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CAD Desktop vs Engineering Desktop

Within PLM 7 (Enh. Pack 4) a new integration tool for CAD programs has been developed, called the Engineering Desktop (eDesk)! The Engineering Desktop will in the new release Ehp 5 (PLM 7.01) even be further improved. Now that more focus will most likely be on the Engineering desktop than on the old traditional CAD Desktop (CDESK transaction) one will wonder what the benefits are of using Engineering Desktop? Will the Engineering Desktop contain all features that are available in the current CAD desktop?


Differences between eDesk and cDesk:

– eDesk is fully web based and is based on WebDynpro Technology.

Because of this it’s easier to enhance the screens as well as functionality. Users only need a browser and integration  software to apply the tool. On the other hand because of the new front-end, conversion from cDesk to eDesk is not an easy task.

– External collaboration

This is a beautiful feature of eDesk which enables collaboration with external partners. For example to let other companies have a secure and controlled access to your documents. Via a DMZ (Demilitarized zone) the PLM system will control via access contexts the type of access with respect to materials, document info records etc.

– eDesk and PLM7 results in one central PLM/PDM system for you and your partners

– Integration with PLM 7.+

Use of context for object authorization and PLM features like Enterprise search, Object navigator, PLM webUI are better integrated.

– Varient configuration

Cleaner integration with iPPE (Integrated Product and Process Engineering)

– Current (Ehp4) missing features in eDesk.

The eDesk doesn’t have all the features that are available in the CAD desktop. However, some missing features are possibly for new CAD software and designers no longer that useful anymore whereas all relevant features will as expected be  included in eDesk.


It very much depends on the customer requirements. However, if Engineering to Order is one of the core business processes of your organisation and within this process you collaborate with other partners then eDesk is a feature to evaluate. If eDesk fits the requirements, Engineering Desktop is the way to go. It’s the CAD integration tool for the future of SAP PLM.

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