What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2022 for CAD Administrators?

Each Fall, every SOLIDWORKS CAD administrator is excited to see the new offerings from SOLIDWORKS, their favorite CAD tool.

We will start with possibly the biggest new feature in the last several years: how to deploy an Administrative Image. With the COVID-19 pandemic, SOLIDWORKS made a conscious decision to improve the way CAD administrators can install the software for users working in different buildings or remotely.

Below are the ways that you can deploy an Administrative Image:

1. Standard: This is the traditional Administrative Image from years past, and is the default option selected when you open the installation manager. From the help file:

“It is a standard Windows Installer Administrative Image, ideal for users who have reliable access to the company network. It stores all the files required to install the selected SOLIDWORKS products in a shared image folder.”

Note: When upgrading to a new service pack, users can download and apply patches and do not need to download the entire administrative image.

2. Remote Client: This version of the Administrative Image is designed for users who are remote (working from home) and do not have reliable access to the company network. Like the standard version, remote users will inherit the options the administrator has set up inside the image, such as what products to install. Users will download the required files from the Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS download site. Downloading from the SOLIDWORKS site is more reliable than downloading the files through the company network, and could reduce the load on the network.

From the help file:

“Installation files download to a path specified in the Administrative Image Option Editor before they install. Users must access the administrative image folder to start the installation and run any batch or settings files hosted there.”

Note: There must be adequate space on the user’s computer to store the Administrative Image, but the user can delete those files once the software is installed.

3. Compressed: This version of the administrative image is designed for companies that need to deploy the software to multiple sites or client machines, and want to minimize the impact on the network. Even though this image will install in the same amount of time as a standard image, it is 60 percent smaller. This version of the image also allows a user or CAD administrator to modify and repair an installation. From the Help file:

“Compressed administrative images also have short file paths. This avoids problems when images are stored in deep folder structures.”

Note: When upgrading to a new service pack, the user must download the entire image and not the patch only.

Some of the smaller enhancements, though still very powerful, are listed below:

  • The Installation Manager in SOLIDWORKS 2022 got an overhaul to increase its performance by using parallel threading. This should reduce the time to install SOLIDWORKS any way you choose.
  • The SOLIDWORKS Rx now supports SOLIDWORKS Composer and SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
  • In the Administrative Image Options Editor, you can add groups and sub-groups to organize your users from different departments or locations. Each sub-group and user inside those groups will inherit the options set from the parent group. This option gives the administrator a lot of leeway in how their users are set up and how/when to deploy the software. This also gives a great amount of granularity in what options are associated to each group within a company.
  • In the Administrative Options Editor, you can now setup the vault view after installation. This will save your IT department or administrator time by not having to set up the vault view after installation like with previous versions of SOLIDWORKS.
  • The installation of Toolbox now includes an option to update the software without the data. This is helpful with Toolboxes stored inside a SOLIDWORKS PDM vault. In previous releases, an administrator would need to install the entire Toolbox on the user computer, which would never be used. Now, more disk space will be available since the full Toolbox does not need to be installed.
  • For SOLIDWORKS Electrical users, the Installation Manager now makes it more apparent that the administrator is installing only the Client software, or if they are including the Server components.

From the Help file: “This helps organizations that share SOLIDWORKS Electrical data and databases on a server instead of individual machines. For this case, administrators install Server components once on a server and install the Client only on all machines running SOLIDWORKS Electrical.”

  • SOLIDWORKS Explorer has been retired. This was a utility used as a single-user substitute to the old PDMWorks software. This software would allow a user to perform Pack & Go, Replace and Move commands; keeping references between files that these functions were used on.
  • Administrators can control what notifications users can see regarding graphics card and driver certification status. These can be controlled within the Settings Administrator tool.
  • In the System Options dialog, users can now see the full context of dismissed messages. Previously, dismissed messages were harder to find; now the messages can be found in a separate tab in the System Options dialog box.
  • The Quick Copy Setting within the Measure Tool has been re-enabled. You can use it to copy a value in the Measure dialogue box, including the value only or the value with measurements.
  • SOLIDWORKS 2022 made improvements with notifications. They are now more intuitive and use a more consistent layout. These include informational, acknowledgement, warning and error messages.
  • The Command Search can now be found on the Shortcut toolbar. You can also add a command that was searched for onto the Shortcut toolbar.
  • A Message Bar will be noticed at the top of the main SOLIDWORKS window that provides information specific to the open document. The types of message bars include Information, Acknowledgement, Warnings and Error.

From the Help file: “A Message Bar can open in several situations. It is usually a warning about a document state; for example, that your changes will not be saved because you did not check out the document. A message Bar never auto-dismisses. You must manually dismiss it.”

New to Pack & Go, users can now save specific bodies in a multi-body part. This includes when users use the Split Bodies command in SOLIDWORKS. In previous versions of Pack & Go, there was not this much flexibility in being able to save something as small as a specific body—you always had to save every body associated to a part being saved.

  • An additional perk to Pack & Go in SOLIDWORKS 2022 is that it gathers references faster in 2022 than in previous versions.

From the help file: “The time between initiating Pack and Go for a document and when the Pack and Go dialog box appears is reduced substantially.”

Those are the main highlights in SOLIDWORKS 2022 for administrators. These upgrades will help you get your installations completed much quicker—no matter where your users are.

Learn more about the new enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 with the eBook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.

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