OpenBOM: What’s New December 2nd, 2023

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
5 December, 2023 | 6 min for reading
OpenBOM: What’s New December 2nd, 2023

Welcome to another release of OpenBOM. As always, I’m super excited to share everything new we are bringing to our customers and users – improvements of existing features, new features, bug fixes, best practices, and more. 

Data is quickly becoming one of the most important things that can help us to manage our business, to make business improvements, and to help to achieve the goal of building better products faster at an optimal cost. 

OpenBOM is all about helping you to manage data in a variety of forms. The processes OpenBOM helps to manage start from getting accurate management of files, BOMs, and supply chain and ending in the way where you can connect and optimize workflows between design, engineering, procurement, and manufacturing. 

Read more in the article – How OpenBOM helps to optimize your business in 2024. Having a good methodology for implementing data management systems is important because it will help you to achieve goals. 

New and improved features of OpenBOM will allow you to manage the details of this process. So, let’s see what is our bag of feature improvements for December 2nd, 2023. 

OpenBOM Design – Workspace Manager 

We’re excited about the OpenBOM Design service growth. As such, we continue to improve Workspace Manager Smart Sync and the overall user experience to organize design projects, manage files, and metadata, and keep files synchronized between local and cloud locations. 

At OpenBOM we are committed to simplification of everything. Since we introduced Workspace Manager, we introduced Smart Sync, which was already a set towards making things simpler. But we’ve heard from many users that they want more. And specifically, users asked us to get rid of all elements of the user interface that interfere with the vision of simple one-click action.

So, we’ve added a new feature – a simplified user interface in Workspace Manager that only focuses on one goal – to support Smart Sync. It is easy to access and easy to use.

Clicking on this button will turn Workspace Manager into a much simpler user interface. You can always go back to a full user interface. 

Export Top Level BOM Derivative Files

A nice improvement to the Export Files as ZIP from BOM.  Until now, this feature ONLY exported the files for the items contained in the BOM.  But what if your top-level BOM had some PDFs or STEPs associated with it?  Maybe as assembly instructions or from CAD?  

This release now adds those files to the ZIP Export.

A quick video to demonstrate the feature is here.

Improved BOM Template Save Operation

A simple timesaver for anyone setting up Templates for their Team, the ability to save templates with the same name. 

To learn more about templates, please check out the OpenBOM Training- BOM Templates

Catalog Search Improvements

Everyone likes the simple <Ctrl-F> function to search inside a catalog or BOM. We found that invisible names of images can be confusing for search.  With this release, we tweaked the <Ctrl-F> function and removed Image filenames and paths from the Search domain.  

What does this mean?  It means that if you are searching for a “Bolt”, OpenBOM will return the instances of “Bolt” on the screen, and not find the thumbnail image, even if it is called “Bolt.png”.

A nice improvement to improve the efficiency of Search.

Support User-Defined Views in Revision Export 

This was sort of a feature and sort of a fix.  In this release, the exported Excel will respect the property displays of the active View.  So, in the example below, I set my View to ENGINEERING and the exported XLS file has the columns displayed EXACTLY as I have it in the OpenBOM window. 

A simple example of how OpenBOM can publish your design data exactly as your downstream process requires.  

OpenBOM CAD Integrations

Altium PCB Designer

Altium is improving its Altium 365 product. So, we continued to improve the A365 integration.  With this release, we now support components where the Part Number value is mastered in A365.  Prior, we always took the part Number from the board-level component.  Thanks to everyone who wrote to support asking for this improvement.

Spoiler alert – a new interface with BOM in Altium 365 is coming soon. Stay tuned. 

Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS

We have delivered one of the most requested Solidworks improvements,  OpenBOM now Orders Items in the BOM as they are in the Solidworks Feature Manager.  

What does this mean?  It means that the order of the lines in the OpenBOM Bill of Material will be the same as is shown in the Solidworks Feature Manager.

There are a few exceptions, if the same item appears twice in one level, we take the first one?  If items are dissolved into upper levels they appear at the place where they were dissolved into.  

Finally, existing BOMs must be deleted and created again to pick up this behavior.

For more details see the video here:

Please take further discussion of this topic to the Community post – Get your BOM in the same order as Solidworks. 

PTC Onshape

This release improves support for Onshape’s flexible sub-assembly and user-defined Mass properties.  Both are now fully supported.

In the example below, the value of 0.998 lbs will be sent to OpenBOM for the Mass, regardless of what Onshape calculates the Mass to be.

Also, the Purchased Assembly workflow (what Onshape calls Assembly Behavior) is fully supported.  If you are buying this assembly and do not want the sub-level items to appear in the BOM, select as shown.

We also improved the performance of Derivative files like STEP, PDF, and more.

Other OpenBOM Fixes & Improvements

  • Fixes a case when team members might not see uploaded files
  • Sorting a column by Date works properly now.  Sorry, that took so long to fix.
  • Fixed a case when changing a Vendor while the view was filtered did not always save the new vendor value
  • Using the Item Info to jump to an item did not always position the item in the viewer screen area. That’s fixed. Fixed a few other nagging issues with the Item Info Panel.
  • Altium Designer’s “Use Altium BOM” option now works reliably.

Heads up: Change Management Improvements 

It is a bit of a spoiler, but because it is very important for many of our customers, we want to give you some heads up and spoiler alert at the same time. Our engineers are working on substantial improvements in the OpenBOM change management mechanism that will make Change Order functionality much more effective and robust. Multiple improvements you reported to us about change management will be implemented. We are planning to make it as a Christmas present to you. 

Conclusion: 

Digital transformation is instrumental in improving process efficiency and enhancing decision-making effectiveness. The cornerstone of digital transformation is integrated end-to-end process development. OpenBOM provides a platform that supports integrated process development and offers collaborative tools for New Product Development (NPD) processes, catering to both small and large companies. Read more about it in the article – OpenBOM New Product Development, and Connected Processes and 3 stages of end-to-end process development.

I hope you liked the improvements and features. At OpenBOM, we know that sometimes “small details” can give you a big time-saving. Although many of these improvements we reported in the current release are small features, all of them together can make the lives of our customers and users much easier. 

Best, Oleg

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