Hurray!!! The 2017 products are ready for download! We made the beta versions available quite a while ago and received great feedback! Thanks to all of you that helped us getting this release done. You can go on the website and start with the download.
Especially in powerVault we got reported bugs in the Get-VaultFileBOM command-let, which retrieves the Vault BOM information attached to the file. In complex assemblies with phantoms, there were some issues with quantity calculation and the like. As powerVault is a core component for powerJobs and powerGate, and we know that you use powerVault a lot also with Data Standard and other stuff, we wanted to get this problem sorted out before releasing the new version. It was the needle in the haystack. It took some time and finally we removed the needle.
One very important change with 2017 is the backward compatibility. You will notice that all the Vault related products are now branded with the version 17, regardless if you install it on Vault 2017, 2016 or 2015. The reason is that we took the effort to create one single code base for all the supported Vault versions. In other words, a version 17 product will have the same features, look&feel and behavior no matter whether you are running Vault 2015, 2016 or 2017. It’s one and the same product, with the appropriate setup for the according Vault version. Moving forward, as we add more features, those will be also available for all supported Vault versions. So, customers under subscription will benefit from new features, even though they might stay on an older Vault version for a while. There will be just one documentation, and you don’t have to worry that a new cool feature might be just available for the latest Vault version. It makes it easier to support. And the compatibility of customizations is granted across the versions. This was something we looked for a while, and finally it’s there. We hope you will enjoy the simplification and benefits.
Talking about compatibility, we have to do an admission. You know that we care a lot of making sure that your investment in customization do not get lost when moving to a new release. We take this quite serious. With the new powerJobs version, we had to do a break. So far, the creation of PDF and other file formats was performed by one single function (Save-FileAs), which was doing everything: downloading the files from Vault to a local workspace, opening the file with the according application, exporting to the whished format such as PDF, closing the file and cleaning up the workspace. This worked great for years, but you asked for more and we listened.
With the new powerJobs, we splitted the Save-FileAs function into his core component, such as download, open, export and cleanup. This way, you have more control over the single actions. For example, you can now use the FastOpen feature of Inventor in order to speed up the opening process for a drawing. So, when you download the files from Vault, you might just download the drawing (without components) and open the drawing with the argument FastOpen (or level of detail, and other options). Just this improvement changed already the life of some customers, where with very large assemblies, the PDF creation of the drawing took more then 30 minutes and now it’s down to less then a minute.
You can also be more specific on the export, by passing arguments and so generate PDF files with no line weight, or export DWG with specific version, or DWF with just outer lines, and more. You can also export all the formats at once, and so reduce the number of jobs and repetitive download and opening of files.
Additionally, you get an easy access to the core application API, such as Inventor, and so before, during and after the export, do some more fancy stuff.
Bottom line is that this change was necessary and brings so many new possibilities and grants the compatibility for the future, as now the respective functions are smaller and so less affected by changes. When installing the new powerJobs, you will notice that we now deliver a lot more samples, where you can see all the improvements we made.
As I mentioned before, we keep the compatibility topic seriously. Therefore, on the wiki you will find the documentation for the upgrade and also a PowerShell script which will make your existing jobs run also with the new version. We basically provide the “old” functions in form of a downloadable script, which internally uses the new functions. Just follow the instructions and your jobs should run with the new powerJobs without additional effort. And in case you still need help, just reach out to our support. However, we strongly recommend you to embrace the new command-lets, as they provide way more flexibility and a much better error handling.
Where is powerGate? It’s on the way! Since we started about 2 years ago with powerGate, we had the pleasure to make quite some interesting projects with you and ERP systems such as SAP Netweaver, SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision), ABAS, ProAlpha, Sage, and many more, and more are on the way. We learned a lot from such projects and decided to improve powerGate as well. Especially the powerGate client command-lets are under rework. We are adding much better and more logging in order to identify issues quicker. New command-lets are coming in order to reduce the amount of code in the scripts and so keep them even simpler and shorter. The error handling becomes much simpler. I will tell you more about this in a few weeks as we come closer to the release date.
As neither the powerGate client nor the powerGate server is bound to a specific Vault version, you can use the 2016 version and run it with Vault 2017. However, I bet you will quite enjoy the new powerGate and we are working hard to get it ready for you in the next 4 to 6 weeks, so stay tuned!
Over the year, we will have some more quite interesting announcements, but as for now, I whish you all the best with the new 2017 products!