SOLIDWORKS Streams Instant CAD Application Trials on Amazon AppStream 2.0

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Seeking to Stream Instant Online Trials

Millions of engineers and designers rely on SOLIDWORKS computer-aided design (CAD) software to create innovative products. Professionals in nearly 300,000 organizations worldwide use SOLIDWORKS software’s 2D- and 3D-modeling capabilities to create everything from car parts to furniture.

For many years, the company’s resellers struggled to get prospective customers to download free trials of SOLIDWORKS applications. The process called for access to a powerful workstation and required large downloads—typically 5-gigabyte files—that often took a full day to complete. “Five gigabytes is a lot to download just to try out software,” says Todd Watts, the SOLIDWORKS’ director of research and development, web applications, and cloud services. “As a result, we lost a lot of sales opportunities.”

Over the past several years, SOLIDWORKS paid close attention to the growing trend of customers streaming browser-based applications. “We loved the idea of being able to stream our application in a browser to anyone’s computer anywhere,” Watts says. “By streaming, we saw an opportunity for our resellers to lower the barrier to access for users wanting to try our software.”

“Using Amazon AppStream 2.0, our prospects can start a SOLIDWORKS trial in seconds instead of hours, without having to download, install, or configure anything on their computer.”

Todd Watts, Director, R&D, Web Applications, and Cloud Services, SOLIDWORKS

  • About SOLIDWORKS
  • Benefits
  • AWS Services Used
  • About SOLIDWORKS
  • SOLIDWORKS provides computer-aided design and engineering applications used by engineering and design professionals to design and build products. The company’s applications are used by more than 3 million people in 80 countries.

  • Benefits
    • Delivers streaming application trials in seconds instead of hours
    • Helps prospects complete trials in hours instead of weeks
  • AWS Services Used

Streaming SOLIDWORKS to Prospective Customers

SOLIDWORKS can now offer instant trials of SOLIDWORKS 2018 CAD Premium to prospective customers in any part of the world via a browser. “Using Amazon AppStream 2.0, our prospects can start a SOLIDWORKS trial in seconds instead of hours, without having to download, install, or configure anything on their computer,” says Watts. As a result, prospects can complete full trials of the application’s latest version in hours instead of weeks. In addition, because Amazon AppStream 2.0 provides GPU-optimized instances, SOLIDWORKS prospects can experience the software the same way they would on their local workstation.

SOLIDWORKS has also given more of its customers access to new features by offering beta testing through Amazon AppStream 2.0. The company has increased the number of prospects trying its application from 1,000 to 21,000 each month. “We are lowering the barrier for beta testing by using Amazon AppStream 2.0,” says Watts. “We can stream early beta versions of our software for our subscribers, and we can run the betas for several months. It’s a great way to get fast feedback on features and updates, so we can enhance our software based on user preferences.”

The company is currently exploring additional use cases based on Amazon AppStream 2.0. “AWS is driving a progressive roadmap to make this product better,” says Watts. “For example, they’ve added localization and regionality, as well as faster speeds. Amazon AppStream 2.0 is incredibly powerful and constantly improving, and that’s why we love it.”

Delivering Application Trials in Seconds, Not Hours

SOLIDWORKS can now offer instant trials of SOLIDWORKS 2018 CAD Premium to prospective customers in any part of the world via a browser. “Using Amazon AppStream 2.0, our prospects can start a SOLIDWORKS trial in seconds instead of hours, without having to download, install, or configure anything on their computer,” says Watts. As a result, prospects can complete full trials of the application’s latest version in hours instead of weeks. In addition, because Amazon AppStream 2.0 provides GPU-optimized instances, SOLIDWORKS prospects can experience the software the same way they would on their local workstation.

SOLIDWORKS has also given more of its customers access to new features by offering beta testing through Amazon AppStream 2.0. The company has increased the number of prospects trying its application from 1,000 to 21,000 each month. “We are lowering the barrier for beta testing by using Amazon AppStream 2.0,” says Watts. “We can stream early beta versions of our software for our subscribers, and we can run the betas for several months. It’s a great way to get fast feedback on features and updates, so we can enhance our software based on user preferences.”

The company is currently exploring additional use cases based on Amazon AppStream 2.0. “AWS is driving a progressive roadmap to make this product better,” says Watts. “For example, they’ve added localization and regionality, as well as faster speeds. Amazon AppStream 2.0 is incredibly powerful and constantly improving, and that’s why we love it.”