The Workgroup PDM application is product data management software that runs inside the SOLIDWORKS environment or as a standalone application inside SOLIDWORKS Explorer. Workgroup PDM controls projects with procedures for check out, check in, revision control, and other administration tasks.

A Workgroup PDM system is illustrated as follows:

  • A computer can contain only one Vault.
  • The Vault directory cannot be a hidden or read-only directory.
  • As a client/server application, Workgroup PDM performance depends on a robust network.
  • If your users maintain a large number of documents, performance is improved if you create more projects or subprojects with fewer documents per project instead of keeping the documents in a smaller number of projects with more documents per project.

End-of-Life Announcement

SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM support will end after SOLIDWORKS 2017. Customers already using SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM can continue to install it, but should begin planning to migrate file vaults to SOLIDWORKS PDM Server.


  • Clients and the VaultAdmin, API, and Viewer can be installed on the same computer as the Vault, or on different computers.
  • It is not necessary to install the Workgroup PDM Server to install the client API. The client API is installed during the Workgroup PDM Client installation.
  • To configure the vault folder on a remote location, type the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path when prompted for the server destination. (For details, see UNC Format.)
  • Installing or updating the vault requires a computer reboot.
  • If the Workgroup PDM Server Service does not start automatically after rebooting, you must start it manually. In Windows Explorer, run pdmwvault.exe in the drive letter:\SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM\Vault folder.
  • When you install a Workgroup PDM client, you must install solidworksexplorer.exe on each computer. This executable can be on a shared drive. The Workgroup PDM Vault, Viewer, API Client, and VaultAdmin are not installed on each client computer.
If you are running Windows 8, refer to Tips for Using SOLIDWORKS with Microsoft Windows for tasks such as accessing Start or the Control Panel. These steps may vary depending on how Windows 8 is configured on your system. Consult Microsoft Windows documentation for additional instructions and options.


  • A license for Workgroup PDM API is included with the licenses of SOLIDWORKS clients and Explorer clients. Check-in APIs require client licenses.
  • A Workgroup PDM Viewer license must be installed with the vault to enable the Viewer.


  • The vault administrator should have write permission for installation and for the vault folder.
  • The vault administrator should manage the vault folder from the VaultAdmin, not with Windows Explorer.
  • Users should never have write permission in Windows Explorer for the vault folder.

Security, Ports, and Duplex Settings

  • Workgroup PDM must be able to install as a Windows service, so other applications cannot be allowed to block or filter the service. For example, if anti-spyware tools such as Microsoft AntiSpyware display an alert requiring approval during the installation process, click Allow so the Workgroup PDM Server is installed as a Windows Service.
  • If you install Workgroup PDM on a computer with an active firewall, you must enable Workgroup PDM ports as exceptions in the firewall setup.

    Typically, the ports are:

    • 20000 (VaultAdmin)
    • 30000 (Data)
    • 40000 (Request)
    • 80 (Viewer)
    For information on changing the port settings, see Troubleshooting for Vault Administrators in the Workgroup PDM and SOLIDWORKS Explorer help and the Microsoft Windows help for Security Center. To install the Workgroup PDM Vault and the Viewer concurrently, use the Custom option in the Setup Type dialog box.
  • The duplex setting for servers and their corresponding ports should be the same; for example, both could be 100MB Full or both could be Auto.

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Documents

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox documents are common hardware components that usually do not require revision control and are not checked in to the Workgroup PDM Vault. See the Workgroup PDM online help for details about configuring SOLIDWORKS Toolbox and other standard libraries.