What is CAT3DX?
Today’s topic will focus a little on the licensing side of CATIA – namely CAT3DX and the theory of what it is here for.
Several years ago, Dassault changed the way they were packaging CATIA V5 by introducing PLM Express as a way to buy it; my colleague Jason Johnson explained this in a previous post. As he had mentioned, this was referred to as CATIA TEAM PLM and was really designed to allow for connecting current CATIA V5 users of their new PLM offering, which was ENOVIA SmarTeam. He also wrote briefly about the configurations and trigrams that make up the software. The easiest way to think about a trigram per se is to know that a group of trigrams make up a configuration, and trigrams by themselves give you access to particular workbenches – or in some cases only add toolbars to existing workbenches.
Why does this matter? Because there is a new sheriff in town called 3DEXPERIENCE. Much more than a PLM system, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform suite of tools will assist the user in management of their daily work, projects, processes, BOMs, documents, CAD, etc. While an old CAC (CAT) license – which was the base configuration for PLM Express – would give you access to SmarTeam by bundling in TDM and TEM trigrams, the new CAT3Dx will now give you all of that, as well as access to the ENOVIA 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, by giving you the PCS and CNV trigrams as well. These are the minimum trigrams needed to connect to the platform (the price for admission).
The Dassault idea is still the same – help CATIA v5 users move away from file-based, directory-based storage (which has always presented its own challenges) and help companies regain control of their data via the new platform. The only caveat to this is that you would install ENOVIA to manage your data, which is not as simple as throwing in a set of discs like SmarTeam was. ENOVIA requires the setting up of a database using SQL or Oracle, and then configuration of the various pieces (web server, authentication, java virtual machine, etc.). Once this has been configured, the base PCS, CNV combination gives you the ability to vault your data and set up workspaces for where and how it will be stored, as well as do some level of change management on it. (set up Change Requests and Routes for how your data will be routed) to get it through its life cycle to release.
The ENOVIA applications that come with the PCS, CNV combination are Classify & Reuse, Collaboration & Approvals, Collaborative Lifecycle, Design IP Classification, Exchanges Management, My Collections, My Issues, My Route Tasks, and X-CAD Design. These are plenty enough to help your team begin to get to a single source of truth – meaning, never having to guess what state the latest data is in.
You also have access applications for business intelligence information. This includes access to the latest technology of Dashboards. Dashboards are ways of viewing data configured to your liking. Not at all unlike the old igoogle portal which allowed you to customize your view of news, etc. In 2012 Dassault acquired Netvibes.
Netvibes, which has been around since 2005, was one of the pioneers of the “dashboarding” technology. It allowed a user to personalize RSS and Social media feeds, images, apps, and smart devices and aggregate all that data to give them the ability to monitor it all in a single dashboard. With this technology now on the Dassault platform, you have the ability to analyze data in its social context, which will help automate business process to drive faster decision-making. Not only that – it will allow an Enterprise to listen, learn, and act on information important to their business. As with everything else Dassault sells, there are different levels to this technology for analyzing and the costs vary, but even OOTB (Out of the box) you can personalize the RSS feeds and build Dashboards like the one below, which shows some parts in the database, as well as some quick links, and netvibes RSS feeds that are of interest.
But enough about the Platform; how does this affect CATIA V5? Very simple: In CATIA V5, once configured, you get a new toolbar named 3DEXPERIENCE with a pulldown menu.
Now, with things stored in a database, your open menu would look like the one below, with a lot of options for loading, searching, etc.
There are many practical reasons to convert your PLM Express licenses over to CAT3DX licenses, especially as the cost is minimal; it’s not too tricky if you go from Classic versions as well. It is increasingly inevitable that OEMs will be moving to the platform for CATIA V6, which does not exist without it; why not get a better grip on your data and take advantage of the platform capabilities to get ahead of the game while still using V5 ?
Bottom line: we at Tata Technologies are always looking to keep you ahead of the game and we have the experts and experience to get you out of file based systems that rely on the network and potential misinformation. Let us know how we can help you with your CATIA V5, CATIA V6 or 3D EXPERIENCE needs.
Any questions or thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.