Moving from SOLIDWORKS to SOLIDWORKS Connected

SOLIDWORKS Connected is a full version of SOLIDWORKS that installs on your computer from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and gives you access to all the platform capabilities granted by your 3DEXPERIENCE roles. In most ways, SOLIDWORKS Connected behaves like SOLIDWORKS, but there are important differences that you need to understand.

The following tables describe major differences between SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Connected and provide links to additional information in other topics.

Documentation for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and the available apps and services is available at a separate online location from this help. For information on how to get started with the platform and use its many data management, collaboration, and design features, see Dassault Systèmes User Assistance.

Access to Dassault Systèmes User Assistance requires 3DEXPERIENCE credentials.

Commonly Used Functionality Differences

The following table summarizes the differences between SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Connected for commonly used SOLIDWORKS functionality.
Functionality Differences in SOLIDWORKS Connected
Installation and Licensing
  • The 3DEXPERIENCE platform uses named user licensing. A license is assigned when an administrator grants a role to you. A role determines the 3DEXPERIENCE services and apps that you are entitled to use.

    Your license does not issue a serial number. The license is not tied to a particular machine. There is no need to activate, deactivate, or show licenses.

  • SOLIDWORKS Connected installs from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • Only English or your local language (if supported) is installed.
  • The Compass lists the apps and roles to which you have a license. Products are available according to the Platform Management dashboard on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
User Interface
  • Quick Access Tools are available in the Menu Bar, or in the CommandManager.
  • Uses tagging scheme on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • These Task Pane tabs are replaced by 3DEXPERIENCE platform features:
    • SOLIDWORKS Resources
    • File Explorer
    • Custom Properties
    • Search

    The Task Pane is always visible.

  • Use 3DSpace and 3DSearch to browse and search for documents instead of File Explorer.
Opening files Each file that you open is compliant with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Two tools are available for opening files:
  • Open uses 3DSearch to find models stored in any collaborative space on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that you can access.
  • Open from This PC opens models (SOLIDWORKS files and other supported file types) external to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Saving files Three save tools are available:
  • Save Saves files to the currently active collaborative space by default. To save the files to another space, you must make that space the active space.
  • Save with Options saves with additional PLM options.
  • Save to Local Cache Saves a local copy of a file to the local cache. The file must be saved on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

    Files that you can save locally include blocks, templates for drawings and BOMs, and dimension styles.

  • You can control all configuration properties concurrently.
  • You can add library features. Linking to external library features is unsupported.
  • You can use equations. Linking to text files is unsupported.
  • You can use forming tools but you cannot maintain a link to forming tools if you change the parent forming tool. Forming tools use .SLDFTP files only. You do not have to specify forming tools folders.
  • Configurations appear as physical products and representations on the CAD Family / PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) tab. A physical product is a configuration with a part number that you can order on a bill of materials. A representation is a child configuration of a physical product that represents a state of the physical product.
  • Alternate position views appear as a representation on the CAD Family / PLM tab.
  • Supports one level of derived configurations for new parts.
  • To create a custom PropertyManager using Configuration Publisher, the assembly must have two or more configurations.
Export Two export options are available:
  • Export SOLIDWORKS Files exports files in their native format, for example .SLDPRT, .SLDASM, or .SLDDRW .
  • Export As exports SOLIDWORKS data as non-SOLIDWORKS file formats from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Other Functionality Differences

Functionality Differences in SOLIDWORKS Connected
3D Interconnect
  • 3D Interconnect functionality is always turned on.
  • While importing neutral CAD files in SOLIDWORKS, the 3D Interconnect references for assemblies are dissolved and corresponding SOLIDWORKS assembly and part files are created for each component reference. The SOLIDWORKS part files contain the 3D Interconnect feature link to the neutral CAD part file.
Access to 3D models from component suppliers and individuals Marketplace PartSupply replaces 3D ContentCentral to access 3D models and configurations from component suppliers and individuals.
Design Library The Design Library contains items such as annotations, blocks, and forming tools. You can manage common, reusable files such as .SLDPRT, .SLDASM, and .SLDDRW files in a 3DEXPERIENCE collaborative space.
eDrawings Use 3DPlay. 3DPlay is available as a widget in 3DDashboard. It is also built into many 3DEXPERIENCE apps such as 3DSearch, 3DSpace, and 3DMarkup.
Managing Cache Use Manage Local Cache to remove files in your local cache.
Publish Publish saves SOLIDWORKS templates, sheet formats, library feature parts, and forming tools Publish supports: .PRTDOT, .SLDFTP, .SLDLFP, .ASMDOT, .DRWDOT, .SLDDRT.
  • To open the Routing Library Manager you first need to open SOLIDWORKS Connected.
  • You add components from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform using Insert Component instead of the Design Library.
  • Template files are kept locally, not on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • The following Routing functionality is not supported:
    • Highlight Search
    • P&ID
    • Reuse routes
    • Route Properties
    • Tag Scheme Manager
    • In Routing Library Manager, Route Properties, Piping and Tubing Database, and Tag Scheme Manager
Summary Information dialog box The Summary Info and Custom tabs are replaced with the Configuration Properties and Properties Summary tabs in the Properties dialog box. You can apply custom information to configuration properties.

Alternate Functionality

Functionality SOLIDWORKS Connected
Administrative Image Option Editor .

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS apps are not installed by administrative images. The administrator grants user roles. Users download and install their granted software on demand. Users also download and apply updates on demand if the software requires updating.

Browse Recent Folders Use My Content in 3DSearch to list your content.
Find References Use the MySession app for tools such as Properties and Related Objects for finding parents, children, where used, and other related items.
Icon Color Selection All icons use the same color scheme.
Inserting Files You can insert files that are stored on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Login Use your 3DEXPERIENCE ID. You can log in with your existing SOLIDWORKS ID if it uses the same email address as the one your administrator used to invite you to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Otherwise, you need to create a new 3DEXPERIENCE ID.
Linear Static Analysis for Parts and Assemblies You can load the SOLIDWORKS Simulation add-in if you have the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Premium and 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Simulation Designer roles.
Make Part from Block Unsupported.
Open Drawing tool Use the MySession app to find related drawings.
Pack and Go Use Export SOLIDWORKS Files.
PhotoView 360 Use SOLIDWORKS Visualize Connected.
Reload Use Reload from Server.
Save All You can only save the active model.
Search for files, models, commands, help, and MySolidWorks You can search for content using the search box at the top of the 3DEXPERIENCE Task Pane in SOLIDWORKS Connected and throughout the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. You can also use the Open tool.
Send To Use 3DEXPERIENCE platform collaboration capabilities.
Show in Folder Use 3DSearch.

Tools on the MBD Dimension toolbar are supported.

Time-based Motion You can load the SOLIDWORKS Simulation add-in if you have 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Premium and 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Simulation Designer roles.
SOLIDWORKS PDM Use the MySession app as the gateway to data and lifecycle management on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
SOLIDWORKS Visualize SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard, Professional, and Boost are unsupported. The Professional and Premium roles include SOLIDWORKS Visualize Connected. You can manage Visualize projects on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Treehouse Use the 3D Product Architect role for similar functionality.
Virtual components You cannot create new virtual components. When you open an assembly with virtual components from:
  • Your local computer (using Open from This PC), components are no longer virtual when you save the assembly to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • The 3DEXPERIENCE platform, components remain virtual when you save the assembly to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. This scenario applies if you first saved the assembly to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in the legacy SOLIDWORKS software and PLM services, then opened it in SOLIDWORKS Connected. You can save legacy virtual components as external components. This does not mean they are saved outside of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It means they are no longer virtual components but are handled as regular components managed on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Unsupported Products

  • CircuitWorks
  • Partner add-ins
  • SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D/Schematics
  • SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, HVAC Module, and Electronics Cooling Module
  • SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standard and Professional
  • SOLIDWORKS Plastics Standard, Professional, and Premium
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, Professional, and Premium
  • SOLIDWORKS Sustainability
  • SOLIDWORKS Toolbox
  • Task Scheduler
  • Xpress products