... which is a huge pain point as switching CAD platforms isn't exactly a cakewalk.
At least if the VARs are competing for quality of service (they don't really compete on price unless you're after consultation), there's a benefit to the customer.
David Mandl That's because there may not be as much money in the software side of things for the VARs these days! That's just my theory.
But switching platforms is so much simpler these days. I can take all your SW files and drawings (yes drawings too!) and have them recreated in another CAD package!
Throw a PDM/PLM system on top and it makes it much more difficult. The CAD OEMs know this fact. That's why the industry as seen so much information and marketing of PDM/PLM. Capture and hold the customers anyway you can because CAD is a commodity these days!
I'm just picking up this thread after answering another one related to this issue. Firstly, ABOUT TIME!! I think I first raised this issue back in 2013 that generated a monster thread Change in SolidWorks licensing policy you need to be aware of
Secondly, the thing that interest me here is the "linking to My SolidWorks ID". Note sure anyone has picked up on this?
Here's the issue, and I don't see this as being unusual. We have 2 licenses of SolidWorks in my business. One Standard and one Professional. We also run Rhino/Fusion360/Modo/vectorWorks and others - some have traditional licenses and others online activation.
We have 3 designers, but only one "My SolidWorks ID" - mine. Every year my reseller offers to upgrade me to My SolidWorks Professional and one year they did for free because we encouraged a customer to buy a couple of licenses of Solidworks through them. My designers used that "pro" service to try out some of the video content - using my ID. I had a look at it but most the content was poor, inconsistent and too basic to be of any use to us. Aside from the videos and discounted tests there is nothing else on My SolidWorks - certainly nothing worth paying for. But that is an opinion.
However what concerns me is that if the new thing is to tie a license to a My SolidWorks ID, who controls the My SolidWorks IDs? Take my business with 3 employees. We use Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud Team. I am the "admin" for both. I have access to a control panel where I can assign licenses to users I create. if I have a contractor on site I can create a new user for them and assign the license to them. When the job is done I can remove that license from them or delete the user. Same for when someone leaves or joins the business. all easy and simple.
Contrast this with SolidWorks. Both licenses are standalones, assigned to my account. I install the licenses on desktops and laptops and move the license by internet activation/deactivation as needed (which sometimes works, sometimes doesn't). My team don't have My Solidworks IDs because they don't need them. Yet.
Under this new system, it appears (tell me if I am wrong) that I need to link EACH license to a unique SolidWorks ID? Would I then have some way to globally administer this process? Could I do like I do with Adobe and Microsoft, have the licenses linked to my company ID, then allow access to whoever needs it?
If I could do this, I could see this as useful. An example being we could use our usual systems until such time someone needed an added feature that is in Professsional but not Standard. So I could assign Professional to them for a bit, they just log on and actuvate Professional? That would be handy and might actually encourage me to upgrade further.
But the flip side to this is that it might be a disaster. If I, as a business owner, cannot control the licenses I will need to retain the link to my ID, or have to create some clunky workaround like a generic ID (like SW-Standard@ or SW-Pro@). It is the detail of this that matters.
Finally, and again, I've not see anything on this. How does this affect users who have add ons installed? For example on our Professional license we have Power Surfacing and a couple of other add ons installed. PS is not renowned for making licensing simple and locks you down to a single machine. Will this new licensing regime apply to add ons as well? So we can install ALL the software we buy on ALL our machines, then just log in and activate them when needed. Now THAT would be genuinely useful, but I suspect this is simply not the case - but please prove me wrong.
In summary, whilst I am glad to see progress in this area, and I would love to be proved wrong on my assumptions on how this will actually work, SolidWorks and Dassault are operating on licensing principles that are antiquated. Whilst I don't agree with Onshape's view of the world - their usage system is easy. Just log on and everything you need is there. Autodesk and Fusion 360 is close behind.
Dassault sell themselves as the 3D EXPERIENCE company, yet they actual experience of using and administering CAD software is stupid. These companies generate hundreds of millions a year in revenue, yet little is done to actually enhance the ease of use of the modules we buy into. Onshape, Autodesk, Adobe and Microsoft have led the way on this for years, yet here we are in nearly 2018 just startign down this path that will take another 6 months to actually deliver (and likely 12 months).
Sorry if I seem harsh on this but this justs raises more questions than answers for me.
Licensing of any CAD system has been a challenge. It gets more difficult when you have to rely on 3rd party software vendors to provide the functionality you require in core CAD. This is the life story of SW (on the desktop). It has always been the software that provided a great core tool and then relied on other to provide secondary tools. That builds out an "ecosystem" -as much as I hate to use that word- that appears that core software is actually more than it really is. History shows use that the good 3rd packages are eventually bought by SW and then rebranded as "new" and enhanced. At least at this point, licensing might be incorporated into the SW licensing utilities.
As you have mentioned, we are seeing a change in the design environment. Design is no longer just design. So core CAD is not the acceptable norm anymore. You need to have more utilities and be more flexible in usage (i.e. licensing).
At this point the SW desktop ecosystem is in serious danger of extinction. Cloud licensing and Apps are the future. Hence you have the 3DEXPERIENCE "platform".
What you are seeing from DS is a need to migrate users- or even a certain level of programming the customer- to realization of the pain of the current state and the need to move to the new state.
I believe you are referring to the online licensing we are rolling out this year with our 2018 products.
You are right that you would assign each license to a unique SOLIDWORKS ID. As you also rightly pointed out, that means someone needs to administer that. For this reason, a new Administrator Portal is being developed where the named administrator (you in this case) can see all the products from your company account and the users that are members of your account. That way, you can add and remove products to and from your members.
Each member would have to have a SOLIDWORKS ID. It is the same one used for MySolidWorks, but it's not really a "My SolidWorks ID" exclusively. SOLIDWORKS ID is our ID system for Customer Portal, MySolidWorks, and here in forums. This means that you would have to get your 2 other designers to create a SW ID if you want to manage them. We added some tools to make that easier in the Admin Portal.
We are aiming to have all of our applications and add-ins capable of supporting online licensing. Unfotunately, third party add-ins have their own licensing, so their application will stay locked on a machine even as your SOLIDWORKS license moves to another.
You referenced the 6 month timeline. We are still building the Admin Portal and that part is being made available gradually starting with select customers in the US to get some early feedback while we continue to develop it. As the schedule firms up, we'll have more information about availability to all regions.
Ryan McVay - (snooping around "again") - lol - good to here from ya, what you just mentioned is directly tied into this.... SolidWorks "Expired Subscriptions" will be switching to a “full backdating” format 1/1/16
Seems like SolidWorks should have got the portal working FIRST before implementing the changes to the license scheme.
These are the execution problems that make users like Kevin and I skeptical of DS and SolidWorks.
These types of issues have me considering skipping SW2018 entirely while SolidWorks sorts this out.
Anna Wood - Anna I know you're well aware of it, but there may be others here that don't understand, but skipping 2018 and continuing with 2019 isn't going to mean anything to SW because of this….SolidWorks "Expired Subscriptions" will be switching to a “full backdating” format 1/1/16
At the end of the day SW still has a lot of work to do and it will be harder to keep clients with every hiccup in the software, way too much competition in the modeling software industry..
Jeff Niederman - It is always refreshing to hear from SW employees, thanks for responding, just don't run away if you get any flack, you can't help the situation and again sometimes we forum people are nincompoops
Please see Jeff's comments.
But to clarify you will be happy to know that we are doing something extremely similar to what Adobe & Microsoft are doing.
You probably missed my earlier post (with more details) but what I meant is:
All your licenses are "linked" to your company. You can then distribute them (if you are the admin) as you wish to anybody that has a SOLIDWORKS ID. All you need to do is first invite them to your administrative portal as a "user" or "admin".
And then you can assign products. Each product you assign will be tied to their SOLIDWORKS ID and of course, as an administrator, you can take those licenses back whenever you want.
I think it worked exactly as you hoped. I would be more than happy to give you a demo if you are coming to SOLIDWORKS World?
We started to work on this about 2 years ago. Creating the administrative tool is what took the most time.
Perhaps I misspoke. The licensing pieces and architecture of the Admin Portal were co-developed with online licensing. However, there are several aspects, workflows, and use cases to the Admin Portal and so the overall work is ongoing.
Online licensing is designed to be a new licensing option and not a change. Machine activation will continue to work in SW2018 as it always has.
I hope this clarifies my reply.
My concerns / Questions:
If a person is using SWX at work and leaves for the day and goes home and wants to get on but forgot to release their license;
will that INDIVIDUAL be able to release the work license and activate their home license or will they need to wake up the Administrator and have them do it? (the individual needs to be able to do this).
Will it only be for SWX 2018 or above? The current ("rescinded" Activation policy) affects everyone on all versions - I am on 2015 - will I be able to release my license and activate on my home computer?
As long as you pay your maintenance it's no skin off their nose! ;-)
Ryan McVay wrote:
... History shows use that the good 3rd packages are eventually bought by SW and then rebranded as "new" and enhanced. ...
I would like to see SW incorporate LogoPress3 into core functionality. The current sheetmetal cannot do draws. LogoPress3 handles draws. A draw is defined as moving material in more than one direction at one time.
I believe having the ability to handle draws is crucial to moving the sheetmetal module forward.
For the individual using online licensing, he can always take his license away from himself. In this way, you don't have to remember to do anything before you leave.
In your scenario, the person left SOLIDWORKS up on his screen in the office and went home. When he starts SOLIDWORKS at home, he will be prompted that he has a session running on his office machine. He can take that license away, killing the session at work and licensing himself to run at home. When he returns to work the following day, he'll see a prompt to save if any files were open and modified when SOLIDWORKS got the kill request from the home computer.
Online licensing will work only for 2018 products. 2015 products will not recognize the licenses if you were to switch them over from machine activation to online licensing.
Just out of curiosity, does SolidWorks have an official position regarding folks like several who have posted here who use license activation as a sort of "network license" without actually paying for the network license? How about people who actually abide by the spirit (if not the letter) and pay for network licenses for their small shops? Are we just wasting that money by not using the activation portal? Or is the network licensing premium going away?