2013 - Workgroup PDM Client Install

Jared Ferreira

2013 Workgroup PDM Client Installation


2013 Workgroup PDM Client Installation




Installation of 2013 Workgroup PDM Clients


Comprehensive installation guide of 2013 SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Clients.



This guide is written for SolidWorks 2013.  If you are using an earlier version of SolidWorks, please download our earlier installation documents to correctly load and administer your version of SolidWorks.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is used to manage design documents.  A “vault” is a windows directory setup on a server that will store design data generated by your company.  The software used to control this data runs as a service on your Windows 2008, Windows Vista or Windows 7 Server (not Windows XP, Windows Server 2003).

Files in the vault directory should NEVER be altered manually.  Administrators must use the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin program to control the permissions and projects.  Users must use any one of the vault client programs to add files or manage properties.  See our SolidWorks Workgroup PDM vault installation guide if you have not created a vault yet.

This document covers loading the Client programs used to access the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Vault. Please be sure you have the vault installed and running on your server before installing the client.  The users must have access to a server running the vault service to manage data.

This is not a troubleshooting guide.  If you have any technical issues with SolidWorks, please contact Hawk Ridge Systems technical support.

This document is only to be distributed and used by Hawk Ridge Systems customers.  Any other use is prohibited.

©2012 Hawk Ridge Systems


SolidWorks Workgroup PDM

SolidWorks Workgroup is a suite of software products that include:

Workgroup PDM Vault 

A vault must be located on a shared Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista or Windows 7 server (no longer available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003).  The server computer must be on and the users must have access to the vault data directory for successful document management.

Workgroup PDM Clients 

Workgroup PDM client programs are how users access the vault.  Each user, regardless of client style must have access to the machine running the vault service in order to access any data.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client: add-in for SolidWorks allows users full access to input, manage, change and maintain SolidWorks files in the vault.  This is for all SolidWorks users. SolidWorks Professional and SolidWorks Premium both include the client add-in.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Contributor: add-in allows users to manage data, change properties and attach non-SolidWorks files.  This is for non-SolidWorks users.  The contributor is purchased separately and can be licensed as a standalone or run from a SolidNetWork License Manager.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Viewer: allows read-only web access to the vault.  This is for viewing and printing only.  This has no access to make changes.

The viewer portal is loaded onto the vault server and uses Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to host.  The client is purchased in bundles of 5 and uses Internet Explorer to access the service.

This document covers loading the Client programs used to access the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Vault. Please be sure you have the vault installed and running on your server before installing the client.  The users must have access to a server running the vault service to manage data.  See our SolidWorks Workgroup PDM vault installation guide.


Before Installation

Hawk Ridge Systems highly recommends taking a moment before installing SolidWorks to check that you are ready to load your new software.  Follow these steps to have better performance using SolidWorks:

  1. Check hardware compatibility.  Login to, click the Login link at the top of the page and login to the customer portal.  In the Self Service area, there are links to check video card compatibility as well as minimum system requirements.  You can also see Hawk Ridge Systems’ recommended hardware guide by logging into and reviewing our hardware recommendations.  You can see brand name makes and models we suggest for best performance.  We also have a more comprehensive hardware guide that discusses all types of considerations for your system. 
  2. Check Operating System Compatibility.  You can find the latest version of the system requirements chart under the system requirements page of  Be sure you are on the latest version of your operating system.  You will want to check for, and install any Windows updates before installing SolidWorks.  Vista Business, Vista Ultimate, Vista Enterprise, Windows 7 Professional & Windows 7 Ultimate are all supported platforms. Vista Home Edition, Vista Home Edition Professional, Windows 7 Starter & Windows 7 Home Premium are not supported.  SolidWorks 2013 will not install on a Windows XP machine.
  3. Check hard drive for space and overhead.  In Windows Explorer, go to My Computer and check destination drive (by default the C drive).  Right-click this drive and choose Properties to see if it has the “Estimated installation size” (4.5 GB in this case) free required for the full program (not including Simulation or PDM add-ins).  Also, be sure this drive has at least 15% free space.  A full disk may cause out-of-memory crashes and cannot be defragged to optimize performance. 
  4. Confirm community’s working version.  SolidWorks is not backwards compatible, meaning older versions cannot open files from newer versions.  Be sure workmates, customers or vendors are all on the same version (SolidWorks 2012 or SolidWorks 2013) you are loading. There is a limited exception to this starting with 2013.  Files created using SolidWorks 2013 can be opened with 2012 sp05 with limited functionality.  (Please see the What’s New document included with your software for the details.)
  5. Backup your data.  Ask a system administrator or existing user to see if there are any shared libraries, such as Toolbox or a data management vault.  Toolbox libraries and PDM vault information should all be saved to backup locations.  Then you can migrate the original libraries and vault to the newer version.  If you have a shared location containing existing SolidWorks files, it is recommended that you make backup copies of these files.  Any templates or design libraries should also be saved to a backup folder.
  6. Uninstall previous version of SolidWorks.  It is recommended that after you have saved out all shared data, you should fully uninstall any previous versions of SolidWorks from your machine.  After fully uninstalling SolidWorks and its add-ins, you should install the new software.

Load SolidWorks Client

By default, when loading SolidWorks Professional or SolidWorks Premium, the Workgroup PDM client will be loaded with SolidWorks and SolidWorks Explorer.

SolidWorks Workgroup PDM client is loaded using the same steps as a typical standalone or network seat.  See our documents on this type of installation.  If SolidWorks is already loaded, you can modify your installation.  Again, see our modify install document for this procedure.  When the SolidWorks installation manager gets to the summary page where it displays the products that are going to load, click the Change link to edit what will be loaded on this machine.

According to your serial number, the products you have access to load will be selected for installation automatically.  If you have loaded SolidWorks Premium or SolidWorks Professional, the Workgroup PDM client will have already loaded.  Check to make sure all items are checked.

If you are upgrading to include Workgroup PDM, you will want to expand the SolidWorks Explorer/Workgroup PDM group to see all the products you can install on the client.

You will want to make sure to choose to install the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin if you want the user to have administrative access to the vault.

The instructions for installing these client components manually are also in this guide.

If you have a SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Contributor License, or would like to load a vault admin on a machine along with your SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, you will want to follow the instructions for loading SolidWorks explorer.

If you have SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Viewer, please see the sections regarding PDM Viewer Installation and Viewer Client Installation. 

Loading Workgroup Clients

The SolidWorks Explorer program is a basic file management tool that comes with all versions of SolidWorks.  When installing the SolidWorks Explorer you can also load these components:

    • SolidWorks Explorer (with SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Contributor)
    • SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client Add-In (for SolidWorks)
    • SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin 

SolidWorks Explorer and the Client Add-Ins will automatically load on a machine with SolidWorks Professional or SolidWorks Premium.

Follow these instructions to:

    • Load the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Contributor on a machine without SolidWorks.
    • Load the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client on a machine that only has basic SolidWorks.
    • Load the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin on to any machine you wish to use for administrative access to the Workgroup PDM vault.
  1. Insert your DVD or start the sldim.exe from a download.  On the welcome page, for the installation type, choose the Individual (choose Modify if you already have SolidWorks loaded on this machine).
  2. Press the Next button to continue.
  3.  Enter your SolidWorks Professional or SolidWorks Premium serial number on the following page.

    If you purchased PDMWorks without either one of these versions of SolidWorks, check the selection If you have other serial numbers from SolidWorks Corporation enter them here.  Then enter your SolidWorks Workgroup PDM serial number.

    These may appear already, being read out of the registry of your current vault if upgrading.

    Your serial number and installation will be verified at this time.

  4. Press the Next button to continue.
  5. If this is a new version of 2013, you will be taken to a summary page showing the products you will install.  Click the Change link to the upper right of the product list to be taken to the product selection page.

    If this is a modification of an existing installation, you will be automatically taken to a product selection page.

    If you are loading on the server and only need to load the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin component, you can de-select all other SolidWorks programs.

    If you are loading a client, you can load SolidWorks Explorer along with the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client Add-in (x64 Client if you have a 64-bit system) when loading SolidWorks or you can modify the existing SolidWorks to install this add-in.  If you are loading onto a computer that will be using a Contributor license, uncheck the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Client Add-in to only install SolidWorks Explorer.

  6. Press the Next button or Back to Summaryto go to the Summary page showing products and installation locations.

    You will be shown a list of products you are going to install and their location.  If you wish to modify any of these items, you can click the Change link on any line item.

  7. Press the Install Now or Modify Now button to continue.
    If you are using a network SolidWorks serial number, you will be asked to specify the location of the server at this time.
  8. The Vault Admin will now load on this machine.
  9. The Vault Admin tool is now on this machine.  You have the options to: automatically check for service pack updates periodically, open the “What’s New” PDF or login to the web and comment on the installation interface.
  10. You can choose to join the Customer Experience Program if you wish. This will periodically send fault and usage information via e-mail to SolidWorks to help improve the product.  This will not affect the performance of SolidWorks on your computer.  The logging takes place whether you choose this or do not.  The only difference is whether SolidWorks sends the log files to development to process the information.
  11.  Press the Finish button to continue.


PDM Viewer Installation

Before installing the web based PDM Viewer, you will need to first load the following on your server:

  • Workgroup PDM Vault – See our SolidWorks Workgroup PDM vault installation guide.
  • Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin – See the loading Workgroup Clients section of this document.

If you do not have a vault loaded, see our Workgroup PDM Vault installation document.

Loading Internet Information Services

To allow clients to access your vault via the internet, you will need to activate Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) on the vault server.

Go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, Uninstall a program. 

On the left side of the new window, click Turn Windows Features on or off then turn on the Internet Information Services. 

You may be asked for the install disk of your operating system at this point.  If so, insert the disk into the DVD drive and install the Microsoft component.  Press Finish when completed.

Now you can install the Workgroup PDM Viewer license onto the vault in order to enable the Viewer.

Click Start, Control Panel and choose Uninstall a program.

Select SolidWorks, and then click the Change button.

  1. The Windows installer will start.  Click the Next button to continue.
  2.  Modify the program and select Next.
  3. Choose to install the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Viewer License under the vault.  Also choose to install the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Viewer.  Press Next.
  4. You will be prompted for your Viewer license key.  Copy and paste the key sent to you via e-mail from Hawk Ridge Systems.  Also, enter the name of the computer that will have the vault stored on it.  (Either the name of the server or localhost will work if the vault is stored on the same computer as the server.)  Press the Next button to continue. 
    • You cannot use underscore characters in the name of the machine that hosts the Viewer.
    • The Viewer can only point to a single vault at any time.
    • The Viewer product can be installed on any IIS server other than your PDM server. However, the PDM server computer is the location you need to load the SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Viewer License onto in order for the product to function correctly.
  5. Press the Install button to begin loading the license onto the vault.  You may be prompted for your SolidWorks disk.  If so, insert it into the DVD drive at this point.
  6. Press Finish to complete.
  7. Restart the server to create the virtual directory to allow client access.  Once you have rebooted, verify virtual web:
    1. To open Computer Management Console, right-click the Computer icon and select Manage.
    2. Expand the Services and Applications directory, the Internet Information Service,  the Web Sites folder and the Default Web Sites. There will be a pdmweb entry; this is where clients will access the vault.

Viewer Clients

Now that the license has been installed on the server and the vault is called out, you are able to access the Workgroup PDM vault on the client machines using Internet Explorer.  The clients will need to have access to your network or server to do this.

  1. Within Internet Explorer type http://<Viewer computer name>/pdmweb/
  2. Login to the vault through this portal.  You can conduct searches in the vault or if you switch to classic portal you can look through the project folders within the vault.
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