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Uploading files and file formats

kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭
I've been playing around with uploading files to an Onshape file. The idea that you create a new file and that file is actually made up of multiple elements (parts, assemblies, drawings non native data etc) is the perfect way to handle a typical project in my view, albeit nothing particularly new (I was doing this in VX CADCAM 10 years ago and of course this is how most online Project Management systems tend to operate). 

A few observations:

1. The idea of having one tab per file is not sustainable - even in our smallest projects we would typically have multiple part files, assembly files, drawing sheets, RFQ Excel files, Word file, PDFs, video files, etc etc. This is exactly what we use Dropbox for and GrabCAD (where the CAD viewing is a benefit). You need to be able to have a better visual structure to the file, and (personally) folders and files like DropBox works perfectly for most small and medium projects. I actually believe you need to do some kind of integration with systems like DropBox - imagine a sync with a Dropbox folder -that would be perfect. I get the tabs and the likely simplicity for a browser but it is not a future proof solution, even for the short term.

2. I'm able to select individual files and upload them but one uploaded there is no way to view them. I mean I can upload an E drawing file but there is no visual preview of the contents and no way to play it (even with E Drawings installed on the same machine). At the very least Onshape should call the installed local app for replay.

3. Uploading non native CAD formats into a document you get a blank page. To actually view it you need to translate it into the Onshape format, which then adds yet another tab in the file - I personally think this is a backwards step given what PTC are now doing with non native data sets. In Onshape, if I upload a STEP file (say) I should be able to open that file, view it, measure it etc and keep it as a STEP file. At the very least, in terms of what the user sees there should be one file, not multiple copies of the same one - this kind of goes against all the things Onshape promises to do. 

4. Sharing. When we share files we share the whole file, so all the tabs are open to all. This could be a serious drawback to this single file/multiple contents approach. Compare this to what we currently do with Dropbox and GrabCAD. We upload the files to folders, we create sharing folders (or Partner Spaces), we drag the files we want to share into this folders/spaces, we then share these folders (or partner spaces). I cannot really see any way to achieve the exact same thing in Onshape except by making duplicates of the files and stripping out tabs. There has to be a better way! 

5. The other issue with sharing is that you can only share one file at a time (hence why we would add external content to a single file). Would it not be better to be able to select multiple files and share them all in one operation?

It is so very nearly right - just needs a bit of a rethink in some areas IMHO.

Comments

  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,666
    Thanks @KevinQuigley for the feedback.  Much of the sharing granularity is not yet implemented and understanding there needs to be levels of sharing within a document is on the radar and will be part of the product at a later date.  The other aspect of this is external referencing, which we also do not yet have and will be part of our framework eventually.  As OS currently stands, everything inter-related must live in a single Document which narrows the scope of all that could be done when we open things up.  We hear you and are working hard to make these things happen as soon as possible.

    With that being said, tabs do bring some familiar organization within the document and we will continue to improve how you organize, search and share since integrated document management is very core to our belief here.

    Previewing on upload (without translation, non-native formats ) is something becoming common (i.e. Google Drive, Dropbox) and we hope to provide this experience eventually.  Translation in itself is also going to undergo significant refinements and workflows as well.  On the support side, we have received great feedback on this and have had to educate people on how to do this additional step on their uploaded data.  In come cases, archiving the data is convenient, however for the workflow of importing for design purposes, the original document becomes less important once translated.

    Let's keep the conversation going...  ~Lou
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,864 PRO
    Hi KevinQuigley, you make some interesting points,

    1. I can not see onshape replacing my dropbox for storing my project related files, I too have a folder structure setup in my dropbox and will fill this out with sub folders for a project and would only chose a non-sensitive/user specific data folder to share. I think I would only use the tabs for the CAD related info I am working on in Onshape not the overall project however this maybe include everything for the smaller projects, eg related photo's, pdf files, spread sheets, external cad data (in and out), etc. (I am also a fan of being able to work offline with dropbox files and having them sync when coming back online, was a bit of a hurdle to get over when using Onshape and having to have a constant web connection but can see this is the future.) 

    2. It would be good to edit some files directly in onshape especially spread sheets and dxf drawings. I was going to do a spread sheet to design a spring yesterday and drop this in a tab and was thinking it would be good to be able to directly link values to dimensions on the spring, I hope this kind thing is on the cards for down the track.

    3. I find I import parts then get rid of the original tab to clean up the doc, have been doing this with a lot of solidworks files. I also have imported the related dxf's for a project to have them stored together but these are useless in onshape, can not be created viewed or edited, however if sharing a file with a profile cutting supplier I would expect them to use the dxf so this is an important file to be stored.   

    4. When sharing it maybe good idea to have a check box for tabs to excluded or included, the excluded would then be greyed out to the other user but still be working on the master file.  

    5. I can only really see myself sharing 1 onshape doc at a time as all related data is in this doc. 


    The tabs do start to get a bit clumsy once you have more than about 10, don't know what it will be like once you have 100+ files which is conceivable with this system, was glad to find the vertical scroll list, this could also do with a search function. I've never seen it on other software but might be nice if you could nest files in the tabs, eg pdf's group together and collapse to 1 tab a bit like the window group of apps in the task bar. I am assuming the drawings with be on tabs too, so it will be interesting to see how this all works when drawings come online.  

    Interested to see how interrelated data/external references are going to be managed. In the current system I would like to be able to have tab referenced so you have a common tab across multiple doc's or a "replace tab feature" to update a tab from another doc with out losing mating references for common parts from old to new tab, these two tabs would have been created for a common parent.

    I would also like to know if by adding large tabs to a doc for some reference parts, for an assembly slow the entire document down. It is easy to pull tabs out of other doc's even if only using 1 part, this something I have started doing but I have not notices it slowing my speed down but am aware I don't want to start practice's that reduce performance.

     Bruce



    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,864 PRO
    LouGallo looking forward to seeing how the product will develop, good too know these things are on your radar. Bruce
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,666
    @babart77‌ Awesome feedback. Hearing the use cases and how to share is very interesting.  What are the thoughts of being able to add tabs that load shared data sources like Drive/Dropbox/Skydrive in a single tab?  Maybe add other references to shared documents on Google Drive or Office 365?  Other service integrations?

    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,864 PRO
    LouGallo said:
    @babart77‌ Awesome feedback. Hearing the use cases and how to share is very interesting.  What are the thoughts of being able to add tabs that load shared data sources like Drive/Dropbox/Skydrive in a single tab?  Maybe add other references to shared documents on Google Drive or Office 365?  Other service integrations?

    I like this idea. Adding a shared dropbox (or other cloud storage) to folder to a tab would work I think. An app on the iphone I use alot is cam scanner. I will quite often use this to take pictures of hand sketckes, drawings, note's and upload to dropbox or Google Drive  (was also using evernote for awhile but have tended now to mainly use dropbox now). Linking a folder to a tab would take the away the need to upload file from my dropbox to onshape.

    I find when referencing files uploaded by switching onshape tabs its better to use the browser than onshape tabs (I worry that I can't switch tabs mid command but I think you can) and have been experimenting with the same doc open twice in chome (ideally on dual screen but working from laptop at the moment), one in parts studio tab and the other the reference pdf tab. Maybe in this case in it would be better to open pdf into new browser tab, I can not see this option in chrome. Hope that make sense.

    Bruce
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • julian_lelandjulian_leland Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 59 PRO
    Big +1 for integrations with Google Docs/Office 365, or with productivity files through a manager like Dropbox. Being able to link design spreadsheets to models is tremendously helpful - and it would be even better to be able to edit them from within the OS interface, or at least to open them in another tab directly from the OS window where they're being used.
  • fastwayjimfastwayjim Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 219 PRO
    LouGallo said:
    What are the thoughts of being able to add tabs that load shared data sources like Drive/Dropbox/Skydrive in a single tab?  Maybe add other references to shared documents on Google Drive or Office 365?  Other service integrations?

    Definitely. Right now, I collaborate almost exclusively via google drive. Typically we'll have a requirements doc, supporting spreadsheets, slide decks, and other various pics/vids.

    In addition, I do my backend on google docs too - Time reporting spreadsheets, quotes, PO's, invoices, expense reports, etc.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,381 PRO
    edited April 2015
    Absolutely great stuff!

    I would like to see also simple copy & paste stuff into document:
    - Copy image from web and paste into tab (image data, not link)
    - Copy & paste links, click to follow
    - Copy text from email paste in
    - Take screenshot - paste in
    - Drag&drop files in (youtube has pretty good sense on how easily files should go in)

    - Enable database connection to receive data from server with sql sentence
    - Use data in sql table to run parametric model

    - Keep everything organized, filters and search (filename, type, date, tag, etc.), thumbnails/preview for all type of (common) files. Maybe even redo horizontal tabs to Part studios, Assemblies, Imported data, Database connections, Images, Favorites, Newest, Most viewed and have vertical list on each.
    //rami
  • pete_yodispete_yodis OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    Big +1 for integrations with Google Docs/Office 365, or with productivity files through a manager like Dropbox. Being able to link design spreadsheets to models is tremendously helpful - and it would be even better to be able to edit them from within the OS interface, or at least to open them in another tab directly from the OS window where they're being used.
    It looks like some screenshots of the API unveiling at COFES last week hinted at exactly this.. tabs are able to be created for partner products within the Onshape document.  I would love the ability to have a tab for a One Note doc that could be referenced AND edited either within the Onshape interface or the Microsoft apps.  This would be awesome for collaboration with others that are not using Onshape, but are part of the contributors to the One Note page
  • david_sohlstromdavid_sohlstrom Member, Mentor Posts: 159 ✭✭
    Pete do you have a link to COFES

    Dave
    David Sohlstrom

    Ariel, WA
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,864 PRO
    edited April 2015
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
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