SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional: Top Three Replication Best Practices

By Tim Paris on July 30, 2019

Replication is a feature in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional that allows you to have a single vault that is used across many geographically separated locations. This increases the software’s performance and provides the user with a better experience. In this blog article, we’ll be focusing on three best practices that will help you replicate your vault in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional: building schemas, maintaining schemas and monitoring activity.

Building Schemas

Building a schema is straight forward. Select folders and set the direction and frequency. Where most administrators have issues is in choosing the root of the vault and picking a frequency that is too “infrequent."Edit Replication Schemas

What you need to consider is the urgency of the data to be localized. This is not something you should set for the entire vault. The more successful replication setups have multiple schemas with varying intervals for replication.

For example:
• Root of the vault: once a day
• Library of common parts: every four hours
• Hot projects: every hour

Most vault administrators would consider once an hour to be overkill. I agree that’s too often for the entire vault, but, for priority folders that warrant it, this level of frequency is ideal. How much data could one amass in a single hour? It’s likely not as much as you think. Remember, the replication process is only copying over what has changed.

>> Click here to read our article about replication in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional

Maintaining Schemas

Sustaining an efficient replication environment will require a little maintenance. As needs change and project priorities shift, the replication schemas should be adapted. Modifying and adequately testing replication schemas may take some time, but it is well worth it.

Your PDM vault administrators must remain "in the know" on project priorities when it comes to new ones arising and old ones winding down. This gives them the knowledge required to make appropriate adjustments to the replication schemas as well as accommodate various teams and sites accordingly.

Let’s say you have four sites all over the world, and each site may be working with another site but not actually working with them all. Each site can have independent schemas that allow for a great deal of granularity. The vault administrator can optimize traffic between sites to maintain performance and data accessibility.

Monitoring Activity

Within the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional administration tool, you also have the ability to see each site’s status. With this data, the vault administrator can determine how effective the schemas are. The vault administrator is responsible for properly setting user expectations and communicating with IT on critical needs related to connection speed or bandwidth. There is also the ability to see which files have not replicated yet, which can be addressed on an individual basis.

You can see all this in the examples below.

Main Site

Main Site Replication SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional

Second Site

Second Site Replication SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional

Files in SOLIDWORKS  PDM Professional

Monitoring Activity in PDM Professional

Replication is an excellent way to achieve the goal of a multi-site and potentially international vault while giving each locale dedicated file server access. 

Using vault replication wisely within SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional can elevate a company’s single vault to a central, revision-managed repository with global reach.


Interested in more best practices for SOLIDWORKS PDM? Click on the button below to download our guide, Managing Your PDM Archive Size.

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