Now that you're ready for the Workgroup (pdmwg) upgrade, let's get to some specifics. As I mentioned in the last post, this isn't going to be a step-by-step guide. There's plenty of sites listing them, they are also in the Installation Guide from SolidWorks, and I recommend you contact your Reseller before upgrading - you are only upgrading once, we get to upgrade dozens of times, so we've seen the issues that crop up and can provide the latest information on any issues. (btw - "known issue" always strikes me as redundant). If your Reseller doesn't have a document at the ready for upgrading pdmwg, then, well, how to say...
Stop the service
Stopping the service means going into the Windows Services in the Microsoft Management console and stopping the service named SolidWorks Workgroup PDM Server. It’s only loaded onto the machine hosting the vault. We recommend stopping the service to keep anything from changing while upgrading. That means clients cannot login, so I wouldn’t perform this task unannounced. Speaking of announcements, you should include a warning that all files need to be checked into the vault if they want to see them again – like a raAnS0m note. If anyone asks why, make a note – they’re going to be trouble. You see, someties risk averse, task-oriented, process-driven people (read: engineers) like us don’t like to have one copy of the files we’re working on. But, we also don’t want anyone to think that we really needed 59 revisions to get our job done, so we don’t check our files into the vault every time we make a change. We keep a “copy” in the vault. It’s a bad idea, but it is common. So, everyone needs encouragement to put ALL of their files into the vault. They can keep the local cache, but we need all of the files in the vault for upgrading.
Backup the vault
This one is easy. Your company already makes frequent backups (ahem!). On the odd chance you are the 1:1,000,000 that needs some help with this one, just stop the vault service, make a copy of the entire vault and put it somewhere safe. The default name for the folder containing the vault is VaultData.
Soapbox alert: Workgroup is a flat-file database. Said another way, Workgroup is a single-point, one-way database. If it gets corrupted, it cannot be fixed. YES, it happens. Backups aren’t backups unless they are known-good. Known-good means they are tested. Tested means they are loaded onto a machine and used. Yes, that means installing the vault, vault service, and at least the admin tool on a machine and poking around in the vault. Maybe even go nuts and login to the test vault from a client. VMWare and a 1TB drive is all you need. The vault service and admin tool don’t need a license, and the client is already paid for. The vault represents to sum total of your company’s intellectual property - please treat it that way.
Whew, I feel better now.
Upgrade the Service
I won’t join the uninstall/reinstall versus upgrade debate. Take your pick. I upgrade mine. In either case, to install the new version, the SolidWorks Installation Manager needs to appear on your screen. Workgroup is under Server Products.
Upgrade the Admin Tool
The step most often missed is the admin tool install. To install that on a client that doesn’t have SolidWorks, fire-up the Installation Manager again, select Individual installation and then “change” products on the summary screen. Expand SolidWorks Explorer/Workgroup PDM->SolidWorks Workgroup PDM VaultAdmin.
NOTE: If you have an admin image install of SolidWorks on your machine, this won’t work. You need a new admin image that includes the Workgroup admin tool.
NOTE: If you have an Individual installation of SolidWorks on your machine, but not the admin tool, don’t clear the check marks for all the products other than the admin tool – you (not “it”) will uninstall everything that has its check mark removed. There’s a warning, but it gets missed.
Login and Test
Did I mention making a backup? In any case, when you upgraded or reinstalled, the service started. However, double-check that by looking into the services running on the machine hosting the vault. Otherwise, there’s absolutely no indication that things are working properly (awesome, huh?). Next, go ahead and try to login with the admin tool. I use “try” because the login won’t work until the new vault service shakes hands with the old vault. In any case, login and get that blue progress bar running. Once the service is happy, it will let you in – there’s no harm in letting the login sit there and you’ll feel like you’re making progress. If you get an error message, take a screenshot and email it to your VAR (you do know your VAR, right?). There’s no need to panic though, because you have a backup. I’ve never seen the start-up take more than 30 minutes. Let me know if yours does - and is a successful upgrade.
Once you have successfully logged in from the admin tool, test logins from the clients. Logins do not change, so unless the server name changed, the login should go smoothly.
It’s a good idea to validate the vault. This process forces the vault to “shake-hands” with all the files and make sure the meta-data is intact. Some recommend this as part of the upgrade process. I like to get things working as soon as possible and validate once I know everything is running again since database upgrades are stressful. So, you may choose to do this before you stop the service the first time for the backup. Either way, know that this can take hours, so cancel your weekend plans.
To validate the vault, in the admin tool select Validate valt and then the option to validate the vault on next start-up. Then stop/start the vault service.
If you have 2013, you also have the rebuild options shown in the screenshot. Check out the Help for details on each.