HELiOS 2019 - the new PDM Generation

Developmental focuses for HELiOS 2019 were on a consistent standardization of the masks and dialogues, as well as on a further advancement of the Multi-CAD functionality and the development of the new HELiOS Internet Server.

As already in the last years, the old masks and result list have been constantly replaced by new and more powerful dialogues; with HELiOS 2019, these replacements could be finalized and included the last remaining dialogues, making a double management of masks and context menus redundant.

One highlight of the new HELiOS version is the new workspace for the HELiOS Desktop that was newly introduced, as has already been done in a similar way for the Office interface or the Multi-CAD interfaces. Documents that are opened and edited via the HELiOS Desktop and without any interface will be stored in the workspace directory. As a result, the user has a constant overview of all documents and can check them into HELiOS at any time.

The Autodesk Inventor interface, too, has been significantly enhanced, e.g. with regard to its update options for assemblies upon loading, the filtering for irrelevant changes upon saving, the batch reimport and batch update options, the separate selection or deselection of drawings and presentations, the support of adaptive geometries, and much more.

The Highlights:
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HELiOS General and Desktop
  • Workspace
    As of HELiOS 2019 the Workspace that you already know from the Multi CAD and Office interfaces will be available to you in the HELiOS Desktop, too. Here, all documents of the session will be listed. Documents that are opened and/or edited via the HELiOS Desktop will be stored in the workspace directory. This will constantly provide you with a clear overview of the corresponding HELiOS objects, so that you can check them into the database when required. When closing the HELiOS Desktop a question regarding the handling of objects that are still in the Workspace will be displayed.
  • New dialogue windows
    As already in the last years, the old masks and result list have been constantly replaced by new and more powerful dialogues; with HELiOS 2019, these replacements could be finalized and included the last remaining dialogues, making a double management of masks and context menus redundant.
  • Workflow - Send E-mails with notes
    In the action list for Role Workflow steps you can now determine that in the case of certain Workflow steps (e.g. Request checkup or Release), E-mails are automatically sent to relevant users. The note commenting on a Workflow status can be sent together with the E-mail in the process.
  • Option for mandatory project/folder selection
    In some cases it makes sense to restrict access to particular projects and/or folders of the HELiOS database for particular users or user groups - e.g. external suppliers that have been integrated into the system. This can be achieved by deactivating the new permissions function Work folder-independent or Work project-independent in the Management of the EDBSETUP for particular users.
  • Changeability of old indices by Administrator
    The new database option Changeability of old indices by Administrator enables Adminsistrators to edit old indices. This concerns both meta data and the relevant files, and will also take effect when saving documents in interfaced CAD systems and importing files in the HELiOS Desktop.
  • Integrated preview for standard image formats
    Image formats such as JPEG, TIF, BMP, PNG, etc. which have been saved as documents to HELiOS can now be displayed by the new, integrated graphic viewer of HELiOS. You can zoom into graphics and move the selected detail at any time. This allows an easy representation of neutral formats and reduces the number of external viewers that may be required.
  • Support of SQL Server 2019
    HELiOS 2019 supports the new SQL Server 2019.
HELiOS and HiCAD
  • Automatic transfer of product structure and article master attributes upon saving
    In the Configuration Editor you can specify whether changes to the product structure and changes to HiCAD part attributes in the HELiOS article master are to be synchronized upon each saving in HiCAD.
  • New dialogue for unlocking of HELiOS objects
    For unlocking of objects that are currently edited by other instances, the ReleasedNext tool was used in previous versions. This tool has now been replaced with a revised, integrated dialogue window that automatically opens after starting HELiOS (or HiCAD) if such objects have been found.
  • Pre-mounted assemblies in BOMs
    When working with pre-mounted assemblies in practice, you sometimes want only the assemblies, but not their sub-parts to be shown in BOMs. This can be achieved via the article attribute COMPONENT_PREINSTALLED, which needs to be assigned to the article master of the pre-mounted assembly.
  • Loading of the current article master of semi-finished products in attached parts
    In previous versions, existing article masters of semi-finished products were not transferred to HiCAD when inserting attached parts such as Steel Engineering connections, stairs, railings, element installations, profile installations etc. From HiCAD 2019 onwards this behaviour can be changed via a setting in the Configuration Editor.
  • Excel BOM with bar optimisationn
    Similar to the Excel BOM output from HiCAD, a new BOM template called PRODUCT_ISD_HiCAD is now available, which allows the output of bar optimisations for BOM exports via product structure.
HELiOS and Autodesk Inventor
  • Performance
    A performance increase of about 8% could be achieved for model structure build-up in Inventor with HELiOS 2019.
  • Attributmapping
    As of HELiOS 2019 the mapping of attributes between Inventor and HELiOS can be performed, in both directions, via new dialogues in the user interface.
  • Expanded HELiOS Options for the loading behaviour uf componets
    In the HELiOS Options dialogue window you can influence the loading behaviour (updating of attributes) of components which have already been opened in the context of other documents. If never versions of components of a document exist on the Server (this concerns both (file) changes of the corresponding components and the indexing by HELiOS), these can be updated to the new state when opening them in their local CAD environment or choosing Data > Apply server state. Since an automatic check on updatings upon opening of sub-assemblies from an already opened assemblies can be very time consuming, and since you might still prefer continuing your work with the state that applied to the superordinate assembly when it was opened, you can use the Update components option, with which the automatic updating can be activated or deactivated. An additional query for confirmation of the update can be activated or deactivated.
  • Indication of locally changed files in Workspace
    In the HELiOS Workspace you can find the new Changed, local column, where a computer symbol indicates that a document has been changed and saved locally since the last synchronization with HELiOS.
  • Exchange active part
    In the HELiOS Ribbon tab for the active part you can find the new functions Exchange and Exchange, all. These enable you to exchange components in your model drawing via the Combined search in HELiOS.
  • Update properties (all)
    The Update function group of the HELiOS and the HELiOS - Active part Ribbon tab now offers the new Update properties (all) function. This function updates the properties of the model as well as the displayed names of all direct sub-parts.
  • Linked drawings
    HELiOS 2019 comes with improved behaviour of linked documents and drawings. For instance, if a linked document cannot be clearly assigned to an opened drawing, a selection dialogue will be displayed.
  • Batch update and Batch reimport
    In the Datafunction group of the HELiOS Ribbon tab you can now find the new functions Batch update and Batch reimport.
    • Use the Batch update function to update multiple HELiOS documents (batches) in one step via the Combined search mask. The documents will be loaded, set to "In progress", updated and checked in one by one (they will not be automatically removed from the workspace).
    • With the Batch reimport you can update existing HELiOS documents via a renewed import of the corresponding files from a file system, e.g. if a change of HELiOS documents through external tools (e.g. update to newer CAD versions) should be followed by a subsequent update of the documents in HELiOS, or the import of subsequent corrections of original files is to take place when transferring data. This takes place via a selection dialogue works in the same way as the one for the Batch import function.
  • Support of adaptive geometries
    HELiOS 2019 supports so-called adaptive geometries in Inventor. Adaptive geometries and parts consist of underdefined components for possible later design changes, e.g. in cases where you expect a part or a sub-assembly of a still unknown size to be inserted in a still incomplete assembly, or where the position and size of an element depends on the position and size of a different element in a part or assembly. These adaptive elements are marked accordingly in Inventor and will be recognized by HELiOS, to ensure that their marking will still be preserved after their transfer to the HELiOS database.
  • Identification options for substitution geometries
    For use cases where multiple geometries are linked to the same article master - e.g. one exact model and several simplified models - you can indicate the document that is relevant for a synchronization of the article master attributes or the product structure. For all other document no synchronization must be performed.
  • Select/deselect drawings and presentations
    When transferring the CAD model structure to the HELiOS Database with the New in HELiOS function, and also when deriving model structures, you can automatically select/deselect drawings and presentations in the dialogue window. The new option allows you to determine with one mouse click whether drawings and/or presentations which are linked to a model are to be selected or deselected together with the model.
  • Support of bolt and stud connections
    Bolt and stud connections can now be managed with HELiOS. The standard parts are made available in the HELiOS Workspace and will be exchanged in bolted connections upon saving or initial takeover via the New in HELiOS function. A subsequent change of the connections is also possible.
HELiOS Internet Server

The web-based access to HELiOS via HELiOS Internet Server (short: HIS) has been revised completely, now using the most recent web technologies. Masks and result lists are configurable by means of HELiOS standard mechanisms and can be adjusted even during runtime. One notable highlight is certainly the embedded representation of article and document detail masks. Product structures, too, are now displayable in the new HIS.

HELiOS Spooler
  • Export of image formats for Inventor documents
    Image formats such as JPEG or BMP can now also be (automatically) output from Autodesk Inventor via the HELiOS Spooler by means of suitable conversion jobs.
  • Optional database connection
    To be able to use the new attribute mapping for the filling in of title blocks in Inventor during the output via Spooler, you have also the option to configure a database connection for the HELiOS Spooler.

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