#SW17 Product Definition and User Influence: Jeff Niederman

SW17 Innovate

Who decides What’s New in SOLIDWORKS? Product Definition team members are a major component in determining and defining enhancements and new functionality included within the SOLIDWORKS products each year. They meet face-to-face with SOLIDWORKS customers to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and what they would like to see in the future. These customer visits are fantastic opportunities for you to connect with SOLIDWORKS directly, and let us know what we can do to help make your jobs easier. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be talking with members of the Product Definition team for an inside look at some of the ways SOLIDWORKS 2017 was directly defined by user influence like yours!

#SW17 Jeff Niederman

For SOLIDWORKS 2017, Jeff worked on a long time request of allowing a CAD Administration to lock options. “Our larger customers need this to standardize modelling practices.” When he was working on this, Jeff considered feedback from a few different sources:

  1. Customer Visits
  2. Reading the Forums
  3. Watching a user presentation at SW World on creative solutions to fill in our gaps.
  4. Alpha testing
  5. SPRs
  6. Eavesdropping at the SW World CAD Admin Bootcamp

He learned a few things while “eavesdropping”, one being that users don’t want to automatically deploy all options, they generally just want a select few. “Usually, it’s just file locations that are important, but we were pushing every SOLIDWORKS system option with our previous method.“ Jeff also noticed that users wanted a way to push these changes to the options without having to call IT. Also, in the previous versions, the changes applied only to the installer and not the user; many times the installer and user were two separate people.

“To address these needs, we introduced a new CAD Administrator’s tool we call SOLIDWORKS Settings Administrator. The tool allows an administrator to lock or set the SOLIDWORKS options of all the installations they deploy.” With the SOLIDWORKS Settings Administrator, admins can be as lax, or as restrictive, as needed. With the tool, admins have the ability to specify which options apply to their users. In addition to that, they can also support different options for different users. The Settings Administrator tool in SOLIDWORKS 2017 gives admins the freedom to lock, unlock, and change the options at any time.

“In general, most CAD Admins are simply trying to help their designers avoid making unintentional mistakes. What I hear is that SOLIDWORKS users will assume what they are doing is okay if SOLIDWORKS allows the task. By controlling the options, the admin has more control over what SOLIDWORKS will let the users do. CAD Administration is not glamorous, but I have worked with many CAD Admins over my 16 years here. To these unsung heroes, I hope this tool will make their jobs a little easier.”

To read more about Jeff and his role in Product Definition, check out this previous post. As always, thanks for reading! Let us know what you think about the SOLIDWORKS Settings Administrator in SOLIDWORKS 2017 in the comments below!

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.