Notes About Configuring SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

SOLIDWORKS Toolbox is a powerful and complex feature. This topic summarizes some concepts to consider before configuring a Toolbox using SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager.

Finding More Information About SOLIDWORKS Toolbox

For details about configuring, extending, and using SOLIDWORKS Toolbox, click Help > Toolbox in SOLIDWORKS.
To view this help, you might have to start the Toolbox add-in, using Tools > Add-Ins.

Using a Shared Toolbox

When you install Toolbox, you can have Toolbox data on the local computer or in a shared network location. Storing Toolbox data in a network location is recommended. By using a common location, all SOLIDWORKS users share a consistent set of fastener information.

If this is the first time installing, browse to the new shared location where you would like to install the Toolbox.

Upgrading an Existing Toolbox

Upgrading a Toolbox to a new SOLIDWORKS major release version makes that Toolbox incompatible with computers running prior major release SOLIDWORKS versions.

If other computers remain at that prior major release and continue to require a Toolbox configured for that release, you should make a copy of that Toolbox and upgrade that copy. The new SOLIDWORKS installation will upgrade the copy of the Toolbox and the previous SOLIDWORKS installations will continue using the old Toolbox.

Configuring Toolbox Access

After installation, when you access Toolbox components SOLIDWORKS checks how you have configured Toolbox and makes suggestions to improve access and performance.

For accessing the shared network Toolbox (recommended), use a UNC path to the server on which the shared Toolbox was installed. For details, see UNC Format.

An administrator can create a password for Toolbox and set permissions and preferences for the workgroup. Restricting access to configuration and setting common preferences ensures consistent Toolbox data.

Upgrading Toolbox in a SOLIDWORKS PDM Environment

When you upgrade the SOLIDWORKS software, Toolbox is upgraded if parts have been added. If the Toolbox root folder is in a SOLIDWORKS PDM vault, before you start the SOLIDWORKS upgrade, you must prepare the Toolbox folder.

On the first system to perform the upgrade, you must use Get Latest Version to download the Toolbox files to the local cache and check out the Toolbox database file. On other systems that are upgraded, the only requirement is to download the Toolbox files.

Before you upgrade:
  • Ensure that there is a full recent backup of the vault database and archive.
  • Make sure that the Toolbox parts are not checked out or in use by any currently checked out assemblies.

To upgrade Toolbox:

  1. In File Explorer, log in to the vault as a user with full permissions (check out, check in, add, delete).
  2. Right-click the Toolbox folder and click Get Latest Version to copy all Toolbox files and the toolbox database to the local cache.
    If your archive server is remote, this may take several minutes.
  3. Check out the Toolbox database file (SWBrowser.mdb) from \Toolbox_folder_name\lang\your_lang.
  4. Run the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager to perform the upgrade.
  5. On the Summary screen, ensure that the Toolbox Options installation location is the location in the vault.

    If it is not, click Change, select Reference or upgrade an existing Toolbox, and browse to the Toolbox location in the vault.

  6. When the upgrade completes, in File Explorer, check in the Toolbox folder to add any new or updated files to the vault so that other users can work with Toolbox.
  7. For upgrades to SOLIDWORKS 2012 or later, navigate to your Toolbox folder in the vault and ensure that the following are present:
    • \Toolbox_folder_name\Updates
    • \Toolbox_folder_name\ToolboxStandards.xml
    • \Toolbox_folder_name\Browser\ToolboxFiles.index

      If they are not, contact your Value Added Reseller.

  8. Upgrade the rest of the computers that use SOLIDWORKS PDM integration with Toolbox:
    1. In File Explorer, log in to the vault as a user with at least read permission to the Toolbox folder.
    2. Right-click the Toolbox folder and click Get Latest Version to copy the Toolbox files to your local cache.
    3. Run the SOLIDWORKS Installation Manager to upgrade.

      The installer detects that Toolbox is already upgraded.

For details about Toolbox configuration in SOLIDWORKS PDM, see Configuring Toolbox in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Administration Tool help.