The Multiple Roles of a PDM Administrator

   By Patricia Bar on December 6, 2021

So, you have made the decision to get a product data management (PDM) system to manage your company data so you do not lose your files, track changes and a variety of other benefits. That’s great!

Now you are being asked who is going to be the administrator for the system, and you have no idea of what that really means. What does it take to be a PDM Admin? How much of your valuable time is going to be occupied by administrative duties for PDM? Are you going to have to access the server? Let’s dive a little bit more into these roles.

To clarify, there are two types of admins for PDM. We’ll call the first the “Systems Administrator” and the second one the “Application Administrator”.

Systems Administrator

The Systems Administrator is normally from the IT side of the business. This person is the one that is responsible for the SQL database, archive server and database server. This individual will need to be involved during installation or updating to a new software version since they have the required logins for the server and the administrative logins for PDM and SQL. This is no small set of tasks, but on a day-to-day basis this person has very little interaction with the program.

SOLIDWORKS PDM System Admin SOLIDWORKS PDM System Admin Install

Application Administrator

The second type of administrator is the Application Administrator, which is generally the role people are referring to when they are asking how much work time the role will consume. This administrator will define who has access to what files/folders and at what stage in the workflow a user can access a file.

For example, during the design phase, only designers/engineers will have read and write access to CAD files, but when the files are released, everyone has read access. When you are originally setting up a vault, this administrator is heavily involved in the process to ensure that PDM functions how the company wants. After that initial period, the day-to-day interactions with PDM from an admin side are minimal. As your vault and your needs evolve, the admin would need to add a new employee, check a user’s permissions if they cannot access a file, make simple modifications to cards or workflows or maybe help out on a tech support call to debug an issue.

>> Related Article: Managing Local Files in SOLIDWORKS PDM

What is the Admin Role in SOLIDWORKS?

Generally speaking, these two roles can be applied to most PDM systems. Let’s look at SOLIDWORKS PDM specifically and what that means. SOLIDWORKS PDM has a user-type called Admin, which has different properties than a normal user given administrative permissions.

These properties include:

  • When a new vault is created, it is the only active user
  • Cannot be deleted, disabled or renamed
  • Folder permission for users allow them to see initial state
  • Can delete a file or return it to a checked-in state that is checked out by another user or in another vault view
  • Has access to all search favorites in a PDM Professional vault
  • Can change the category of a checked-in file

SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin RoleOnce SOLIDWORKS PDM has been deployed, it must be properly maintained by qualified individuals who will be responsible for daily maintenance tasks and for any subsequent configuration changes. Determining who takes these roles and how it works is critical to the success of software use. If you feel like you need training on either of these roles, take a look at our PDM training opportunities available.

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Patricia Bar

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