How do we access Onshape without Internet?

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Design teams no longer need to sync their CAD data from remote laptops with their master CAD data on the office server. With Onshape’s built-in version control, there is no confusion over which design is the latest, most up-to-date version.

On top of this the global pandemic created an immediate, and in some cases, lasting change for companies of all sizes. One of the most significant challenges for many businesses was access to design data when entire teams were forced to shift to remote work away from their traditional offices. For many companies, this new demand highlights the fact that their legacy, file-based CAD design software was built around the assumption of in-office work with no flexibility for remote use.

For many designers and engineers thrust into this new paradigm of working from home, the change was disruptive. The lack of access to their office workstations meant delays as they sought workarounds to address their project deadlines and customer needs. In addition to the challenges of accessing design files, many were confronted with the absence of their in-office IT personnel whom they could call upon to troubleshoot problems in real-time.

Horror stories have emerged of the workarounds required for some users to access their design data. These workarounds include engineers having to place their PC in their car and drive to the parking lot of their office to connect to the office server to access and download time-sensitive CAD files. After working on their files at home, these users then had to make a return trip to the office lot to upload and check in their files to enable collaboration with colleagues. Some common issues facing users around how we use Onshape are.

 

Can I use Onshape with no internet connection / Offline mode?

No, there is not an offline mode in Onshape. A reliable Internet connection is needed. No offline mode ensures there are no insecure offline copies of data and is the only way to give users global real-time single source of file truth.

What if the server is down?

Onshape currently has better than 99.99% (“four nines”) uptime. This means that we are down less than 8 hours per year.

How much internet DATA does Onshape typically use?

The amount of data Onshape uses varies per use case.  Onshape can be used over 3G & 4G and does not require as much data as one would think because the data is rendered, not streamed.  Data use would typically be higher if using a file-based CAD system.

What speed/lag/latency will I have?

Because Onshape does actual rendering within the browser and is not streaming data, customers find that any business-class internet will run Onshape efficiently.  Additionally, we have customers who confirm they can use Onshape on historically weak internet connections, such as in a hotel or even on an airplane.

Can I locally save my models?

Yes, users can export and locally save models to a neutral format.  However, Onshape is meant to be used in a web browser and provides advanced workflows that negate the need to save files locally.

Looking to the future, companies are facing the reality that the increase in remote work is likely here to stay. Even when the pandemic abates, some office work resumes, many analysts note that a complete return to full-time office work is unlikely. McKinsey and Company, in their recent “Future of Work” report, forecasts a hybrid home-office approach as the most likely scenario. These predictions correlate with actual worker preferences. A recent Fortune magazine survey found that only 9% of office workers who are still remote say they’d like to always work in the office in the future.

An additional 56% of those surveyed by Fortune prefer a hybrid model. Faced with a growing demand for remote productivity tools to support work from home, many product development leaders are recognizing that their file-based legacy CAD systems are undermining their future business goals.

To address the significant challenge of enabling anywhere, anytime remote access for employees and contractors, companies are seeking cloud-based platforms that deliver secure and reliable access to product designs and help teams stay productive.  Cloud-based solutions are already used in nearly every critical facet of business life today — ranging from customer and sales CRM and project management to human resources software. The principal benefit is the simple intuitive access and availability of data, regardless of where users are located.

For product development teams, cloud-based CAD and data management platforms provide unprecedented accessibility with a secure way for users to create, collaborate and share design documents from any web-enabled device. In addition, cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) design tools are especially well suited to boost cross-departmental collaboration when it is most critical — at the earliest stages of product development when it is possible to explore more alternative ideas.

Designers and engineers want to stop wasting time hunting for the correct version of their design files and data. With cloud-native CAD and data management software, there is no more searching. The latest version of a design is always in the same secure workspace, which all members of the team (those with permissions) can instantly access.

 

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