On Monday, June 11 both SolidWorks Corporation and Apple Corporation were working hard launching some new technologies to excite their customers. Apple with the iPhone 3G and SolidWorks with SolidWorks 2009 Beta 1. SolidWorks 2009 Beta 1 was made available immediately after the webcast, as opposed to Apple who baited the excitement with the announcement only to inform everyone they would need to wait a month (July 11, 2008) for the iPhone3G. None the less, Monday was a good day for us in the tech world!
This year SolidWorks decided to change the "beta rules of engagement" and move the entire beta program inside the SolidWorks Customer Portal, which requires current SolidWorks maintenance to get in. Once in, you will be able to download, view service requests, view bugs submitted and get involved in the beta discussion forums! The beta home page will also give you visibility to current beta news, hot issues and the list of the top beta tester.
The other exciting part of beta testing for SolidWorks, besides getting to drive the latest and greatest version, is the prizes you can win. Beta points are given to the users to find the most bugs and fill out the surveys so get downloading! It is important to note that this is beta, which means that you are installing this for testing purposes and not for production. During installation make sure you pick a different installation location for your SolidWorks Data and Toolbox.
In past beta releases, SolidWorks always advised to install beta on another computer or a "non-production" machine, however in the FAQ's for 2009 beta, SolidWorks is taking a different tone. When asked "Should I install this on a machine running SolidWorks 2008?" they answer "Yes" and go on to explain the installing of different file locations for your Common Files and Toolbox. I have done this with my install and it seems that they have worked on making the beta install not effect your existing SolidWorks installation. This even seems to work for eDrawings which has been known to be a problem area for multiple installations in the past.
I encourage you to get into SolidWorks 2009 beta, but remember the first rule about beta is we don't talk about beta....well except in the Beta Forum! Many of us bloggers have to make sure not to lose control and accidentially splatter beta features across our blogs but I will talk more about how to get signed up and getting started in this Sunday's Episode of SolidWorks:Heard! ~Lou