What’s New in OpenBOM February 2022

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
12 February, 2022 | 7 min for reading
What’s New in OpenBOM  February 2022

Wow!  February marks a very significant milestone for OpenBOM.  The release of OpenBOM Drive and OpenBOM Approval Workflow Dashboard.  Each individually addresses the most important activities in a company’s design to the manufacturing process.

Approval Workflow Dashboard puts the power of the “sign-off” process easily in front of your team without all the overhead and pitfalls of complicated, conventional, workflow modelers.  It’s simple, reliable, and gets the job done. It includes a role-based approval mechanism and notifications about changes.

OpenBOM Drive makes work-in-progress (eg. CAD files and specifications) and connects it to the rest of the product lifecycle data and process.  Putting file and version management at the fingertips of the design team, connecting files to the Item master, and allowing them to flow through to the purchasing and manufacturing process.

We know you will enjoy this release! Now, let’s get more into the details. 

Change Management Enhancements – Workflow Sign-Off

The new Collaborative Approval Workflow Sign-Off lets you easily track and manage approvals for your item and BOM changes, revisions, designs, drawings, and other documentation. Plus, you can do all of this in real-time with your team without concerns that some emails and notifications are stuck in people’s mailboxes because people are not available, focused on other tasks, or unfortunately, got sick. Simply assign approver permissions to a set of folks on your Company’s team and OpenBOM does the rest.

The graphic below summarizes the Revision process governed by a Sign-Off approval at the end.

Please check the following articles with videos, examples, and additional materials. 

The big takeaway – the approval process puts governance and control around your Item Revisions and allows you to control the release process of any data managed by items. 

Setting up Sign-Off approvals – Step by Step

OpenBOM approval process is available in Company Subscription and it must be configured by the administrator. It starts from the selection of who in the team can be an approver and includes 3 steps – identify approvers, select them in change management dashboard, and set approvers roles – (1) Approve All; (2) Mandatory; (3) Optional as well as notification. These roles define the business logic of the approval process. This logic is flexible and allows you to define who must be involved. Later, the process includes the creation of the CO (Change Order), which will automatically include the Approval Workflow dashboard. The dashboard can be accessed by every person to perform the monitoring or actually approval. The dashboard is collaborative and everyone can see the entire approval process in real-time. 

Step 1 – As the team administrator, add your team members

Step 2 – Identify Approvers from the Company Dashboard

Step 3 – Set Approver Requirement levels and indicate if they wish to receive notifications.

Step 4 – Create a Change Order and add some Change Requests 

Step 5 – Click the Approval Workflow command as shown above. The Change Order Workflow will appear indicating each approvers decision in the matrix.  Here one of the users is actively working on the Sign-Off screen at another computer.

Step 6 – APPROVE.

Click “Approve” and if all conditions are met, the Revisions for each of the Approved Change Orders listed will be created.

That’s it.  Your revisions are incorporated into OpenBOM.

OpenBOM Drive creates a Digital Thread through Product Lifecycle and Design Data Management

Equally as exciting in this release is OpenBOM Drive which brings two distinguished sets of functions to OpenBOM.

The first is to manage files and folders as an independent structure. This structure represents a set of data, often structured folders of CAD data on a disk drive, that can be controlled and shared to establish the desired access – even to the granular folder and file levels. 

The second is an association between files and item masters managed in OpenBOM catalogs. OpenBOM Drive service can manage documents including files, folders, versions, access level, and many others. In such a way that if a company is looking at how to manage CAD files, OpenBOM is the perfect solution. 

Here are several blogs introducing Drive and explaining the important data model improvements we made to OpenBOM to bring file assets to Item management.

The OpenBOM Virtual Drive is comprised of three distinct components

Design Lifecycle (Versions, Check-Out/In) 

The OpenBOM Drive Explorer application gives you all those data manager features you expect from OpenBOM!  File Check-In/Out, Share, Version management and selection, Viewing and Property tools.

Each of these operations is performed on the file in a single cloud location.  There is no copying to a local drive or replication that takes place.  You and your team access the exact same file every time.  OpenBOM Drive manages all the access, locking, versioning, and permissions and allows your team to work safely on one set of data.

3D Viewer 

The OpenBOM 3D viewer is a world-class web-enabled viewer capable of viewing all CAD and business documents.  Features include the Model Tree, Property table, full viewing, rotation, exploded and section views, capture and so much more.

From the OpenBOM Drive Dashboard or the Explorer


CAD Add-ins support OpenBOM Drive

OpenBOM Drive comes to Solidworks with a new menu and loads of data management features.

Once you have Drive installed and files are placed there, you can easily work on them together with your colleagues using automatic file locking (non-vault mode) or configure the Drive folders as a Vault (RMB-> Set as Vault). In Vault mode, you will have full PDM features like Checkin/out, version control, and more, right from within Solidworks.

AECBOM – OpenBOM Add-in for Autodesk Revit

The newest update of OpenBOM For Autodesk Revit provides a much easy and automated way to build an entire structure of the project (Revit file and linked files) based on a very small amount of settings you need to do. Read the article – Digital BOM for Autodesk Revit and watch the video. 

OpenBOM CAD Integrations Enhancements

OpenBOM for Oracle NetSuite is Ready for NetSuite 2022.1 release

NetSuite users can update their OpenBOM bundle anytime and be good-to-go for the upcoming NetSuite 2022 release.  We improved the property mapping and multi-level BOM import processing.

Autodesk Fusion360 Major Python Update and OpenBOM 

Unfortunately, starting from February, 8th 2022, Autodesk Fusion360 started to display a message that OpenBOM Add-in for Fusion 360 won’t be available in the next Fusion 360 version. The message was a bit confusing and provided misleading information to our customers. 

If you run OpenBOM for Autodesk Fusion 360, you might receive the following message. THIS IS A WRONG MESSAGE AND IT WAS PUBLISHED BY AUTODESK BY MISTAKE. 

If you receive such a message, please don’t worry. OpenBOM for Autodesk Fusion 360 will be available in the next Fusion 360 version and the message is just poorly phrased. 

Many Other Fixes and Improvements 

Amazingly, with all those features above we still included a number of other improvements and even squashed some bugs reported to our support desk.

Here are just a few of the other improvements you will find:

  • Removed size restrictions on PDF and other files.
  • Improved filtering, especially for Vendor
  • Better formula calculations and spinner management
  • Team admin dashboard and demo data handling


I hope you’ll enjoy OpenBOM’s enhancements. Let us know what you think. Last, but not least – the OpenBOM website was updated to provide a direct mechanism to schedule an OpenBOM Demo. Let us know if you’re interested – we would be happy to help. 

REGISTER FOR FREE and start your 14-day trial today. 

Best, Oleg 

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