I was talking recently with @Johnson_BigMatt about the Apps developer area for Solid Edge.
For those who have more experience, what do you think of this area? Do you believe that there are many opportunities and possibilities to become an independent developer to offer process automation and designs for companies?
I was thinking of creating a website to offer some free and other paid macros, as well as offering customized services. But I am in doubt about the receptivity of users and companies.
I know the task automation branch is virtually infinite. Everything, or almost everything, can be automated. In the old company I worked for, I even reduced drawing time to 10% of what it was previously. But as an employee. Now I am trying to move forward in this new area. What do you think about it?
I don't know if I can directly answer your question, but let me toss out some thoughts.
The SE API community is an interesting one. I think herein we find 2 types of ppl. 1.) An experienced Solid Edge user who chooses to learn Programming and the API but in themselves is noy a programmer. 2.) Programmers who truly know programming but only dabble in the SE API.
When it comes to sharing code it has always been hard to get users engaged here... I think for 1 of 2 reasons: 1.) Code written by an amateur who knows the code is quick and dirty or may not be "the right way" to do something, so it's not shared out of embarrassment or 2.) the Code is either proprietary and/or super specific to a customer's install and thus not shared for business reasons.
You mention "But I am in doubt about the receptivity of users and companies" this is valid. I think the only way past this is offering free tools and lots of demo videos. Most SE Users simply do not understand the possibilities exposed in the API. And even those that do, do not know how to, or from who to approach for such services. If you get your works out there with smaller free samples and videos then you can become a known industry resource.
I am specifically tagging @jnewell because I esteem him to be the single biggest advocate the SE API community has had historically. Jason has also tried to provide platforms through which folks could share code with one another. Even if not for sale or for use even, but just for communal knowledge sharing. But for the aforementioned reasons, no one ever shares code, guilty myself.
Also Tagging @Tushar. Tushar Stepped in and has picked up and Carried Jason's torch in many ways! Tushar is doing for himself just as you ask. Creating code which he offers for tutorial purposes, free in some cases, and to be sold in some cases. Each a very valid offering.
There are others here in the community who like myself are not programmers, but simply fight to make code work... and knowledge as deep as Solid Edge Addin Developers... I really hope many in the community will chime in on this post as it is a recurring and very valid question for all who dabble or make a living in this space. Even if not for commercial purposes, how do we as a community support one another and share code, if at minimum Subs.
Hello @Johnson_BigMatt, thank you very much for the answer
My case is that I am a user of Solid Edge and I discovered, through the API, tools that allow you to automate and gain a lot of work time. Macros can make the user gain a huge time.
I want to continue promoting macros created in the community to demonstrate the effectiveness of using them. In this way more possibilities to increase the knowledge, and, perhaps, to be able to carry out paid work with companies in the proposal to offer solutions and optimizations.
Once again thank you very much for sharing your vision.
Can't agree more with @Johnson_BigMatt
My experience has not been quite good, perhaps because I never made enough publicity or marketing for my work.
The market for Solid Edge macros is not big and I have noted that users generally do not venture beyond the limits of their work and explore the internet for productivity tools like macros.
Most end-users typically reach out to their resellers for every small and big need, so this becomes a bottleneck for expanding small enterprises that offer SE apps.
I have observed that globally, resellers who have also ventured into software development services beginning with macros are successful, meaning creating macros and putting them out on a website is not enough, one has to go out and find customers as well.
The problem with such macro sites is that people use the free stuff but don't buy the paid ones - just like the Google Playstore. Though in my case I have never pursued this full-time. My day job rarely required me to use Solid Edge in the past 22 yrs so it was more of a passion, partly some learning opportunity and the great community that kept me hooked in.
As a result, Jason's magnificent work, Hawcad, Dahlenburg, Barham software, my website CADVertex - all are virtually free macros sites.
The Solid Edge Apps Marketplace is literally unknown, even to most long-time SE users, although if you want to sign up, the Siemens marketing support is great.
I have long been asking for putting the MarketPlace right into the UI. If we can have Facebook, YouTube, and the community site, why not an Apps Marketplace panel in the Edgebar?
Comparatively, the SolidWorks and Autodesk apps stores are very busy places with hundreds of apps being traded all the time and those stores are accessible from within the UI of those CAD programs.
I am not discouraging you but if you are looking to pursue a macro site as a full-time activity, better pool your resources into the aforesaid softwares, given the API calls are 95% similar. There has not been a week in the past 2 decades when I didn't get a phone call with people looking to port their successful apps from SW or Inventor to SE and complaining how 'pathetic' the API help is or how frustrating it is to figure out the arguments to a function, and the lack of API samples.
Best wishes for your new venture!
Very elucidative explanation @Tushar.
So I think the safest way is to create macros or automations that work for more than one software. Offer solutions.
It would really be very interesting to have an EdgeBar with the App Marketplace. I think it could be an area that could be more advertised to the general public.
I sadly fully agree with Tushar. Doing Solid Edge development as a full time job as I also do since 18 years now is a hard business to get your money earned. Most users worldwide are just searching for free software, and providing free code snippets which may have taken hours or even days of exploration and development doesn't ensure any valuable user contacts in terms of some possible earnings. If you're in the lucky situation to be employed with steady earnings and granted to publish parts of your work to the community, you're in a different position.