September 16, 2015
Cloud-based engineering document and file management provider Kenesto Corp. recently announced a number of enhancements for users of its Kenesto Drive feature. Described by the company as a “virtual LAN drive in the cloud,” Kenesto Drive, says the company, now includes functionality traditionally only available through physical LAN-mounted drives and PDM (product data management) systems such as automatic read-only access to in-use documents. Kenesto Drive comes as a component of the company’s file and document management solutions, Kenesto Pro and Kenesto Free.
“Kenesto is delivering professional storage and sharing options for engineering and design companies seeking a very simple to use, cloud-based document management solution,” said Mike Payne, CEO, Kenesto, in a press statement. “Previously, engineers were forced to use either consumer-oriented storage products or complicated and expensive PDM products. We are delighted to provide a free solution in addition to a fuller, but reasonably priced alternative solution to our users and customers.”
Kenesto Pro and Kenesto Free, says the company, are designed to address the requirements of engineering use-cases and workflows often missing from consumer-based cloud storage and file-sharing tools. Among these requirements are browser-based viewing of 2D and 3D designs as well as versioning and permission controls across project teams.
With Kenesto’s Free version, designers and engineers can view and share 2D and 3D engineering documents, keep team members up-to-date with the newest versions of documents and access version history. Both Kenesto Pro and Kenesto Free work with all engineering design products, according to the company, and their browser-based 2D and 3D viewing does not require the native CAD installation.
Kenesto Pro, available for an annual subscription, extends those features with PDM-like lightweight features, collaboration capabilities and task and workflow management tools. Kenesto Pro users can create project groups and sharable workspaces, assign tasks to workflows, generate progress and status reports, modify Microsoft Office files and create engineering forms and templates. Some of its other features are document viewing and access control and unlimited storage per user.
Kenesto Drive, according to the company, provides small- and mid-sized design and engineering companies a cost-effective, hassle-free alternative to shared network drives or general-purpose cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive that’s tailored to the needs of engineering workflows. With Kenesto Drive, users interact with their files with the ease of a shared drive; however, this workstation-accessible cloud drive comes with such features as automatic file versioning, file sharing, collaboration, check-in/check-out capability and automatic back-ups.
Key to the recently announced enhancements to Kenesto Drive is an automatic lock feature for modifying documents, including CAD files. How this works, explains the company, is that when a user opens a file from a Kenesto Drive folder on a Windows desktop, Kenesto Drive automatically locks it from editing by other users globally. Users at any location can open the file in a Read-Only mode, which prevents any unintentional overwrites. When the original user closes the file, it is unlocked automatically.
Additional enhancements to Kenesto Drive include status visibility of a document for approved users, access to version history to assure users are working with the current file and offline use of recent files.
“Kenesto Drive has helped resolve challenges within our organization in sharing engineering files with our team and suppliers around the world,” said Frederic Ramioulle, president, Automotive and Transportation at product engineering and IT consultant KPIT Technologies in a testimonial supplied by Kenesto. “Our most challenging problem involves design conflicts and who has the current version of a file. Kenesto’s capabilities address these challenges and more in helping us complete projects faster and with fewer errors saving us time and money.”
An annual subscription to Kenesto Pro costs $300. In addition to the Pro and Free editions, Kenesto is available in an Enterprise version. The latest enhancements to Kenesto Drive are available to existing and new subscribers to Kenesto Free and Kenesto Pro users now. To learn more, visit Kenesto.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.