Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

[ Edited ]

Is Solid Edge SP any good?


We have been mucking around with Teamcenter Express then Rapid Start for a number of years now trying to iron out the bugs with our site configuration and have never rolled it out because we have never been fully satisfied with it.  It has been a nightmare to set up and just when we thought we were there something would crap out and more debugging would be required.  Not to mention the speed (or lack of it).  Oh, and don't mention java!  It has killed our confidence in it not letting us down at a mission critical moment (like every day).  Prior to that we used to run Insight for a number of years but that was never fully satisfactory due to the way it moved files around in different folders depending on the status (among other things).  Right now we are getting by with not using any managed file system.


Now, with Solid Edge SP coming out we are wondering if that may be a better solution for us.  In terms of our scale of use, we have six seats of Solid Edge shared among ten users.  We differ from probably the majority of users in that we don't design discrete "products" as such.  Rather, we design and implement continuous improvements to steelmaking plant, equipment, and peripheral infrastructure.  In that context over the years we have modelled a lot of the plant on site and would have well over 150,000 Solid Edge files.


Would anybody be willing to share their thoughts and experiences using Solid Edge SP?  Is it good? bad? wouldn't touch it with a barge pole?  Any better than the old Insight?  Would Teamcenter still be better?  Would be intrigued to know!







Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

Care to weigh in with your valuable input here @TheodoreTurner.....?

Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Limited
Solid Edge ST10 [MP0] Classic [x2 seats]
Windows 10

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

[ Edited ]

I'd also be interested in knowing more about the usefulness of SP especially in contrast to Insight. I've used Teamcenter elsewhere but that would be overkill and expensive for a smaller operation like 10 or so seats IMO.

The only thing I know about SP is that it offers serial workflow as opposed to TC's parallel and like plain Insight runs on SQL/Sharepoint.


I'd also be interested in what you mean by "Prior to that we used to run Insight for a number of years but that was never fully satisfactory due to the way it moved files around in different folders depending on the status (among other things)."


I know files are moved into released or obsolete folders (if you use the lifecycle function) but as they have different rev suffixes they're not really the same parts. And I also wonder what you mean by "among other things". 


We're a smallish operation, 10 seats, getting our database going in Insight but not currently using the lifecycle functionality.

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

[ Edited ]

Hi Chris,


We are in the same situation as you. My opinion is that Teamcenter only suits large companies with deep pockets and dedicated in-house support. It originates from an era that PDM was only used by multinationals and on complex (Unix) platforms and it still shows. Some large NX customers depend on Teamcenter, so Siemens cannot make drastic changes to it and turn it into an acceptable solution for small businesses like yours and mine. They are trying, but I don't see it happening anywhere soon. That is why you see new mid-range PDM products popping up on the market all the time.


I've seen two very informative webinar videos on SP:


There are also a couple of good Powerpoint presentations, just Google for Michael Rothe van Deventer, Solid Edge SP.


SP sure looks way better and more intuitive than Teamcenter, but I promised myself I will never implement PDM software again without testdriving it myself beforehand!


My lessons learned:

  • Learn the lingo and define your musthaves (Vaulting/multiCAD/Multisite/Item centric) etc. There is no simple product that does it all. Make a product shortlist.
  • Ask your reseller for a test drive environment. If that is not possible, it may not be for you.
  • Do you have formal working and release procedures? Do you want to change them and have the possibility to work around them? PDM sets them in stone.
  • PDM software doesn't manage your data. You do. Manage expectations.

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

Our company is in a similar situation. We are actually looking at dbsolidedge from mechworks. Might fit your bill.

Win 7 Pro

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

If anyone wants to get specific about Insight problems or reasons for not adopting it, I'm all ears.

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

[ Edited ]

A comparison sheet of the three PDM solutions, courtesy of allyPLM:


Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

vongahlen, yeah I have that but I was more interested in problems with Insight rather than inherent lack of features.

Going by the table, the only obvious advantage for me I can see is perhaps Graphic Relationships Visualization and maybe, but likely not, Workflow.

Have no interest in Title-Block functionality. Maybe Printflow if it involves batch printing and auto creation of PDFs.

Have no interest in Part Number Coding because we use a system of our own.

But I'm really more interested in, given the known weaknesses of plain Insight, where it has let users down: bugginess, etc.

To me, Insight lacks what I'd call robustness. In that it always seems to do odd things like check out files that the user didn't intend, or leave files checked out. For instance, we have .cfg files being left alone checked out. Plus an apparent lack of ability to keep files synced, especially with many users on the same project.


Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

Good evening everyone and Sean....Smiley Wink


Sorry for the late reply, it is only 7 more weeks before go-live for our new ERP system. Things are a bit stressed here. If you guys think that a PDM (PLM) implementation is difficult and expensive…try your hands at an ERP implementation. However, I will gladly respond to this discussion and add my 2 cents.


We migrated from Insight to Solid Edge for SharePoint (SESP) about 2 years ago, after using Insight for about 6 years. Being a single site and single CAD operation but with a growing product range I felt the need to move to a data and design management product which could offer more out of the box with regards to revision control (ECR’s & ECO’s) and workflows.


Like most of you, I also felt that Teamcenter would be an overkill and too expensive. But I wanted to stay with a Siemens product because product integration, single support and same release cycles were quite important to me. So when SESP came out with ST5 MP1 I jumped right in.


I would be lying when I say that the first few months were easy. I guess you all know the term “bleeding edge”. In fact, to say it was tough would be an understatement. But we pushed through and with great support from Siemens bugs and issues were sorted out. The current SESP is a much more stable and functional product than two years ago.


We are a design office of 7 users and with some assemblies of between a 100 000 to 150 000 parts. I can’t imagine us working as multiple users in an unmanaged environment on the same assemblies and continuously saving to a shared network drive. Although it takes longer to open files in a managed environment I belief it is more stable as you save to a local cache and only when you are finished, updated files are loaded back unto the server.


A point was raised about Insight moving files around when using life cycle assistant. SESP don’t move files around when releasing files. Only the status of the file changes and access is controlled by the Status Manager. And you can create your own custom statuses and they will display in the Pathfinder of Solid Edge. Please see below.



If there are detailed questions about SESP, please feel free to ask.


Kind regards,


Re: Solid Edge SP -- is it any good?

So, rather than previous revs having an older rev suffix, in SESP older revs are maintained with some sort of metadata method?

Bruce Shand
ST9 MP8 - Insight - Win10 - K4200