Upgrading SolidWorks – How, When, and Why?

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SolidWorks 2013 came out about 9 months ago. The 2013 Beta period began about 3 months before that. And well before that, in February of 2012, we were given our first sneak peek into the new features of SolidWorks 2013. Why is it then, that my company – and countless others – are waiting until mid way through the year to even consider upgrading?

The new features are inarguably useful, and would likely increase any user’s productivity. So what are the Powers That BE afraid of? What is it about a new Version of software that keeps them up at night?

The upgrade process seems to be different for every company. Some have an internal testing process, while others trust SolidWorks and their tireless Beta testers to deliver a quality product. Some companies wait until later Service Packs due to fears of instability in early releases, while some jump at the chance to be early adopters.

My question to you all is, what’s your preference? Will any internal testing plan find bugs that months of Beta testing missed? (Our internal test involved 6 people making a few very simple parts. It didn’t involve any new functionality, or large assembly demands. I’ve come to the conclusion that this was to appease those risk management-minded individuals who don’t actually know how software validation works in general, never mind CAD software specifically.)

Do later Service Packs actually behave noticeably better than early ones, or it that just a myth? Is there any real benefit to waiting. Have any of you out there actually encountered a problem in an early Service Pack that would have been resolved in a later update? And if so, would participating in the Beta program have resulted in catching and fixing that bug? How can we make cool new functionality outweigh the apprehension of the scary unknown?

Bottom line: When is the best time to upgrade and why? And how can your fellow SolidWorks users convince their admins to upgrade at that ideal time?

2 thoughts on “Upgrading SolidWorks – How, When, and Why?

  1. Personally, I prefer to upgrade as soon as the newest service pack comes out. I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies that trust my judgement enough to allow it. I think if a company is afraid of upgrading to the newest version due to bugs, they should participate in the beta program so that they can help to find and eliminate any bugs that pertain to their processes.

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