July 13, 2021
In this article, I’d like to speak about file management and what OpenBOM is planning to do in the near future. As a background, I’m sure you read the OpenBOM Training Library article about File Management in OpenBOM. I also assume you had a chance to check our earlier blogs about the new OpenBOM revision mechanism in catalogs and OpenBOM storage. If you haven’t then make sure to check it out here.
Files are dead. Long live the file storage
In a recent article I published, I asked, how long will it take the industry to kill files (CAD files, documents, etc) and to move to fully cloud and web-based applications.
The history of a word file goes back to the 1940s when it was used as a term to describe a place to store the results of computation. Most CAD systems and a variety of other engineering applications use files as a primary way to store and share information. PDM and MRP (later ERP) systems were a first step towards distancing from files by organizing databases and providing data-oriented access. However, for the last 40+ years of these applications, file nature didn’t change and they are still as popular as 10-20 years ago. The number of files is increasing and the demand for file storage is growing. However, in the past, the file storage was limited to the local disc or local network in the company. Now, companies are demanding access to information (and files) anywhere and at any time. So, files are dead. Long live the file storage!
Files and Revisions
Manufacturing the wrong version of a CAD file is a very expensive mistake. Knowing what file needs to be used for manufacturing and production planning is a good idea and it should not be a guessing game. We live in the 21st century, but many manufacturing and construction companies are still functioning in the past when it comes to revisions of documents and storing the history of the design and different files (CAD files, drawings, specifications, etc.)
Yes, there are complex PDM systems that can solve the problem for large enterprises and there are also modern cloud CAD tools that take care of saving file revision or just going without CAD files. While this is the case for some, many companies are using CAD files and many derivatives such as drawings and files in a CAD-neutral format. To store multiple revisions of these files is a challenge, but companies are still in the need to have a simple and robust solution to this problem, which also capable to provide seamless access to the information.
Integrated CAD storage
At OpenBOM, we provide a robust solution on how to manage files and store them together with catalog and BOM records. The integrated cloud storage mechanism allows you to upload files automatically with the product structure extracted from your design files.
Check out this video demonstrating how OpenBOM Add-in for Solidworks can upload CAD files, PDF derivatives in 3D CAD models and PDFs.
What’s coming up next – CAD repository and revision control
As you most probably heard, OpenBOM Item revisions support is coming with the catalog as well as a new production level file storage. Check out our earlier blogs below to learn more.
With the introduction of support for catalog item revisions and also OpenBOM file storage, we open the door to the companies to use OpenBOM as a structured file repository connected to product structure. Here’s some great news about what’s coming up next in OpenBOM. The new storage will be connected to all OpenBOM CAD add-ins and will provide a way to transparently and easily move CAD and their derivatives files from the local discs to OpenBOM integrated cloud storage. The feature will give you a way to upload files and use the OpenBOM save revision command to create an immutable copy of this item record together with CAD and other files.
If you’re interested in this functionality, please contact me as we will be managing earlier visibility to this function and we are looking for customer feedback. Contact via oleg at openbom dot com.
I’m excited to see OpenBOM grow and become a system capable of managing product structure with full support to manage files and maintain the history of revision records for each CAD and other design file uploaded to the system.
If you haven’t had a chance to try out OpenBOM for yourself click on the link below for your FREE 14 Day-Trial.