Database management and teamwork in Woodwork for Inventor

Many reasons to have one file

Some users wanted to see the final visual result of their creation instantly. Others felt the need to work as a team and share their data with co-workers. Also, there were users who required to have all materials and manipulate it fast.

All this giant tangled mess of wishes and issues were presented for us to solve. Soon we figured that there was no room for workarounds.  We had to create and implement a new mechanism which would satisfy all customer’s needs and be up-and-coming in the future.

Easier management with one file

One of the biggest, although invisible, changes in V9 is related to new database format. This format allows us to build new features in the future. The previous version database of Woodwork for Inventor was based on SQL and had many layers of security. Moreover, there was a lot of additional tasks dedicated to the internal maintenance of the database. This complicated system was one of the biggest challenges for the users working with large databases or for those who want to place the database on the local network.

Reacting to these issues we have re-created the structure according to which our databases are built. Therefore, we proudly present a new format, which we believe will be a real deal-breaker and will allow our users to work faster, more stable and will help to avert errors. Moreover, the new format allowed us to create Material Replacement, merge routers and material databases, enabled management systems for database editing and untied our hands for new future features. 

Optimized for collaboration

The new database file format was created taking into consideration that many users work together sharing the same materials and router settings. If all these settings are stored in the local network users have issues with reading and/or editing files permissions, also more than one user can edit the same database file at the same time and overwrite each other’s work. To solve such unfortunate and sometimes very costly situations the internal management mechanism must be installed. It must regulate who and when can read or edit database files as well as give a possibility for IT admins to set a proper reading and editing rights for every person in the company.

See how it the overwrite protection works in real-life situation

Dramatically increased data processing

When we say “dramatically increased speed” we mean it. The previous version of Woodwork for Inventor was like watching a paint dry compared to V9. When trying to open a large database with many materials in the network it took about 8 minutes for Material Editor to start. In V9 the exact same scenario took 2 seconds! How cool is that?

This amazing speed increase opens an opportunity to have all possible materials and appearances on the database and manipulate it anyway user wants. If a user doesn’t want to keep large databases locally, he can use our new feature – Material Replacement – which will allow to replace materials using very simple mechanism and see the real view of model with these applied assets.

Material replacement

Last but not least and most visible change in the V9 – new Material database related to Material Replacement mechanism. This totally rebuild function lets users see the final result of their model after applying selected configuration from Excel or choosing desired pictures from a disk. After hitting Apply button, with a bit of magic results appear!

Gražvydas Kazokaitis

Position. UAB „Čeli APS“ – CAD Engineer. Responsible for customers trainings and software testing. Past. Three years in mechanical design engineer‘s position. Life moto. You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.

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