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EDS (note: now UGS) is pushing on with development of the popular Solid Edge modeller with v15 due for release in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Although many of the enhancements to modelling and assembly capabilities are valuable, in many cases they are catch-up with competitors, whereas Solid Edge continues to stand out in 2D capabilities and integrated data management.
These two areas appear to be addressed at very different users however.
Stand alone 2D capabilities are available in the cut down Solid Edge Assembly version that offers full 2D plus a taster of 3D part modelling and the ability to open assembly files.
This can be a tempting prospect for non CAD or 2D only sites as an opportunity to migrate to 3D in a controlled way over time.
Clearly such potential users cannot be classified as early adopters whereas the data management capabilities being enhanced in v15 rely on the soon to be released SharePoint 2 technology from Microsoft that itself relies on SQL server and integration with the forthcoming Windows Server 2003 platform.
Despite EDS claims that SharePoint is a proven technology based on the v1 release, adoption of these bleeding edge technologies requires a very different mindset than cautious 2D migrators.
Nonetheless it is an excellent principle to establish well integrated data management from the outset.
SharePoint provides a data structure handling files and metadata as found in standard Microsoft Office documents such as attributes and properties.
Solid Edge Insight builds on this to handle design-related structures such as assemblies, BOMs, links and relationships including complex associative files.