With the launch of DraftSight, Dassault's community platform, 3D SwYm, also made it's beta debut, bringing a collaborative layer to the table. 3D SwYm, which stands for "See What You Mean", was branded under the name 3DSwYmer.com when shown at SolidWorks World Conference 2010 in February. 3DSwYm is currently in a "Technical Preview" and positioned as follows:
3DSwYm is the online service dedicated to the management of online professional communities. Creating online communities enables to gather people from different disciplines, geographies, companies and start networking, sharing information, experiences and ideas. It also allows you to put directly customers needs at the center of your product development activity by involving consumers in your communities.
3D SwYm is governed by the DS Passport, which essentially acts as the single sign-on service to get to other web-based offerings by the Dassault. Once authenticated, users have the ability to collaborate in a forum-like environment, post rich media iQuestions and thread responses to other community members. The overall feel is very social centric, similar to LinkedIn, since it uses terms like posting your "Status" and searching for members to "Add to Network".
Currently there are 3 communities (DraftSight, SwYmers' Hall, and Building In Life) of which DraftSight and SwYmers' Hall are open, allowing users to be defaulted to "Contributors" in order to post content in the form of questions and answers. Buildings In Life is a closed community and will prompt enquiring users to fill out a form as to why they want to join. Buildings In Life, like DraftSight, is a community around an application offered by Dassault, extending this collaborative community around an application, similar to a forum.
In the technical preview of SolidWorks Product Data Sharing (PDS) at SolidWorks World 2010, the R&D team showed this new service running on top of 3DSwYmer.com, which was referred to as the "Enovia Framework". Since then, nothing has been mentioned about PDS or "SolidWorks V6" for that matter, despite all the chatter about CAD on the Cloud. Now that 3D SwYm has gone into beta, I can only hope that this cloud-based, 3D CAD sharing platform is also going to go into beta sooner than later. (details about PDS in live blog)
SolidWorks users need a service to easily collaborate on designs without complex setup and configuration. This would not be a replacement for PDM but a collaboration "side car" of comments with access to CAD related information like configurations, assembly hierarchy, file properties, and/or version information. This would be the first attempt to reenter the SaaS market since 3D TeamWorks launched in February 2002 (and killed shortly there after). How would you use a tool like this, if at all? ~Lou