DriveWorks Pro 15: DriveWorks Administrator What's New [send feedback...]

DriveWorks Administrator Enhancements

  • DriveWorks Administrator start-performance has been greatly improved.
  • DriveWorks Administrator will automatically select the currently open project in the Create a New Specification dialog.
  • Variables and Categories are now sorted more naturally when the variable or category ends with a number.
  • Undo/Redo is now fully supported in both the Model and Drawing Rules.

New Outputs

New Output types for DriveWorks 9 include:

Export Form Document

The Export Form document type will create an image (.png) of a specified user form as it appears at the point the export is triggered.

To Add an Export Form document

In DriveWorks Administrator open the project the document is to be applied and go to Stage4: Output Rules> Documents

  1. Click the "Add" button on the command bar.
  2. Choose the Export Form item from the Documents list in the Create Document wizard.
  3. Enter a name for the document in the field below the Document and Document Template list. 
  4. Click "Finish".

General Settings

Form to Export

This is the name of the form to be exported as a .png file. This field is automatically populated with the name of the first form to be created in the project.

To change the Form to Export

  1. Click the "Build Rule" button at the end of the Form to Export field.
  2. In the rule builder enter the name of the form that is required to be exported.
  3. Click OK in the rule builder to apply the rule.

File Location

This is the name of the document and the location to where it will be created. This field is automatically populated with the name of the first form to be created in the project along with the .png file extension.

This is the location to store the new document when it is created.

To Build a Path Rule

The rule for the path to store the new document is built by:

  1. Click the Build button at the end of the Path Rule field
  2. Enter a qualified path in the Rule Builder that will be the location of the new document.

Path Rule Examples


If no file path is specified the document will be located at the location specified by the settings Default Specification Folder and Specification Path to form the location:

Default Specificaton Folder \ Specification Path


Will go back a level (..\) from the Project location and place the new document in a folder named Documents.

If the Documents folder does not exist DriveWorks will create it when the document is created
"F:\DriveWorks\" & CustomerReturn & "\" & DWVariableOrderNumber & "\Documents"Will create the document on the network drive F:\DriveWorks. From this point the folder structure calculated by the input Customer, the variable OrderNumber and \Documents will be created.
"\\FileServer\DriveWorks\" & CustomerReturn & "\" & DWVariableOrderNumber & "\Documents"Will create the document on the UNC path \\FileServer\DriveWorks. From this point the folder structure calculated by the input Customer, the variable OrderNumber and \Documents will be created.

Hide From Document List

When this setting is enabled (by checking the box) the document will be hidden from the Documents list in the Specification Explorer.

The Export Form document is triggered in the specification flow by the Release Documents task.

DriveWorks 3D File Document

The DriveWorks 3D File document type references a .drive3d project file created using DriveWorks 3D Workshop.

Learn how to create a DriveWorks 3D FileTo Add a DriveWorks 3D File DocumentTo Edit a DriveWorks 3D File Document

Document Editor

Once a document has been added or edit has been selected from the document list the properties of the document are displayed in the Document Editor window.

The Document Editor is split into various sections that categorize the properties that can be changed.

Master File - Path

This is the path to the master file used as the template to produce any new document from.

It is this path to the file defined when the document type was added.

To change the master file or the location of a new master file:

  1. Click the "Browse" button at the end of the Path field  
  2. Browse to the new location of the master file.
When changing the Master File, any rules applied in the Output File and Captured Properties sections will be removed.

Output File

Path RuleFile Name Rule

Captured Properties

The Captured Properties section displays all the properties that were captured from the DriveWorks 3D File using DriveWorks 3D Workshop.

This section displays the Model explorer on the left, filtered to show only the captured properties.

On the right is a list view of all the parameters that can be driven for the property selected from the Model Explorer.

To build a rule for a captured property:

  1. Locate and select the captured property in the model explorer
  2. Select the required parameter from the list view of parameters on the right.
  3. Click Build to launch the rule builder

The Following lists all the properties that can be captured from a DriveWorks 3D file and gives examples of rules for each available parameter.

AppearancesDisplay StatesComponents - AssemblyComponents - PartsGeneral Settings

The DriveWorks 3D file document is triggered in the specification flow by the Release Documents task.

Rule Builder & Rule Enhancements

  • Speedier time-to-open.
  • New Drill Down Feature.
  • Collapsible Command Bar.
  • Wizards added for Sum and Concatenate functions.
Formatted StringsNew Functions

Enhanced Functions

  • The QueryDataValues function now has a wizard to make using it easier.
  • The QueryDataValues function now supports an optional additional parameter - "Include Headers" so that its result can be more easily used with table functions.

User Form Enhancements

  • 3D Preview Box border property can now be controlled.
  • Labels now support center and right horizontal alignment of text.
  • Properties which represent file names, macros, forms, documents, and more are now contextually aware and provide an appropriate user interface for selecting the desired value.
Hide Characters Property for Text BoxesWord Wrap Property for Text Boxes

Child Specifications

The Child Specification feature in DriveWorks has been significantly extended and improved with two major new features as described below.


DriveWorks Projects (Not Excel Projects) that contain one or more Child specification controls can now have each child specification embedded within its parent.

This has numerous advantages:

  • An embedded specification is directly stored within its parent. They are not registered to the Group whatsoever. The only thing that knows about and controls the child specification is its parent specification.
  • Embedded specifications are assigned globally unique specification identifiers, so there will never be a conflict of specification identifiers.
  • Documents and reports will be registered against the “root” (topmost) specification. This is done because the root specification is the only one that will be visible to the outside world and to the group. Selecting the root specification in the specification explorer will show all child reports and documents.
  • This means all relative folder paths will be relative to the root specification too. This is, again, because documents are registered to the root specification.
  • Automatic states will not work on embedded child specifications, as Autopilot can not see the projects, but the topmost specification can still be put in an automatic state and released which will cause it and all of its children to release. Emails will work though, as they are registered against the root specification.
  • Copying a child specification will now also copy all its children. This is a direct benefit from having the child specifications stored in their parent. Move or copy the parent and you are moving or copying the children too. All children will be given new specification identifiers, as well.
  • Deleting a child specification will also delete its children too.
  • The setting for embedding child specifications is a project level setting. Meaning all child specification controls in the project will embed specifications. This is so the behaviour is the same across the specification. This is turned on by default for new projects.


Embedded Child Specifications, which are only supported in DriveWorks Projects, can now be constantly synchronized with their parent.

This means that any constants being set by its parent (via rules in the parent) are updated instantly, regardless of how many levels deep the child specification is.

Earlier versions of DriveWorks required each child specification to be opened in turn to apply any updates, this happens because synchronized child specifications are opened when the parent is opened.

With embedded child specfiications, the instant you open the root specification, all child specifications that are synchronized will be efficiently opened in the background as well.

The setting for this is at a child specification control level, so on a list by list basis, you can say if the child specifications should synchronize all the time.

An example for the use of this is when a top level project has a particular option that changes what child specifications do or return. Such as something that will change the total cost of the entire specification. Normally, you would have to open each affected child specification so that the constant values are sent into them.

With synchronized embedded child specifications, this is now automatic.

Specification Flow Enhancements

  • Properties which represent file names, macros, forms, documents, transitions, and more are now contextually aware and provide an appropriate user interface for selecting the desired value.
  • New Tasks have been added to further customize the specification process.
Invoke Child Specification OperationInvoke Child Specification TransitionInvoke Specification OperationInvoke Specification TransitionSkip To FormStart Child SpecificationRefreshTable

Search Rules and Find All References

The Search Rules (available from the command bar of DriveWorks Administrator) and the Find All References (available by right clicking on a reference in the Rule Builder) functions now allow rules to be modified.

Select the rule from the Search Rules dialog and click Build Rule to launch the Rule Builder.

If the rule contains a reference (for instance a variable or form control), right clicking on the reference and selecting Find All References, will display all instances where that reference is used. Each of these instances can also be modified directly in the Search Rules dialog.

The Search Rules dialog, that displays the rules, now displays the current value of all rules and references found.

New Special Variables

The special variables listed below are available in DriveWorks 9.

Parent Row IndexSpecification Full PathDefault Specification Folder

Updated Project File Format

Prior to DriveWorks 9 a DriveWorks (non-Excel) Project consisted of two files:

  • The DriveWorks Project File with the file extension ".driveproj".
  • The DriveWorks Design Master File with the file extension ".drivemaster".

To make data management easier, the DriveWorks Design Master is now part of the DriveWorks Project file, which now has the extension ".driveprojx" to reflect the difference from an Excel project.

Excel based projects are not affected and will retain the .driveproj format along with the .xls based design master.

Projects created in DriveWorks 7 and 8

DriveWorks 7 and 8 projects will open seemlessly in DriveWorks 9 without the need for migration. When they are first saved in DriveWorks 9 they will be updated to the new format automatically.

Once converted the project cannot be opened in the earlier version of DriveWorks.

Projects created in DriveWorks 6

As with DriveWorks 7 and 8, DriveWorks 6 projects will need to be migrated before being opened in DriveWorks 9. See Migration From Earlier Versions Of DriveWorks Pro for more information.

Once converted the project cannot be opened in the earlier version of DriveWorks.

SOLIDWORKS Enhancements

Hole Wizard parameters can now be driven in document units as well as system units.Break Lines can now be easily deleted in DriveWorks.
  • The Generation Dialog in the SOLIDWORKS Task Pane can now be refreshed without closing and reopening the dialog.

Document Mode describes the 3D Preview Box when it is pointed at a DriveWorks 3D document in your DriveWorks Project. Using the 3D Preview Box in this way, enables changes on your form to alter the displayed 3D file; based on rules.

A naming convention applied to the file name parameter of an output document.

An intelligent file name is a name that will enable DriveWorks to determine if an output has been generated previously.

Typically an intelligent file name is made up from key input values on the user form, or the results from captured parameters.

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