First of all it is worth mentioning that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has 100s of applications (apps) that run in either a full web based
(cloud) environment, or a hybrid mode that will add a local installation. A
subset of these apps are available to SOLIDWORKS customers.
The packaging of these apps comes together in what are
referred to as “Roles” which is equivalent to an end user license. In an
attempt to draw comparison with the SOLIDWORKS product matrix, you can think of
the Role as being akin to SOLIDWORKS Premium, and the apps equivalent to the
SOLIDWORKS Add-ins (i.e. Motion, Routing and Simulation).
The entry-level role is known as “Business Innovation” and
is the foundation of the entire platform. In fact, no other role can function
without Business Innovation. You may hear mention of Social Collaboration Services in marketing emails and videos- this
can be used interchangeably with Business Innovation as they are identical.
Within the Business Innovation role, the following are the
main apps that are available- subsequent blog posts will look deeper at each of
– post ideas, comments, surveys and how to articles to progress projects
– store files (CAD or otherwise) in the cloud, with a replicated local
- 3DPlay - view a range of 3D files in an online viewer which allows annotation and review.
– create a customised web page with embedded applications
– find what you need first time based upon tags and other specific properties
Connector – connect SOLIDWORKS desktop to 3DDrive to ensure your working
files are up to date.
There are some additional apps you will find which are quite
self explanatory such as Web Notes (a web based jotter tool) and a Web Page
Reader (to allow you to embed external websites onto the platform).
Whilst these applications on their own are similar to others
you may already be using, the beauty of the platform is the connectivity
between apps, all the while being CAD intelligent. 3DSWYM for example is not
too dissimilar to social media groups where information can be shared and
commented on. 3DDrive is very similar to DropBox and Google Drive. 3DPlay is
equivalent to eDrawings you may have on your desktop. In isolation these other
solutions do as good a job as what the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can offer, but
none of them can step up to the interconnectivity to allow design project
collaboration. The latest CAD models from 3DDrive can be attached to 3DSWYM
posts, all the while this intelligent attachment is linked to the most up to
date version of the file in 3DDrive. The same goes for 3DPlay where the preview will always reflect the current version. SOLIDWORKS Desktop uses a task
pane addin to open, sync and upload CAD data again to ensure all are working on
the current versions.
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- North – Social and Collaborative (sharing)
- East – Information Intelligence (metrics and data)
- South – Simulation (analysis)
- West – 3D Modelling (CAD)
Put simply, the compass is just a means of launching apps. Each compass direction will give access to a subset of apps categorised according to their function.The compass features in the upper left corner of the platform as a shortcut to quickly access applications. You can also create “favourites” for even quicker access to the apps you use most frequently.
Platform User Interface
Like many other
platforms (Amazon, Netflix, Google), 3DEXPERIENCE has a common task bar to
make its usage as seamless as possible.
- The door to all 3DEXPERIENCE platform apps and experiences.
- can swap to different communities, which may correspond to different
projects. These are available by invite, or if created by the individual
- webpages showing specific data and embedded apps
- Search - searches for
- Tags - captures the semantics on any
content (either automatically extracted, or created by users) to help with more
effective search results.
- Me - accesses user-related information
- Notifications - accesses the
notifications control centre
- Add - creates and adds content
- Share - shares and collaborates
- Content - integrates files from
- Communities - accesses the power of
- Help - accesses a getting started and
the support community
This task bar
remains in place at all times so it is easy to switch back to the most common
elements of the platform.
The login/registration is created via a 3DPassport (aka 3DEXPERIENCE ID). You can also use the same login information that is currently in use for the SOLIDWORKS websites (i.e. Customer Portal or MySOLIDWORKS). Login is required to access public dashboards, private dashboards you have been invited to and private dashboards you host and have created yourself.
Public dashboards include the
DraftSight User Community which you can find using a simple web search. As this
is a public dashboard you can gain access purely by creating a login account.
For private dashboards you need to be invited and therefore may come up against
the following error:
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is
cloud based and so to allow you to create private dashboards and control user
invites, the licensing also generates a “tenant” specific to the end customer. Put simply, a tenant is a reserved portion of space dedicated to an end customer.
A user is linked to the tenant and it is this person that becomes the
administrator for the platform and consumes a license. If more licenses are
available, colleagues can be invited into the platform with their permissions
set by the Admin (further admins can be assigned too). The tenant comes
equipped with 5GB of storage space per user (but can be redistributed) and more
storage capacity can be purchased.
When first accessed the default Welcome
dashboard is presented for you to get started. As mentioned above, creating a
3DEXPERIENCE ID/Passport is not enough to begin creating your own customised
dashboards. You need to work with your commercial account manager for them to
order your Business Innovation licenses and start the process off for tenant
Platform and Member
To get started on the
platform it is likely you will want to invite in colleagues and begin sharing
ideas and content. The admin user will have access to Members and Platform
Management from the Dashboard pull down menu:
From here you can get some
basic information about your platform and under the “Members” tab can begin
inviting users. Only an email address is required with that end user then
having to sign in, or create a 3DEXPERIENCE ID. New members can be set up as an
Administrator, Members or Contractor (external member).
A newly invited user then
receives an email (example below) and can then join the platform and begin
working with you.
This new user will see a similar
default Welcome Dashboard for them to begin customising their view. As you will
see in the blog post “Creating
3DDashboards” it is far more likely an administrator would create a
template dashboard and share this with their colleagues so they see the same.
Check out the video at the beginning of this blog for a demonstration of how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can be administrated and follow this blog series to find out more about the individual applications available to you. Also there is a wealth of "How To" training videos on the MySOLIDWORKS Platform. The specific series for 3DExperience Business Innovation can be found here.
By Adam Hartles
Customer Support Manager