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Composer HTML Export Unusable for production floor use.

Question asked by Nick Keeline on Jul 6, 2015
Latest reply on Mar 10, 2016 by George Hoksbergen

We purchased Solidworks Composer and architected a system around using a web site as a source for work instructions for the production floor.  We wanted to use HTML and a website to avoid users downloading a single file to their local machines and thereby creating stale/old copies of work instructions that could be down revision if they don't download it on each build.  After a year or so of trials and failures we now realize that this isn't workable due to too many bugs in the HTML export of solidworks composer.  Here is what we tried and why it failed:

 

1st problem, there is absolutely NO INSTRUCTIONS on how to serve up the html files on a web server.  We have never been able to get the files to be hosted by a web server properly after a year of trying various things.  We finally were able to get the MIME types set up so the files would show up (there is no error posted in the viewer inside explorer it just shows up blank, we finally figured that one out by trial and error and some help from a local rep).  But now we still can't use this method because ALL of the images are blank.  If you open the html as a file all of the images are there, but if you place the html inside a web page directory and use the web server to host it (IIS in our case) the images disappear.   You can type in the path to a single image and it shows up inside the browser, but for some reason 3DVia won't read them.  I contacted solidworks and no response.

 

2nd Problem:  In the mean time we simply published the HTMLs to a network share location and had the user open the files manually from those locations(not as elegant, but we were desperate)  This worked ok, but just recently we upgraded to Solidworks 2015 and it broke all HTML export capability.  We are no longer able to publish work instructions to HTML.... checkmate.

 

3rd Problem:  We have over 100 floor computers and installing the player properly on all of them has been a maintenance headache.  We were told we would not have to do this when we purchased it but it is not true, wihtout installing the player a user MUST have admin privileges on their machine to view an HTML export from composer which our users do not have.  Our Security pushes from IT have made it extra laborious.  HTML really needs to be a webgl/HTML5 export and supported by all browsers... (I admit this isn't really a major problem but it is a MAJOR headache).

 

Unless I can solve either of the first two problems, we will have to move away from HTML altogether as a publishing method.  This will be a LARGE amount of work since we will have to republish and re-release all of our work instructions for the last year, but I can see no way around it.

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