Siemens PLM decided to move Sold Edge a bit further into the cloud with some good options integrated into ST9. Integrated Solid Edge cloud licensing and flexible storage options should prove to be a welcomed addition to Solid Edge’s proven performance.

Cloud Licensing

Sold Edge cloud licensing and storage is available for version ST9, and is optional. This option allows users to check out their ST9 license, and use it on whichever machine they are working on. Home or office – you can work anywhere you need to with a single license.

Siemens Solid Edge ST9 Cloud Licensing

The License Manager handles the Cloud license option. Users may switch to cloud-licensing by using the “I need to visit the Siemens Licensing website option”, and follow the cloud licensing links. Some restrictions I picked up on include:

  • Users must call Siemens customer support to revert their cloud licenses back to node-locked licenses.
  • Solid Edge requires and internet connection to check out the license and start. Once it’s running the internet is no longer required.
  • Group licensing is required to be consistent. You cannot mix and match node-locked and cloud based licenses.

Cloud Storage and Management

Solid Edge ST9 will now store it’s data on any platform you like, including locally, vault solutions, and even the cloud. Siemens PLM understands that companies are using a wide array of storage solutions. ST9 was released with this in mind. Solid Edge can be set to incorporate various cloud solutions, including Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. Come to think of it, Kenesto Drive might also be a good fit.

I wanted to get some feedback on cloud storage functionality. Bill McClure, VP of Strategic Initiatives at Siemens PLM, was kind enough to tell me about his experiences. I asked the Solid Edge team how multiple users worked in this environment. McClure said that a form of lock files were now being incorporated, and that Solid Edge would recognize when the files were opened by another user. When asked about performance, he said that he was happy with the Solid Edge cloud pairing, using a Dropbox subscription. McClure noted that Dropbox has been stable and reliable (I have always said cloud syncing should “just work, like Dropbox”). He went on to describe the Dropbox bit-level detection and replacement algorithm [Dropbox calls this a “binary diff”]. It senses where the files have changed, and only replace the modified sections, not the entire files. This is apparently how Dropbox updates so quickly.

Thoughts

Siemens PLM has spent a great deal of effort trying too keep their customers happy. Licensing in the past has followed the company’s large, and somewhat rigid structure. However, the company is clearly trying to be more flexible about these issues. There is something for everyone:

Perpetual licensing – The company continues to respect their very-loyal Solid Edge user community by maintaining this option

Rentals and annual subscription – Some like a bit more flexibility and the most updated software

cloud / floating network / node-locked options

I think the cloud-license option is a great step in the right direction. I will probably do this myself.  Some of my associates remain unsure about using the option when the internet is unavailable, and then not being able to start Solid Edge. As the Solid Edge team points out, cloud licensing will not fit everyone’s situation. There are numerous options, and no one option is perfect.

I’ll be following up on the new data management features integrated into ST9. I hope that incorporating these into the cloud storage scenarios will produce a versatile fit for numerous companies. New integrated data management, along with Solid Edge’s particular strengths, have the capacity to fill the needs of a well-rounded CAD product, in a larger part of the CAD market.