Crash? What crash?

I'm sure you've heard us talk about how Onshape users never experience crashes and how your data is always safe. Rest assured, both of those things are still true. But I'm going to let you in on a secret – every software crashes!

Yes, Onshape crashes, too, despite our best efforts. But because of the way we have architected our product in the cloud, we can immediately start up new servers and let you restore to your previous state so you’ll never lose your work. Although all crashes are disruptive, we aim to minimize the effect on your workflow as much as possible. When this happens, you likely won’t even notice the blue bubble that notifies you of a problem with a support code:

Even though Onshape has eliminated the negative consequences of CAD crashes, we still don’t want them to happen. When a crash does occur, we have a system in place that automatically writes a bug and assigns it to the right developer. We are often able to figure out the issue using only the call stack and log messages. Sometimes that may not be enough, and we might need the exact geometry. Because we don't have access to your private data, we would send you an email asking you to share your data with us. Similarly, during the import process you may get prompted in the notification area for permission to investigate the translation failure:

Of course, you have the right to refuse to participate and that is perfectly fine. We respect your confidentiality and will do what we can with the information we have. Furthermore, if you've hit the issue, it's likely someone else will hit it with a different model, so we monitor for similar problems going forward. But if you do agree to share your model, we can then fix the issue as fast as possible so that you and your fellow Onshape users don’t have to experience it again.

Time Is NOT On Our Side

You may be wondering how we can possibly use your Onshape Document after you have restored it and moved on. Your Document is healthy now. The crash does not show up in the Undo list, so we can't just restore to the crash state either. Well here's the cool part: Even if you don't see an entry in the history or Undo list, we have actually saved every single modification including the one that led to the crash in our database. (Think, for example, of all microversions created during a drag!)

However, these microversions take up quite a bit of space. So when we have collected enough of them, these intermediate microversions get cleaned up by a separate process. You see where I am going with this? In order for us to beat the cleanup server and access these microversions, we need access to your Document as soon as possible. So please consider this as well when you receive our request:

"I’ve Shared My Document. Now What?"

First of all, many thanks for letting us investigate! As noted in the email, the Onshape Support Team will likely have to make a copy of your Document in order to reproduce the issue without causing unintended changes. Rest assured that any copy we make is just as safe as your original Document and will be deleted as soon as we have solved the problem.

You may also retract your share any time for any reason. In fact, once your support ticket is resolved, your Document automatically gets unshared so we no longer have access – even if you forget to unshare.

So please, help us help you, and share your Documents with us in a timely manner whenever possible. Improving Onshape is truly a collaborative effort with our customers

P.S. It’s okay to share our “secret” that modern CAD does crash on rare occasions. The important thing is that when it does happen, design teams experience only a hiccup – and no lost work. And we intend to take care of every hiccup, too.