Working from home with SOLIDWORKS Electrical or PCB

Friday April 24, 2020 at 9:57am

If you are a SOLIDWORKS Electrical or PCB user planning to take your PC or laptop home to work remotely, there are a few things you will want to consider. Please refer to the relevant section below.

Working from home with SOLIDWORKS Electrical or PC

SOLIDWORKS Electrical – Local or Client/Server Setup?

Firstly, you need to understand if you are currently working locally (SQL on your machine) or on a client/server basis (SQL on a server). To realise this, check on a client machine, within SOLIDWORKS Electrical > Tools > Application Settings…

If both the 'collaborative server' and 'databases' tabs are reading 'localhost' throughout (or your machine name) then this indicates that everything is already local on your machine. Everything will continue to work at home if you are able to take your machine with you. If you need to move your license of SOLIDWORKS Electrical to another machine, then please refer to the below page on our website:

www.solidsolutions.co.uk/Blog/2020/03/Working-from-home-with-your-SOLIDWORKS-Licences

If you need to pass projects to colleagues, you can simply 'archive' projects and send them across. This is actioned from the projects manager in SOLIDWORKS Electrical. You can then 'unarchive' to bring in these projects.

**THIS IS THE RECOMMENDED SETUP TO WORK LOCALLY ON A SINGLE PC WHEN WORKING FROM HOME**

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Users – SQL on Company Server:

The SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server can be connected to through your 'Work Network' just as if you were on site, however, this is not a supported setup and we do not recommend this approach. This is mainly due to known issues with VPN connections potentially causing port forwarding protocols to incorrectly associate connectivity between the users and the collaborative server. We are aware of connection time out issues, as well as the locking of schematic sheets. We recommend moving to a local setup for the SOLIDWORKS Electrical software to stop this occurring. This can be achieved through following these steps…

  1. Take an environment archive from the company server (File > Archive Environment > All objects) and save locally. For a smaller backup, you could opt to backup individual projects that you require.
  2. If you have installed the software as a standalone install (not through an admin image) then access SOLIDWORKS Electrical in the control panel (Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features and find 'SOLIDWORKS 20XX' in the list). Right mouse click this and choose 'change'. If you have installed the software through an admin image then please contact our support desk who will be able to supply the install media required.
  3. The install manager should open, choose the 'install server components' or 'server products' option and then click to install 'SOLIDWORKS Electrical'.
  4. Follow the prompts in the installer to install the SQL database and collaborative server. If you accept the default options then the program data and databases will likely be installed to 'C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS Electrical'. This can however be altered to another drive/folder if you prefer. The SQL instance will be called 'localhost\TEW_SQLEXPRESS' as default.
  5. Once the installer has finished repoint the SOLIDWORKS Electrical software to the local SQL database (Tools > Application Settings). Change all instances of the company server to read 'localhost' instead. Also check the 'application data folder' to ensure that this is now pointed at the local folder specified in the install (likely 'C:\ProgramData\SOLIDWORKS Electrical').
  6. Restart SOLIDWORKS Electrical to read in the new settings.
  7. Unarchive the environment archive taken in step 1. Your machine is now working locally away from the server.
  8. Any projects that you change whilst working from home can be individually backed up within the project manager. Once the application settings are repointed back to the server (same as in step 5 but in reverse), these projects can then be read in to override the older copies).

SOLIDWORKS PCB– Local or Client/Server Setup?

Firstly, you need to understand if you are currently working locally or on a client/server basis (Firebird instance on a server). To realise this, check on a client machine, within SOLIDWORKS PCB > System Preferences > Data Management > Design Repositories…

If the repository is reading 'localhost' (or your machine name) then this indicates that the Firebird database instance is already local on your machine. Everything will continue to work at home if you are able to take your machine with you. If you need to move your license of SOLIDWORKS PCB to another machine, then please refer to the below page on our website:

www.solidsolutions.co.uk/Blog/2020/03/Working-from-home-with-your-SOLIDWORKS-Licences

If you need to pass projects to colleagues, you can simply use the 'export design' option on the project ribbon and send them across. You can then 'import design' to bring in these projects.

SOLIDWORKS PCB Users – Firebird Instance on Company Server:

In network environments, SOLIDWORKS PCB Services is typically installed on a shared server that is not running the SOLIDWORKS software. SOLIDWORKS PCB Services must be running at all times, and have uninterrupted, bidirectional communication through firewalls and virus scanners with clients running SOLIDWORKS PCB and the SOLIDWORKS software, and with any clients running Altium Designer (if using SWPCB Connector) that are going to be integrated with the SOLIDWORKS software.

The SOLIDWORKS PCB Services can be connected to through your 'Work Network' just as if you were on site. This typically means using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), of which there are many possible solutions, both Hardware and Software based. The key factor to make sure everything works as expected, is to guarantee the Firewall on the VPN (both ends) is correctly configured to allow communications with the 'License Manager', and the 'SOLIDWORKS PCB Services'.

Please talk to your IT provider to make sure the following 'Ports' are 'open' by configuring Firewall Rules within the VPN:

If you have any questions relating to the points above or would like further advice and information on remote access for SOLIDWORKS Electrical/ PCB, please get in touch with our Technical Support team or call us on 01926 333 777.

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