Preview: OpenBOM Design Projects PDM Enhancements

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
23 April, 2024 | 4 min for reading
Preview: OpenBOM Design Projects PDM Enhancements

Last year, we introduced a new service – OpenBOM Design to enhance OpenBOM’s capabilities to manage files. The goal of this service is to provide a simple and easy mechanism to organize CAD and other related files, to store them in the cloud, and to provide collaborative revision control to a team of engineers to work on these Design Projects together.  If you missed that, here are a few articles to share with you – Free and Simple Cloud PDM: Dive into OpenBOM’s Design Projects with Five Core Principles, OpenBOM Design Projects with Smart Sync, and Free Cloud PDM: 5 Steps To Start Using New OpenBOM Design Projects

From an overall OpenBOM data model, Design Projects enhances the capabilities of the OpenBOM platform to manage design information. It includes capabilities to manage files (CAD and other files) as well as to provide a seamless connection to modern cloud CAD platforms (eg. Autodesk Fusion 360, PTC Onshape, Altium 365, and others). Here is a top view of OpenBOM out-of-the-box logical data model. 

Since last fall, we’ve been learning the feedback from our users and customers about OpenBOM Design Projects and planned the enhancements. I’m super excited to share an early preview of improvements we are going to introduce to OpenBOM Design service later this month. 

Here is a short list of enhancements: 

  1. Design Projects Sharing
  2. File versions 
  3. Improved file locking mechanism 
  4. Improved Smart Sync mechanism 

Let me speak about each of them in more detail. 

Design Projects Sharing

The project-sharing mechanism allows you to set a mechanism to provide access to each Design Project to different groups of people. The same mechanism you’re familiar with Catalogs, BOMs, Orders, etc. will now be available for Projects. So, you will be able to share files with different design contractors, engineering teams, and organizations. 

Sharing will be available via Project setup to administrators and also from the project itself. 

File Versions 

The most significant enhancement of Design Projects is the ability to manage file versions individually (not only to a project itself). So, from now on, each file will have its own list of versions that can be created to keep track of the history of changes done for each specific file. 

A separate panel will allow you to see the entire list of versions of each file: 

A new set of commands including “Create Version” of a file. You can use this command after files are synced to the cloud from each computer using the Smart Sync mechanism. 

Improved File Lock and Smart Sync Mechanism 

The purpose of the locking mechanism is to allow each user to lock the file for exclusive use and changes. Once a file is locked by a specific user, no one else will be able to sync and upload this file to the cloud. Similar to “check-out” command in traditional PDM systems, lock allows a user to make changes and then use Smart Sync to bring a local copy of the file edited using Solidworks or any other desktop CAD system to the cloud. 

An improved Smart Sync mechanism and enhancements of Workspace Manager make it easier for users to manage all local updates and synchronize files between cloud and local workstations. Everything you need to know is to use the Smart Sync button. 

A more convenient setup of commands will allow you to navigate easily to a web browser and local file explorer with the exact location of the project. 

Last, but not least, Workspace Manager can now be easily accessed from the CAD add-ins menu to simplify the workflow for users during the design process in the CAD systems. 


We are excited to bring new and improved Design Projects to all OpenBOM users and customers. It will give engineering teams a more robust mechanism to manage CAD and other files. An improved Project sharing combined with granular version control will close the gap we identified in the previous release of Design Projects. We would like to thank everyone for their feedback, reviews, and collaboration with us. Together we will make OpenBOM even better. 

The functionality described in this article will be available in OpenBOM’s next production update (planned later in April, 2024). If you have any questions and want to discuss a specific functionality or project with us, please contact our support team 

In the meantime, you can REGISTER FOR FREE and explore how OpenBOM can help you today.

Best, Oleg

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