AnsweredAssumed Answered

Laptop Toolbox settings for network and remote use

Question asked by Kevin Silbert on Feb 11, 2008
Latest reply on Mar 31, 2008 by Brian Cayer
I think I've discovered a combination of settings that allow laptop users to work on SolidWorks and Toolbox when they're on the road, and then sync up when they come back and plug in without messing up any of the files. It also seems to be compatible with PDMW Workgroup and Enterprise, unless I'm missing something. Here's what I did:

1: Install SolidWorks, and let Toolbox install into a local "SolidWorks Data" directory. Basically, the Browser and (Data)/Lang/English directories are the only directories you'll be using locally- this will let the Hole Wizard and Toolbox databases be local as the .MDB files can't be synchronized as offline files.
2: Copy the other directories from SolidWorks Data to a network drive. If you want to avoid confusion, consider removing the local files that are copied on the network.
3: If you've used the "Copy Parts" option with Toolbox in the past, copy this folder of parts to the network drive also.
4: If you don't have any Copy Parts directories, make a directory on the network for all of the copied parts to live in (I think the default is "Copied Parts"? I'm away from my workstation right now...) Make sure everyone has access to it.
5: Turn on offline synchronization of these network directories (from Steps 2 and 3 or 4) by right-clicking the directories and turning on "Make Available Offline". Our Design Library is a bit too big for this; I chose to not sync it up- road warriors can cope without our file libraries here, but I think syncing this directory also should work fine. We also share our templates and sheet formats on a network drive; I made sure to make these available offline also. You cannot sync any folder that has an .MDB file in it- like the Browser directory or the hole wizard (data)/Lang/English folder.
6: In Tools/Options/Toolbox/Hole Wizard, be sure the directory is the local directory. Change the Toolbox options to "Copy Parts" and point it to the network drive created in step 2 or 3.

That's it! Whether on the road or plugged in, pressing File/New brings up our shared standard templates (sheet formats also). Every time someone needs a new configuration of a toolbox part that hasn't been made already, it will make another file and drop it in the Copied Parts directory. If this happens when someone is on the road, it will sync up when they return. The worst that would seem possible is that someone plugged in and someone unplugged could create the same configuration of part; then the sync utility would ask them which version to keep, but they should be identical anyway.

I've tried this on a test basis, and it seems to work. Has anyone implemented a similar setup?