What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 PDM

Fall is known for several of things: kids returning to school, the turning colors of the trees and, for many, the latest release of SOLIDWORKS. Who knows, perhaps the latest release of SOLIDWORKS is as much anticipated as kids returning to school.

As with every new release, there are dreams of exciting new tools and high hopes for greater performance. The 2022 release of SOLIDWORKS PDM offers both.

Performance is something we can never get enough of and SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022 offers increased performance where many need it the most: in database servers with high latency.

Some of the areas in which PDM saves time:

  • Opening files.
  • Displaying the Save As dialogue box.
  • Copy Tree.
  • Creating a document in SOLIDWORKS.
  • Saving a data card with a large number of file extensions is faster by 15 percent to 60 percent.
  • Checking in a drawing with a large SOLIDWORKS bill of materials (BOM) is significantly quicker.
  • Displaying files in the Where Used tab, with the Show All option and additional custom columns, is many times faster for certain vaults.
  • Displaying the Transition dialogue box for dynamic notifications is quicker.
  • Loading a Web2 preview is between 1.5 and 2 times faster for large models. Performance increases are often in the range of 10 to 40 percent.

Not only does SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022 perform better, but it is also easier to install. The PDM client could be installed as part of a SOLIDWORKS Administrative Image with previous versions, but it was not a straightforward process. In SOLIDWORKS 2022, distributing the PDM client is easier to configure.

For those that may not be familiar with a SOLIDWORKS Administrative Image, this powerful application offers a quick way of installing pre-configured SOLIDWORKS and PDM on multiple computers. With these new enhancements, a Local Vault View can be defined without the need to run a separate script. The Local Vault View can be created using an existing PDM export (.cvs) file, or a new .cvs file can be created by clicking on Launch View Setup Wizard.

Setting up Local Vault View in an administrative Image.

Now that we have SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022 installed and are delighted with the increased performance, let’s take a look at the new enhancements to the SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022 Client.

Presence Notes

Knowing the availability of a co-worker to collaborate with can be difficult, especially with many people currently working from home. As a user, you can now easily let everyone know your availability with a Presence Note.

It was possible to edit a PDM user’s Presence in the past, but this required editing the user in PDM Administration. Since only PDM Administrators can usually make this change, changes to a user’s Presence were likely not done regularly. With SOLIDWORKS 2022, it is just a matter of hovering the mouse over the Login Profile Picture.

Modifying the Presence Note of logged in user.

With everyone now being able to easily update their Presence Note, it is easy to determine your co-workers’ availability by hovering the mouse over their names in the Explorer Window.

Viewing the Presence Note of a co-worker.


Visibility is one of the things that SOLIDWORKS seems to have focused on for the 2022 release and this can be seen in operations such Check In, Check Out, Undo Check Out, Change State, Get and Rollback. When performing these operations, the number of affected files is clearly displayed at the bottom of the dialogue boxes.

Indication of affected files.

Also, you can see all the configurations of a part in the Where Used tab after selecting All Versions.

Viewing configurations for all versions.

EXALEAD OnePart Search

With an EXALEAD OnePart and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional license, we have access to the EXALEAD OnePart Search, which is now integrated into SOLIDWORKS PDM. The EXALEAD OnePart Search is available from the same pull-down where we access our PDM searches.

Location of PDM searches.


When navigating in our PDM Vault, being able to visually identify a file is essential. When it comes to SOLIDWORKS files, these can be viewed with eDrawings—but loading eDrawings can take time. In previous versions, an option could be set to load the image as a bitmap initially. Then when clicking within the preview panel, eDrawings would be loaded.  This allowed for the image to be loaded quickly and eDrawings could then be loaded only when eDrawings functionality was required. In PDM 2022, there is a prominent icon that makes switching from the bitmap to eDrawings a lot more accessible.

Enabling eDrawings from the PDM preview pane.

When we do need eDrawings tools, we can access more of these tools from the SOLIDWORKS PDM preview pane.

We now have access to eDrawings commands such as Animate, Section and Properties from inside the PDM preview panel with this option.

Common eDrawings Tools in the PDM eDrawings preview panel.

We can also access the component tree from the eDrawings preview panel. Selecting a component in the component tree will highlight the component in the graphics area. Selecting a component in the graphics area will highlight the component in the component tree.

Component tree in preview panel.

Task Pane

Improvements to the User experience continue inside of SOLIDWORKS. In the SOLIDWORKS PDM Task pane, the columns in the Variables area are resizable, making it easier to view the column information.

Resizable variable columns in PDM task pane.

In addition, we longer need to search or manually navigate to the location of a drawing as the drawing associated with a SOLIDWORKS part or assembly can be opened directly from the SOLIDWORKS PDM Task pane. This is accomplished by right-clicking on a component.

Open Associated Drawing from PDM task pane.

Administrator Improvements

There is also plenty for us Administrators in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022. For example, Active Directory is a great way of organizing users and groups, especially in larger implementations. In PDM 2022, there is better integration with Microsoft Windows Active Directory.

Below is a list of those improvements for PDM 2022:

  • The default property mappings or map properties such as User data are not mapped to any Active Directory attribute.
  • A user’s profile picture can be imported from the Active Directory.
  • A user can make changes.
  • Windows Active Directory Users and groups now have a separate icon.
  • It is now easier to validate Windows Groups in PDM Administration. This is done by right-clicking on the Groups and selecting Validate Groups from Active Directory. If the Group does not exist in Active Directory, a Group icon with a red plus will be displayed. To view details, right-click on the icon and select Information.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM and Windows logins can also be validated by right-clicking on the User node of PDM Administration and Validate Logins. As with Validate Groups, an icon will be displayed to indicate the invalid login. For SOLIDWORKS PDM logins, an invalid login is identified with a red lock.

Validating user login.

In a nice organizational touch, Groups and Users are now located in the same location under Users and Groups Management.

Users and Groups Management.

Another pleaser is the ability to resize an image directly from the PDM card editor. Previously the image had to be opened in an application such as Microsoft Paint, then resized, saved and inserted back into the data card. It could take several iterations of this process to get the right-sized image. Many PDM Administrators will really appreciate this enhancement.

Saving PDM Logs

The PDM logs are often the best tool for troubleshooting PDM issues. Your SOLIDWORKS value added reseller (VAR) may have asked you for these logs in the past. It is now clearer on how to save and archive user logs. In previous releases, there was just one general-purpose Save located under the file pull-down of PDM Administration. Now saving the logs is available from the menu bar located above the logs.

General purpose save location.

Saving, archiving user logs in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022.

PDM logs can be saved in several formats in PDM 2022. These are:

  • Comma separated value (*.csv)
  • JSON (*.json)
  • Text (*.txt)


PDM can now be linked to EXALEAD OnePart. The connection to EXALEAD OnePart is configured through PDM Administration.

Configuring Connector for EXALEAD OnePart.


Working with SOLIDWORKS file configurations in previous versions of SOLIDWORKS PDM could be confusing for new PDM administrators. In SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022, it is much clearer which configurations a variable will update. In the PDM card editor, an administrator can easily identify if “all configurations” or the default @ configuration will be updated.

Selecting which configurations to update.

As PDM users, we now have control over which configurations of a file will be displayed.

Defining which configurations will be displayed.

As a PDM administrator tool, we can choose whether or PDM users or groups will have the ability to make these changes. This is done from the user or group settings.

Setting whether PDM users can change configuration display.


SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 has also seen some improvements in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020. It is now possible to view neutral file formats in eDrawings. These include:

  • STEP (.step, .stp)
  • IGES (.iges, .igs)
  • Parasolid (.X_B, .X_T, .XMT, .XMT_TXT)
  • STL (.stl)
  • JT (.JT)
  • Acis Sat (.SAT, .SAB)

For each Control, as a PDM Administrator, we can specify whether that control will be visible on a web card.

Showing control on web card.

Using ‘Configure card for web,’ we can configure the web layout for the file data card.

Launching configure card for web.

Configuring the Web Data Card.

The 2022 release of SOLIDWORKS PDM is one of the most comprehensive that I’ve seen in a while. Enhancements range from performance to installations, with sure-to-be-appreciated enhancements for all. Whether you are an administrator or PDM user, you will find something that you will truly enjoy in this release.

Watch What’s New SOLIDWORKS PDM 2022 or learn more about SOLIDWORKS PDM with the whitepaper Gain Competitive Advantage with Product Data Management.

Learn more about the new enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 with the eBook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.

About the Author

Joe Medeiros is an Elite Applications Consultant at TRIMECH, a premier SOLIDWORKS reseller, servicing customers throughout North America, offering SOLIDWORKS customers expertise in implementing and using SOLIDWORKS solutions.

Joe has been involved in many aspects of the SOLIDWORKS product family since 1996 and as an award-winning blogger, he regularly writes about SOLIDWORKS solutions.

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