May 5, 2021
I’m excited to share the May 2021 OpenBOM updates with you. The OpenBOM team has been very busy bringing some great new features, functions, and fixes which we just released in the May 2021 update – it is available online now!
There is a wide range of improvements in this release – and it is all thanks to your feedback, reports, and advisory. I must say that many of the improvements in this release came to us through our firstname.lastname@example.org support line.
I’m sure everyone will find something for themselves in this release. Here are just a few groups of improvements.
- User Experience and Editing Features
- CAD Integrations (Add-ins)
- Content Integrations (catalogs)
- And of course, we squashed a few pesky bugs
User Experience and Editing Features
Flattened BOM Editing
The ability to Flatten a BOM is one of the most powerful features of OpenBOM. The Flatten feature does what no excel or spreadsheet can, flatten creates a list of items and combines all like part numbers no matter where they appear in your multi-level BOM structure. Flatten, is the view of all the parts and quantities needed to build one of your BOMs.
I personally love to work in flatten as it is the more traditional view as a parts list. Until now, if I wanted to make a change to some property value I had to switch back to the multi or single level. The new editing capabilities will allow editing catalog properties in a Flattened BOM, which will make it easy to update Description, Cost, Manufacturer and other properties typically managed in the catalog. Keep in mind that BOM properties (eg. Quantity) cannot be edited because it is a rolled-up property that combines value together from multiple BOMs.
A quick video on the importance of Edit in Flatten is here:
Editing and Cursor Movement (Last Row)
Following several requests, we altered the default cursor movement for the last row in the grid when you edit catalogs and BOMs. Instead of moving to the next column top, it moves to the next column in the same row.
OpenBOM Visual Dashboard
We continue our work on a new visual dashboard we released in the previous month. We also understand that we still have some work to do, but this release builds nicely on last month’s inaugural release of the Visual Dashboard.
In this release, we provided an easy way to set the filter between All Items and only Items that have a BOM. By doing so, the filtering and searching are improved and you have a fast way to get a specific BOM in this dashboard.
BOM User Interface for Top Assembly
We introduced few new elements in the user interface – BOM Assembly Image Preview, Selectable secondary Property display, and Item Info Panel. Here is why we do so.
Accessing information about the top assembly was hard in the BOM user interface. We provided the top assembly Part Number (BOM Part Number) and the Name of the BOM, which we realized was sometimes confusing because it is not something that is coming from the item information in the catalog.
We made a few improvements in this user experience:
- Introduced an image retrieved from the item in the catalog (hover mouse and it will be enlarged, which makes it very easy to preview).
- Configurable secondary property to be displayed instead of BOM name.
- Info button to open the catalog information for this item in the side panel.
All together, these features will allow you to have better access to the item catalog information about the top-level assembly.
A quick tour of the new BOM title area:
PDF Export Customization (Template)
One of the most requested features has come to OpenBOM, the ability to customize your PDF export(s) with a little bit of HTML code.
When you select the PDF option, you will have a way to download an existing HTML template used for exporting and customize it using any HTML editor. Once it is done, you can upload it to OpenBOM and select the option to use a custom template. That’s it! After that, OpenBOM will use a custom HTML template to create a PDF in the new format.
Please watch the video with the preview to give you an idea of how this feature will work.
We are excited to announce the first release of Traceparts integration to OpenBOM. It allows OpenBOM users the ability to bring data from Traceparts © online catalog and also the ability to link OpenBOM Items to TraceParts items.
The feature is available from the “Import Part” function (shown below) while editing any OpenBOM Catalog.
You can check out more information in a recent blog we published – OpenBOM Traceparts Integration.
CAD Integrations (Add-ins)
Full Team Collaboration for All CAD add-ins
We have enabled full OpenBOM team collaboration with CAD integrations. This means that any OpenBOM Team member can sign into their CAD integration with his/her own OpenBOM account email, create or update a BOM, and their data will be merged to the BOMs and Catalogs created by other Team / Company members.
If you and another team member share a CAD design, you may both update the OpenBOM data, as you are both members of the OpenBOM team. A Team subscription or above is required.
STEP files improved for all CAD integrations.
All CAD integrations in this release have improved STEP file handling! For those of you with STEP files as part of your CAD assembly, you will find more reliable Property and Mass values on update BOM operations.
Specifically, with Solidworks SLDPRT files referencing the original STEP file, we now get the proper Part Numbers and other property values. For Inventor users with STEP or STP files, you will find we bring the correct property values to OpenBOM as well.
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
- Solidworks BOM Quantity property value
- Now properly save ALL properties if part started life as a step file
- There was a corner case when a highly variable (table-driven) configuration might get the wrong part number. We Fixed that!
- Properly report properties for STEP files.
- We now save all Catalog info even if a Thumbnail already exists
- Sometimes a suppressed sub-assy still appeared in the BOM. Fixed that too.
- Mass Item, Mass Quantity, and Material now properly report to the BOM, always.
- Thumbnail Images are now updated correctly
- Fix when Create BOM button didn’t always appear
- Extremely long Onshape Configuration and file names no longer confuse OpenBOM
- Fixed an occasion when we did not process an existing sub-assy properly
- Linked documents now properly get images and properties
- No more blank screen after creating a new account or requesting a trial
- Mixed a number of other annoying bugs that impeded a peaceful workflow.
Our team is hard at work and a lot of hours have gone into developing a more efficient platform that provides our customers with the perfect tool for all their BOM needs.
We thank you for taking the time to reach out to our team and letting us know how we can continue improving.
Enjoy the updates and always feel free to reach out if there are any questions. If you haven’t had the chance to check out OpenBOM firsthand, click on the link below and register for your Free 14-day trial!