DBWorks Experience?

Manufacturing is looking to upgrade our PDM (presently Activault), primarily so they can have better links to Navision. They decided that ProductCenter was too expensive. Now they are looking at DBWorks. I googled the group and spent a good part of the day reading about a 100 threads on the topic.

The main thing I got out of my reading was that DBWorks was quite flexible, but the user interface left something to be desired. I have the impression that it will be quite a bit more work to get started than PDMWorks or Activault, though nowhere near as much as the more expensive solutions. Am I anywhere near the mark? What has been your experience?

How easy ot use is DBWorks for users, as opposed to the administrator?

Does anyone have any experience migrating Activault files to DBWorks?

Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"

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Jerry Steiger
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I'm on my third implementation of DBWorks. The latest company produces medical devices and requires DBWorks FDA capabilities.


MechWorks revamped the DBWorks interface for 2004. There is considerable difference between 2003 and 2004 with the latter making life a lot easier.

Everyone complains about the interface at first. I contribute this primarlily because the users have never had so much information at their fingertips before. Presenting this wealth of information is difficult to do in a manner that doesn't overwhelm people at first. Proper training mitigates this to a great extent. Nobody complains about the interface once they realize what they can do with the program. When things take them hours instead of days they have a tendency to stop complaining in a hurry. (P.S. Coming from a PDMWorks background I complained long and hard about the program - I'm not doing it anymore).

Ease of implementation depends on the installer knowing the subtle cause and effect relationship between SW and DBWorks. Throw an ERP system into the mix and the novice DBWorks implementation can get into trouble in a hurry.

I would recommend you have someone come in to install and configure it for you. The company's time would be best spent making sure your engineering processes are properly mapped out. I typically have someone in engineering who is familiar with SW & the ERP system assigned to me. Their job is to provide the answers and files needed to pre-configure the system. A small job is then simulated from start to finish to make sure everything is workiing as required.

Scope creep will be your biggest enemy as once people realize the capablility of the program they have a tendency to want everything.

Tying the system into your ERP system is not difficult if it is ODBC capable.

Once installed the administration of the application is minimal (similiar to PDMWorks)

If set up correctly and users properly trained the system delivers what it promises.

Do not have experience converting from Activault but I imagine a script file could be created to migrate from one system to another.


Len K. Mar, PEng. President E-data Solutions

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Len K. Mar

Thanks, Len, that's just the kind of feedback I am looking for. Anyone else have something to say? I remember that Gianni Rondini, Eric Elkin, and Krister Landkvist were running DBWorks. What do you think about it now?

Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"

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Jerry Steiger

Just happened to be looking through and saw this thread. We are in the process of changing our name (new owner Bosch on 1 July) and there is a LOT of stuff to deal with in the world of MIS.

We have been using DBWorks since SoWo 2000. It is very open, and is very customizable. I would not recommend any PDM to anyone until they sat down and did a thorough audit of processes and procedures that they wanted to manage. A PDM will not make those things better, but it will let you be consistent and manage them easier. Enough for that little sermon.

We have been quite satisfied with DBWorks. It will do much more than what we are doing with it. If anyone has looked at it in the latest release they would see quite a bit of change in the look and feel...for the better. I know of 2 different installations where I have some contacts where SmartTeam was dumped in favor of DBWorks. I think that Mechworks ofers a trial period. I also would not suggest any more than 5 users for the MS Access database. Go to SQL server right away. I would be happy to give some more feedback ofline if you would like.

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Thanks, Eric! Good feedback. I may take you up on your offer of offline conversation when we are a little further along in the process.

Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"

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Jerry Steiger

Dear All,

While you are considering a Design Management Solution for Solidworks, you may want to take a look at

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1 day install, very low admin, very easy to use, supports ProE, Swks, Inventor and most other windows file formats. So easy to install we have even done it using netmeeting...

Regards, Joe McBurnie CSI Managing Director

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