GrabCAD Workbench now with desktop synch

GrabCAD now provides a means to synch your local data to Workbench using a desktop synch application. GrabCAD says within 3 minutes time (or the time it takes to brew a GrabCAD cup of coffee) you can be up and running with desktop synch. This is definitely mostly true. I logged into Workbench and quickly found the link to download the installer for the desktop synch tool. Once I setup the application and signed in I was able to see a list of my Workbench projects and select a local folder to synch with the selected project. Sounds easy enough. You can think of the new tool as sort of a Dropbox for GrabCAD.

More than 15,000 people have signed up for Workbench since we launched it in June.  We’ve heard a lot of stories from people who are using Workbench to share CAD with vendors, with customers and clients, and with non-CAD users in their organization.  For many engineers, Workbench has made it easy to get partners involved in the design process. Today we’re happy to announce that we’re building on this success by adding a broad array of file management features to Workbench to make it easier to keep your design team on the same page.

I like the concept of the desktop synch tool for use with Workbench, but with any first release software (which is actually still tagged as beta by GrabCAD) it has its flaws. When you X the program you would expect it to minimize to the Windows taskbar notification area but it stays visible on the taskbar the whole time. Also, when you add or edit a file either in Workspace or locally, you have to manually tell the desktop synch tool to download or upload the changes. This isn’t really a true “synch” as you can easily forget to do this and be working on an old version of a file quite easily.

Along with desktop synch, GrabCAD also is now providing a new set of tools that make Workbench a  “Collaborative Product Development” solution.

  • Desktop sync – Link folders from your desktop to any cloud-based Workbench project, but keep control of when files are synced.

  • File locking – Working on a file? Lock it with one-click to let others know not to modify it.

  • Visual version comparison – Overlay two versions of a model to see what changed.

  • Dependency tracking – When you change a file, we’ll let you know if other files are affected.

  • Partner Spaces – Easily release and track specific versions with your manufacturers, clients or partners.

The additional collaboration tools are definitely setting up Workbench to be a formidable solution for any companies project data management needs. With continued honing of the feature set I think Workbench will be ready to become a top notch solution for any company wanting to move on to the next generation of project data management.

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Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2013/11/19/grabcad-cpd/

1 comment

  1. Hi Thomas, Thanks for your review. I was happy to hear that
    you were able to get up and running quickly. Agreed that the close
    behavior needs more work. We drew a parallel to Skype, which has a
    similar behavior and function, but we need to make it better. That
    is likely to happen in the next few weeks. When working as part of
    a team of CAD users, it is clear that distinct upload and download
    buttons are necessary. That said, there are opportunities to add
    auto-sync to the workflow, especially in single user situations. We
    can also do more to add feedback in multi user workflows. Was there
    a specific situation you are thinking of? Best regards, -Blake (A
    Product Manager at GrabCAD)

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