Intralink, should we buy it??

We are a three strong design office in a small manufacturing company with about 30 office employees (we have five seats of Pro/e). We don't have an IT department and we don't have many assemblies but we would like to link our pro/e files to other manufacturing data.

We considered getting Intralink many years ago but feedback indicated that it was unstable and required a lot of IT support. Has it improved? Are you from a small company who has implemented Intralink - would you recommend we give it a try?

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Regardless of your 'small business' status, you certainly need some form of data management - and Intralink is as good as any. Arguably better, actually, because it is designed to work with ProE.

That being said, Intralink is just recently undergoing major changes to Version 8. This is more a Windchill application than traditional Intralink. Conversion for we 'mature' users is going to be a strain, but worth it. For someone just starting out ground-up it should be a lot easier since you aren't bringing years of Intralink 1.x/2.x/3.x along with you.

If I were you, I would take a long, hard look at PTC's new "PLM On-Demand" service. It is Windchill PDMLink, hosted and maintained online for you by IBM. No worrying about backup, servers, etc. There is a monthly subscription fee involved. All you need is a web browser and a reasonably fast internet connection. The synopsys is located at:

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Regards Peter Brown Jarvis

Rick wrote:

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Thanks Peter Anyone else out there got some views on this? wrote:

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We have 6 Pro/E seats and share projects amongst all of them. To do this and not cause headaches you most have Intralink or another product just like it. Currently I perform all of the support for the engineering department with no help from our IT people. Personally, I don't think 90% of the IT people out there could handle it anyway. That said I couldn't at first either. But once the first install was done by a contractor it ran just fine until it was time for an update.

Updates are the hard part. Every once in a while PTC decides that a version of Pro/E won't work with the older version of Intralink anymore. (They claim these are software errors but I am a conspiracy theorist so you know what I think.) When the time comes for upgrading to a new version of Intralink you will need hand holding a few times as I did but, eventually, it won't be too bad.

Another poster has mentioned Intralink 8. From what I have read it will cost a minimum of $20k just for the conversion software (which you have to buy ... you can't have somebody do it for you with their software and charge you a fee for using it ... unless you want to call $20k a fee) not to mention that you probably won't be able to do it yourself anyway so you can add at least another $4k for a consultant even if you performed previous upgrades yourself.

Basically, you should either wait a few months or go with the IBM on-demand solution. The only worry I have is whether IBM will commit to this for more than a few years. They might decide there is not enough money in it and just give it up. Also, the on-demand stuff includes much more than Intralink like stuff. It is really more oriented towards a systems aproach to projects as well so you can do things like APQP with it.

Unfortunately, Intralink is only part of the solution. Everyone MUST use it religiously or else it is useless. I have two engineers that do not use it properly and this causes no end of headaches for everyone involved.

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