CAD, New Collaboration and Online Storage Services

CAD, New Collaboration and Online Storage Services

Let me ask you a very silly question? How many times you abandoned you official company policy for data sharing and shared your files via Google, Dropbox or other services? Well, you don’t need to answer… I’m sure you did at least once. The amount of services helping us to share files online (cloud sharing) is growing. They compete by providing a different set of features, additional free storage or unmatched usability and simplicity. Last week Dropbox made an announcement of Dropbox for Teams introducing a new storage capacity (1TB) and new way of billing for companies. Here is the announcement – Dropbox Gets More Business Like. It made me think again about what does it mean for engineers and people in manufacturing companies.

Online Storage Experience?

I’m not pretending to mention all providers of online storage. My personal usage is limited on a daily basis to Google and Dropbox. However, I made a try of few other services as well.

DropBox For Teams

Dropbox originally came with their super simplicity. It was easy to set up and start using. I still believe it is so and use this service occasionally for different purposes. To sync data between my laptop and iPad is one of them.

I think has a larger set of features when it comes to collaboration and team usage. However, compared to Dropbox they provide less storage for the same price


I found SugarSync service is nice, worked well with most of computers /systems I tried. Folders sharing feature is cool. Another interesting solution – integration into Outlook is also can be valuable for business users.


The Minus service is probably less known among others. I specially liked they level of how easy you can start using it as well as share files.

CAD Online Collaboration Services

CAD companies are thinking how to introduce their online services too. In the beginning of this year, SolidWorks introduced n!Fuze for SolidWorks. Last month, Autodesk introduced their new Autodesk Documents cloud services too. The obvious advantage of these tools is included connection to CAD content and additional viewing capabilities.

What is my conclusion? Drop Box for Team as well as other tools are cool and affordable. However, will it compete with specialized services such as Autodesk Cloud, n!Fuze for SolidWorks and some others? I don’t think so, for the moment. Their feature list is too narrow for CAD files. However, here is the thing. I definitely can recommend CAD vendors to learn how all these services are designing their user experience. It will allow to improve usability of specialized CAD-oriented services. What CAD vendors can learn – usability, usability, usability. In my view, very important. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image: renjith krishnan /


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