1 2 3 First Previous 110 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2017 3:19 PM by Jim Steinmeyer

    When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?

    Steve Holland

      Hi Everyone,

      We actively work to extend and improve the information in the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base. We publish about 100 new solutions each month, and we are on track this year to review and refresh more than 5000 old solutions. A KB search might quickly answer a question or help you solve a problem.

       

      We want feedback about your KB search experience. Do you routinely search the KB when you need answers? If not, why? How can we make your KB experience better? Do you have an idea for a topic that you can't find any information about? Is a solution helpful? Let us know!  Here's how:

       

      • Each time you review a KB solution, fill out and submit the Search Feedback form that appears at the left of the solution. We review all of your submissions, and you would be surprised how few we receive. If you want a direct response from the KB team, please include your email address in the comments.

       

      Thanks for sharing your passion and expertise in the forums! Don't forget to submit feedback!

       

      -Steve Holland

        • 1. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
          Matt Gjertson

          Typically, no I don't.  That's one of the things I rely on my VAR for.  In the past I've created SPRs, submitted my own requests, and voted on others.  After never really seeing anything done with the ones I find important, it just started to feel like I was wasting my time.  When I notice an issue, I first try and see if I can figure it out on my own.  If not, I send it over to my VAR and see what they come back with (sometimes it includes a KB solution).

           

          There are a bunch of Sheet Metal improvements I'd love to see, and I've seen plenty of other people bring up the same stuff.  Yet here we are in 2017, and certain things still aren't available that should have been implemented long ago (letting the gauge table drive custom properties, native blank size, etc).

          • 2. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
            John Stoltzfus

            Even though I use the latest version every day, I don't have access to the customer portal with my login and my personal seat is off subscription, so a lot of us can be vocal - but we can't give a ONE and TWO  punch like we would love to..

             

            We all know SW guys here on the forum are as passionate as us users, but somehow or the other we all have one hand tied behind our back...

            • 3. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
              Matt Camacho-Cook

              I use it more for EPDM than SolidWorks, but my main frustration would be the search functionality or lack there of.  I'd like to be able to drill down with the Product selection on the left, but it seems to be divided up into semi-random divisions.  For instance, "SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 CAD Editor", "SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2009 Installation", and "SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM 2015 CAD Editor" all show up.  It would be nice if I could drill down similar to how the forums are broken up, "Data Management" then EPDM or WPDM as sub-categories.

               

              -Matt

              • 4. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                Dan Pihlaja

                I understand what the Knowledge Base is for.  I only recently started searching through it.

                In reality, I had to contact my VAR to even figure out how to do that or how to get to it.

                 

                I am generally pretty diligent in my own troubleshooting, which means that most of the time, I am searching for someone having the same issue as me and voting for that SPR.

                 

                Speaking of voting for the SPR, that is NOT intuitive at all.  My VAR explained it to me (along with certain forum posts that I have read).  But I don't think that the average user understands this at all.

                 

                I don't know if this is true or not, but the IMPLICATION is that Solidworks only works on the SPR's that have the loudest yellers.  Therefore, it seems in everyone's best interest to create a Forum post with all or their SPR's and have everyone vote on them. (that's not a bad idea, now that I think of it).

                 

                Let me go off on a tangent for a second (there is a reason...bear with me):

                We have a network drive here with folders and files and whatnot in there. This network drive is the main network drive that most people do their work on.  Unfortunately, every person who can access that network drive also has the ability to add folders, rename folders, move folders, etc...

                This means that if John Doe decides to create a new project folder and call it JohnDoe, he is allowed to do that.  However, 5 years later, when John Doe has left the company and we are searching for the files on that project, we aren't intuitively searching for "JohnDoe".  We are searching for project names and whatnot.  Making a nightmare to try to find that project.

                 

                Now, back to the Knowledge Base:  The Knowledge Base seems very similar to our Network drive.   I understand that the average user can't just create SPR's, but there are a heck of a lot of VAR's out there and they seem to be able to type whatever they want into the Knowledge Base.  If it happens to be the end of the day on Friday for them and someone calls in franticly and they create an SPR because of that call, are they forced to put detail into the SPR?  Or are they going to just put the minimum amount of characters and plug it in and go home to whatever it is that VAR's go to when they go home.

                 

                Here is an example:

                I know that this says that it is closed, but seriously?  Based on this description, I have no idea what went on here.   This was a waste of space and time.

                 

                On a side note, how come the SPR's don't pop up when I do a Google search?  That would be awesome!  Solidworks should let Google crawl through the SPR database.  I think that SPR's would get a heck of a lot more people looking at them if they did.

                 

                Seriously, this means that if I don't find my issue in the first 30 seconds that I am looking....I'm done......I have better things to do (generally).  I guess that is why we pay subscription fees.....my VAR can do that for me.

                 

                The order of operations for me is this (when I am having a Solidworks problem):

                1) Troubleshoot on my own

                2) Search on the internet for my problem

                3) Post to this forum

                4) Contact my VAR and have her post the SPR

                 

                Just my 2 cents....

                • 5. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                  Alin Vargatu

                  Dan Pihlaja wrote:

                   

                   

                   

                  Now, back to the Knowledge Base: The Knowledge Base seems very similar to our Network drive. I understand that the average user can't just create SPR's, but there are a heck of a lot of VAR's out there and they seem to be able to type whatever they want into the Knowledge Base. If it happens to be the end of the day on Friday for them and someone calls in franticly and they create an SPR because of that call, are they forced to put detail into the SPR? Or are they going to just put the minimum amount of characters and plug it in and go home to whatever it is that VAR's go to when they go home.

                   

                   

                  Dan, rest assured that VARs cannot create SPRs. Doesn't matter how sloppy we are, we cannot generate SPRs, only SRs.

                  SPRs are generated by the SOLIDWORKS Tech Support.

                  • 6. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                    Matt Finley

                    What's the Knowledge Base?

                     

                    (Kind of kidding kind of not, it's that obscure.)

                    • 7. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                      Steve Holland

                      Thank you, John.  We want to provide the best possible information and support for all of our VARs, customers, and users. Licensed users on subscription understandably have access to the greatest amount of product help and information. Your participation in the forums helps to fill in some of the gaps.

                      -Steve

                      • 9. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                        Steve Holland

                        That is true Alin. My advice to Dan and all other KB users - do not just toss your hands in the air and ignore confusing, inaccurate, obsolete, or "low quality" solutions and SPRs. Submit Search Feedback and make sure to leave a comment. We're "listening."

                        • 10. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                          Dennis Dohogne

                          In general I think Dan Pihlaja's reply will be a very common one.  I've been using SWX for a very long time and have not really ever used the KB.  When I run into a problem and I have exhausted my personal efforts to try different techniques and work-arounds I usually search this forum and if necessary then ask this forum.  More often than not I get a quick answer here.  If I think it is a bug or still do not have a good answer I then contact my VAR and show him everything I've tried, including the forum discussions.

                           

                          The KB, when I last looked at it, was just as convoluted and cumbersome as the Enhancement Request system.  THAT is why neither of them are used the way you guys at SWX would like.  My whole career has been in product development and I learned a long time ago that one of the easiest ways to make a product appealing is to make it easy, intuitive, and satisfying to use.  That is precisely how SWX made such a big splash in the CAD market in 1995.  However, the ER and KB system are at the wrong end of that spectrum!

                           

                          As a result this forum has become the defacto source for solutions (instead of the KB system) and for suggesting product improvements (instead of the ER system).  This forum has things that neither the ER or KB system has: 1) it is easy to search, 2) it has very knowledgeable, helpful, and active participants.  Searching the ER or KB system is cumbersome compared to what we have become accustomed to.  There is NO feedback generated from the ER or KB system so it feels like an open loop system.  Without feedback we get the feeling we aren't being listened to.

                           

                          I'm not trying to be harsh, Steve Holland, but I think you'd rather have an honest answer than a sugar coated one.  I am, however, very happy that you are soliciting this input.  It gives me hope.  But you must forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting for a change to the ER or KB system anytime soon.  Please prove me wrong on that and exceed my expectations (that should be easy since they are low for this).

                          • 11. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                            Steve Holland

                            Thank you, Dennis. It takes a village. Your feedback is essential to our ongoing efforts to improve the KB content and experience.

                            • 12. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                              Todd Blacksher

                              I didn't really use the KB until I worked for a VAR, and then I used it DAILY!

                              Old habits die hard, I left the VAR over 6 1/2 years ago, and I still hit the KB pretty hard.

                              (Although I have noticed that now I head toward the forums before going to the KB - I think it has a tendency to have more "comedic" responses to issues - sometimes when you are frustrated, a good laugh can go a long way.)

                              todd

                              • 13. Re: When you experience an issue with the SOLIDWORKS software, do you search the Knowledge Base for an answer?
                                Jim Steinmeyer

                                Steve,

                                I also rarely go to the KB and turn here instead. My experience has been then if I am able to find a link that somehow pertains to the subject it fits the definition of an engineer in that it gives very detailed information but leaves me with no more knowledge or ability to solve what I asked about in the first place. Usually if I knew what helps the KB referred to I wouldn't have the question in the first place. I made a search a couple of days ago that I was going to copy the KB answer for a situation just like this but neglected to get it done and now can't remember what I was searching for. I will copy one for you next time I use the KB because I rarely understand what is said without coming here for help.

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