November 22, 2021
The new OpenBOM product service is coming soon—OpenBOM Drive. The goal of the OpenBOM Drive service is to provide a mechanism for work-in-progress collaboration and file storage. OpenBOM Drive will provide virtual storage accessible via Windows File Explorer and (new) OpenBOM Document Dashboard via the browser user interface.
Why OpenBOM Drive?
OpenBOM provides flexible, scalable and robust mechanisms to manage files and link to files stored in OpenBOM and other storages.
OpenBOM is a place where you could save files connected to various objects (for example, Items, BOMs) and manage revisions of the items together with files (for example, CAD files, PDFs, STEP, etc.). The connection is doing using Reference property (attribute), which can be added anywhere and allows users to manage multiple files connected to items.
OpenBOM is expanded with capabilities to manage work-in-progress design activity and allow users to manage and collaborate CAD and other design information in real time. The virtual drive can be available to all users in your company and to all other members of extended teams, contractors and suppliers. It will be available in the cloud and serve as storage as well as collaborative space where everyone can share files, manage file revisions and access information at the same time.
There is a Document Dashboard in OpenBOM where users can access all files and link file information to other OpenBOM Objects (Items, BOMs, Orders, POs, etc.). For engineers and designers, there will be access to OpenBOM Drive via Windows File Explorer user interface. If users work with a desktop CAD system, all that is needed is to place your files on an OpenBOM Drive and continue to work with existing applications (for example, Solidworks, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge, Creo and others).
Will OpenBOM Drive Replace Existing File Storage?
The short answer is no, but it will expand file management capabilities of OpenBOM, according to the company.
The existing storage mechanism allows you to add multiple “properties” to the data model in any OpenBOM objects—items, bill of materials, orders, etc., and attach files to these properties. By attaching these files to Bill of Materials and Items and later creating revisions you can manage a full revision based product structure with CAD files. This is a way to collaborate on BOMs and manage released product documentation.
OpenBOM Drive will expand file management capabilities of OpenBOM.
OpenBOM Drive will allow users to manage files by providing a storage system and revision control, which can be found in PDM systems. The mechanism will be integrated with existing file management system as a real-time virtual drive for all users to collaborate and share data instantly.
Copy and paste all files on OpenBOM Drive and continue to work with these files in the same way you worked before (for example, using them in Solidworks design). OpenBOM Drive provides automatic locking mechanisms as well as a dedicated check-in / check-out function to prevent people from editing the same file simultaneously. When a specific file is updated, all other users will get instant access to the new updated files as well as revisions—no additional action is required. OpenBOM Drive will be integrated with CAD Add-ins and linked to other information managed using OpenBOM—Items, BOMs, Purchase Orders, etc.
OpenBOM Drive will be available via Windows Explorer user interface for users working with desktop applications.
For all users accessing data remotely, OpenBOM will provide a new Drive Document Dashboard allowing users to access files and connect them to other information managed in OpenBOM—Items, BOMs, Purchase Orders, etc.
CAD Add-ins and OpenBOM Drive
OpenBOM CAD Add-ins will provide integrated support for OpenBOM Drive functionality such as Check-in/ Check-out and other commands. When BOM is created or Item is saved using CAD Add-in, the created item record is linked automatically to the Document located in Drive.
When Will OpenBOM Drive Be Available?
OpenBOM Drive (Beta) is available immediately for a select number of users. If you would like to participate in our Beta program, navigate to OpenBOM Drive Dashboard and click on the “REQUEST DRIVE ACCESS” button.
The vision of OpenBOM from the early beginning was to use the power of cloud technology to simplify the way industrial companies, manufacturing businesses, engineers, contractors, and suppliers manage information and communicate. OpenBOM patented BOM collaboration provides capabilities to everyone to manage product information and to “stay on the same BOM” by using BOM collaboration.
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Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.