We answer 30 of the most Frequently Asked Questions

CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE On the Cloud will allow your business to work anywhere, anyplace communicating in real-time with a “Single Vision of the Truth” on all aspects of projects.

On the Cloud delivers flexibility and easy access to the information you need, when you need it.

But why do it? How to move to the cloud? and what do you need to know? 


 1.  What is CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE Platform On-Cloud?

Dassault Systèmes has invested considerable resource in developing an on-line solution for product lifecycle management applications (PLM). It delivers the benefits of reducing the need for IT infrastructure, eg servers, storage, etc and the reduction to zero of any implementation costs.

  • A full collaborative framework, or next generation PLM solution is hosted and delivered out of the box, On-Cloud.
  • True concurrent engineering, i.e. real time design collaboration capability
  • More than 87% of Dassault’s exhaustive design and engineering portfolio is now available On Cloud
  • Digital manufacturing and production solutions are available
  • Simulation solutions are available
2.  What do you mean by a Collaborative Framework?

The On-Cloud 3DEXPERIENCE platform has an embedded data management capability, meaning you don’t need to worry about files, naming conventions or directory structures as you would with a conventional CATIA V5, SolidWorks on Inventor solution. All information, both CAD and anything else you create and store, e.g. documents, specifications etc. are stored in a database in one location on your Cloud presence. This delivers a “single source of truth” i.e. a repository where all information is kept.

3.  How do I find this information?

Simple. If you can use Amazon to buy something, then you can use the 3DEXPERIENCE search capability. By using successive filtering, e.g. project, creator, data etc. the relevant document is retrieved. All the while in the background the platform is searching and indexing your information, just like Google, so that when you need to find information it is delivered quickly.

4.  Does the On-Cloud platform control documents?

Yes. On-Cloud out of the box you get the ability to give different users, different access rights to projects and hence information. With suitable rights these users then can control the state of any document from inception to release, allowing only those that are authorized to view or edit the information.

5.  Does the platform have a workflow capability?

Yes. Again, out-of-the-box the On-Cloud solution lets you create your custom workflow, for release control for example, which can manage the review and release of any information, whether it is CAD or any other document format.

6.  I have engineers in different offices around the world. How do they get access?

Provided you have sufficient bandwidth you can access your On- Cloud solution anywhere, anytime, anyplace. We have users who work on the train on the way to their office, using wifi access provided by the train operators.

7.  Why would I move to the cloud when I already have an IT infrastructure and appropriate resources (servers, admin, database etc…)?

A lot of our clients do have an IT infrastructure, but an On-Cloud solution delivers more flexibility for their PLM solution e.g. connection to their supply chain, need for new applications, or starting a new innovative process. Further, it delivers a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) by taking advantage of the back-end storage and backup infrastructure. It also brings them flexibility and the opportunity to always benefit from best-so-far IT infrastructure (Some customers also need to quickly deploy infrastructure for dedicated time-limited projects (such as research or marketing). They can take advantage of CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE on the cloud’s rapid and simple deployment, keeping on premise installation for “business as usual” activities.

8.  How do I manage my other CAD formats (including ECAD data)?

Other CAD formats can be imported to the On-Cloud server and converted through dedicated converters which are available on the cloud (Pro-E, NX….). Call Desktop Engineering for a list of the supported formats.

9.  What are the hardware/software and network recommendations?

Hardware and software prerequisites are not different from normal CAD application. As with any graphics application, the better graphics card delivers better speed. Consult with our technical team at Desktop Engineering if you need more details.
Network recommendation depends on each customer’s usage and particularly on the number of users accessing the On-Cloud 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Consult with our team at Desktop Engineering if you need more details.

10.  How do I purchase CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE On-Cloud?

In common with other companies who provide cloud-based solutions, Dassault offers a rental business model. This business model provides flexibility to customers, enabling them to adapt their level of expense to their actual needs both in expanding and contracting according to their needs. Desktop Engineering is an accredited partner with Dassault to advise on your needs and sell you the access to the On-Cloud solution.

11.  Are there any further charges for new releases of upgrades?

No. The rental charge includes any service pack releases and upgrades throughout the term of the rental period. These upgrades are completed by Dassault during the periodic maintenance downtime. There are no charges for these.

12.  If I buy conventional software, it is considered an investment and I am eligible for government grants. What is possible with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud?

There is a TSC (Term Service Charge) business model wherein 3 or 5-year terms are purchased. Further, a PSC option (Primary Service Charge) offers a similar license model as conventional software purchase. Under standard accounting rules, companies have the flexibility to treat the TSC or PSC as capital expenditure.

13.  I bought CATIA V5 seats last year. How will this investment be taken into consideration if I migrate to Cloud?

Previous investments are always respected, and migration paths from V5 to Dassault On Cloud solution are already available. Call Desktop Engineering for details.

14.  I have old CATIA licenses currently out of support. Can I migrate these?

Our previous purchases are respected and a migration to the On-Cloud offering is a good method to get the latest capabilities of CATIA, without paying heavy back maintenance charges.

15.  Can my cloud installation grow with my needs?

Yes, additional seats can be added at any time. Further, any app can be rented short term, a quarter at a time, for specific solutions e.g. simulation.

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 16.  How flexible is it to vary our commitment to the On-Cloud solution?

Very. Small clients on project related activities sometime need to almost stop using the software whilst they go into prototype production or move to other projects. The On-Cloud rental option allows you to reduce your expense to a small retainer, without the use of any apps, in order that your data is stored and secure until the time you need to reactivate your CATIA On-Cloud activities. An alternative would be to backup data locally as 3DXML.

17.  Can I have some form of evaluation of the On-Cloud solution?

Yes. There are two options – a 30 free evaluation for simple testing for non-commercial work, or a 3-month trial of any configuration of the software, which can be used for commercial activity. There is a small charge for this option. We require that you have some level of training beforehand in order that you can derive the full benefit of the apps. Someone with previous CATIA experience would need 2 days of transition training; someone with no experience 4 days.

18.  Who should I call in case of issue/problem?

Desktop Engineering provides a hot line support service for all customers using On-Cloud solutions. Web screen sharing tools let us uncover your problem, and demonstrate solutions live.

19.  What happen to my data created On-Cloud in a previous release when a new release is available?

Dassault Systèmes manages the upward migration automatically during this release migration period.

20.  Is 3DEXPERIENCE On the Cloud available in multiple languages?

Yes. In CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE On-Cloud platform is available in English, German, French, Japanese, and Chinese.

21.  How can I collaborate with external users?

Collaboration is at the heart of the On-Cloud 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The administrator can invite any extended enterprise users on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform of his company. The invited user simply creates a user ID and joins the team. Refer to Q4 about access control.

22.  Is training available?

Desktop Engineering provides regular 3DEXPERIENCE training. Skilled CATIA V5 users need only 2 days of transition training; a Foundation course for new users is 4 days; an Advanced course covering more surfacing and assembly modelling is 4 days. Our training schedule is published on our website.

23.  How is the update of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and Apps on the cloud managed from one release to another?

Prior to availability of the new release, customers are notified via email and through the support communities. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform update (data, licenses), is done automatically. The customer just has to update the Apps and/or the 3DEXPERIENCE Launcher installed on his client machines.

24.  Do I need to do back-ups of data stored in the On-Cloud 3DEXPERIENCE platform?

No. All data On-Cloud is securely backed-up up by the Dassault cloud server providers. This is the advantage of On-Cloud solutions, reducing your IT costs. However, if you wish 3D Data can be extracted as 3DXML files at any time and these can be backed-up locally.

25.  How do I exchange 3D data between conventional CAD installations, such as CATIA V5, SolidWorks or Inventor and the CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE on the cloud?

CATIA V5 native formats can be exchanged both in and out of the On-Cloud CATIA platform. It is also possible through 3DXML export/import or STEP from other CAD applications such as SolidWorks, SolidEdge, or Inventor. Refer to Q8 for converters

26.  Is the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud secure?

Yes, 3DEXPERIENCE platform On the Cloud is secure, probably more secure that most client’s IT infrastructure. For more information, refer to the following documentation:

27.  Does a Private cloud solution exist?

3DEXPERIENCE Platform can be distributed on a Private Cloud with a minimum of 50 users per environment.

28.  When and how are maintenance activities of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform are announced, and planned?

Emails are sent to Administrators of all cloud environments notifying when the maintenance and upgrades will be performed. These are usually on weekends.

29.  How long does it take to get up and running?

After placing an order on Desktop Engineering it takes up to 24 hours for the order to be processed through Dassault following which you get an email with an invitation to click on a hyperlink to initiate your Cloud presence. Click on the link and then it takes 20 minutes for you to be up and running. Delivered on your machine is all the capabilities of CATIA, together with the collaborative framework to manage, share and control data across your enterprise, both internal and external.

30.  Who is hosting my data?

Dassault Systèmes have contracts with two major providers of this kind of IAAS: OUTSCALE and AMAZON WEB SERVICES.

CATIA 3DE Cloud trial cover trans 3D

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