Written by: Bryce Hooper, Application Engineer
The SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 interface has come a long way from its early days. This year is no exception when it comes to updates. In 2019 we are given a whole new redesign to make the interface more accessible to all browsers and devices.
Log In Screen
The log in screen will now resize to fit the device, or when we you resize the browser window. Previous versions left the user struggling to log in if the page were to load as the full version while on a mobile device or on any device with a small resolution. This is remedied by a more dynamic design.
Previous versions would give a list of a set number of files to display at any time. In a large folder, this meant clicking through page after page of file names to find what you wanted. In 2019 we are now given a more dynamic file list to show us all files as a scrollable list. As with the log in screen, this will also adjust to fit your device and resolution.
The navigation bar on the top of the screen is now more visible and more interactive than before. Previously, this information was tucked into the display and could be more difficult to see than intended. This information is now moved to the top of the page and supports various notifications to give feedback on actions that are being taken in the interface.
Speaking of actions, the buttons for our actions are also moved to the top-right side of the page to line up with the adapting interface and navigation bar changes. The buttons are more interactive now, only showing the actions that are available with our current selection.
Prior versions of the interface gave us a series of columns of information, but no ability to hide any of this information. 2019 has now granted the ability to hide specific columns at the user’s discretion.
In addition to giving the user options on information that is seen, more options for resizing are available. Previous versions allowed this in the general file list but not in the Contains or Where Used tabs on files. This is now available on all column views.
Upload and Check In
Great improvements have been made to how files can be added to the vault through the Web2 interface. Previous versions limited this to a single Upload and Check In button. Now available are two new methods to achieve these means.
Files can be added via the standard drag and drop methodology that a user would use inside of a normal vault view. This initiates a check-in process through the Web2 interface. Dragging multiple files will attempt to check in all files, with the option to add more files to the list before the check in is committed.
If the aim is to add a series of files that result in a full tree structure, we can check in a folder of files as a Check In File Structure. This allows us to check in an entire assembly from a folder containing its parts. Previous versions of the software required that each file be checked in separately or multi-selected in the window. The new methodology will allow us to add series of documents in their existing structure without additional interface interaction.
Searching the entire vault is not always ideal. 2019’s improvements to Web2 help us with that issue by providing us the option to search in the Current Folder, Current and Subfolders, or all folders.
Following the continued trend of supporting more devices by supporting more resolutions, the preview for files will now resize better to fit the device being used.
Download with References
In the past, working directly with the Web2 could quickly become a task if the need was to fetch an assembly and its components from Web2. Each file would have needed to be downloaded separately, and knowledge of what needed to be downloaded was on the user. Relief is here in the form of Download with References. This option will package the files that we are requesting and download all necessary files for the single file selected. Further options during this process allow us to preserve paths (to help us upload this back to the vault later) or to include subfolders, drawings and simulations. This option works on all files and even folders.
Great improvements are coming with PDM 2019 and Web2. In addition to the points covered here, expect better responsiveness across devices and browsers with better scaling and support for touch-enabled devices.