I think we can all agree that the ‘cloud’ is great. I use it in both my personal and professional life all the time, and it’s not a stretch to say I could not live the way I do without it. But like everything else that is amazing, it still has it’s challenges. Working on the cloud or with cloud applications that require you to be continually connected to the internet can limit where and when you work. This is frustrating because I want my tools to work where I want, when I want; connected at home and in the office or disconnected in my driveway. My tools should always work.
Simply put, there are two types of ‘cloud’ applications; web based and client based. In a web based application you are able to log on to a completely ‘clean’ computer and interact with your application through a web browser. A client based application requires every user to install software on their computer in order to use the application. Both applications store data on the cloud but the client version requires a software installation in order to create the data.
The client based cloud applications are often called hybrid-cloud apps. They have their disadvantages, the need for software installation and a requirement for computing power, but they have one overwhelming advantage. It will allow me to work offline wherever and whenever I please.
SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE design tools have what is called an “off-line mode”, which is great for working on the go. Hours spent traveling can now be productive. You start work connected in your office, home or airport lounge and then to ensure you can continue to work even though you will lose your internet connection, you switch to the “off-line mode”. With “off-line mode” you are DISCONNECTED, but you are able to continue working on your designs as if you were connected to the cloud. The big difference with this mode is that your designs are saved on your computers’ hard drive. When you are back online the design data that you saved to your hard drive is automatically uploaded to the cloud and the designs are synchronized.
An added bonus…there is NO reduction in functionality while working in “off-line mode”. The designs that you were working on before going offline are available to work on. The full design functionality is available in off-line mode: edit assemblies, add/remove parts or add/remove features of a model, change your design, turn your computer off and then back on to keep working… Create new parts or work on the existing one…