Back It UP! How to Properly Backup Your SOLIDWORKS PDM

By Patricia Bar on

So, you’ve finally made the investment and have a PDM system in place at your company. What now? To ensure that you can always have access to your intellectual property, you need to set up some backups for your system to ensure it is safe. In the world we live in of virtual machines, isn’t just doing a snapshot enough? Well…not really. So, let’s get started so that you can have full backups ready in case you ever need them.


Learn more about managing local files in SOLIDWORKS PDM >>

First off, what are the components of SOLIDWORKS PDM? To have PDM fully functioning, you need to have SQL installed, the SOLIDWORKS PDM Database Server installed, and the Archiver Server installed. However, to fully backup your SQL databases, you need to install Microsoft’s SQL Management Studio. This program does not automatically install, so please be sure to go to the Microsoft website and get the latest version.

With everything installed, you are now ready to go. Let’s start with the SQL databases. There are two ways to do backups. One is to do an on-demand backup; the other is to schedule the backup as part of a maintenance plan.

Open the SQL Management Studio, use your login, and expand Databases for the on-demand option. Right mouse click on the vault name, pick Tasks -> Back-Up. This will start a dialog box to select the full backup option. Make sure to do this for all vaults, as well as the ConisioMasterDb.

      SQL Management studio back upMaintenance plan wizard

For the scheduled backup, expand Management, right mouse click on Maintenance Plans -> Maintenance Plan Wizard. This will allow you to pick back-up as an option, and you can schedule it at the frequency you desire. How frequently? That depends on how much data you generate in a day. If a failure occurs that requires you to restore a backup, any work done after the backup will be lost.

Now that we have the SQL databases backed up, let’s move on to the Archive Server. There are two parts to this backup. The first is the settings for the server itself, i.e., the style of date, language, etc. To do this, open the Archiver Server Configuration tool, go to Tools -> Backup Settings. Here, you can pick one vault or all vaults and do a one-time-only or set a schedule. If you apply a password, make sure it is noted in your essential documents, as you will need it to restore the settings.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Backup settings

The second part of the Archive Server is the location of all the files stored in the Archive Server, also known as the Root Folder. These folders start with the vault name, and inside are folders 0-F. Generally, the device that IT uses to backup your network drives is used to back these folders up. SOLIDWORKS does not provide a tool to schedule a backup of these.

That’s it! Now your vault is appropriately backed up. I have a few final notes for you. Please make sure to do your backups at similar times; this means don’t do your SQL on Friday and your Archives on Saturday. The same day, similar times. Also, please make sure that you regularly check to ensure that the backups are occurring and work! If you do this, you will save yourself a headache if an emergency ever arises.

Want to know more about SOLIDWORKS PDM? “Get to Know SOLIDWORKS PDM” takes you through a demonstration of how SOLIDWORKS PDM can automate and streamline your data while making it easier to locate.