SOLIDWORKS 2015 Backwards Compatibility (Previous Release Interoperability)

Do you remember this?


One of our most read SOLIDWORKS blog articles of all time is entitled How to Open SOLIDWORKS 2013 Files in SOLIDWORKS 2012 SP5.

Last year, SOLIDWORKS 2014 files followed the same pattern by being able to be opened in SOLIDWORKS 2013 SP5.0. If you haven't noticed, the pattern has been broken. This is the error I get when I try to open a SOLIDWORKS 2015 file in SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP5.0, "Cannot open. Future Version."


So, why isn't it possible to open SOLIDWORKS 2015 files in SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP5?

Here is what SOLIDWORKS says: "Please note that Previous Release Interoperability is not available in SOLIDWORKS 2014. SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP5 will not open files created or saved in SOLIDWORKS 2015. This is due to a change in the way files are saved in SOLIDWORKS 2015."

One of the SOLIDWORKS 2015 performance upgrades was that the file size was reduced by ~50%. Since SOLIDWORKS 2015 only runs on 64-bit operating systems, they decided that now would be the best time to implement a new file structure. The good news is that the new file structure allows for faster modeling and less hard drive space needed. SOLIDWORKS users are creating bigger and bigger assemblies and drawings, so this will prove to be a big time saver. The bad news is that SOLIDWORKS 2015 files cannot be opened in SOLIDWORKS 2014 SP5.0.

The silver lining: SOLIDWORKS 2016 files will be able to be opened in SOLIDWORKS 2015 SP5.0.

Neil Bucalo, CSWP, CSWS-MD
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.

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