Database improvements for Lightning

We just release Lightning version 2.2. This update comes with database improvements and other new features requested by our users.

Choose the database location

Lightning stores all your fastener data in a single database file. By default, we store this file on your C:/ drive, but you can add it to a network drive or add the file to PDM as well.

We now support three location settings in the redesigned Database management window:

  1. The default location in C:\Users\<your name>\AppData
  2. A folder of your choosing
  3. New: reading the current database location from a registry key

With the third option, you can have multiple databases and control which one Lightning uses, just by changing a registry setting. That’s pretty handy if you work for multiple customers that all have their preferred set of fasteners.

Lightning database management window

We will add even better support for multiple databases soon.

Clean up the Lightning database file

Normally, these database files only get bigger since they don’t really delete data, they only delete the reference to that data. So even if you delete a thousand fasteners, the file size doesn’t go down.

We have now added a Rebuild database button in the Database Management window that completely rebuilds the file. This will make the database file as small as it can be.

Cleaning up the database should not be necessary. It just works and the database file will probably never even reach 20MB. But if you really want to clean it up, now you can.

Warning if a file no longer exists

Managing files is hard. Jon Hirschtick, the founder of SOLIDWORKS and Onshape, even apologized for the fact that every setting in SOLIDWORKS has its own file 😄

So we want to make it easier to notice if a fastener folder or file has been deleted. We now show it in the settings:

Lightning fastener file not found

As well as in the Select Fastener window:

Lightning fastener not found

Faster startup and faster settings

More speed is always better. So we:

  • Made the startup about one second faster
  • Made opening the settings significantly faster if you have a lot of files

Bug fixes

We found and fixed a few bugs:

  • Fixed trying to replace a component when we have already replaced it in a pattern.
  • Fixed showing a helpful error message when we cannot reach the license server.
  • Fixed showing a helpful error message when the database needs to be migrated, but is read-only.
  • Fixed getting the path for files stored in the root of a drive.

As always, please let us know when you think you found a bug. We’re not SOLIDWORKS, we actually respond 😉

What’s next?

We would like to help you guide your engineers into choosing bolt sizes that you have in stock. So we will be adding stock sizes soon.

We’re also looking to add tools so you can analyze an assembly and find out which fasteners you need to order, and which of them are already in stock.

Start filtering today

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