SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Guide: Server Setup, Accounts, Application Pools & Testing

Article by Jim Ward on Nov 01, 2021

Web2 is a useful tool to access  SOLIDWORKS PDM  over the internet. Most issues with Web2 can be traced to improper setup on the server. This guide will delve into the proper way to set up Web2.

Web2 Setup Overview

Here is a quick overview of the steps necessary to set up Web2.

Steps to set up Web2:

  1. Verify prerequisites are met
  2. Install IIS with settings as specified below (part of prerequisites)
  3. Install Web2 software with PDM Client
  4. Modify the Web.config file
  5. Install a local vault view on the server (see video linked  here )
  6. Prepare the account that will be used for the application pool identity
    1. Create a local admin on the server that will be used as the Web2 account
    2. Log in to the server using the Web2 account (Windows credentials to log in to the server)
    3. Log in to the local vault view with the Web2 account
    4. Browse to a file and preview the file in the local vault view
  7. Change the application pool identity to the Web2 account
  8. Test operation of Web2 on the server
    1. Select “*.80” to open Web2 on the server. Verify it is working properly, including the preview
    2. If “*.80” works, then use the URL on the server and verify it works. The URL is “ servername /SOLIDWORKSPDM” where “ servername ” is the name of the Web2 server.

User Guide

  • For steps 1 through 4 please see the section Part 1: Set Up Web2: Install the Software
  • For step 6 please see the guide Part 2: Set Up Web2: User Account
  • For steps 7 and 8 please see the guide Part 3: Set Up Web2: Application Pool Identity

PART 1: ­­Set up web2: Install the Software

In this section, we will present the steps to properly set up Web2 on the server. Each step will be covered in detail throughout this guide.

Prerequisites on the server for Web2

Prerequisites will vary depending on the version of Web2 being installed. The prerequisites can be verified by looking in the  Installing PDM Web2  section in the  PDM INSTALLATION GUIDE  for the version you are installing or by going to the  SOLIDWORKS and SW Data Management System Requirements .

For example, Web2 2021 needs the following prerequisites:

  • Microsoft .NET 4
  • Microsoft Internet Services 7 or higher (IIS)
  • Windows Server 2016 or higher
  • Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2013 runtime

Install IIS

IIS is short for Microsoft  I nternet  I nformation  S ervices. This is extensible web server software created by Microsoft. Web2 uses this software.  

To install IIS

IIS comes with Windows. We only need to turn it on in the  Windows Features  dialog. This dialog can be accessed through the Control Panel.  If  Category  is selected, then choose  Uninstall a program .


If  Icons  are selected, then choose  Programs and Features .

Web2 Installation Programs and Features

In  Programs and Features  select (in the top left)  Turn Windows features on or off .

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Control Panel

In the dialog  Windows Features,  expand  Internet Information Services.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Windows and Features

Expand  Web Management Tools  and select  IIS Management Console .

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Web Management Tools

Expand  World Wide Web Services .

Under  Application Development Features  select:

  • .NET Extensibility 4.x (depends on which .NET 4 is installed)
  • ASP .NET 4.x
  • ISAPI Extensions
  • ISAPI Filters
  • Sever-Side Includes

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Application Development Features

Under  Common HTTP Features  select:

  • Default Document
  • Directory Browsing
  • HTTP Errors
  • Static Content

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Common HTTP Features

Under  Health and Diagnostics  select:

  • HTTP Logging

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Health Diagnostics

Under  Performance Features  select:

  • Static Content Compression

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Static Content Compression

Under Security select:

  • Request Filtering

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Installation Request Filtering

 Select  OK  on Windows Features. IIS will install.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 IIS Installation

Install Web2 Software

Run the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager to install the Web2 software. Using SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager will ensure that all prerequisites are installed. SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager is accessed by running setup.exe from the first level of the folder containing the installation file set.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Install Web2 Software

In the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager, select  Install Server Components  and check the box for  Install SOLIDWORKS PDM Server components on this computer.

Select  Next  at the bottom of the window.

Web2 SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager

Select  Change  for  SOLIDWORKS PDM Server . This will allow selection of components to install.


Select  SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional  for  Server Product .

Under  Select Features  choose  Client  and  Web2 Server .

Choose  Back to Summary.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Client Installation

Accept the terms of the SOLIDWORKS License Agreement.

Select  Install Now .

Web2 Install License Terms

SOLIDWORKS Installation dialog will show.

Web2 SOLIDWORKS Installation Dialog

Choose  Finish  to complete the install.

Finish Install of SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2

Verify the Client install type

If the Web2 users are expected to add and edit files in the vault, then the PDM Client must be an Editor or Contributor. A PDM Client that is only a Viewer will limit Web2 users to only viewing files in the vault. To verify the client license configuration, start the PDM Administration tool.

The PDM Administration tool can be started by going to the Windows  Start  menu, then  SOLIDWORKS PDM: Administration .

Verify Client Install Type SOLIDWORKS PDM

In the PDM Administration tool, select  Help: About SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration…

About SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Help

Verify the  Client Type  is  SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor and Web  or  SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Contributor and Web .

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor and Web

Install a vault view on the Web2 server

Installing a vault view has already been covered in several other documents. Please watch the video  Creating a Vault View Using the ‘View Setup’ Tool .

Modify the Web.config file

This can be done by modifying the file directly or by using IIS. If you wish to modify the document directly, browse to the file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SOLIDWORKSPDM\Web2\Web.config”. The file is an XML format. Double-clicking it will open the file in  Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Applications .

Modify Web.config File for SOLIDWORKS PDM

The two most important items to edit are the  VaultName  and VisibleVaults. “VaultName” is the name of your primary vault. “VisibleVaults” lists the vaults that are visible to Web2 users so it must contain the name of the primary vault.

Access to multiple vaults using Web2

If it is desired for the Web2 users to have access to more than one vault, then a local vault view must be created for each vault on the Web2 server. Additionally, “VisibleVaults” must contain the names of the other vaults. The format is to list the vault name with “|” between them.

Example: <add key="VisibleVaults" value="Acme|Vault2"></add>

Optional Settings

There are optional settings that can be used to control download permissions or to set the vault to  View only.  Please refer to the  SOLIDWORKS PDM Installation Manual , the section  Configuring SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2  for more information.

Editing the Web.config file in IIS

The Web.config file can also be modified in IIS. On the Web2 server, start the  IIS Manager  by typing  IIS  in the Windows  Search  area. Select  Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager  from the list. 

Edit Web.config File in IIS SOLIDWORKS PDM

In the IIS Manager expand  Sites  until  SOLIDWORKSPDM  shows. Select  SOLIDWORKSPDM . Double-click  Configuration Editor .


In the  Configuration Editor: Section  choose  appSettings  from the drop-down list. The  Count  will vary a little depending on the version of PDM.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Guide Configuration Editor

Right-click in the same box as the (Count = 19) so the three dots show on the right and select.

Configuration Editor SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Guide

This brings up the  Collection Editor.  It is a little easier to edit the values here rather than as an XML document. Select anywhere on the line that lists the parameter you want to edit. The property will be listed below, and it can be edited.

Be certain to edit both the “VaultName” and “VisibleVaults”.

Web2 Guide Configuration Editor

Once edits are complete, select the “x” in the top right corner of the dialog.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Collection Editor VaultName

Now select  Apply  in the top right corner to save your changes.

IIS Configuration Editor

There will be a confirmation the changes were saved successfully.

IIS Manager Changes Have Been Made

This concludes this portion on installing Web2 on a server. Please continue to the next section that explains setting up and assigning the Web2 user account.


PART 2: The web2 User Account

Web2 requires an account on the server to run. By default, a “NetworkService” account will be assigned. However, this account will not allow Web2 to run properly. Instead, a special account will need to be created. The requirements for that account are listed below.  

Many issues with Web2 not working correctly can be traced to the account used to run Web2. Setting up the account correctly is very important for the proper operation of Web2.

Web2 User Account requirements

Account set up:

  • The account must be a member of the local  Administrators  group
  • The account must be a member of the local  IIS_IUSRS  group
  • The account must be a PDM login

 Once the account is set up, the following actions must be performed:

  • Log in to the Web2 server as the Web2 User
  • Log in to the local vault view as the Web2 User
  • Browse into the vault and view a file
  • Assign this user as the account to run Web2 under

Create the Web2 User account in Windows

Right-click the Windows  Start  menu and choose  Computer Management.

Web2 User Account Computer Management

Expand  Local Users and Groups . Right-click  Users  and choose  New User.

Web2 User Account Local Users and Groups

Create a name for the user and a password. Uncheck  User must change password at next logon  and check  Password never expires . This will ensure that Web2 will continue to work. Change the password as frequently as your security dictates but do it manually so the Web2_User login continues to work.

Choose  Create  then  Close  to complete creating the account.

Web2 User Account New User

We need to add this user to two groups. Right-click Web2_User from the list and choose  Properties  or double-click the user.

Web2 user Account Properties

Select  Member of  and  Add.

Web2 Account User Properties

Type  Administrators  then  Check Names  Note the name must match exactly the name of an existing group. Select  OK .  

Select Groups Web2 User Accounts

Repeat the process with the ‘IIS_IUSRS” group.

You may find it easier to go to each group and add the user from there. 

SOLIDWORKS PDM Test Web2 User Account

With the groups listed in the box  Member of , select  Apply  and then  OK .

Web2 User Properties for Administrators

Close the  Computer Management  window.

Add Web2_User to PDM

The Web2_User must have a valid PDM login. It can be either a Windows login or a PDM login. It is probably easiest to make this a PDM login so the Web2_User doesn’t need an AD account. If your current login type is  Windows  then you will need to allow PDM logins on the archive server.

If your existing login type is already  PDM Login  then you can skip to adding the user in the PDM administration tool.  


Login to the archive server.  

Start the  Archive Server Configuration  tool from the Windows start menu by selecting  SOLIDWORKS PDM: Archive Server Configuration . If the interface doesn’t come up, then it has already been started. 


If that is the case, select the  up arrow  in the bottom right corner of the computer screen. This is the  Hidden icons  selection. The SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server icon is there. 

Web2 User Accounts Allow SOLIDWORKS PDM Logins

Select the Archive Server icon and then  Open . This will open the Archive Server graphical user interface.  

Allow PDM Logins Web2 User Accounts

In the Archive Server interface, double-click  Archives  to see your vaults. Right-click your vault and select  Properties .

SOLIDWORKS PDM Archive Server Properties

Select  Allow SOLIDWORKS PDM login .

Allow SOLIDWORKS PDM Login Properties

Select  OK  to save your settings and exit the dialog.

Add the Web2 User in the PDM Administration tool

Start the PDM Administration tool and log in to your vault. 

Right-click  Users  and choose  New User

Add Web2 User SOLIDWORKS PDM Admin Tool

In the  Add Users  dialog box, select  New SOLIDWORKS PDM User.

Enter the  Web2User  name exactly as it is in the local Windows account. You may want to go back to  Computer Management: Users  and verify the spelling of the name.  

Add new SOLIDWORKS PDM User Web2

Select  OK  to save your changes.  

Enter the same password for the Web2User as was used in the Windows account.  

If there is someone to copy permissions from, you can select that person here. If not, add the Web2User to a group in the next dialog.

In the  Web2User – Properties  dialog, select  Group , and  Add .

Web2User Properties Add Option

Add him to a group that has checkout rights in the vault. Whichever group you are using for your designers would be best.  

Select  OK  to exit the  Group Memberships  dialog and then  OK  again to exit the  Web2User – Properties  dialog.

The Web2User now has an account in both Windows and PDM.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 User Account Group Memberships

Create the registry settings for Web2User

These next steps are important as they will create the registry entries for the Web2User. These registry settings are required for Web2 to work properly.  

Login to the Web2 server using the Web2User Windows account. 

Login to the vault view on the Web2 server with the We2User account.

Create Registry Settings Web2User

Browse into a folder in the vault and preview a file.

Set up Web2User Account for SOLIDWORKS PDM Users

The Web2User account is now set up properly and is ready to be used as the application pool identity for Web2. Please see  Application Pool Identity and Testing Web2  for the configuration of the next steps of the Web2 setup.


PART 3: Application Pool Identity and Testing Web2

When Web2 is first installed, the default  Application Pool Identity  is the built-in account “NetworkService”. This will not allow Web2 to work properly. The Application Pool Identity must be a special account that has been prepared. Please see the section  Set up Web2 – User Account  for directions on preparing the account  Web2User  for use as the Application Pool Identity.

This section will describe how to assign the Web2User as the Application Pool Identity for Web2 in Internet Information Services (IIS).

Once the user is assigned we will go over testing operation of Web2.

Access the Application Pool Identity

Start the IIS Manager by typing  IIS  in the Windows search field and selecting  Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager .

Web2 Application Pool Identity Setup

Select  Application Pools  in the top left. Notice that the application pool identity for  SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2  is  NetworkService .

Application Pools SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2

Right-click  SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2  and choose  Advanced Settings .

SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 Advanced Settings

In  Advanced Settings: Process Model: Identity , click next to NetworkService. Three dots will appear. Select these three dots to edit the Identity.

Advanced Settings Web2 Application Pool

In the  Application Pool Identity  dialog, select  Custom account  and  Set…

Application Pool Identity Custom Account

Enter credentials for the Web2User.

Select “ OK ” twice to get back to the “ Advanced Settings ” dialog.

Web2User Set Credentials

 In the  Advanced Settings  dialog verify that  Load User Profile  is set to  True .

Load User Profile True Web2 Application Pool Identity

Select  OK  to exit the dialog.

Back in  Application Pools  verify that  Web2User  is now the Identity for  SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 .

Application Pools SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2User

Congratulations! You have successfully set the  Web2User  as the  Application Pool Identity  for  SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 .

The next step is to test the operation of Web2.

Testing Web2 Server

The first step in testing the Web2 server is to test operation of Web2 on the Web2 server. This is done by expanding the  Sites  until  SOLIDWORKSPDM  is revealed. Select  SOLIDWORKSPDM  and the (on the right)  Browse *80 (http) . This will open the default website.


This will start the Web2 application on the local server and bring up the Web2 login screen.

Log in with a valid SOLIDWORKS PDM account. It is fine to use “Web2User” for the account.

Test Web2User Account in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Once successfully logged in, your vault should appear. Browse down a few folders and select a file.

Select Folder Test Web2User SOLIDWORKS PDM

A preview of the file will appear.

Preview Your File Web2User SOLIDWORKS PDM Test

This verifies Web2 is working on the server. Run the same test on a client. The address for Web2 is  http:// servername /SOLIDWORKSPDM   where “ servername ” is the name of your Web2 server.

Congratulations! Your Web2 server implementation is now complete.


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        About Jim Ward

        Jim Ward is a part of the GoEngineer SOLIDWORKS PDM Support team. He has a BSME from CSU, Chico. He worked in design for about 12 years then moved into a SOLIDWORKS support role. The last several years have been focused on SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional (formerly Enterprise PDM).

        View all posts by Jim Ward