Back in September 2017, I attended Solid Edge University meeting in Boston. Navigate to the following link to refresh your memories – Data Management, Tech Publications and Collaboration Portal.
Fast forward in 2018… Yesterday, I’ve got an email telling me that Solid Edge collaboration portal (Beta) is available. I jumped in to register and Voilà… I’m ready to share some of my initial thoughts.
Here is what you can read on the website:
Free, cloud-based file management, Upload and manage your files in cloud-based project folders, Free access to 5GB of file storage, Manage multiple projects, Store almost any file type.
Online CAD file viewing from any device: Browser-based access for viewing CAD files on your phone, tablet, Chromebook, Mac, PC and more; Share files with your shop floor, customers or partners; Explore models with viewing tools: rotate and pan, section, and automatic assembly explode; Capture feedback with markup.
Secure sharing and collaboration: Secure password-based access, Encryption on upload and download, Access control allows you to define download or view-only.
I experimented with basic operations – created project, upload files, open them in 3D viewer. Here are few screenshots.
No doubt, Solid Edge engineers made lot of work to establish online infrastructure, registration, accounts and all other attributes of online software. Basic functionality of viewer are smooth and easy. I will try to find larger models and to compare it with GrabCAD viewer, which can be considered as an independent benchmark. Another comparison point is Autodesk A360. Also, very similar products.
However, the amount of features is relatively small. My hunch it is still beta and Solid Edge will bring some of the features that can be considered as almost standard – search, real time collaboration, chat and comments. I found also complex to reference object from viewer outside of Solid Edge portal – sharing links cased portal to request sign-in each time I navigate to the link.
What is my conclusion? Nice job Solid Edge team. I’m curious about future trajectory of this product and connection between Solid Edge and this portal. Will Solid Edge provide seamless data sharing and collaboration? Will it be possible to integrate other applications into Solid Edge portal? I think, Solid Edge is potentially on track to deliver cloud based product earlier than Solidworks. The jury is still out and next week Solidworks World 2018 can bring something new as well. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.