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Working Remotely with SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Charles Mayou

There may come a time when users will need to use SOLIDWORKS Electrical when not in the office. Because SOLIDWORKS Electrical is SQL database-driven, working remotely is not entirely straightforward. The client software for SOLIDWORKS Electrical communicates constantly with the server over several pathways, and any latency or disconnection between the client and server can lead to interface lag.

Recommended options for working remotely generally involve solutions that allow strong communication with client and server.

There are three ways to work with SOLIDWORKS Electrical remotely. Your options depend on whether you need to work collaboratively on an individual project with others.

1. Collaborative Work Environment

1.1 Use SOLIDWORKS Electrical via Remote Desktop – If you need to use SOLIDWORKS Electrical in a shared collaborative environment this is the preferred method. You will need to have a computer that is on the local network with the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server, and have the client software installed on it (This can be the server if needed). You can then use any remote access tool you choose to connect from a remote computer with no installed software needed. This will give the best performance for the end-user by keeping the application on the same local area network as the SQL server, and collaborative file server.

1.2 Use SOLIDWORKS Electrical Over VPN (Not Recommended)- If you have an existing VPN connection and the appropriate ports are open SOLIDWORKS Electrical will function. However, with the nature of how SOLIDWORKS Electrical is written to interact with MS SQL server, this option is the least desirable. The user may experience performance-related issues, such as slow drawing opening, slow symbol insertion, slow wire drawing, etc.

2. Single User Work Environment

2.1 Install SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server on the Local Computer – this is the best option for users that do not need to collaborate within a project with other users. Outlined below is how to set up the local computer to work remotely and, then to connect back to the network hosting the shared electrical environment when returning to the office.
This workflow does require the user to archive the needed items while still connected to the network.  The most efficient way of archiving the needed object is to use the Environment Archive command, you can select all objects and exclude the Projects. See Environment Archiving instruction.
While working in a single user environment, be cautious when you modify shared objects like symbols, title blocks, reports, etc. To prevent loss of modifications, it is advised that you make a copy of the object then modify the copy. This will help mitigate potential data loss when taking projects back to the shared environment.

 

 

Working Remotely Setup

      1. Before leaving the office (or while otherwise connected to the network),  launch the SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic application, then archive the Project that you will want to work on. Save the archive to the local hard drive.  (You will also want to archive the full environment (without any un-needed projects) if that has not been done)
      2. On the Tool Tab of the ribbon Bar(Command Manager) Select Application Settings.
        A. Take Note of the Collaborative server settings
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        B. Also, Take note of the Database Tab settings.
      3. Close SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
      4. Install SOLIDWORKS Electrical Server on the local computer. See the instruction here. SOLIDWORKS Electrical Installation START HERE
      5. Launch SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic – Change the Application Settings (Collaborative server and Database) to point to the local system (typically “localhost”).  You will need to close the application to apply the settings.
      6. Relaunch SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic
        A. On the first launch of SOLIDWORKS Electrical after connecting to the Local server instance, you will need to run the update.
        B. Unarchive the Environment you saved, depending on the size of your environment this may take some time.
      7. Unarchive the Project you need to work on.
        A. Select ‘Update’ when prompted.
        This will add any of the custom and or modified objects to your local environment.

 

Re-connecting to the Network environment

      1. Launch SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematic - archive project you were working on.
      2. Change the Application setting to point back to the network Server.
      3. Close the application.
      4. Connect to the network.
      5. Launch SOLIDWORKS Electrical
      6. Return the borrowed Electrical license if it has not timed out.
      7. Open SOLIDWORKS Electrical and unarchive the Project. (This will copy the changes back to the Network database for all users.
      8. Select ‘Update’ when prompted, Verify any objects that might have been modified(symbols, Title Blocks, reports, etc.) You may need to select “Keep Both” to prevent any loss of changes.

 

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