SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 311 - DriveWorks 8 Revealed!

DriveWorks 8 Revealed!:

This podcast is an interview with Philip Stears, lead developer at DriveWorks LTD. talking about the next major release of their design automation software, DriveWorks.  Topics covered:

- Philip's background

- What strides were taken with development from DriveWorks 6 to version 7?

- When development began with DriveWorks 8

- An outline of the environment DriveWorks is developed for (OS, Bit options, patches, etc)

- An insight to the testing environment they use

- Philip's favorite new features

DriveWorks 8 is around the corner and going to be revealed in it's entirety at SolidWorks World 2011 in January.  I want to thank Philip for coming on the show and talking about DriveWorks and the history behind the technology to come.  

When DriveWorks 7 was released a year ago, so much of the underlying technology and frameworks were modified to pave the way for growth in the product.  DriveWorks Solo also emerged in this transformation and the DriveWorks product line looks and feels very mature because of it.

What is most impressive is the company's "drive" (no pun intended ;-), to the quality of their product and the extensive testing and automation checks they run against every build they produce.  I am excited to get my hands on this new release and look forward to seeing Philip and the rest of the DriveWorks family at SolidWorks World 2011! 

This is the last show of the year so I want to thank all of you that listened/supported the show and look forward to another exciting year to come.  Remember to leave comments or contact me about breakouts you would like covered if you cannot make SWW11 this year.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 288 - SolidWorks PDM Integrations

SolidWorks PDM Integrations:

This podcast covers the "out of the box" integration with some of the core features and gold partner add-ins with both SolidWorks Workgroup and Enterprise PDM. Topics covered:

- Compare Utilities (Drawings, Documents, Geometry, Features, BOM)

- Workgroup PDM issues with Compare tools in Windows 7 and Vista. (SPR 419281 & 335748)

- SolidWorks Revision Tables

- SolidWorks Toolbox

- SolidWorks Design Library

- CircuitWorks Libraries

- DriveWorks Pro 6 & 7

Over the years I have talked about PDM and the various tools in SolidWorks that can talk to PDM but I wanted to highlight some of the tight integration attributes for the SolidWorks user.  Many of the compare tools have been able to take advantage of the version/revisions within the PDM environment.  Workgroup PDM has always been the highly integrated option for SolidWorks users but Enterprise has really taken the lead in the past couple of releases.

Despite the advances, Enterprise PDM still lacks some of the tool-specific integaration like Workgroup into the compare tools, revision tables and the design library.  With the adoption of Windows 7 (starting with Vista), almost all the compare tools are no longer available to Workgroup PDM due to the lack of the vault browser (located on the left side of Windows Explorer in the File Open dialog).  This has been missing now since SolidWorks 2007 Pre release, when Vista was in testing, and officially was supported with SolidWorks 2008.  I am surprised this has not been remedied to date since the only workaround is to check out one version, save a copy, and repeat for another version to compare.  This approach side steps PDM and adds a substantial amount of work and manual file management to the user.  

To many users' surprise, both CircuitWorks and DriveWorks Pro have integrations into both PDM products from SolidWorks.  Out-of-the-box integration to PDM helps the adoption of add-in products like CW and DW! As PDM becomes more mainstream with the SolidWorks user, tight integration will become an important evaluation criteria! ~Lou

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SolidWorks:Heard! - Episode 269 - DriveWorks 7

DriveWorks 7:

This podcast covers the technology and interface updates implemented into the new DriveWorks 7 Pro.  After a complete overhaul of the SolidWorks Task Pane, Administration tool and the rules engine, DriveWorks 7 takes design automation to a new level.  Topics covered:

- DriveWorks 7 development goals

- Product package layout

- New Help and overall search ability 

- Interface and integration details

- Updated and new administration tools

- DriveWorks 7 Pro capabilities

It has been a busy year and I have wanted to do a show on this since I saw the product in action at SolidWorks World 2010.  The development team at DriveWorks has been very busy rethinking how to make their design automation tools better, more powerful and more efficient.  The result DriveWorks 7!

The interfaces changes in DriveWorks 7 make it look exactly like native SolidWorks and with the task pane integrations, building rules has become easier along wizard driven forms.  In addition to the interface, DriveWorks has focused a lot of their energy on documenting the product natively inside the application as well as extending tutorials and other resources online.

The biggest improvement has been in the overhaul of their rules engine, which in previous versions was dependent on using Excel, hindering multi-user performance.  Re-engineering this was definitely not the "easy path" and the result was better performance and scalability. It is refreshing to see a company not saddle with today and always looking forward to incorporate new technologies to better their product. ~Lou

 Remember to check out the SolidWorks: Heard! Blog and to follow me on TwitterFacebook and THE HEaRD!