Everything You Need to Know: DriveWorks Professional
We’ve reached the final post in our Everything You Need to Know: DriveWorks series. This week, we’re tackling the final edition, DriveWorks Professional. Using this tool, you have more flexibility than ever before. Now, you can connect to external databases, such as SQL or Access. Additionally, you can share your work with other people, both inside and outside of your company. DriveWorks Professional builds on what you had with Xpress and Solo, taking your design automation to the next level.
What is DriveWorks Professional?
DriveWorks Professional is your design automation tool that brings everything together. Whether you’re connecting to other business systems, hosting a website, or just sharing the project with your coworkers, DriveWorks Professional is a great tool for you. But the licensing for DriveWorks Professional works a little different than with Solo and Xpress.
Instead of having a standalone licensing that sticks with SOLIDWORKS, it comes in modules. So what are these different modules? Well, first is DriveWorks Administrator. The Administrator tool is where you set up everything in your projects. This is where you create your forms, set up your models, create reference tables, and develop your project workflow. This is a required module if you want to develop a project.
The next module is DriveWorks Autopilot. The best description of Autopilot is that it’s an engineer in a box. Essentially, it sits behind the scenes and generates models and documentation. There isn’t any manual intervention and everything happens automatically.
There are 2 more DriveWorks Professional modules I want to hit on very briefly and I’ll put them together. Those modules are DriveWorks Live and User. These are the two modules that give you a window into the DriveWorks projects. They allow you to run them and request (or generate) any models, drawings, supporting documentations, etc.
The modules are mix and match, so you only purchase what you need. The only required one is Administrator.
How does DriveWorks Professional expand on Solo and Xpress?
Did you make a “configurator” that customers could use? What if they went to your website and decided they wanted to make their own cabinet? Well, with DriveWorks Professional, you unlock that ability. Your customers can log into a portal that you design. Once they’re there, they can pick and choose from a list of options that you’ve set up. And now that they’ve decided they like the design, they can place an order. All of that happens in a single interface, making sharing your projects a breeze.
Speaking of the interface, DriveWorks Professional enhances what your users can do. You can include things like a 3D Preview to give your users a live, 3D image of their models. Additionally, you can run macros on forms to get information from other locations. What other locations you ask?
Another great way DriveWorks Professional expands on Solo and Xpress is with the integration of external data. We talk to a lot of people that keep their data in other systems. Often, that system might be an Excel file or an SQL database. Regardless of what you use, DriveWorks has several ways that we can try to integrate with them.
I could go on an on, but there are several ways that Professional expands upon what exists in Solo and Xpress. For a comprehensive list, check out this DriveWorks feature comparison matrix.
Where do I start?
Unlike with the Xpress and Solo versions, there isn’t a free trial of DriveWorks Professional. However, all is not lost. Everything that you learn from DriveWorks Solo and Xpress applies with Professional. So, instead of starting with Professional, you can get a start with Xpress and Solo. That way, when you decide to make the move up, you are well prepared for using the tool.
And just like with Solo, all of the work you do in Xpress and Solo can be ported into DriveWorks Professional. This means that you can not only learn with them, but also get a jump on your projects. On top of that, you can take your forms and enhance them in Professional. Additionally, you can start working with that data outside of DriveWorks that you’ve been needing to reference. All of that can start as soon as you make the move up to Pro.
Where can I look?
Much like DriveWorks Solo, signing up for the DriveWorks community is a great place to go when looking for information about DriveWorks. It contains information regarding resellers, user group meetings, licensing, webinars, and more! For DriveWorks Professional, you can find lots of information on the DriveWorks Resources Page. The resources page is a great place to start. It also has links to DriveWorksXpress and DriveWorks Solo resources if you are still researching the best tool for you. As always, please reach out to your local reseller for any additional help or with any questions you might have!
Now that you’ve learned how you can use DriveWorks Professional, let’s go through your next steps. First, make sure you get in touch with your reseller. DriveWorks Professional goes through them and they should be your main point of contact regarding the tool. Once you’re ready and have decided DriveWorks, the first step is typically to decide exactly what needs to be automated. Derek mentioned it last week, but I want to also suggest taking a look at a blog on the DriveWorks website that’s all about getting ready for a DriveWorks implementation. It’s a great resource to help you get started.
As always, be sure to contact InFlow Technology if you have any questions or need any help.
Have you checked out InPOD? InPOD is the official InFlow Podcast. Each week, Nick Sweeney takes a dive into a topic that our customers might need to learn more about. This week, we review the different kinds of licenses and some of the benefits in DriveWorks. Check it out!