There is a lot to unpack when it comes to talking about the ability for you to deploy SOLIDWORKS using the enhanced 2022 Admin Image. This year there are multiple types of images to choose from as well a a number of enhancements to configuration options. Let’s go through the 3 biggest new options available.
Before going into What’s New, we’ll start at the beginning by answering “What is an Admin Image”. If you were going to install SOLIDWORKS manually, the Installation manager would present a number of questions for you to answer before you click the Install button. The Admin Image is a way for you to answer all those questions up front and store the answers in the Image. So the image really contains a set of instructions on how to install SolidWorks locally as well as the installation files. The users then either “pull” the image down from the server by using a link you’d supply or you could “push” the install to their computer. Either way, on the local computer the installation questions have all been answered and the options are all set up correctly. An Admin Image is a tool to get a lot of computers installed in a short amount of time.
In the past year and a half, many users are now working from home and no longer accessing the servers from the Local Area Network. More than likely, they are using a VPN connection to access company servers. This can be a challenge when it comes to deploying a software that can be ~15 gigabytes in size. The VPN traffic could be excessive. This leads us to our first 2022 enhancement – The “Remote” option. As I mentioned earlier, the Admin Image contains the installation instructions, and if you put that together with the installation files we can install. The “remote” option allows the user working from home to receive the installations instructions from your server but use the SOLIDWORKS corporate download site to access the installation files. Your company VPN will not have to transmit gigabytes of files anymore; we can leverage SolidWorks download site which is setup to handle that level of file transfer. The installation files are downloaded locally, to the folder you designate in the admin image options, and installation will follow upon completion. Your company VPN will require much less traffic to install your remote users.
Alone with the “Remote” option comes our second major enhancement which is the new “Compressed” option. And just as the name implies, this is an image that requires a smaller disc space. This is achieved by keeping the bulk of the install files in their as downloaded state, which is a Windows CAB file (think of it like a zip file). This saves a whopping 40% of disc space. At the time this article is being written the software is in pre-release, so no real world examples can be sited, but it seems this would have advantages of being quick to share the image to different servers or downloading the entire image to the client machine.
The third major enhancement will really shine when using the Admin Image to commission new hardware – The image can now create a “Local View” of the PDM Vault. This was most often achieved as a secondary operation in the past. There is now a simple check box in the admin image to get this created. This does rely on have a View Setup File (.cvs). The process to make this is pretty simple but probably not well known. The full solution is in the Admin Guide (which is a wonderful resource for all things PDM Admin). I won’t detail the entire process here but to start the process start the View Setup wizard using /a switch. To do this, from Windows Start, click Run, then type “C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS PDM\ViewSetup.exe” /a
This will bring up a simple wizard to step through which will result in a .cvs file that contains all the info needed to create a local view.
I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS 2022. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Application Engineers will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2022. All these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New.”
Manager, Strategic Solutions
Computer Aided Technology
What is Design Innovation Month?
DESIGN INNOVATION MONTH 2021 – Webinars, Virtual Showroom, Contests
Design Innovation Month is CATI’s massive “What’s New in 2022” event for SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXPERIENCE, and 3D printing & 3D scanning technology. That’s six weeks of live and on-demand webinars, demonstrations, in-depth blog posts, and prizes! Best of all, it’s free of charge! Check the DI Month Hub for all the details and to sign up for your next event.