Today we are introducing Onshape Enterprise, a new premium edition of Onshape designed for modern companies with sophisticated design processes that include multiple contributors across multiple locations. Onshape Enterprise helps these companies accelerate their unique design processes while protecting IP to a degree that is impossible with old CAD and PDM.

We’ve been working on Enterprise secretly for over a year and some of our most sophisticated customers have had production access for six months. They love it. Here’s why...

In larger companies, an ever increasing number of internal and external stakeholders across many locations need access to design data for products that are produced with increasingly complex and encumbered design processes. As these companies strain to make decades-old CAD and PDM technology operate in their complex environment, they are forced to choose between being agile or having some semblance of control. They experience chronic pressures and problems in several areas including:

  1. Control – Unmanaged (and multiplying) CAD file copies put many companies’ IP at serious risk.
  2. Agility – The average engineer spends less than half his or her time on actual design work, with the balance eaten up by administrative and software issues.
  3. Access – Provisioning new CAD seats and PDM vaults requires tremendous IT overhead, which prevents new team members from contributing right away.
  4. Visibility – While nearly every other industry has been reshaped by real-time data and analytics, engineering and manufacturing have been left behind.

Let’s take a deeper look at each challenge.



Onshape Enterprise tracks all users’ sign-in locations and activities, giving managers a real-time snapshot of the company’s CAD usage.

With old CAD and PDM, as the cast of stakeholders grows, many more people hold private, unmanaged copies of CAD files and other design data on their local machines. No one really knows what happens to this data between vault check-ins. No one knows who has what or if they still should even have it. Many companies now have the illusion of control. Every file is one malware infection or one human error away from being lost or stolen. With hundreds or thousands of people, both inside and outside the company, having unlimited ability to make and distribute file copies, the intellectual property is truly out of control.


Companies using old CAD and PDM technology feel forced to accept that growing means slowing. According to a recent Tech Clarity study of engineering and design teams, 98% of companies report experiencing negative business impacts due to design bottlenecks, primarily waiting for information. On average, less than half of an engineer’s time is spent on actual innovation and design work, with most of the remainder being spent on searching for information, collecting data for other people, checking data in and out, etc. And as products get more complex and the number of stakeholders grows, the amount of wasted time goes up exponentially.


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Will Tiller, an engineering manager at Dixie Iron Works, values Onshape Enterprise’s ability to instantly extend CAD access to anyone inside or outside the organization who needs it.

As the number of stakeholders who need access to design data grows, the IT overhead of provisioning that access becomes a huge burden for companies. Procuring and provisioning CAD seats and PDM vaults requires new desktop and server hardware, painfully long installs, frequent service packs, and the operation of a full-time help desk. Even organizations that choose not to pay the IT price suffer, as engineers spend their time going back and forth with other departments trying to keep everyone up to date.

We’ve spoken with many engineering managers who resent and regret having to get into the IT business, and have heard countless stories of expensive rework because engineering and purchasing weren’t on the same page. Designing a modern product requires more than just engineering to have access to the design data, and old CAD and PDM cannot deliver.



Onshape Enterprise lets companies make informed, data-driven business decisions from anywhere on any device.

Over the past decade, the amount of data flowing in large companies has increased dramatically in every department except engineering. The finance, HR, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and software development team managers have real-time access to incredible amounts of data on every aspect of their operations with tools that help them make use of it efficiently. But not the engineering team. They struggle to answer even the most basic questions: How much of our engineering time has been spent on which aspect of the product? How long was that contractor actually working on the design? Has the manufacturing partner even opened the design yet? Who has access to what? Is this the latest version? Who knows?

With every other department becoming so transparent, executives won’t tolerate engineering being a black box for much longer.


These control, agility, access, and visibility problems are symptoms of a condition we call Enterprise Design Gridlock, an acute strain of the Design Gridlock problem Onshape CEO Jon Hirschtick has written about previously, and one felt most acutely by larger companies. Companies suffering from Enterprise Design Gridlock have outgrown and outlived the usefulness of old CAD and PDM technology that slows everything to a crawl, frustrates and distracts the team, and fails to deliver the visibility into the design process that a modern company needs.

We built Onshape Enterprise to solve these problems.

Watch the video below for a complete tour of Onshape Enterprise. You’ll see how Enterprise provides the secure control, universal access, unprecedented visibility, and integration capabilities that modern enterprises need. It provides the framework to work faster, work more securely, work with more control, and work with maximum insight – all optimized for your unique design process.

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As the video shows, Onshape Enterprise includes a whole host of powerful new features, including:

  • Customized Project and Role-Based Access Control
  • Comprehensive Audit Logs
  • Centralized Access Reporting
  • Single Sign-on
  • Enforced 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • Custom Domain Address
  • Instant Setup, Provisioning, and De-Provisioning
  • Employee & Guest User Access
  • Full & Light User Types
  • Real-Time Analytics
  • Project Activity Tracking
  • Analytics Raw Data Export

A couple of these new capabilities are worth explaining in more detail.



Onshape Enterprise’s Activity overview details the most active Projects, Documents and Users over a specified time period.

The new real-time analytics capability is one of the most transformative aspects of Enterprise. Because Onshape Enterprise runs on a centralized cloud database instead of federated vaults and local file systems like old CAD and PDM, we can permanently record all user activity as it happens – including every login, extrude, fillet, mate, merge, share, export and comment in real time. This makes it possible to – for the first time in the history of engineering software – provide comprehensive visibility into who did what and when, how engineering effort is trending over time, and who is contributing in what ways.

This provides a permanent granular audit log for increased security, but more importantly, it allows managers to really understand - for the first time - what’s actually going on with their team. We’ll follow up on this theme in future blog posts, but for now, let’s just say that this is the beginning of a productivity revolution in engineering.


One of the major new capabilities in Enterprise is the introduction of new user categories, specifically the introduction of a new “Light User” type. An Enterprise Light User can be configured with privileges that may include viewing, exporting, and commenting. These privileges are perfect for non-engineering roles like sales and marketing, manufacturing partners, suppliers, or executive stakeholders who don’t need CAD modeling capabilities, but do need visibility to design data and activity as it happens.

An Enterprise Light User subscription costs just 1/10th of an Enterprise Full User seat, making it a very cost-effective way to dramatically expand visibility and access for stakeholders beyond the core engineering team.

Additionally, Enterprise offers a new Guest status that gives users access only to Documents that have specifically been shared with them. This status is perfect for external contractors, vendors, suppliers, and clients who need temporary access to a curated subset of design data. In combination with the Full User and Light User types, the Guest User status provides the power to give stakeholders the precise privileges necessary to keep project and data moving with appropriate transparency and oversight. The result is better information flow and fewer missed opportunities and misunderstandings that lead to costly delays and defects.


Onshape Enterprise is fully customizable for projects, roles, company security rules, approval workflows, and sharing privileges. For the first time, you have a tool that supports your desire to optimize your design process for the way you want your company to work.


With the introduction of Onshape Enterprise, Onshape now offers a complete product line for modern engineering teams. With Onshape Standard, we’ve reimagined what parametric modeling can be and offered deeply integrated design data management and collaboration. With our flagship product, Onshape Professional, we’ve taken that data management to a completely new level with powerful release management, approval workflows, and company-level controls. And now with Onshape Enterprise, we’ve added advanced security, granular access controls, and real-time analytics that help large teams work faster without losing control.



We look forward to hearing your feedback on Onshape Enterprise. The feedback from our early access customers has been fantastic. Here is what they had to say after six months of testing:

pasted image 0 (2) “With Onshape Enterprise, anyone on our production floor can look at the 3D model, they can look at the drawings, they can access the machine code and always know it’s the most up-to-date information. We’ve really extended our engineering force without adding to the engineering team.”
- Will Tiller, Engineering Manager, Dixie Iron Works
pastedImage0 (1) “The top-level analytics in Onshape Enterprise are very powerful. The moment I log on, I can see what went on in the course of the previous day. I can see who was active, what parts we worked on and what we accomplished overall. It also lets us know when someone on the team might be struggling with something so I can be more proactive and help resolve an issue earlier.”
Phil Brace, Lead Designer
pastedImage0 (2) “Half my product development team is based in Juarez, Mexico, and the other half works in Elgin, Illinois – and I split my time between both facilities. Onshape Enterprise helps me keep track of who is working on what and when, so I can better prioritize how our engineers spend their time. I also like the option to add Light Users so our manufacturing engineers and automation engineers can immediately access the latest 3D CAD data and use it to improve our processes.”
Dennis Breen, VP of Engineering & Technology, Capsonic Automotive & Aerospace
logo-home “Onshape Enterprise’s analytics help us look back on a project and understand how our design team allocated its time, what took the most time, and how much time was required overall. We find this data very valuable to plan future projects. As our company grows, the ability to get this information in real time is extremely useful.”
Stefan van Woerden, R&D Engineer, Dodson Motorsport

We are very excited to see what these and other customers like you will do with Enterprise in the months ahead. We have even more innovations coming in the second half of the year that will accelerate on the momentum we’ve established in the first half.

Curious where modern CAD is headed next? Join David Corcoran, Onshape’s VP of Product, on Thursday, May 31, at 11 a.m. (EDT) for a live webinar, “Introducing Onshape Enterprise,” followed by Q&A. Register today!