What’s New: SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021

SOLIDWORKS Manage is still a relatively new product for Dassault Systèmes, and as such, it still sees a significant number of enhancements with each updated release. In keeping with that custom, the list of improvements for SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 is impressive.

There are a total of eighteen enhancements related to SOLIDWORKS Manage listed in the SOLIDWORKS “What’s New SOLIDWORKS 2021” guide. I have listed these enhancements below, with a brief description of each.

Bill of Materials (BOM) Enhancements

  • Export BOM in Tree Style.
  • Multi-line comparison tool.
  • New Bill of Materials editing tools.

Task Enhancements

  • Task Board is accessible from the Capacity Planning dashboard.
  • New context menus in My Work area.
  • Enhancement to Tasks in the Default Dashboard.
  • Task owner control over what assignee can do.
  • Private Task options.

SOLIDWORKS Manage User Interface Enhancements

  • Automatic selection of list items.
  • Automatic display of the source record part number when using New From or Derived From.
  • Move command in main project grid.
  • All custom field for users available in Capacity planning.
  • Change Owner in Tasks displays all user fields.
  • Default sort order for Created Date set to descending order.
  • Context-sensitive help in the Administration tool.
  • Notification editor has buttons that enable users to insert dynamic field values.
  • Move records available as deliverables in a project stage.
  • The preview pane is available in the Where Used tab.
  • For clarity, the field control icons appear on the left side of the field entry.

Database Debug Log Viewer

  • Administrators can specify whether tracked errors are written to a log file.

Promotion Settings for SOLIDWORKS PDM Reference Files

  • Options for the handling of missing files.

Multiselect Project Stages and Show Substages Options

  • Ability to select multiple stages in order to view related resources, tasks and deliverables.

Access to the Capacity Planning Dashboard

  • Capacity Planning is available from the Tools menu and the Resources tab of a project property card.

SOLIDWORKS File Preview in the Plenary Web Client

  • Thumbnail images of SOLIDWORKS files can be viewed in the Preview pane, and the image can be maximized.
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM files can be opened in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 browser.

Thumbnail Utility for SOLIDWORKS PDM Objects

  • Thumbnail images can be extracted from SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies and drawings, and can be stored in SOLIDWORKS Manage.

Access to Numbering Schemes

  • Numbering schemes can be defined or edited when defining an Object or Field.

Partial Administrators for Dashboards

  • Partial Administrators can be assigned to Dashboards, and Partial Administrators can create and edit dashboards.

Save as Recursive

  • Part of the SOLIDWORKS Manage add-in for SOLIDWORKS.
  • Imports assemblies and references.
  • Applies SOLIDWORKS Manage defined numbering to assembly structures.

Viewer Licenses

  • Users logged in with a Viewer license can accept a Process and send it to the next Stage.

Multi-Language Display Names

  • Text can be entered into SOLIDWORKS Manage using different languages.

Controlling Field Values

  • When using Copy From, the administrator of an object can clear field values and set field values to their default values.

Optionally Upgrading the Database when Upgrading Client

  • After updating the client and logging into SOLIDWORKS Manage Environment, the user is asked if they want to upgrade the database. Previously, the database was updated with the client. There is a caveat, however: according to the What’s New SOLIDWORKS 2021 guide, “the database remains unchanged, and you cannot use it with the upgraded client.” While it is unclear what this option’s purpose is, it is likely that this allows other users to continue working during the update.

File Sharing Option

  • Files can be shared with non-Manage users.
  • Sharing creates a link to files through the Plenary web client interface.
  • Administrators can control sharing for users and groups.
  • An Administrator can control the number of links created per object.

Project Lists

  • This enhancement didn’t make it into the What’s New Manual, but Dassault Systèmes does mention it on the SOLIDWORKS 2021 Manage YouTube feed. Project Lists combines many tools that can be used across multiple projects to assist with capacity planning and load management.

Auto Update Project Service

  • Another enhancement not mentioned in the What’s New SOLIDWORKS 2021 guide is the Auto Update Project Service. The Auto Update Project Service for task updates automatically updates project stages and automatically transfers task attachments to the deliverables section of a project.

Everything Else

  • Full-text searches of imported files.
  • Change the data type of a link to a third-party field.
  • Released icon for status change outputs on timesheet processes as the processes complete.
  • Automatically fill process description field from affected items is now an option in the Process Wizard.
  • Better performance for Gantt chart tools.
  • Required fields must be filled before the saving process.
  • Administrator control of the layout of main grids and users saving changes.
  • Administrators can define the password when resetting passwords.

Now that we have outlined the enhancements for SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021, let’s take a deeper look at some of the more significant ones.

BOM Enhancements

With SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021, the BOM of a parent file can be checked out and edited without having to check out the children files and items.

In addition, a BOM can be Displayed as a Grid (Multi-Level) or a Tree (Explorer) style. In Manage 2021, the BOM items can be exported in Tree Style.

Grid and Tree Mode.

There is also now a Multi-line compare option in the BOM Compare tool, which can compare all levels of a BOM.

Multi-line Compare.

If a record is not checked out, a linked record can be created from the BOM.

Create Linked Record.

SOLIDWORKS Manage 2021 also features the following new editing features related to BOMs:

  • Dissolve to remove parent sub-structures and promote their child items.
  • Add New enables users to add a new item to a BOM.
  • Add New From enables users to add a new item using the selected item as the source record.
  • Cut, copy and paste items across levels.
  • Replace command lets users replace a selected item with a newly created record.
  • Copy From to view and select items to copy.

Tasks Enhancements

The Task Board can now be accessed from the Capacity Planning Dashboard and from My Work Area.

My Dashboard.

In the My Work area, Assign To, Mark as Completed and Delete are now part of the menu for Tasks.

My Tasks.

Tasks in the default dashboard now include:

  • Part number and priority columns.
  • Urgent tasks are highlighted.
  • Order of tasks mirrors My Tasks.

Owners of a Task can control the task available to an assignee. These tasks are:

  • Add/Remove attachments.
  • Change details list.

Tasks can be identified as private by selecting Create New Tasks as Private, or by selecting Private in a stage task.

Database Debug Log Viewer

Perhaps it is because of my support background, but I find this enhancement quite useful. Database Debug Mode creates a log that contains the last 100 SQL database queries for each user, including failed login attempts.

The database debug mode is activated for a user and will automatically be deactivated after 24 hours (if not deactivated manually beforehand.)

Activating Database Debug Mode.

The log can be viewed from SOLIDWORKS Manage Administration. An administrator can search the log, export the log or copy a selected value from the log.

Viewing Log in SOLIDWORKS Manage Administration.

As is illustrated by the enhancements listed in this article, SOLIDWORKS Manage is still a rapidly developing product. I feel honored to be working with early adopters to help shape this product. While there are still some rough edges, the power and potential of this product are truly noteworthy.

For more about SOLIDWORKS, check out the whitepaper Developing Better Products in the Cloud.

About the Author

Joe Medeiros is a Senior Applications Engineer at Javelin Technologies, a premier SOLIDWORKS reseller, servicing customers throughout Canada and offering SOLIDWORKS customers expertise in implementing and using SOLIDWORKS solutions.

Joe has been involved in many aspects of the SOLIDWORKS product family since 1996. As an award-winning blogger, he regularly writes about SOLIDWORKS.

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