Cloud CAD and PDM will become easier for Android and GDrive?

Cloud CAD and PDM will become easier for Android and GDrive?


The topic of network performance is one of the favorites when it comes to discuss viability of cloud storage and cloud systems. Will it perform well for slow network and disconnects? In my view, technology is going towards better transparency of network for connected and disconnected apps. And, for the sake of truth, most of us are using it already today. Think about our loved and hated Outlook. It syncs data transparently and practically seamlessly for users.

However, mobile world is a bit different. Mobile device memory, OS and browser capabilities are different. With growing capability of mobile devices, to leverage device storage can be a straightforward solution to solve slowness of network (especially when work with heavy information such as CAD data). Engadget article Google Drive dev tools promise better and more powerful apps shows new capability of Google Drive API available for Android devices. If you are developer, watch next 6 minutes video.

The following passage is key in my view.

The main attraction is a feature called transparent offline syncing, which, for users, means that cloud storage is treated the same way as local storage. So, you get the benefits of massive amounts of storage provided by GDrive, without needing to spend on more storage in your phone. And, should you not have a good enough connection to the cloud, the API automatically shifts to storing your data locally until it has good enough reception to send it to the servers. Because of this, developers can design more capable, powerful and generally better app user experiences for less endowed (read: cheaper) and flagship handsets alike.

What is my conclusion? As we move forward, technological showstoppers will disappear. I can see CAD viewers application leverage transparent offline syncing to bring better viewer performance and experience. Later, I can see cloud data management apps (read “Cloud PDM”) smoothly transfer data from devices to cloud storage. Technological leaders must take a note. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • bausk

    Um, isn’t “offline first” kind of a very basic best practice in web app development?

  • beyondplm

    Yes, in general you are right! But it doesn’t work that way in many cases…

  • Youhey

    In a single user environment, it will be easy to go offline/online as you desire or need to. However, as a PDM user, you can not do really a lot without connection to the server. It’s for sure possible to just check-out a file, go offline and do what you want and at the end go online and sync the file including changes (A solution many vendors offer). In my opinion a distributed version control “like Git & Co.” is a much better (and complicated!) solution, which in some future days might be possible.
    Here is a vendor, which offer some offline work possibilities for desktop:

  • beyondplm

    You are absolutely right. On/off line is easy when you work in a single user environment. However, even in case of multiple users, simple “locking files” mechanism can help to organize this multi-user environment. It requires special care, indeed.