What’s New in March 2024

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
20 March, 2024 | 7 min for reading
What’s New in March 2024

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, user experience (UX) stands at the forefront of software development. At OpenBOM, our commitment to simplicity and ease of use has been unwavering since day one. We’ve long envisioned a platform where complex tasks are made simple through intuitive design and seamless functionality. Achieving this vision, however, is no easy feat—it requires continuous iteration and refinement.

With our latest release, we’ve taken another significant step towards perfecting the OpenBOM user experience. This iteration is the culmination of relentless effort to enhance various facets of the platform, ensuring that users can navigate and utilize OpenBOM with unparalleled ease and efficiency.

  • Improved In-Context BOM Editing: Streamlined editing directly within your workflow allowing to add items and create in the context of multiple catalogs 
  • Enhanced Addition of Views: ease of adding new user defined views with seamless editing, less clicks 
  • Refined Drag-and-Drop Functionality: Smoother organization and arrangement of data with better visualization of file attachments uploads. 

New Features:

  • Where-Used (Top-Level): Simplified impact analysis and component relationships 
  • Okta Single Sign-On (SSO) Integration: suppoet Okta service for authentication 
  • Enhanced CAD Integrations: Including Altium 365 integration.

Let’s talk about these and other features in more detail.

Top Level Where Used

A new feature in impact analysis “where used” brings a capability to get a better visibility on part and assembly usage. 

Before this release, OpenBOM’s “where used” query offered immediate upper-level assembly usage. However, as product structures become more complex, a deeper understanding of top-level product usage becomes essential for informed decision-making. Recognizing this need, OpenBOM introduced the “Where Used for Top Level” function, aiming to streamline data analysis and provide users with a holistic view of their product landscape.

The picture below shows an example of this query and a visualization that explains how it works. 

Watch the following video with a demonstration of a new Where Used Top Level query and UX. 

BOM Editing and In-Context Item Creation 

The conventional approach to adding a new item to a BOM typically entails a multi-step process. Users are required to first navigate to one of the associated catalogs, create the item, and then proceed to insert it into the BOM. This cumbersome workflow not only disrupts productivity but also introduces opportunities for errors and inconsistencies.

With this release of OpenBOM, we create a seamless solution to edit BOM and create Items in the context (with complex classification in multiple catalogs). Now, when the need arises to add a new item to your BOM, a user-friendly dialog promptly appears, presenting you with a comprehensive list of catalogs associated with the BOM. From there, you can effortlessly select the appropriate catalog and proceed to create the item – all within the confines of a streamlined, intuitive workflow.

I invite you to explore our demo video. Within minutes, you’ll witness firsthand the simplicity and efficiency of our new workflow. With just three straightforward steps, you can seamlessly add an item to your BOM while simultaneously creating a corresponding catalog record – a testament to the elegance of our design philosophy.

Support for Okta SSO Authentication Provider

We are expanding our support for different SSO providers. After providing support from Microsoft Azure, we are coming up with the support for Okta. 

Check for more information in our Training Library documentation page 

More User Experience Improvements 

Simple New User-Defined View Wizard

Adding a user-defined view was not intuitive enough before. It is required to add a view and then navigate to the edit function to add attributes. Not anymore. A simple time saver when creating new Views, either individually or as the Team Administrator, after creating the View, OpenBOM takes you directly to the View Editor so you can define the View behavior.  It’s a nice time-saver.

Add User to Team User Experience Improvement 

Adding users to the team is a bit more obvious with this simple UI change. I know, it’s a small thing but we found Admins were struggling to find the old button.

Improved Drag-n-Drop Visual Queues 

Since introducing file Drag-N-Drop a few releases ago, we have continued to improve the visual experience and function of this function.  In this release, we add support for Multi-Level and better visual feedback.  Below, I am linking a drawing file from my Google Drive using Drag-N-Drop.

Shift-Scroll for Horizontal Scroll 

Another user experience improvement – use of the Shift Key and mouse wheel scroll will horizontally scroll the grid left/right. It is now available. It will solve the problem for many users looking at how to navigate easily in the wide BOMs.  It’s a really nice feature when viewing wide data sets.

Check this video out for the demo. 

OpenBOM CAD Integrations 

CAD integration is a priority of OpenBOM. We are integrating with many CAD systems. Check the full list online – Integrations. Our integration strategy is to turn OpenBOM into a digital thread to connect all engineering information. 

Altium 365 Support for OpenBOM Design

A new integration between OpenBOM and Altium 365. The new integration is purely cloud-based and allows you to integrate with Altium Design data without having Altium Designer installed on your computer. It is a great demonstration of the power of cloud platforms such as OpenBOM, Altium 365, and Altium Nexar. However, it is also part of our strategy for integrated design digital thread. 

At OpenBOM, we have a track record of successful integrations with various cloud-based tools, including collaborations with Autodesk Platform Services and Onshape.  Taking it a step further, we’re excited to announce our upcoming integration with Altium 365, facilitated through the Nexar API Platform. This integration signifies a major leap in our journey towards comprehensive cloud-based design solutions.

Check the video for a preview of the seamless interaction between OpenBOM and Altium 365.

OpenBOM Workspace Manager Improvements 

Improvements in OpenBOM Workspace Manager have been aimed at enhancing user experience and streamlining workflows. Here’s a quick list of the improvements:

Smarter Sync – Do Not Sync Temp Files:

OpenBOM Workspace Manager now incorporates a smarter synchronization mechanism that excludes temporary files from the syncing process. This refinement ensures that only relevant and essential files are synchronized across devices or platforms, reducing clutter and optimizing storage space.

Improved User Experience:

Right-click Menu: Users now benefit from a more intuitive interface with the addition of a right-click menu. This feature facilitates quicker access to essential functions and actions, enhancing overall usability and productivity.

Better User Notifications: OpenBOM Workspace Manager now provides improved user notifications, keeping users informed about important events, such as completed syncs, file updates, or system notifications. Clear and timely notifications contribute to a smoother user experience by ensuring users stay informed about the status of their operations.

Support for Duplication of File Names in Multiple Subfolders:

OpenBOM Workspace Manager now supports the duplication of file names within multiple subfolders of the same project. This enhancement allows users to organize their project data more flexibly without restrictions on file naming conventions. It provides greater adaptability for managing complex project structures and facilitates efficient data organization within the workspace.

All Desktop CAD Integrations (eg. SolidWorks, Creo, Autodesk Inventor, and others)

We greatly improved the Get Part Number function to provide better performance for very large assemblies (when you select to get part numbers for an entire assembly structure) AND we have a better UI to describe exactly WHERE the part number value will be saved.

PTC Onshape

OpenBOM now supports the new Onshape Classification property and the Onshape Rigid Part Studio. If you use either of these new features, they will be properly managed in OpenBOM.  Enjoy!

Other Improvements

We’ve implemented multiple improvements to enhance user experience and system functionality. Here is a short list. 

File Export Enhancement: Fixed an issue where spaces in filenames were replaced by “+” signs during export.

Change Management Icons Display: Corrected the display of Accept/Reject icons for smoother navigation in Change Management.

Template Management: Users can now delete duplicate Change Management Templates for better organization.

Data Integrity: Ensured that changes to BOM names do not affect the Part Number field, maintaining data consistency.

UI Cleanup: Improved sign-in and sign-up UI for clearer password validation feedback.

Drag and Drop Functionality:

Quantity on Hand values: is now accurately updated upon Order Release for better stock management.

API Documentation Refresh: Updated the public API documentation to facilitate easier integration and development processes.

Conclusion

The latest release of OpenBOM offers an array of exciting features that enhance usability and streamline user workflows. Check out OpenBOM. REGISTER FOR FREE and explore openbom today. 

Best, Oleg

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