I have used both I-Deas and ProE (8000 hrs combined/even split). I-Deas is very limited in capibility and has only marginal capibilites with sheetmetal. Data management is a real issue with I-deas 'model file' concept(all files are checked out to a single binary file) and single threaded databases via Metaphase. There are too may pro's for ProE to list them all.
In Aircraft Industry in Yugoslavia I work with people who work on Ideas, but Pro E has been better in that work. Working in Ideas has been little easier in some steps of work, but generally ProE has been ok especially in preparing for NC. Few weeks working in Ug show me that he is very hard for work. If you install ProE you need some space
Why are so many talking about I-deas (SDRC). Read the question!
I used ProE for seven years before starting a few months ago onUG. UG is now the the seventh CAD system in my career.
While it's hard to make an objective judgement while still in the throes of learning a new package, I'd say that in some regards UG is deeper and more capable in some things. However, ProE is deeper and more cable in other th ings. The big differences I see is that modeling with UG is less intuitive but more flexible on constraints than ProE. On the other hand, ProE is more intuitive but requires more disciplined modeling where everything needs to fully constrained. I base my the comparison on ProE 2000i^2 and UG Rev. 18.
I'm working for Proficiency, a CAD feature-based-data-exchange software company. I specify the conversion between Pro/ E, I-DEAS, Unigraphics, and CATIA4,5. I'm studying the features of each system and I can answer this question within its modeling aspect.
In general, I would say that the sketch capabilities and constraints of Pro/ E are far more flexible, easy-to-use and stable than those in Unigraphics.
I can also say that Pro/ E has more features and each feature has more capabilities. I base the comparison on Unigraphics V16, 18 and Pro/ E 2000i2, 2001.
If you can be more specific in your next question I would be glad to assist.
OK, my 2cents worth. I've been using UG since V13 (Oct '97 timeframe) and now we're switching to Pro/E. I have to say that I really love the sketcher in Pro/E, it's very easy to constrain ans it has many intuitive dimensions. I will also say in the same breath, that it has to because just about everything in Pro/E is based on a sketch. I've been able to pick up Pro/E fairly easy because of my modeling background, but, I have to say, UG is far easier to learn. The interface (UG V18 vs. 2001) is based on icons, which in my humble opinion, is easier to learn that running thru endless menues (take a look at the new Pro/E release Wildfire).
They both install about the same and use basically the same set of user parameters, but I do think Pro/E is set up better with the config.pro files. The costs are greater for UG, mainly becasue the sheet metal package is not included with the basic modeling package. As long as we're talking about the sheet metal packages, Pro/E actually works and it's fairly easy to learn, we as UG's package works most of the time. They both could use some help in this area.
Now PDMlink vs. iMan, we use UGmanager which is UG's PDM without all the bells and whistles that iMan has. I have never seen or used PDMlink, but with the out of the box UG I can write some version code that will allow UG to open latest version/revision of a component in an assemmbly, you can't do that with the out of the box Pro/E.
All in all, they both do about the same thing and leave it up to the designer to make sure you get valid solid models.
hope this helps,
PS. I like Pro/E and I'm looking forward to getting another top CAD package on my resume.
Trying to write today, as tomorrow my membership expires.
I've been using UG v.18 for five months now (after Pro/E), and I must say that I'm disappointed in it. I don't use anything fancy like complex surfacing, only solid modeling, sheet metal and drafting, but I think for these, UG is like more than 3 years behind Pro/E.
Examples: in SM, if you modify anything in your part you have to unform and form it back in order to update the model- which is a pain if you have a large assy with this part as a component- error messages (from mating conditions that don't conform anymore until you update the part, moved components if those are not fully constrained , etc.)
The flat pattern in UG is made up from a set of curves created and processed from the parent surface which are theoretically associative, but not quite always. It happened when I moved a hole like 1/8, the majority of these curves lost their associativity= the dimensions on the drawing lost theirs, too. Lots of fun when you have about 80 dimensions on that flat pattern to re-do.
You cannot create intermediate part states in SM- when you want to show part after the first bend, for ex.
The dimensions cannot be shown in the drawing (unless there are sketches or holes)- you have to create them like in AutoCAD.
Of course you cannot switch dim. to another view.
Creating and modifying dimensions is not as easy as in Pro/E. If you want to move one- select the dim icon, select the dim and move it, cancel window. Three steps vs. one in Pro/E. Same for deleting. Having lots of icons has been seen as an atu to UG, but clicking on an icon opens a window, than another... and so on.
There are other former Pro/E users in my company with much more UG experience than me, but none of them like UG. I know my opinion is biased due to the lack of enough experience in UG, but the (only!) few things I exposed here are basic. UG is based on, I would say, outdated kernel (uses parasolids, primitives) and don't see how they can make up for the gap going on the same path. They have developed Solid Edge, which tries to combine more of the two worlds, but is still a long way.
Plus UG is sensitively more expensive than Pro/E, and it lacks proper support.
(My) Conclusion: As of today, I wouldn't buy $5 worth of EDS (GM) stock. Maybe (and hopefuly for UG users including me) things will change.