Some of you already know Enterprise PDM is a great system for collaborating within an engineering team or through an entire manufacturing organization. Enterprise PDM also includes features that promote collaboration with external partners. The Web Client is a part of EPDM that provides secure, collaborative access to your vault. This system has significant benefits over FTP sites, cloud based file hosting services, and email.
To keep it simple, it is browser based (hence the term web client). Software is automatically installed on the users computer (must use Internet Explorer on a Windows PC platform because it uses Active X). There is no need to go through the typical thick client installation wizard that asks several questions including connecting to the vault server (This can be a lot to ask of a partner).
The Web Client has a simplified interface (No preview, BOM, Contains, or Where Used tabs). However, you can access the data card of files by choosing to view the files Properties. Users with the appropriate permissions can Check In/Out data, participate in workflows (Change State), and search the vault. One of the best benefits is that the Web Client creates a local cache on the users computer, so it is a great working environment.
I find the Web Client most useful for communicating with customers and vendors. Set up a username and password for a partner and they can add files to a location in the vault you give them access to. From there you can work on and view the same files together. No manual copying the files from that shared to a working location location. You just work within the vault together. This maintains the concept of single source of truth.
The web client is not an additional module or piece of software for EPDM. It comes with EPDM. It just requires configuration. You can go through the EPDM Web Server Guide (Found in the Help menu of the EPDM Admin Utility) or ask us to implement it for you as a service.
If you have more questions about the Web Client interface usage or setup, or want to discuss other collaborative solutions with EPDM, please feel free to contact us at DesignPoint Solutions.