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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

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Topaz II

Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Hello,



I'm new to the list as we are looking to implement PDM/Link on a trial
basis. We own 8 heavy seats with our 8 Pro/E seats, but haven't used it
due to the perceived cost of the overhead in terms of day to day use.
In other words, it seemed like overkill in an environment like ours of
rapidly changing projects and very little ongoing data. However, when
we do larger projects with more than a couple of people working on the
same database, we realize that a data management solution would be a
benefit.



Since we have the licenses and a server with extra capacity, we want to
see if we can get it set up and give it a trial run on an upcoming
project. I've been given the task of getting it set up for that project
which is due to launch in approximately 2 weeks.



My biggest question is, is it reasonable to think that in 2 weeks I can
learn enough to install and configure PDM link properly so we have a
good test of whether it meets our needs? We should not have a complex
installation; we simply want to manage revisions and who's working on
what. What I don't want to do is get something set up, but not
properly, we then have a bad experience and dismiss PDM Link due to poor
implementation. Or worse, the implementation hampers getting the actual
work done.



Is going from zero to running in 2 weeks (without a consultant)
reasonable?



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
22 REPLIES 22
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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

On 01/25/12 14:53, Doug Schaefer wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I’m new to the list as we are looking to implement PDM/Link on a trial basis. We own 8 heavy seats with our 8 Pro/E seats, but haven’t used it due to
> the perceived cost of the overhead in terms of day to day use. In other words, it seemed like overkill in an environment like ours of rapidly changing
> projects and very little ongoing data. However, when we do larger projects with more than a couple of people working on the same database, we realize
> that a data management solution would be a benefit.
>
> Since we have the licenses and a server with extra capacity, we want to see if we can get it set up and give it a trial run on an upcoming project.
> I’ve been given the task of getting it set up for that project which is due to launch in approximately 2 weeks.
>
> My biggest question is, is it reasonable to think that in 2 weeks I can learn enough to install and configure PDM link properly so we have a good test
> of whether it meets our needs? We should not have a complex installation; we simply want to manage revisions and who’s working on what. What I don’t
> want to do is get something set up, but not properly, we then have a bad experience and dismiss PDM Link due to poor implementation. Or worse, the
> implementation hampers getting the actual work done.
>
> Is going from zero to running in 2 weeks (without a consultant) reasonable?

Only if your days are the same length as a week. I hope you are nocturnal.
This would be almost impossible with a whole army of top notch consultants.

>
> *Doug Schaefer
> **
> Columbus, Ohio
>
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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Thanks for the feedback so far, it's been very helpful. The range of
responses has been from "No way in Hades" to "If it's a simple, mostly
OOTB system, yes." I thought I'd clarify our needs and see if I can't
get more consensuses.



* For the trial project, we'll only have 3-5 users and a
database of maybe 200-250 components.

* The only functions we'll care about is basic rev control and
check in / check out control of the master database. Where used
functionality would be helpful too, but is secondary to the other two.

* We can likely live with the basic WIP -> released -> Cancelled
lifecycle.

* My gut says start with the latest version (10.0), but to
maintain compatibility with WF3 we will likely use 9.1

* We'll use a single existing server initially (Dual Xeon
2.66GHz, 4gig of ram, 1tb of free space on raid array, Running Win
Server 2003 R2 SP3) that is currently running other small things, moving
to a dedicated server later



The goal here is to try to make use of what we own, or at least see if
we can make use of it, with little expense now. We've sat on these
PDM/Link licenses for years and have done nothing with them because we
had no support for spending thousands to give it a try. The assumption
was that PDM wasn't a good fit for our business anyway. Since we seem
to have the means now to try it for next to no cash outlay, we'd like to
give it a go.



How does that affect your opinion?



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
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RE: Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Doug,


I think you are setting up yourself for failure. 4GB of RAM for a monolithic PDMLink server will not cut it even for 1 CAD user. I can’t even run PDMLink OTB just for my own development/testing. The fundamentals of PDMLink’s architecture must be understood before you attempt to implement it, unless you have a lot of time on your hands


If you had an experienced PDMLink admin (Business & Server) who understood your simple requirements--and a cooperative IT environment--it could be done in 2 weeks. If you are going in uninformed you have a high risk of failure.


-Dave Engel

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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Thanks David. I understand what I'm asking is a bit like saying "I've
got to drive this oversized tanker of gasoline up the Alaskan Ice Road,
can you teach me to drive an 18 wheeler in 10 minutes?" Of course, the
consequences of failure here are slightly less dire. 😄



The risk of failure of the deployment doesn't bother me, as long as I
can learn something from it and learn the right things. What I don't
want to do is have it fail and blame the failure on PDM Link when it was
really the implementation or hardware. In other words, going in with
eyes wide open that the hardware is going to be inadequate and the
configuration may not be optimal, can I still get my feet wet in PDM
Link and learn enough about if this is a good fit for us?



I'm curious as to what limitations running on this server with 4 GB RAM
(32 bit as well, BTW) would be. What issues would we see? Is it only
speed and if so in what context? We are not looking to this server as a
long term / production solution, only as a trial. If we like what we
see, we'll buy a dedicated server correctly configured for the job.



Also, why do you say that you cannot run PDM Link OOTB? IS that because
of your company's requirements or something related to my server specs?



I'm doing a lot of reading on the fundamentals of Windchill & PDM Link,
anything that folks can point me to that will help I'd appreciate.



Thanks much everyone,



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Have you considered buying access to a hosted Windchill solution? I do
not know of a particular vendor, but you can probably get someone else to
manage your data in a hosted Windchill solution for a reasonable price if
you don't want to set it all up and maintain it yourself, especially if
you have few users with new, relatively small data sets (i.e. you don't
have terabytes of legacy data to load/maintain).

To answer your question, yes, you can learn to install, set up and
configure PDMLink in 2 weeks using the manuals and Tech Support, but I
doubt that it will be optimized for performance, or access control, or
almost anything if you don't have some expert assistance. You might look
into getting a consultant to help you on your first install so you can
learn as you go with some on-site help. Decent implementation consultants
can be expensive, but 2 weeks of consulting will get you to where you can
run installs and set ups on your own much faster than just reading the
manuals and calling PTC tech support for questions. If time is important,
than get a consultant to get started. If you have unlimited time, then
you can get it running in 2 weeks on your own, but I think it will be much
longer (months?) to get it to where you really like it unless you have
assistance.

Al







[solutions] - Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Doug Schaefer
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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

why do you say that you cannot run PDM Link OOTB?

There are too many company-specific requirements for everything from
hardware, to operatinig system, to access control and workflow
requirements to set up PDMLink to function properly without some
site-specific set up. With a knowledgeable consultant, you can get a
basic system up and running minimally for less than 10 users in less than
a week. On your own, you will get it running, but I doubt it will be
easy, and it will certainly take longer than a week.

To make the system production-worthy, even a minimal system for 10 users,
could be done in 2-4 weeks with an expert's assistance. But Windchill has
a lot of layers to it. And every time you don't like something, or
somethinig is slow, then it adds time to tune or configure it.

Al









[solutions] - RE: Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

Doug Schaefer
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Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

A hosted solution is a good thought, but I thought I had read / heard
that PTC had discontinued support / use of hosted solutions. Anyone
have any insight into that?



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
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RE: Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

You will get your feet wet and learn something as you stand it up. By all means if you are up for the challenge give it a shot. I’ve enjoyed learning the system. Sounds like you have the right attitude.


OTB memory allocation is not sufficient. The java VMs used by the method servers and Tomcat will “crash” if you try to do much without tuning them. If they don’t actually crash you’ll have excessive garbage collection.


-Dave

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RE: Installing and Configuring PDM/Link

You can try NetIdeas for a hosted PDMLink/ProjectLink solution.


http://www.netideasinc.com/


To add to the previous installationresponses...you can certainly install PDMLink OOTB, but as mentioned, it will not be particularly functional nor tuned for your environment. Your hardware is also woefully inadequate, particularly for a monolithic deployment (including appropriately licensed Oracle or MS SQL server). You might learn something, but you may also end up not knowing what you don't know if you don't have some experienced guidance along the way.

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