Choosing between SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, Professional and Manage

   By Keith Thompson on March 3, 2021

I think I can safely assume that if you are reading this that you are looking for a better way to manage your SOLIDWORKS design files, supporting documents and product development process. Well, SOLIDWORKS offers three different data management solutions: SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and SOLIDWORKS Manage, but how do you know which one is the best fit for your company?

In this blog, we will review the differences, clear up some questions you may have, and help you determine which is the right data management solution for you. First, let’s start by looking at the purpose and capabilities of product data management (PDM) tools and then, how each of these SOLIDWORKS products meet the need.

The Purpose Behind PDM

Email Square_webinar_PDM 10 TraitsPDM is the business function that is responsible for the management and sharing of product design files and their related metadata (the set of data that describes and gives information about a file), other supporting documents, and the release and change process flows of these documents.

Three key reasons or purposes why companies need PDM are:

  1. To control and secure product-related design files and data from unauthorized access, changes and loss.
  2. To improve the ability to quickly find and reuse existing files and/or information.
  3. To share product knowledge and collaborate with other departments throughout the company, or externally with other users or stakeholders.


Let’s take a quick look at how these three solutions from SOLIDWORKS compare. These are not all the differences, but the ones I think are the most important in looking at what makes each package stand out.

PDM Standard

SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is ideal for smaller single-site customers with an easy-to-use solution that can be easily upgraded to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional when needs change. You can be confident that everyone on your team will have the right files and the most updated versions.

sw-software-image-pdm-standardKey Features include:

  • Secure Vaulting
  • Basic File Management
  • Basic Revision Control
  • Multi-criteria Data Search
  • Design Reuse
  • Low Volume Usage

PDM Professional

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional is suited for customers who want to manage their data with multiple workflows and approval processes and want to easily share and distribute their data to remote offices and/or worldwide access.

sw-software-image-pdm-professionalKey Features include:

  • Advanced Revision Control
  • Multiple Process workflows
  • Basic BOM Management
  • Task Automation
  • High Volume Usage
  • Programming Interface
  • Basic Reporting
  • Web Client Access
  • Enterprise Scalability


SOLIDWORKS Manage is an advanced, record-based data management system that extends the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional with powerful project, process and item management capabilities with interactive dashboards and reports for customers who want better insights and control of their product development lifecycle.

sw-software-image-pdm-manageKey Features include:

  • Record & Item Management
  • Advanced Process Management
  • Advanced Project Management
  • Advanced BOM Management
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Live Graphical Dashboards
  • High volume usage
  • Advanced Revision Control
  • Automation
  • Web Client Access
  • Enterprise Scalability

>> See the Complete PDM Product Matrix

Choosing the Right PDM Solution 

The goal of a PDM solution is to centralize product data in one place that is secure and easily accessible for the teams that will use the system. Choosing the PDM system that right for your needs depends on your needs and the capabilities that the tool has to offer. To use some real-life examples, below are some of the required features that some of our TriMech customers have used to make their PDM solution choice.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Solution Comparison
At this point, you’re roughly familiar with the available options. Here are five simple steps that you can follow to choose the solution that is right for your company.

  1. Define your company’s data management needs.
  2. Research and review the capabilities of each system.
  3. Get a demonstration of the desired system(s).
  4. Understand the different license types and implementation steps
  5. Select the system that best match your company’s requirements.

>> Download TriMech’s SOLIDWORKS PDM Hardware Recommendations

Every business is different and PDM can be complicated to setup as a result, but the rewards, both with regards to time and money, can be significant. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what these solutions can do, which is why getting a demo of the software and understanding the requirements is so important. TriMech has an entire team dedicated to professional implementation services that you can reach out to with any questions about specifics and would be more than happy to show you around these products.

Interested in learning more about the fine details of these products, including system requirements, license types and implementation steps? Watch our full-length on-demand webinar where I dive into all of these in more detail.

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.

Keith Thompson

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