Another exciting OpenBOM release is out and in today’s article, I want to take you through the highlights of the release. User experience, user experience, and one more time user experience. This is the mojo of the November OpenBOM release bringing new features, functionality, and improvements.
Here are a few thoughts about how we prioritized the improvements in the new release.
- Improving the process of seamless data import to OpenBOM (Autodesk Fusion 360, Octopart, and some others)
- Improving visibility and understanding of data in OpenBOM (tooltip feature, PO filters in the dashboard, number of items in the catalog, etc.)
- New commands to streamline operations and help you to make “fewer clicks”.
I hope you will like it. Now, let me take you down to the details of the release.
Improved Octopart Integration
Integration with online content libraries is one of the priorities at OpenBOM. We would like to bring more data in and, therefore, we are working to make Octopart improvements.
We now fetch many of the most important properties and bring them directly to your OpenBOM catalog item. As you can see below, OpenBOM will retrieve Cost breakdown, Manufacturer and part number, MOQ, available quantity, package type (Roll, Bulk, etc), Links directly to Octopart and Manufacturer’s pages, and much more.
This release brings the first part, more features for bulk importing and supply chain sources will be coming next.
Watch the video of new Octopart integration features.
Purchase Order Filters in Dashboard
We know it can be hard to manage all your POs in a single dashboard list so we added filters for Open and Received. Easily see all your POs with a single click.
Freeze more than one column for horizontal scroll
This is one of my favorites. Scrolling data horizontally can be hard. Last month we added the ability to Freeze the first column in a BOM or Catalog. Well, now we have improved that to include as many columns as you wish.
Assign Catalog Dialog – User Experience and More Information
This important dialog has several improvements designed to make it easier and more efficient to choose the proper catalogs when assigning them to BOMs. A Link to open the Catalog and the number of items in the Catalog.
Edit Reference Property Dialog
Another user experience improvement. OpenBOM provides an additional context when editing Reference property. It will help you to make edits faster. The dialog now contains the part number and property name. This is a small but important improvement.
Custom Property Tooltip
OpenBOM data model gives you an easy way to modify the data model, and add your own properties to store and manage data. What we found in the customer behavior is that users are trying to apply the long meaning of the property in the name and it makes property names long and not very useful. So, we added a way to add a tooltip. Now you add a tooltip which will help everyone understand better what the property is.
It is an optional behavior, but you can add your own custom tooltip to any property definition.
And this is what it gives you in the BOM, catalog, or any other table. Keep in mind that the tooltip are custom per any BOM or catalog.
Delete an item from the Dashboard
To make fewer clicks was the goal of this improvement. Although, you can open the catalog and delete any item, doing it from the Items dashboard will make things easier for you to operate OpenBOM faster.
So, this is one of my favorites! You may now delete an item from the Dashboard.
Watch the video on how it works.
OpenBOM CAD Integrations Improvements
We keep laser-focused on improvements of CAD integrations by adding new features, making additions, and streamlining the way data can be captured from the engineering environment.
In this release, we made improvements in Autodesk Fusion 360, PTC Creo, and other integrations. Some of them are small but help users to operate OpenBOM
Autodesk Fusion 360
In this release, we made two significant changes in Autodesk Fusion360 that will make the life of users much easier. They are related to the “keep login-in” behavior and the way OpenBOM retrieves thumbnails from Fusion 360.
NOTE: Watch the Fusion 360 OpenBOM toolbar for the Update icon and get the new release!
Much faster thumbnails!
Fusion uses the new Autodesk Platform Service (fka Forge) APIs to fetch thumbnail images from your Fusion 360 Cloud storage instead of generating them locally. This means that the annoying process of generating thumbnails is no longer needed when building a BOM, we just get the images from Autodesk cloud!
There is a new option in the Settings dialog that controls this behavior. Set it to Autodesk to start getting your thumbnails from the Cloud rather than creating them locally.
Here is a quick video on the new thumbnail behavior.
Keep Sign-in in Fusion 360
We improved the login experience. Now OpenBOM for Fusion 360 will keep you signed into OpenBOM when you leave and return to Fusion 360. We understand that signing in each time to OpenBOM was annoying, so we fixed it.
OpenBOM Integrations for all desktop CADs Add-ins: File Options
All OpenBOM desktop integrations are capable to attach files to items when creating items and BOMs. Although multiple cloud options are available, only OpenBOM Storage allows you to manage file revisions when files are attached to Items.
We improved user explanations of the feature, The Desktop CAD settings dialog has an updated File settings (formerly Cloud settings) menu. The behavior hasn’t changed, but now you will see a message indicating whether the selected derivative file storage method supports automatic revision or not.
NOTE: OpenBOM Storage is the only method that provides automatic revisioning of linked files when you create a Revision in OpenBOM of a BOM or item.
There are multiple improvements of OpenBOM for PTC Creo, which is the newest integration in the family of OpenBOM CAD Add-ins. We released it with the basic feature set and now getting many requirements for new feature additions.
Here are the last set of features we added:
- Support for the Part_Number Parameter. If your Creo file has a PArt_Number parameter that contains a value, this value will be used as the Part Number in OpenBOM. A very nice feature.
- Property Filter – see the Setting Dialog to create a property list of parameters you wish to send to OpenBOM. This is how you dictate which parameters/properties will come to OpenBOM and which will not.
- Support for Sheet Metal – The OpenBOM menu is available in Creo Sheet Metal file types
- Support for Creo Installations in non-standard drive locations. The installer now lets you select where you have Creo installed.
NOTE: We will keep working on new features. Coming soon is OpenBOM’s integration for PTC Creo.
OpenBOM Public REST API – New functions added
OpenBOM is built using REST API, which is part of OpenBOM modern web architecture. However, we put a focus on helping customers to use REST API for different OpenBOM customizations. We are continuously following the requests of the customers and exposing new APIs. In this release, we added several new API functions.
- Create OpenBOM Catalog
- Add a new Item to OpenBOM Catalog
- Remove Item from BOM
- Remove Item from Catalog
You can always check an updated OpenBOM API documentation online.
Do you like a new OpenBOM spinner?
Small things matter. We changed OpenBOM spinner, which makes things more visually appealing when OpenBOM is retrieving data. We hope you will like it.
New OpenBOM Demo Video Series
We like videos and we think they can help you to understand OpenBOM better. We are bringing a new video series about OpenBOM – 10 videos to help you to get up to speed with OpenBOM and understand it better. We started to publish them and five videos are already out. Stay tuned for more…
- Video 1: Introduction
- Video 2: Data Model, Catalogs, and BOMs
- Video 3: Item Management
- Video 4: CAD integrations
- Video 5: Importing your data
- Video 6: Formulas and calculations
- Video 7: Types of BOMs
- Video 8: Change Management
- Video 9: Purchasing and Planning
- Video 10: Enterprise Integrations
Another exciting OpenBOM release is out and we’d love to hear about it from you. Our commitment at OpenBOM is to deliver continuous improvement and new features to OpenBOM, to follow your requirements and our strategy to turn OpenBOM into the most widely used platform for product development, and replace Excel (and other spreadsheets) that are widely ‘
Industrial companies are looking for digital transformation and we can see OpenBOM is playing a key role in turning companies into digital to build better products faster.
Let me know what you think about the latest OpenBOM developments and what can be done to improve them more.
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