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Migrating Autodesk Vault Professional to PDMLink


Migrating Autodesk Vault Professional to PDMLink

Hello everyone.

has anyone got experience in migrating Autodesk Vault Professional to PDMLink ?

I am interested in knowing the pitfalls and see if I can learn from someone else mistake

Best regards


I have a few questions for clarification:

  1. What is the size (number of objects) of this migration (ballpark)?
  2. What is the format(s) (extensions) of the files?
  3. Are you intending to load the files as EPMDocuments to Windchill or as WTDocuments?
  4. Which tool(s)/high-level migration strategy do you intend to deploy?

I may have some pointers depending on your responses.

Hello Bob

thank you for your response.

We are at a very very early stage, therefore I may not be able to answer yet all your questions.

We currently have about 10 000 idw (I do not know the number of iteration yet)

Files are generally, iam, ipt, idw,  many dwg (autocad) and pdf, and also items

We currently have two options.

1) Migrate to Windchill and keep Inventor as CAD Software

2) Migrate to Windchill and switch to Creo

For option 1:

We will need the WGM for Inventor in order to manage efficiently Inventor files in iam, ipt, idw and dwg in Windchill

For option 2:

We will switch to Creo. That is all new design will need to be done in Creo. It is expected (yet to be tested and validated) that it will be possible to check out an inventor file, "convert" into Creo to implement a change and check back in. The new iteration be a creo file. It is also expected to create a new creo assembly file using inventor component without the need to iterate the inventor component.

For your 4th question. I have no idea yet and seek for inspiration

I hope this gives you more details.



Hi Chris - these answers help a lot!

So it sounds like regardless of your option to continue with Inventor or to switch to Creo, you intend to load these objects as EPMDocuments to take advantage of object-to-object relationships and utilize the WGM.

As you are likely aware, a migration is a pretty big task regardless of the quantity of objects, due to the need to have a proper configuration strategy pre-migration and setting up for integration to other Windchill elements post-migration.  Due to these needs and several other factors, there could be several options/tools/strategies that are possible.

If you're looking for a bit more "official" help, the company I work for ( does migrations, and I'd be happy to come up with a quote for your migration after discussing a few more details.  Please let me know if you're interested.

Hi Chris. If you go with Option 2 you need to be wary of drawings. While you may have an element of capability with keeping parts and assemblies from becoming "dumb", the drawings may well need to be converted to .dwg and lose their parametric links, requiring a new drawing to be done in Creo when it comes to a change action. Make sure that you budget for this anticipated time in your business case: trust me, it can make a significant difference, even in a SME!

Hello Andy,

this is a very good point. I now realize that all the demonstration I have seen about Unite Technology was about working with the 3D models.

I can imagine that Creo will open and read the idw file (not sure though as Autodesk once said to me this can only be opened by Inventor.....) but if I start making changing to the inventor 3D model using Creo, the changes may not update automatically to the 2D drawing (idw file).

This for sure requires testing.  This is what I told the reseller, their bidding task is bigger than autodesk because they must prove Windchill will do the job while proving the efficiency of the Inventor Integration if we stay with Inventor but also demonstrate the benefits of Creo vs the burden of changing if we come to change from Inventor to Creo.

The only good point in all this at the moment is that the intake of Inventor was poor (as always this was driven by engineering and expected drawings to be converted as and when they needed,  needless to say that the designers never converted any drawings, Only created new in Inventor so intake after 3 years = only 6% of our drawings are in Inventor,  so even if we have to manually convert all, that is OK, )

Thanks Andy

Bob, thanks too for your comment.

23-Emerald III

... if I start making changing to the inventor 3D model using Creo, the changes may not update automatically to the 2D drawing (idw file).

Guaranteed.  They will not update.  There is no relationship between any Unite models and their corresponding drawings.  Unite is basically doing an on the fly import in the background (creating .creo files) with some mapping to update things any time the native file changes.  It will not maintain any references to drawings created in these other CAD systems.


For clarification, the streamlined Creo 3.0 Unite workflows (streamlined = reading the foreign CAD models without creating a new Creo model, until modified in Creo) doesn't work today for Inventor data; it works for SolidWorks, NX and CATIA V5 data. The option there is to Import the Inventor 3d models (*.iam and *.ipt) and create a Creo Translated Image Model (or TIM).


Hi Chris,


Litlle bit late but how does your migration project was running?


We are faced in a similar situation, we integrate a company with Inventor (VAULT) data to windchill in parallel to our Creo environment. Data stay in Inventor and will be maintained in there. 


Migration is planned to export all versions of a file to local folders and then only import the latest version to Windchill.


Do you have any recommendations regarding migration? Things you struggled?


Thanks for your feedback.



We successfully migrated our vault database to Windchill the last weekend.

We were using the Tool "FISHBOWL InventorLoader".

Absoultely easy to use and user friendly.

Support of these people is also amazing, replies and solutions within hours.

Migration of about 35k objects was fully done after 4 hours (including folder structures, lifecycles, reference checks).