There was a time when decisions about product data management software (PDM) were based solely on the needs of engineering. The primary goal of these engineers and designers was to automate file management beyond poorly followed rules about saving files in Windows. The preferred PDM solutions often emphasized check-in and check-out issues for CAD files, and did not necessarily take into consideration the wider uses of product data, let alone the important data beyond CAD files.
Today the decisions about how to select a product data management solution has moved up the org chart, beyond engineering. PDM is recognized as an enterprise automation solution, not a departmental file manager. The typical decision-maker of a PDM solution today is looking for a way to support the entire product lifecycle process, and wants a high return of business value for their investment. These people see PDM as an enterprise-wide solution that can be a right-sized alternative to expensive PLM installations.