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Configurator compatibility with older versions of SolidWorks

Question asked by Ethan Kinney on Aug 25, 2014
Latest reply on Aug 25, 2014 by Ethan Kinney

So my company is going to be implementing a configurator soon and we plan to offer native SolidWorks and neutral formats for download from our website. This lead to an interesting and important question: how do we offer 3D models in versions of SolidWorks compatible with the majority of SolidWorks Users?


We are well aware that SolidWorks is not backwards compatible (can't save a 2014 version as a 2012 version). We also don't want to have to run an older version of SolidWorks in order to allow for forwards compatibility.


So here is my question, is there an ideal delay time in upgrading to the next version of SolidWorks that will allow for the greatest degree of compatibility? For instance, when 2015 comes out, should we wait until service pack 5 before we upgrade so that the majority of SolidWorks users can upgrade and we have less issue with backwards compatibility?


Are there any statistics available on the percentage of SolidWorks users are using each version of SolidWorks?


If anyone has any experience with this, it would be great to hear from you and what you did in this situation.