Siemens’ Solid Edge Debuts Trials in the Cloud

Siemens debuts a 45-day free trial version of Solid Edge in the cloud. Go ahead, try it out. They're looking for your input.

In an effort to understand how its users might benefit from a more distributed CAD system, Siemens’ Solid Edge free-trial is now available in the U.S. in the Cloud

As of today Siemens PLM Software is allowing users interested in taking advantage of the free trial of Solid Edge software to choose between a traditional desktop installation method or a new cloud-based streaming option. The company does not intend to change the way Solid Edge features work. Any modelling feature available in your current installation of Solid Edge will be preserved on the Cloud.

Why the Cloud and why now?

So, why is Solid Edge’s developer interested in delivering this option on a trial basis? The answer is simple. They’d like hear from users like you whether a more portable CAD tool would benefit your work flow, and if so, how.

According to Dan Staples, VP of Development for Mainstream Engineering at Siemens PLM, Solid Edge’s new Cloud-based trial option will make it easier to try Solid Edge, without the need to install it first.  

Once a user has registered for the free trial, they’ll be prompted to create a user id and password to log onto Solid Edge’s Streaming service. After logging in, users will launch Solid Edge directly from their web browser that streams from an Amazon server. During their evaluation, users can store their files in DropBox by easily linking their two accounts.

Cloud based CAD is a response to more decentralized engineering

Siemens would only comment on the Solid Edge free trial.  But in this reporter’s opinion, today we’re seeing the engineering world become more decentralized. Engineers working on larger projects often need the flexibility of working from multiple machines in different environments to get a job done. Having a CAD tool that can be logged into rather than locally launched means that engineers can work from anywhere they have internet access, making them more productive overall. Though some may think that cloud-based CAD is a bit strange, in the last year we’ve seen a massive push by the likes of Autodesk (Fusion 360, RECAP) and Dassault (3DEXPERIENCE) to make better use of the cloud and its seemingly infinite resources.

However, each of these companies has seen a bit of a push back with users reluctant to adopt a subscription-based model where their software is rented, rather than owned. Though the cloud gives users the most up-to-date software and tools it also means that you’ll perpetually pay for a software that may have only cost $5K in the past. What’s more, users have rightly voiced their concerns about IP security in the cloud. Again, pushing security off onto a third party might seem like the best remedy for a massive headache.  However, what’s sacrificed might be more important than what’s gained. Still, by now it’s safe to say that the cloud will play a big role in the way CAD operates in the future. Unlike others, Siemens is taking an approach with Solid Edge in the cloud to offer it as a free trial option for its customers. This not only gives customers more choice, it also helps Siemens better understand how their customers benefit.  We have already seen this approach from Siemens with the choice it offers to purchase Solid Edge on a subscription basis on the web or purchase a perpetual license through traditional sales channels.