So you attended a “What’s New?” event and have been waiting patiently for the new release to be available so you can try the new tools. In hopes of being the first one to download it, you watched the SolidWorks website like a hawk. As soon as it was available, you installed it and started working with it. And now, everything is great, the software is faster, more stable, and the new features are making your job so easy you can go to half days. Life is good…
Oh wait, there might be one little problem. Remember the little message that popped up when you hit save and said something like “Saving will convert the following files to the current version…”? You most likely hit the “Yes” button and just moved on. Well guess what? No one else in your company has the new release yet, so now you are the only one that can work on the files you have saved. So much for those half days, because now you are going to be making up for it, being the only one in the office that can access the files…
Okay, hopefully this is not what happened. Hopefully, you decided to wait until everyone was ready. So when is it safe to move to 2010? Here is a list of items you should consider before you upgrade to the new release:
- Test, test, test! If you took part in the Beta program you are well on your way to having this step done. If you did not participate in the Beta program, you will need to install 2010 as a second installation so you can test it on some of your parts. Make sure 2010 does everything that you need it to do. Also make sure you are testing on a copy of your files, and not the production files that the rest of the company is accessing.
- Is everyone in your company ready to move to 2010? Don’t forget other people that may access your SolidWorks files. Like internal departments (Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, Purchasing) and external resources, including vendors and customers. Let them know that after a certain date you will be sending 2010 files.
- Is your hardware up to date? Take a look at the system requirements on the SolidWorks website, as well as the Hardware Corner of our blog for recommendations.
- Is your data backed up? Make sure you back up all of your 2009 SolidWorks files before you convert them to 2010. This will be your safety net if something unforeseen happens with the 2010 install and you have to move back to 2009. Think of the back-up as a second parachute. You don’t plan on using it, but you still want it before you jump out of the plane.
- Is Service Pack 1.0 out yet? I hear this one all the time. In some cases, users do not want to move to the next release until there are one or two service packs out. The idea is that if you wait for the first service pack to come out, you will not have to find the bugs yourself, someone else will have already done that. There are a couple of flaws in this train of thought. First, SolidWorks releases a service pack as soon as they fix x number of bugs. If no one upgrades until the first service pack, then the bugs will not be found. If no one installs the software, then no bugs will be found and we are in a catch-22. Second, the bugs that are found and fixed may not even effect what you do, or there may be a bug that is still in the software that will affect you because you never installed and reported the bug. My recommendation is to install 2010 SP0 to test and see for yourself if there are any problems with the software the way you use it. Everyone uses SolidWorks differently, and what you do may not work the way it is supposed to.
Well, those are the top five things to consider when planning on moving to SW 2010. The main idea here is to plan the move, instead of just jumping into it.
Next week, Dave will be talking about the installation manager, including a few things to watch out for.