I decided that this add-in is far enough along to preview and get some feedback on. The add-in will be called Central and is designed for both Inventor and AutoCAD, although the AutoCAD features may not quite be polished enough for the initial release. So, what is Central? These are the features planned for first release:
- Centralized administration of Inventor & AutoCAD application options: The CAD manager can pick and choose what application options need to be standardized on each client installation. Each time Inventor loads, your application options are checked against your company standards and modified as required.
- Reporting tools: View usage reports for Inventor or AutoCAD and see who is currently using it.
- Client Notifications: Send popup notifications directly to Inventor or AutoCAD. Planning a server outage? Notify everyone who is currently working in the applications.
- Offers a centralized platform for developing additional add-ins requiring storage of company specific settings. My other add-ins such as ‘All Thumbs’ and ‘Design Notes’ will be integrated into the Central platform.
- Example 1: Currently the ‘All Thumbs’ add-in the user sets the preferred background color for file thumbnails. Once integrated with Central, the CAD manager will be able to set the standard thumbnail color and be able to update it at anytime for all client installations right from his or her workstation.
- Example 2: ‘Design Notes’ currently allows you to add notes to an Inventor file and view them. You also can view notes for child files from within an assembly or drawing. Central will allow ‘Design Notes’ to pool all notes for a project to a central location for your whole team to view, all fed directly from each Inventor file within your specific project.
The add-in is getting very close to completion, but no features are guaranteed at this point. If you have any feedback at this point, positive or negative, please post a comment below. You can also check out the preview screenshots. No planned release date yet, but the more feedback I receive will help me determine the direction the completion of this will take. Thanks everyone!
Note: All of the screenshots shown below are from the Inventor add-in portion of the application.