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Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom

Warning in advance - Long post!

 

Does anyone have experience working with Solid Edge BiDM using data stored on the Cloud in DropBox or similar cloud service?

 

I have a large project coming up that is going to be handled by multiple users working remotely without a central office and server. In the past we always worked from a central office and had our data stored on a local server with shared folders (no PDM system).

 

I have experimented with BiDM on my laptop using ST9 and it looks like a decent improvement over working with shared folders on a server with no PDM. The indexing seems to be a big help from a speed standpoint in searching. Locating draft files when performing revisions to models also seems to work well. Except for Windows 10 randomly unregistering my SEPropertyHandler.dll file it all works pretty well.

 

My testing has been purely with local data stored on my laptop and I have limited experience with DropBox. At present I only have a personal DropBox and it appears on my Windows 10 laptop as a folder location where files are synched to the cloud.

 

So essentially it looks to me like all of the information stored in my DropBox is also stored on my local harddrive. If I drag files to my local DropBox folder, it synchs to the cloud and if someone places files in a shared folder it downloads them to my laptop when it synchs up.

 

With that understanding, it looks like everyone on the project will need a computer with harddrive space sufficient to contain the entire DropBox Solid Edge database we are working with. Is that correct, or am I missing something basic here? It looks to me like the Windows indexing that makes the BiDM work is just indexing the DropBox contents stored on my harddrive rather than the actual data in the cloud. Is that accurate or is there indexing occurring on the cloud as well?

 

Also, it appears to me that with this arrangement and all files stored on my local drive, that speed should be very good since everything is essentially being done locally. The only contact with the cloud will be for the synching operations. Is that accurate? It seems like this is essentially a PDM cache like you would have with higher end PDM systems except that it always there and does not need to be updated beyond the normal DropBox synch operations.

 

I am aware that I need to click the box in SE so that others using the DropBox data are warned if I have a file open making changes to it. To make this work is it necessary to use the check out/in functions in SE on the data management tab? Or is simply having a file open sufficient to flag others that the file is in use?

 

Am I looking at all of this correctly? Does anyone have any major warnings or are there issues that I am missing or need to pay attention to so we can make this arrangement work?

 

I watched a video on the Ally PLM website about setting up BiDM and it was very helpful. I feel like I know what I am doing generally, but I have no PDM experience and have never worked with checking documents in and out of a PDM system or working from the cloud. Are there any other training videos or documents I should check out to learn more about how all this works?

 

With the way this project is being handled, we don’t really have many options. It looks like this is the only way we can make it work.

 

TIA,

Bob Henry
REH Technical Consulting
Canonsburg, PA 15317
10 REPLIES

Betreff: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

Hi @rehenryjr

 

 

 

You have ask several questions and I would like to start answering the issue with "Drop Box" or neutral said Cloud Storage

 

You will find a small option within Solid Edge Options under Manage

 

Set this option to ON.

Now every time You get access to any Solid Edge document an additional log file will be created showing the user, computer and time of when this file is used.

This new file immedeately will be synchronized via Drop Box so that after a couple of seconds the cloud is informed that this file is locked.

 

There is no additional checkin/checkout mechanism necessary for that.

 

Indexing IMHO is an different issue, it speeds up the use of Your local (and therefore Your synchronized) data

 

Both is very powerful and strong, but take care when searching for numbers.

Windows searching machine seems to be very bad in that area.

Or we - as users - must be trained better to use it!

 

regards
Wolfgang

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor

rehenryjr wrote: 

My testing has been purely with local data stored on my laptop and I have limited experience with DropBox. At present I only have a personal DropBox and it appears on my Windows 10 laptop as a folder location where files are synched to the cloud.

 

So essentially it looks to me like all of the information stored in my DropBox is also stored on my local harddrive. If I drag files to my local DropBox folder, it synchs to the cloud and if someone places files in a shared folder it downloads them to my laptop when it synchs up.

 

With that understanding, it looks like everyone on the project will need a computer with harddrive space sufficient to contain the entire DropBox Solid Edge database we are working with. Is that correct, or am I missing something basic here? It looks to me like the Windows indexing that makes the BiDM work is just indexing the DropBox contents stored on my harddrive rather than the actual data in the cloud. Is that accurate or is there indexing occurring on the cloud as well? 

 


 

I have this same experience & understanding, which upon discovery, was the single driving force, for me to upgrade our previous NAS to a NAS server, and our remote team members [myself included] can log on to our data [615GB] via VPN.....so far that has worked pretty seamlessly, and that was on a fairly light budget.

 

I look forward to any user experience [& any developement] input to this topic, in interest of maybe leveraging this in the future.

Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Ltd
Solid Edge 2019 [MP3] Classic [x3 Seats - Cloud Enabled]
Windows 10 - Quadro P2000

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom

Thanks for the input Sean.

I hadn't considered a NAS server as a possibility. What kind of internet speeds are you using with this arrangement? Can you share the brand and model of NAS server you are using?

From what I have read, you can't take advantage of the Windows indexing with a NAS, is that correct in your experience? That is not a deal breaker for me, but the indexing and BiDM are definitely big improvements.

How do you handle backups with this arrangement?

Thanks,

Bob

Bob Henry
REH Technical Consulting
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Genius
Genius

@rehenryjr wrote:

Warning in advance - Long post!

 

...

 

With that understanding, it looks like everyone on the project will need a computer with harddrive space sufficient to contain the entire DropBox Solid Edge database we are working with. Is that correct, or am I missing something basic here?



It would probably be easiest to set up if everybody had a large enough hard drive to store the entire SE database*, but you could use selective sync if necessary.

https://www.dropbox.com/help/syncing-uploads/selective-sync-overview

 

Version history is also a very useful feature when working with a team.

https://www.dropbox.com/help/security/version-history-overview

 

* I'm assuming you're referring to Solid Edge parts and assembly files here, my knowledge of actual databases is zero.

Solid Edge 2019 MP2 - Windows 10 - K2000

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Gears Esteemed Contributor Gears Esteemed Contributor
Gears Esteemed Contributor


Hi Bob,

 

Our NAS is a Synology DS916+, running 4x 4TB drives in RAID-10.....yes, being a non Windows OS, the NAS server will not let indexing happen, which is a real shame for us, to use BiDM.

Users that operate remotely, only have to log in via the "OpenVPN" app, and they're working as though connected locally....although, some of the larger files take a touch longer to open/save.

 

Backups are via a remote NAS [our old unit - situated at my home] over the internet, after hours. All connections are via high speed Fibre, apart from the internal spaghetti of CAT5.

Sean Cresswell
Design Manager Streetscape Ltd
Solid Edge 2019 [MP3] Classic [x3 Seats - Cloud Enabled]
Windows 10 - Quadro P2000

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom
Thanks @DaveG.

Selective Sync & Smart Sync might make DropBox a real possibility for us.

I have only used the free personal DropBox and I have not yet had time to read up on all of the DropBox Business features.
Bob Henry
REH Technical Consulting
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom

Your understanding of SE,BiDM & Dropbox is all correct. 

   I've been using Dropbox (Personal with 1TB storage) solely as my data source for about 8-9 months or so. I use the BiDM but I'm not using the auto document # or Rev control.  I'm the sole user of all this data so I can't comment on any multiple user info, but I do use 3 seperate devices.  Main use is my office PC with 80% of all my data synced. I have a lot of other non-work related stuff (pics mostly) that I don't sync. 2nd device-My work laptop has only certain files synced to not bog it down, or I'll sync folders needed at the time for certain projects, typically when I'm headed to a customer to laser scan some parts. 3rd is my personal Surface pro-3, mostly just personal stuff synced but I do occasionally sync SE files and goof around drawing on it.

 

My entire Dropbox data is 411GB, 300k files in5,500 folders. Of that, my CAD data accounts for 315 GB, 256k files in 4,500 folders. I've been VERY happy with how everything has worked thus far, zero complaints.

-Craig

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom

Let me also add the HUGE benefit of the Dropbox phone app..I do mostly design work only and have many customers that often need their data resent,  I share a lot directly from my phone.  Many times it's a simple PDF but having the ability to send customers their laser .DXF files or .xt files (previously saved) is awesome. I copy the original file and place it in a "Temp for sharing" folder that I delete every week or so. This helps to eliminate the file link from being accessed by others that were possibly sent the link without my knowledge.

-Craig

Re: Solid Edge BiDM and the Cloud via DropBox

Phenom
Phenom

@Craig_H

 

Thank you for confirming that the DropBox and BiDM functionality operates as I thought it did.

 

It looks like the Selective Sync will be a good tool for us as I only want my SE data synched to my computer and others will need access to the SE data, but won't necessarily need it on their local computer. Also, there will be other kinds of non-SE data that will be stored on the DropBox that I need access to but don't want on my PC.

 

We will likely go with the DropBox Business so the Smart Synch might help also as I understand it. I have a lot to learn about the DropBox, but it is looking more promising as  continue to learn.

 

Thanks again!

Bob Henry
REH Technical Consulting
Canonsburg, PA 15317