We've all seen the reviews and there is no doubt that Solid Edge ST4 is another impressive product release delivering new tools to help us develop better products faster.
Those of us who have a software maintenance contract in place will have received a shiny shrink wrapped box containing Solid Edge ST4 from Siemens in California.
It sits there on the shelf tempting us to open it and install the software. Indeed some of us may have previously downloaded the software unable to wait for the shipped product.
But we're all probably just a little too eager to install ST4 because it could damage our health. Not our personal health but the health of our business or our Solid Edge design system both from a financial and performance standpoint.
So before you upgrade here's what I mean and my recommendations on how you should proceed:
- Installing any new software into a production environment will disrupt your current design projects, it's unavoidable. So schedule your update at a time to cause minimum disruption.
- Be aware Solid Edge is not backward compatible with previous versions. So if you have multiple seats you must update them all at the same time. Otherwise there is a chance certain users may not be able to access critical data impacting your productivity and project or manufacturing schedules.
- If you're using the free Solid Edge 2D Drafting software alongside full versions of Solid Edge do not update until a compatible version of Solid Edge 2D Drafting is available for similar reasons to (2) above.
- If you're running multiple seats of Solid Edge installing the latest release can be time consuming. Make sure you use the SEAdmin.exe utility if appropriate to create an options.xml file for use during the installation or configuration of each workstation.
- No software is perfect. Ensure you have a full backup of all your data sets and other key Solid Edge files before installing any new release in a production environment.
- Ensure you have a budget, no matter how small, to train all Solid Edge users in the new features of the software. There's no point in having great software if you can't take advantage of all the benefits it offers. Classroom training is expensive but there are now cost effective alternatives such as Solid Mastermind. Make sure you investigate them it could save your company a small fortune.
- Don't expect to be fully up to speed with ST4 immediately you implement so plan for some productivity loss. Users need time to reinforce their learning so make sure they have ongoing access to the necessary training materials to do this. Again Solid Mastermind can help in this respect.
- Don't even consider classroom training if you cannot afford to have staff away from the office.
It's impossible to go into all the recommendations in great detail here, maybe that's for another post.
But to help you on your way here's an on-line Solid Edge tutorial that gives you some introductory training in Solid Edge ST4, ideal for when you do upgrade.
Solid Edge ST4 Tutorial
That Solid Edge tutorial was compiled from content delivered in the Solid Edge ST4 Update Training course available on-line at Solid Mastermind.
The course actually consists of 7 on-line video sessions the equivalent of one full day of classroom training.
Find out more by visiting:
If you have any suggestions regarding upgrading that may help your fellow Solid Edge users please leave a comment below.