SOLIDWORKS to 123insight | The Data Bridge

Requirements Overview

Transferring data between different systems can pose many issues when done manually. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can be prone to human error. This is especially an issue when it comes inputting large, and sometimes complex data, such as the Bill of Materials needed for production. Any incorrect part or quantity added to the Bill of Materials of a manufactured product could quickly become a major issue for any manufacturing company.

In order to address this, The Data Bridge® has been configured to integrate with various add-ons for SOLIDWORKS, an industry-leading software solution, covering all aspects of product development, and design. These add-ons include SOLIDWORKS’ Product Data Management Solution (PDM), and MechWorks’ DBWorks add-on product for SOLIDWORKS.

Both of these integrations are used to seamlessly transfer both part and bill of materials information from SOLIDWORKS into 123insight, resulting in huge savings in time, as well as vastly reducing the risk of errors.

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While these two tried and tested integrations work in different ways, the same information is transferred across based on the required rules and data validation. At pre-defined intervals, The Data Bridge® will carry out data comparison routines on each of the systems to determine whether any modifications have been made to any part structures in SolidWorks, and whether this needs to be transferred into 123insight.

Firstly, The Data Bridge® checks to see if the part being transferred already exists within 123insight. If it doesn’t, the part is created using the 123insight SDKs, otherwise a new version is created against the part. This allows the full bill of materials history to be kept, whilst maintaining that the current version is analogous with SOLIDWORKS.

After the part is created/updated, the full bill of materials is transferred across. If required, The Data Bridge can also be configured to ignore components based on specific rules.

PDM Integration

For this integration PDM was set up to export product data to a file whenever a new version of a product was released. This file is then picked up by The Data Bridge and imported into 123insight. If the file fails to transfer correctly then it is moved to a ‘Failed’ directory and a log is created on The Data Bridge® administration website to alert the user.

DBWorks Integration

For this integration data is pulled directly from the DBWorks database. This data is then held in a bespoke area of The Data Bridge administration website, which gives users that ability to authorise or decline a transfer.

The Data Bridge® also updates this administration area about any successful or failed transfers. For failed transfers, the user will be told why the transfer failed (e.g. a component does not exist within 123insight), and will have the option of retrying the transfer once the required updates have been applied.


Both of these integrations provide a seamless method of ensuring the product information is kept up to date, including a full version history. Not only does this save a great deal of time and cost over manual entry, but it greatly reduces the risk of mistakes being made.

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