What’s New in OpenBOM December, 24th 2021 Update

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
30 December, 2021 | 5 min for reading
What’s New in OpenBOM December, 24th 2021 Update

Welcome to the final release of 2021.  What a year it has been. We’ve been trying to count features, updates, and news and found too many to bring them up in a single article. I hope you had a chance to read – OpenBOM Looking Back in 2021. It was a year ago that OpenBOM was a platform capable of providing full product lifecycle management support to organizations developing products and services, expanded into file and document management, expanded Change Management control, and introduced a new PDM service – OpenBOM Drive, which is available for Beta testing. We also shared some of the exciting future developments coming in 2022. Check this out – OpenBOM roadmap 2022. Stay tuned for more updates.

So… What’s New in the last, December 24th, 2021 update?

There are several key updates we’ve been working on over the past few weeks. Here is a short lists of them: 

  • Change Management 
  • OpenBOM for Solidworks Add-in
  • Grid Performance 
  • New subscription packaging 
  • Drive Document Dashboard (Beta only) 

Let’s talk about them in more detail. 

Change Management and Change Order Functions 

This release marks the release of formal change control with the introduction of the Change Order. The Change Order puts governance and control around the Item and BOM revision process. We also add Change Request to the Item, a feature that was reserved to BOMs prior to this release.

The Change Order (CO) is a collection of Change Requests which will generate Item Revision(s) once it is Approved.  

This brings real Change Management (CM) to your Company.

When your Company Administrator enables Change Management in the Company Settings, OpenBOM users will automatically create Change requests in place of revisions, and Approvals will be required before Revisions are created.

Check out our introduction and complete playlist to Change Management:

Item Change Request

This release brings the power of the Change Request to the Catalog Item. The Change Request provides change management for item changes and will produce a revision once the Change Request is approved.

Some new UI is available in the Catalog Item context menu as shown below:

A video about Change Requests is here:

Visit the Change Management playlist for a series of videos about Change Management: OpenBOM Change Management and Change Orders Introduction

Grid Performance 

Products and data are getting more complex and we’ve been focusing on making improvements in the performance of the OpenBOM grid. It was mostly related to large BOMs with a substantial number of formulas and calculations. The grid was causing some malfunctions related to unpredictable menu behavior and scrolling. We made fixes and optimizations. More improvement will be coming in the optimization and performance of OpenBOM’s grid for faster editing and updates. You will see it coming soon. 

New Subscription Packaging 

OpenBOM will be changing subscriptions from January 1st, 2022. If you’re a current OpenBOM subscriber, you already have been emailed about specific changes that will happen to your subscription. We learned the lessons from the past year and took special care to communicate with all our existing subscribers. 

One of the most important changes is related to the expansion of OpenBOM Professional User and Professional Team subscriptions. We published more information about it here – Extending An Individual User and Team Subscription with Inventory and Purchasing Features. 

We keep our promise to be fully transparent about pricing and subscription. You will see all changes on the OpenBOM Pricing page tomorrow. 

If for some reason you didn’t get an email about your subscription, please contact OpenBOM support. 

OpenBOM Add-in for Solidworks Improvements

As part of our constant improvement, we’ve changed the Settings dialog to emphasize the importance of the Item “Properties” list and moved the “BOM specific Properties” to an advanced area.  

What is important here, is the Properties (#1 below) list contains those properties that are to be sent from CAD to ALL instances of the item. In other words, things like Material, Thumbnail image, size, type, etc.  

The BOM properties list (#2 below) has ONLY those properties that are important for THAT SPECIFIC BOM use. These are rarely used but might include things like reference designator (for PCBs) and possible color (if your item is a different color in every BOM).

→ So, put the properties you want to send to OpenBOM in the “Properties” list. Only use the BOM Properties list (#2) if you really know what you are doing.

There is also a new option in Solidworks to “Not send images” to the BOM (#3 above). There may be several use cases here;

  • Maybe you already have images in your OprenBOM catalog and don’t want the ones sent from CAD
  • Maybe your design is very large and you have already generated the images, and do not need to generate them again.

OpenBOM Drive Document Dashboard (Beta) 

As you’ve heard already, OpenBOM Drive is a new service, which expands OpenBOM with a simple  PDM and file management and real-time file collaboration functionality. The service isi currently available in Beta. In case you missed, we wrote about earlier – Introducing OpenBOM Drive Beta. Please check it out. 

OpenBOM Drive service creates a virtual disc that supports real-time file sharing including Vaulting capabilities (with check-in/check-out and other PDM functions). 

In the last update, we introduced two new Beta enhancements – (1) a new Document Dashboard (part of OpenBOM web user interface) allowing browsing, 3D viewing and downloading files; (2) Enhancements for SOLIDWORKS OpenBOM Add-in with the capabilities to support check-in/check-out and version history directly in SOLIDWORKS user interface. 

OpenBOM Drive Document Dashboard

OpenBOM Drive Integration with SOLIDWORKS Add-in 


We are super excited about all OpenBOM enhancements and cannot wait to share more about what is coming next year. 

OpenBOM remains easy, simple and open to everyone. You can REGISTER FOR FREE and start 14-days trial to check all features and functions. 

Best, Oleg

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