SolidWorks 2011 SP0 was just made available for download at the SolidWorks Customer Portal. If you have a current Subscription service contract the download will be available to you. Before running out and upgrading I wanted to share 5 things that you should do prior to installing. Even if you or your company is not ready to migrate production work to the new version, its a good idea to test out this new version on your data. SolidWorks and the Beta Testers check out the new code with a lot of designs, but not necessarily your designs.
Backup - Backup your Toolbox. It gets migrated during installation and once its converted it can't be used in your old version. I would also reccomend backing up your settings using the "Copy Settings Wizard." And most importantly make sure you have backups of any data prior to migrating it to 2011.
- Check your System - Every release the system requirements change. Check out the SolidWorks site for those minimums. If your system ran 2010 well, chances are you'll be good for 2011, but if you are skipping a few releases I would strongly reccomend looking at the list. Graphics Cards and Graphics Drivers are one of the most important things to check at every release. You may have a driver that worked fine in 2010, but 2011 requires an updated one. That information is also available at the link above.
- Upgrade your license server. If you have a Network license you must upgrade to the latest version of that in order to run 2011. The great thing is the license server will serve back to older releases. So even if you are testing 2011 you can still continue to use 2010.
- Download the SolidProfessor Upgrade training course. If you are a current CADD Edge customer talk to your account manager about how to get it. Its a great way to learn the new features in the relase.
- Talk to your Colleagues - Make a plan as to when it makes sense to upgrade.
This is not a comprehensive check list. I intended only to address some of the most obvious things that a lot of people miss. Let me know what you think should be on the list. We'll be publishing a more comprehensive check list shortly.