EPDM Tech Tip: Pain Free Upgrades

Lately, we here in the CAPINC Enterprise PDM (EPDM) support group have noticed a number of EPDM customers who have upgraded to SolidWorks 2012 without upgrading to EPDM 2012 first. This is not a good idea as the EPDM version must be equal to or greater than the customer’s SolidWorks version. The reason for this is SolidWorks files from a newer version run the risk of not being recognized by the older version of EPDM. There may be problems writing to file custom properties via card mapping or it might cause issues with file check-in or other strange problems. Per Dassult Systems SolidWorks Technical Support this configuration is not supported.

When asked why they didn’t upgrade, many of these customers said they thought the EPDM upgrade was too much hassle but this is not the case. In fact, an EPDM upgrade is usually easier than upgrading SolidWorks. We’re fully trained on how to successfully upgrade EPDM and would be more than happy to come to your site and do the job for you (if you’re located in New England). However, if you have a smaller install base where the Archive Server and the Database server are installed on the same box and you are feeling adventurous, here is a quick guide to the process.

1)      Familiarize yourself with Chapter 8, Upgrading Enterprise PDM, and Chapter 9, Upgrading SolidWorks Files, in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Installation Guide, which can be found on the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM DVD.

2)      Develop a roll-out plan.  Consider things like:

  • How many client machines do I need to touch?  Do I have enough time or help to get that done during the upgrade window?
  • Do I have to upgrade archive servers at remote locations?  Will there be time zone implications and have local users been notified?
  • For employees that are out of the office, how will their machines get updated?

3)      Make sure someone from your IT staff is available when you do the upgrade.  While the average computer savvy person can do the upgrade on his or her own, nothing is worse than rebooting the server and not knowing the password when it comes back up.

4)      Make sure you know the following accounts and their passwords:

  • The EPDM admin account
  • The database SA account
  • The EPDM Server password

5)      Make sure you have a good backup!  99.9% of the time there is never any problem with an upgrade but for that .1% you may need to restore from backup and start over.  Instructions on how to create an EPDM backup are covered in Chapter 7, Backing Up and Restoring File Vaults, of the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Installation Guide.

6)      Contact CAPINC for a new EPDM License file – When you upgrade to a new major version, your license count is reset to 0 users.  After you upgrade you must install a valid license file for the new version.  NOTE: You do not need a new license file if you are only a installing a service patch.

7)      Verify all users have checked in all their files and are logged out of the vault.

8)      When all of the above steps are done, you are ready to run the upgrade.  Log in locally to the server with local admin rights (you can log in remotely but it is recommended you have the install media on the remote system) and run Setup.exe from the EPDM DVD.

9)      Click on the HTML link “How to upgrade from a previous SolidWorks Enterprise PDM versionFIRST and follow the directions on the screen.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE “UPGRADE” BUTTOM WITHOUT CLICKING THE LINK FIRST!

10)   After the upgrade of the Archive Server and the Database server is finished, install the new license file.

11)   Update the clients to the new version by running SETUP.EXE from the DVD and choosing the client install option on each workstation.

As we said above, these are basic instructions.  For customers who have their archive and database servers on different machines, have replicated servers, manage their toolbox in the vault, want to automate the upgrade of their workstations or want to upgrade SolidWorks at the same time, please contact CAPINC Technical Support at 1-800-424-2255.



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