External Sharing


This is the last follow up post to the single sentence summary post.  This post will summarize link based external sharing.

External sharing from within Flatter Files provides a method for sharing to someone outside your organization a password protected link to the drawing that always contains the latest version.  Typical sharing now requires you to send an email with a pdf of the drawing.  If the drawing changes, you must send the drawing again.  Sharing a drawing with an external link provides a way for you to no longer worry about them having the latest version.  In addition, if the drawing is checked out the viewer will be notified when viewing the drawing.  External sharing works with both drawings and assemblies.

Assemblies


This is the third post in follow up to the single sentence summary post where I am summarizing the key features of Flatter Files.  This post will summarize assemblies.

Assemblies are a collection of drawings that provide a simple way to organize all of the individual drawings needed to complete a task.   The result is a single view of all of the drawings needed such that you don't have to look up each drawing contained in the bill of materials.  Each drawing in the assembly is automatically updated anytime a drawing is revised such that you never have to worry about ensuring your assembly contains the latest version of each drawing.

See this post for a detailed discussion of assemblies.

Revision Control

This is the second post in follow up to the single sentence summary post.

Revision control in the context of Flatter Files is focused on providing a review process and revision history that actually improves the workflow instead of merely causing paperwork hurdles that result in decreased productivity.  When editing begins, the drawing is checked out.  The CAD professional can either do this manually with one click or it can be done automatically when the drawing is first saved.  When a drawing is checked out, anyone viewing the drawing will be notified that it is checked out.  Once editing is finished and the drawing is automatically uploaded the CAD Professional simply checks the drawing in and selects a reviewer.  The reviewer is them sent a review notification.  Once the reviewer accepts the drawing a new revision is created.  The revisions are permanently saved and anytime a drawing is being reviewed all previous versions can be viewed by a simple click.

See this post for further details regarding the overall workflow for the CAD Professional.

Automatic Drawing Uploads

In the one sentence summary post, I mention four features that are key to the Flatter Files product.  The next few posts will briefly describe each of these features in a single paragraph.

Automatic drawing uploads will keep your drawings up to date without having to manually upload them.  A desktop application is installed onto at least one computer that has access to your drawings and access to your CAD software.  The application runs entirely in the background and it's main purpose is to convert your drawings to a PDF file using your CAD software and upload the resulting PDF along with appropriate drawing properties to the web application.  This process can be configured to occur every time a file changes, on a schedule, or only when you the user manually tells it to.  The new version of the PDF file that is uploaded is not displayed to viewers until the drawing revision is approved.

One Sentence Summary

Flatter Files is a web application to help CAD users communicate their drawings to viewers more efficiently by utilizing automatic drawing uploads, revision control, assembly grouping, and link based external sharing.

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