Every year, designers and engineers alike eagerly anticipate what fancy new tools the newest edition of SOLIDWORKS is going to offer. Usually to find out about that you have to wait until it gets closer to release in October, but what if you could get an early sneak peek and mess around under the hood of the newest edition a little earlier?
Guess what? You can! Every year SOLIDWORKS allows customers with subscription service to download and participate in the beta program, free of charge. For those interested in participating in the beta program, here is everything you need to know about getting involved.
Oh, and the 2019 Beta program is now live! So go ahead and click the link to start using it today!
SOLIDWORKS Beta Program FAQ
Is there an online version of Beta that does not require me to do a client installation?
Yes. You can launch SOLIDWORKS Online Beta 3 by logging into the Beta website and clicking on the 'Try Online' button.
Is Beta testing confidential?
Yes. You are under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during the Beta period. You cannot share any information about the Beta release.
How do I participate?
No sign up is required. Access to the Beta software is automatically available to SOLIDWORKS subscription service customers. If you are currently on subscription and your SOLIDWORKS serial number is registered in your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal account, then the Beta software will be available to download during the beta period (late June to mid-September). See download instructions below.
Once the Beta period begins, you will have exclusive access to:
- Test-drive new and enhanced products
- Share feedback directly with the SOLIDWORKS Beta team
- Connect with the SOLIDWORKS Beta community and interact with the R&D team
- Win over 100 prizes!
To be notified about the Beta Program, create a login to your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal account, click on 'My Profile', select 'Notify me for Beta Programs', and click on 'Save'.
How do I download the Beta releases?
- Go to the Beta website.
- Click on 'Login'.
- Login with your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal credentials.
- Read and accept the Beta Program Terms and Conditions.
- Click on 'Download'.
- Read and accept the SOLIDWORKS Download End User License Agreement.
- Click ‘Download’ to download the SOLIDWORKS Beta Installation Manager.
- Run the SOLIDWORKS Beta Installation Manager to download and install products.
Once you have a Beta release installed, you can use the SOLIDWORKS Background Downloader to receive notifications and automatically download new Beta releases.
How do I setup the Beta release?
- By default, the Beta installation does not overwrite or upgrade existing production installations of SOLIDWORKS® products.
- Set ALL file locations in Tools > Options to Beta-specific testing locations.
- Keep ALL Beta templates, design library data, etc. separate from your production data.
- Do NOT use SOLIDWORKS Beta products with your production files. If you want to test your production data, make copies of that data for testing purposes.
What can I do to be an effective Beta tester?
- Test your normal production workflows.
- Modify your normal production workflows to accommodate new functionality.
- Review the “What's New” document (in SOLIDWORKS®, Help > What’s New) and test new functionality with newly created data or with your copied production data.
- Connect with the SOLIDWORKS Beta community and interact with the R&D and management teams on the Beta forums.
How do I submit bugs and feedback?
To submit bugs (option 1):
- Go to the Beta website
- Click on 'Login'
- Login with your SOLIDWORKS® Customer Portal credentials
- Read and accept the Beta Program Terms and Conditions
- Click on 'SUPPORT' at the top of the page
- Click on the 'New' button to fill out and submit a Beta Service Request (SR)
To submit bugs (option 2):
- Run SOLIDWORKS® Rx
- Click on the 'Problem Capture' tab
- Complete 'Step 1' and 'Step 2'
- In 'Step 3', choose 'Describe the problem by submitting a service request through the customer portal. This requires an active subscription.' and click on ‘Continue’
- A web browser opens and automatically directs you to the Beta support page. Fill out and submit a Beta Service Request (SR) form
To submit feedback:
- Visit the Beta forum and create a discussion or ask a question
Notes for submitting bugs:
- Describe your issue in detail and attach relevant images, instructions, and files. Use SOLIDWORKS® Rx to expedite this process.
- Contact SOLIDWORKS directly about Beta issues and bugs by submitting Beta SRs.
- The SOLIDWORKS Beta Program Support Team will review your SRs.
- Bugs will be assigned an SPR number and you will be notified by email when the bug is resolved.
Is there an easy way to test SOLIDWORKS® PDM?
Yes. We provide a hosted database and archive servers for you to use. This allows you to create your own vault so that you can test the Beta version without affecting your production environment. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If I install Beta, does it affect my production or commercial licenses?
No. Although you use your commercial serial numbers to download and install Beta versions, Beta license activation is completely separate from commercial license activation, regardless of whether you have standalone licenses or SolidNetWork licenses (SNL). You have as many Beta licenses as you have commercial licenses.
For example, you have a commercial SNL server that serves 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS® Standard and 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Premium. During the Beta period, you can mimic your commercial SNL server and install and setup a separate Beta SNL server that serves 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Standard and 5 licenses of SOLIDWORKS Premium.
Thanks for reading! Don't forget to subscribe to the Alignex Blog below to always stay up-to-date on the world of SOLIDWORKS.
Written by The Alignex Team
The Alignex Team of application engineers combined their depth of experience and industry knowledge to bring you the contents of this article.