Quick Steps for Upgrading the PDM Server

This guide is intended to assist in upgrading the SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard/Pro Server to a new service pack or major year upgrade. 

Please consult with the SOLIDWORKS System Requirements to ensure the server OS meets the requirements for the new version of PDM.

We have a video version of this guide available on YouTube.

This guide does not include instructions on installing the PDM client to computers not hosting the PDM server. For information on installing the PDM client please follow this link for PDM client.


  1. To begin, run the setup.exe from your SOLIDWORKS installation files on the server currently hosting the PDM server application.When the Installation Manager is open, select the Server Products radio button and select to upgrade the PDM server. Optional: The SolidNetWork License Manager can be selected to update at the same time if this server is also hosting the license manager.
  2. Our next step is to configure the PDM server options for the upgrade. Select the Change button to do so.
    Optional: If you selected to upgrade the SolidNetWork License Manager, please verify all of your network serial numbers are present and correct. If not, select the change button to modify them.
  3. On the PDM Server configuration page be sure to select the following: 
    1. PDM Pro or Std depending on what is currently installed.
    2. Archive, Database, Client
    3. SQL server location and SA login credentials
      Note: We recommend having the PDM client installed on the PDM server. This allows us access to the PDM Administration Tool on the server, which is useful for testing and diagnosing issues.
      Note: The SQL account that PDM uses to access the SQL databases needs db_owner privileges.
  4. Once this information is entered, select the Back to Summary button. If the information above is entered incorrectly, you will be presented with an error message. Once the PDM server has been configured, you’ll notice that the SQL server is listed and the “configuration required” message is gone.
  5. Select I accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS License Agreement and we can proceed with the installation.

SQL Database Upgrade

Once the server components installation is complete, you'll need to upgrade your PDM SQL Databases to match our new server software versions. To do this, navigate to your SOLIDWORKS source folder (this can be on the DVD or download). From here, we’ll be looking for the \SWPDMServer\Upgrade sub-folder.

It is recommended to run this directly on the server hosting the SQL instance. Launch the Upgrade.exe and follow the prompts to complete the database update. 

Note: For this tool we will also need our SQL server location and sa password.


Testing for Errors

Once the database upgrade utility is complete, please test logging into your PDM server, preferably on the server itself with the PDM administration tool that was installed with the PDM client.

If you are able to login without error, the upgrade process was successful. At this point, please have a PDM user test their local vault view connection to the PDM server.


Note: All PDM client computers need their PDM client to be the same software version as the PDM server. For this example, the PDM server was upgraded to PDM 2020 SP1, so any PDM clients would need to be upgraded to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020.

If there are errors logging into the PDM Server administration tool on the PDM server itself, please note the error. If the error states that the database version is incorrect then the issue is likely with the PDM SQL Database upgrade utility.

Advanced Installations

Our guide is a simplified version of steps taken from the official SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration and Installation guide. For advanced users, you can review that guide at this link.



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