What is Product Data Management (PDM): Feature & Type of PDM

What is Product Data Management (PDM): Feature & Type of PDM-feature image

Summary: Product data management tools have made it easier for product teams to secure and manage product-related data in a single repository. What else can you use with this software? Find out in the article below!

If you are working in a business where you develop and manage products, then you must know that there is a variety of data that you need to take care of. Some common types of data include product information, manufacturing instructions, design files, and so on.

Without a centralized system, product-related information might be lost, and the product development process might slow down. Therefore, it is better to use product management software to organize and manage all the product-related data.

With PDM software, you don’t only manage product designs, but also track the product iteration and collaborate with members on projects. Before learning about PDM management software, first let’s learn about product data management below!

What is Product Data Management?

product data management software definition

Product Data Management is defined as the procedure of storing and managing all the electronic information specific to a product. The information stored can then be used in several business procedures including design, distribution, production, and marketing. This whole procedure can be completed with the help of product data management software.

What is Product Data Management Software?

Product Data Management Software is used to manage information and process-specific data in a centralized database. This information comprises CAD data, product models, parts data, manufacturing instructions info, product requirements, and so on.

The ideal PDM software is accessible to several applications and teams within an organization to support business-related procedures. It is used for managing product data, tracking iterations, collaborating on projects, creating the bill of materials, and so on.

Why is PDM Important?

Utilizing PDM software will ensure that all the stakeholders and employees share the same data about a product throughout its lifecycle through its collaboration feature. Moreover, it can also help in fastening product development and minimizing development costs as all the product specific data can be accessed from a single platform.

Additionally, product designing involves managing different data related to designing and production of a product. Instead of searching product-related data from different sources, PDM software makes it easier to search for any information related to a product from a single repository.

Benefits of Product Data Management Software

Benefits of Product Data Management Software

Product managers, engineers, quality assurance team, and many other teams can greatly benefit from the use of PDM software. Some of the benefits of using Product Data Management Software includes:

  • Provides Data Security: PDM software comes with robust security features to keep all the product-related data safe and secure from any data breaches. Managing permissions and implementing project-based security can also help improve data security.
  • Reduces Costs: When the product data is managed efficiently, it will help reduce product development costs, wastage, product development errors, and so on. Further, it will also help you in improving the product development procedure with the resources you already have.
  • Enhances Operational Efficiency: The data scattered here and there may delay the product development and release process. However, PDM software keeps all the data organized and stored in a single repository so that your team can find any data in a hassle-free manner.
  • Helps Reduce Errors: With the help of PDM software, you can easily track every iteration done to a product. When the errors or changes are tracked, you will not make the same mistakes again and create better designs. Thereby, helping you in reducing development costs.

Major Product Data Management Features

Top Product Data Management Features

PDM systems come with several features to systematically manage all the product information. Some of the most essential features of this system include:

  • External Collaboration: The external collaboration feature will help you easily share 2D and 3D designs of a product with others. Moreover, they can also comment and provide feedback directly on a product document.
  • Revision Control: This feature automatically stores the revision history of all the products and similar documents while you work on them. This will ensure that you never lose track of any changes made to the document.
  • CAD File Management: Through integration with the CAD software, you can store and manage all the CAD design files of your products within the system.
  • Access Control: Access control will strengthen data security by restricting access to product-related information.
  • Lifecycle Management: With this feature, you can manage the entire lifecycle of your product including its ideation till its completion and release.
  • ECAD Data Management: The PDM software helps in synchronizing ECAD libraries with product lifecycle management data and MCAD models like Zuken and Cadence. Further, you can also provide access to electronic design data with this software.
  • Document Classification: With this feature, you can easily organize documents based on hierarchy and classification structures to quickly search the documents and reuse them.

What are the Types of PDM Software?

There are two types of PDM software that you can use for managing product-specific data.

  • Cloud-Based PDM

These solutions can be accessed on an online server. This enables you to work with the software from anywhere and anytime. This is especially beneficial for companies that have a remote working environment because the employees can use the software directly from the online server.

However, the drawback of this cloud based PDM is that you need to buy its subscription on a monthly or yearly basis. This might be costlier compared to one time investment. Moreover, the unavailability of reliable internet connection can further make it difficult to work with the software.

  • On-Premises PDM Software

This type of software is installed on the local desktops and comes with a one-time payment license. There are several benefits of using on-premises PDM software over the cloud-based variant. You don’t have to rely on the internet to use the software. Moreover, you can also customize it as per your requirement. However, setting up the software on your server may take a lot of time and resources.

How to Use PDM Software?

You can use product data management software to perform and manage different types of tasks. You can use it for:

  • Storing and maintaining project files catalogue
  • Revisioning the product via the version control feature
  • Sharing the required product data with stakeholders
  • Restricting access to the product data to prevent unauthorized usage
  • Managing all the CAD designs files in a centralized database.


Product data management tools can be an important asset for businesses dealing with products. Instead of managing product data in different systems, this software helps in managing every data related to the product in a centralized repository.

From maintaining CAD design files to tracking product iterations, everything can be managed with this software.

FAQs Related to Product Management Software (PDM)

  1. What is product data management software?

    Product data management is a type of software used for managing product design data and engineering processes from a single location. Engineering teams utilize this system to systematically organize product-related data, track revisions, generate bills of materials, etc.

  2. What is PDM used for?

    Product data management software is used for storing and maintaining all the data related to a product. This is done so that this data can be used in several business processes like designing, production, marketing, distribution, etc.

  3. What is PDM vs PLM?

    PDM software is used for managing and cataloging product-related data including its designs and instruction manuals. On the other hand, PLM is the subset of PDM software and is used for managing the production lifecycle data along with its design data.

  4. What are the different types of PDM?

    There are two types of PDM software that you can use: one is web-based and the second one supports on-premises deployment. The web-based version can be used on any web browser whereas on-premises PDM will be hosted on your own computer server.

Published On: September 24, 2023

Was this article helpful?

Would you like to get latest offers on software?

Thank you for your feedback! Soon we will provide you best offers

  • 48
  • 3

Anything About Software… Ask Experts!!

Get answers from 10,000+ active Community Users & 4000+ sellers

Talk To Tech Expert