate via email. You can create project-based communities and invite only relevant stakeholders so that communication about a specific project stays in one place.
  • Panels:Using them allows you to customize the way you present data. Create your dashboard according to your own preferences and review your files and data exactly the way you like it.
  • Tasks:O3DThe EXPERIENCE platform allows you to create and assign tasks to yourself and your colleagues through theproject plannerand directly byCollaborative industry innovatorpaper. These tasks are accessible from within SOLIDWORKS, allowing you to attach specific files and work on them.
  • Search mechanism:It is no longer necessary to configure complex search cards. In3DEXPERIENCE you can easily find what you are looking for by setting parameters or filters – you can, among other things, search for specific attributes (properties), creation date, author or just the file name.

As with regular PDM, you lock (check out) files to prevent other users from interfering with your work, move your files through a workflow (known as a maturity state), and revise components when there is a design change.

Q&A - 20 things worth knowing about Cloud PDM - PLM Group EU (2)

Q&A session

  • Properties and Attributes
  • Compatibility and Performance
  • Files, bookmarks and data transfer
  • Availability

Properties and Attributes

  1. Can you configure data cards like in PDM and define properties to be inherited from a project?

Em3DTRY IT The Properties/Attributes menu is what we'll call the Data Card. With the classification management function, it is possible to create specific sets of properties/attributes that are applied to specific files. You can also create drop-down lists using these properties.

2.Can you update properties through a workflow and thus perform automatic updating on drawings?

Workflows are currently not as customizable as with regular PDM; therefore, it is not possible to update them automatically at this time. Each CAD file uses the same workflow and documents use another.

Compatibility and Performance

3.Can you automate PDF and DXF generation when a drawing is released?

You can automate PDF and STEP file generation. Automated generation of DXF files is not yet available in3DEXPERIENCE platform.

4.Is it possible to use 3DEXPERIENCE with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic and 3D?

These functions do not integrate with SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics and 3D, so, at least for now, it is not possible to reuse data and settings from SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics and Installation 3D.

5.How well does 3DEXPERIENCE work with really large assemblies?

There are examples of platform handling assemblies with up to 10,000 parts. Actual performance is highly dependent on your PC, Internet connection, and computing power when working with SOLIDWORKS files.

6.How does the 3DEXPERIENCE platform work with highly configurable products 150% BOMs and different BOM contexts?

There are strong tools on the platform to make configurable products with the 150% BOM framework. You can access them through the Product Manager role and the Model Definition application.

7.Can you use CustomTools on the platform?

No, CustomTools is not supported by3DEXPERIENCE platform. You can still use CustomTools in collaboration with SOLIDWORKS, however there is no direct link between CustomTools and SOLIDWORKS.3DEXPERIENCE platform.

8.When do you hit the limit on large assemblies? In EPDM we are currently hitting the limit around 100 pieces.

100 pieces seems like a low threshold and something might be wrong here. You can always contact our support team via a ticket. As mentioned earlier, there are examples of platforms that handle 10,000 parts in an assembly. We cannot find a limit, if such a limit exists.

9.Is it possible to export XML or similar BOMs to other systems?

You can export CSV files but not XML BOMs through the Product Release Engineer role.

10.Is there any functionality for ECR/ECO processes?

Yes, ECR is possible through the Collaborative Industry Innovator role with the "Change Action" feature. To create ECOs, the Change Manager function can be used.

11.How does this PDM system work in conjunction with Microsoft 365?

You can manage your Office files – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project and Outlook – from your desktop using a plug-in through the3DEXPERIENCE app “Collaboration for Microsoft”.

12.Is working with configuration fully supported in 3DEXPERIENCE?

Yes, settings are fully supported in3DEXPERIENCE.

13.What are the benefits of 3DEXPERIENCE versus Procad's Pro.file?

These are difficult to compare side by side as Pro.file appears to be a PDM plugin for Autodesk.

14.Can the platform handle JPEGs, Excel documents, notes, and so on, to ensure everything is in one place?

Yes the3DThe EXPERIENCE platform can handle many different file types.

Files, bookmarks and data transfer

15.Where are the files stored? I'm thinking about the region etc. and is it only on SOLIDWORKS Cloud or can you host your own backend? Also, how about backing up to external sites?

The files you upload are stored on the3DEXPERIENCE in Collaborative Spaces, however there is no simultaneous local support. You can lock the files and keep a local copy in your cache folder, then work offline, make changes, and upload the files again when you're satisfied. Keep in mind that files you store and work on locally will not automatically update in the Collaborative Space, as locking the file and storing it locally severs the link between3DEXPERIENCE and the file.

16.You mentioned that some programs need to be installed locally. How does data transfer work in these cases?

Installed applications (such as the Design with SOLIDWORKS application) are creating a link between3DEXPERIENCE and your computer, or a desktop application. This link is activated automatically when needed or when you define an action between, for example, SOLIDWORKS and3DEXPERIENCE moving platform. Installed apps connected to software like SOLIDWORKS or Microsoft 365, of course, still need the “original” version of the software installed.

17.What effort is required to switch from traditional PDM to 3DEXPERIENCE?

It really depends on how much "legacy data" you want to bring into the3DEXPERIENCE platform. Loading large amounts of “legacy data” can be quite tricky. Currently, all data upload must be done by the same user on the same computer. Also, any custom properties in existing files need to be set as configuration specific properties. A variety of different tools are available to assist with this process, but it still requires a lot of manual work and planning.

18.Can you automatically assign bookmarks or design custom properties for all files in a workspace?

Tags cannot be automatically assigned at this time. Custom properties can be assigned automatically by setting a required attribute to a default value or using a SOLIDWORKS template. With the classification management function, it is possible to create specific sets of properties/attributes that are applied to specific files. Please see our articleLocate your files in seconds by tagging them with cloud tags, to learn more about bookmarks and file tagging.


19.Is 3DEXPERIENCE included in the SOLIDWORKS Premium license?

No,3DEXPERIENCE is not included in the SOLIDWORKS Premium license by default.


This issue is quite complex and needs to be addressed by Dassault Systèmes.

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