Let me be upfront about it, I think the ‘cloud’ is great. I use it in my personal and professional life all the time, and it’s not a stretch to say I could not live the way I do without it. But it’s not without its challenges. Working on the cloud or with cloud applications that require you to be continually connected to the internet can limit where and when you work. That shouldn’t be the case — I want my tools to work where I want, when I want; connected at home or disconnected as I sit in my lead lined bunker at the bottom of the sea. My tools should just work.
In a very simplistic view, essentially there are two types of ‘cloud’ application; web based and client based. In a web based application you can logon to a completely ‘clean’ computer and interact with your application through a web browser. A client based application requires each user to install software on their computer in order to use the application. Both applications store their data on the cloud but the client version requires a software installation to create the data.
The client based cloud applications are often called hybrid-cloud apps. They have their disadvantages, the need for software installation and a requirement for computing power, but they have one overwhelming advantage. It will allow me to work offline in my secret lead lined bunker at the bottom of the sea.
SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE design tools have what is called an “off-line mode”, which is ideal for those of us who have to work while we travel. Hours that would have been wasted sitting on trains, planes or automobiles can now be productive. You start work connected in your office, home or airport lounge and then to ensure you can continue to work even though you will lose your internet connection, you switch to the “off-line mode”. With “off-line mode” you are DISCONNECTED, but you are able to continue working on your designs as if you were connected to the cloud. The big difference with this mode is that your designs are saved on your computers’ hard drive. So what happens when you are ‘back online’? The design data that you saved to your hard drive is automatically uploaded to the cloud and the designs are synchronized – it’s really simple…
There is no reduction in functionality while working in “off-line mode”. The designs that you were working on before going offline are available to work on. The full design functionality is available in off-line mode: edit assemblies, add/remove parts or add/remove features of a model, change your design, turn your computer off and then back on to keep working… Create new parts or work on the existing one…
It is really not a big deal – working disconnected with SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Products is similar to the online version; it really makes no difference. When we say ANYTIME ANYWHERE we mean it… yes even if you do not have an Internet connection.
To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Designer, download the white paper, “Connecting Conceptual Design.”