Thanks everyone for your patience as we worked thru the issue. Fusion 360 has been back online for few hrs and we are closely monitoring the health. As I mentioned in my update last night, I would like share what we are working on to make Fusion 360 more resilient and more importantly make sure you have access to your data all the time.
As Rahul (our chief architect) discussed in his blog, cloud software as compared to desktop software behaves in non-deterministic ways. So our immediate focus is to make sure you have access to your data while we work the overall availability, resiliency and remediation. We have three projects underway. We will get specific on the timelines as we get closer to delivery but rest assured we are working as fast as we can.
- A better offline experience
As many of you highlighted the data panel experience in the offline mode needs work. First, we are working on improving the offline data panel experience so that it is closer to being online. Second, preemptively detect outages or connectivity issues and transition seamlessly to the offline mode. The data you are working will be cached so that you can continue to work in the offline mode. The image below shows the improved experience in our dev builds.
- Selective caching
Enable selective caching so that you can select projects you want to be cached in case there is an unexpected outage or connectivity issues.
- Automatic caching without the need for Fusion 360 running
We have a project in the works which will have a similar behavior to box or dropbox where your projects can be cached in the background
Again, thank you for your patience. Making Fusion 360 reliable is our top priority and we are 100% committed to it.
These are all great ideas; thanks for working on them. I am excited to see them implemented!
Will XREFs be maintained in offline mode/with cached files? This is imperative for most of my designs.
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I’d like add my two cents. Yesterday was a bad day to say the least. The outage we had was unacceptable but the worst part, for me, was the impact it had on each of you to get your work done. Our team worked non-stop to get things back on line and would have liked to restore the service sooner. However, we wanted to make sure that we protected your data. All the extra checks took a little longer but we believe that it was more important for us to do this right than to be hasty.
I also wanted to give you some visibility into what we are doing to ensure this experience doesn’t happen again. We are totally committed to the plan Prabakar laid out and in ensuring resiliency throughout all parts of Fusion. We will provide as much transparency as we can as we built this out.
Finally, let me offer my thanks to the Fusion community. Many of you offered support throughout the day and night as we were dealing with the outage. This was a real morale booster for the team. I continue to be truly humbled by the trust you place in us and appreciate your patience and partnership as we build things out.
VP, Cloud Products
Why not just allow people to save files locally without even putting stuff in the cloud?
With the understanding that refs and links wont be maintained. Just like if I pull a part from one project to another, it does not maintain a link.
How are you going to reconcile and merge files if two people start editing the same file locally when the cloud is down?
Or someone changes a file, goes to cloud, then cloud goes down, next person on a different computer does not know that file cached is not current and makes changes to an old rev?
The rabbit hole gets pretty deep when you start factoring in all the use cases someone can easily encounter.
Lets not forget about all the other cloud features, tooling, post processors......
I will echo the thanks of everyone, appreciate the hard work put in, and the transparency.
This does however sound like another self inflicted wound though. From the forum posts it would appear another change was made, hastily tested, rolled out, and imploded.
Not the first time major bugs worked into releases. I feel it would be better serving if the that is address first so that more validation and unit testing is done on the code base before release.
Thanks again guys.
Thanks for the update. It seems like this is the set of features really needed to help people work though unexpected outages. I know that you said you will be providing a timeline as you get closer to having the projects complete, which is very understandable. Could you give us any ballpark range? Is this a high enough priority to see it deployed in a few months or is this a 1 year project? I ask because as many people have pointed out in the prior thread, there seems to have been resistance to provide more robust offline capability even though it has been formally requested through the idea station several times. (Not sure if this is due to a technical limitation or AutoDesk's push to keep people on the cloud for continued revenue, or some combination of the two). There is a part of me that wonders, given the prior reluctance to offer this capability, if it is being discussed openly to attempt to pacify the users who got burned yesterday while Autodesk still has some unknown resistance to this feature that will cause indefinite delays of this capability.
Thank you for working hard to correct the issues yesterday, and I'm sure it was very taxing on all of those involved. I have loved using Fusion 360, and months ago having it down for a day wouldn't have hurt my business much, but we are shifting so much of what we do to Fusion that its causing me to look deeper into reliability and how Fusion fits into our company as we grow.
Another quick question for you. Is/Will it be possible to back up these cached versions of the files to a local server and can these cached versions be transferred between instances of Fusion 360? (For example, during an extended outage work is done on a design, can that design (with XREFs) be packaged up and sent to another computer running fusion by a different user?).
I appreciate the transparency and updates. I use F360 for open source projects in order to give other OSHW devs easier access to a no cost tool for makers that allows editing of the source. Even as a small shop my wife and I chose to keep our single seat of Solidworks for dealing with job shop work and non OSHW vendors and clients even though the cost is comparatively high. I also work for a multi-national with over a hundred seats of SW and a few dozen seats of Autocad. Personally I trained as a drafter since high school and was first exposed to CAD in a commercial environment in 1981 (not a typo). I've owned and worked in tech businesses since the advent of the commercial internet, through dot com and into whatever it is we're calling this now. I'm an older guy though I'm all about doing new things. When it makes sense. And from a business perspective some of the what makes F360 what it is do not make sense.
I think you have a paradigm problem more than a technical implementation issue. It appears to me that Autodesk is so focused on doing something different that it has ignored how the business model in manufacturing works particularly with respect to small batch job shops. It's great to be forging a trail but at the same time real work needs to get done.
The biggest example is data lock in. There is simply no reason from my point of view to require storage across the network. My Adobe and Corel subscriptions while offering that option, don't require it. Many do not feel comfortable completely shifting storage completely to an offsite provider. For many, if not most in manufacturing or job shops it's a deal breaker from the word go.
Another example is the frequency of the required updates. It's problematic in that you are forced to take whatever update comes down the pipe without regard to where someone might be in their particular workflow with several times there being issues that impact the ability to work.
While the way the system is currently architected may not support reverting to an older paradigm and workflow I think you need to rethink the direction of the product to be more easily able to abstract from the network while optionally being able to use those features should a user desire. Until Autodesk addresses those concerns and realizes that lock it is not in the interest of many, if not most users I'm afraid F360 will be relegated to hobby/maker/small startup use and not widely implemented in industry as a whole. That would be a shame because the tool has so much going for it but the few things it doesn't have going for it could sink it entirely in the long run.
As I stated in the other thread I don't use Fusion professionally. I can not in good conscious use it professionally. I have other software for my serous needs.
But and a big BUT I was expecting something more from you all. I was waiting for some groundbreaking announcement that would move Fusion into a contender status.
Actually this sort of roadmap made me yawn. After this catastrophic of an outage I would of thought you could have done better.
I think you have done some permanent damage to user trust. You will definitely lose market share after the last 48 hours. Sorry to be so blunt but that is how I see it.
No mention of what you intend to do about electing to update the software at a later date. Between the cloud failure and software failure on update you have a long way to go to get back to where you were even.
"read post 2 and 3"
That is not what I'm asking for, I want a complete local save ability and never NEED the cloud like every other software package has.
Cloud is nice, and I use it for a lot of things, but I feel it should never be 100% must use.
2016 has been the year from hell for Fusion, all combined with update issues we have lost weeks of productivity.
The ONLY reason I use it is the price. I even went as far to get quotes from other vendors of CAD and CAM. Just don't have the capital currently.
The 5 axis support while cool, boggles my mind. If I have the capital to buy a 5 axis machine, then I certainly budgeted for higher end CAD/CAM.
There are so many other things that need to be done to make Fusion "Work well". I think the product line is loosing its way.
Putting in simple terms
keep the auto cloud storage as a non user controlled option
have a option to locally store your files
that way way you get the flexibility of the cloud with the belt and braces of local storage if you need it
just my 2 cents
Imac and Macbook Pro
@reeses That pleases me greatly. It was so sad to see 10's of thousands of people hobbled so badly the other day.
Owner, Liberty Machine, Inc.
Win 10, Fusion 360 Ultimate
@SGL-Design We have every intention of providing a robust offline experience in the context of making sure you have access to your data when you have connectivity issues or an outage etc. It was more about the complexity of the problem. So we expect to deliver 1) as early as Jan followed by 2) and 3) in my list. 3) is a bit more involved.
On your question of backing up cached data, we will not be able to support that. The caching technology we are working on will be opaque. A bit more detail…the overall mental model in Fusion 360 is a project/product centric model with people, activity that the people do, and data being used or created for the project/product all being interrelated so that we can deliver tools for a collaborative design and manufacturing experience. So when you hit save all the changes to those three facets (people, activity, data) gets saved. So a particular version could have changes in geometry, meta data (such as parameters), materials which help in creating and displaying the geometry, comments and markups associated with the person in the project, etc. etc. A rich set of interrelated information gets saved and there is no single file capturing all this info. The data is distributed and certain aspects of the data can act independent of each other thru multiple devices and by different people. So it is a bit different than products like Solid Edge, SWX or Inventor. Hence the opaqueness.
The Fusion team fully understands the impact the outage had on each one of you and we are 100% committed to addressing the reliability issues and the problem of access to data. That said, we are equally committed and truly believe in the value cloud can bring to design and manufacturing software, to drive innovation and productivity. To bring that value, data has to be managed in intelligent ways in the cloud.
The most obvious value is ability to work with on the same data in desktop, web and mobile using multiple devices. Some of the other important advantages are…
- Let us start with something as simple as Rename for example. Renaming a SolidWorks part (without using special tools) will break any referencing assembly. Moving a SolidWorks part will break any referencing assembly. In Fusion 360 you can rename and move designs and any references will automatically know. In SolidWorks every assembly always opens the latest version of the parts you have on disk. Fusion 360 assembly references are version aware. This means when you roll back to an older version, you will see that assembly exactly as that version was at that time in history, including all of the child parts.
- Exploring design options with a team. In addition to the ability of bringing a team together to share, review designs etc. currently available in Fusion 360, we recently introduced the concept of branch and merge of project data to an initial cohort of users. Branching and merging of design data on the desktop with folders and filenames is a nightmare. Data managed in the cloud intelligently makes it easy and enables you to focus on exploring design options rather than fighting the system.
- Optimizing designs thru grid computing. We recently introduced cloud based simulation where you can explore multiple load conditions and shape optimizations without locking your computer and in many cases not possible on your desktop software.
- Backward/forward data compatibility. This is one highly requested but not fully supported feature in the desktop world as users are in different versions of the software and data is not compatible if a user in the older version of the software tries to open date from the newer version of the software. Cloud and how we manage data eliminates this problem by having everyone on the same version of the software and data.
These are some of the current benefits, and more that are coming, as we deliver our browser editing experience, generative design etc., along with starting to bring the value of machine learning. We are not trying to be different for the sake of being different, but we believe we can solve pervasive problems by bringing advances in computing technology to design and manufacturing. We fully realize that system has to reliable and resilient to get these benefits and are 100% focused on it.
Thanks very much for the direct response to my question. I'm glad to hear that it is prioritized to that level.
I assumed the caches would be fairly opaque based on some prior reading I had done about how fusion design data is stored. While I would love to see a system that allowed for files to be treated like inventor, I understand that this is a cloud system and can really see the benefits to the cloud. Some have said that the upcoming changes are not enough, but I feel like they strike the right balance between offering access to files during outages while sticking with the cloud focus of Fusion and the benefits that come with it.
Thanks for further explaining some of the benefits of the cloud based system. I had prior experience with Inventor but only for my own projects that didn't involve team collaboration. With fusion, we have had multiple team members accessing designs and making changes so painlessly that I almost forget that fusion is doing something that would be difficult or impossible to replicate with other systems using a traditional standalone file format.
I do think it would be great if Fusion eventually offered some type of local server system for large shops with multiple seats, it could be a totally separate product for people who need more resilient collaborative workflow during outages. For example, a server that mirrored the current state of a given project in its entirety that is only used when the cloud goes down (In such a way that all users on the local network could seamlessly work on the designs collaboratively). I know that we would pay for an extra service like this.
Thanks again, I look forward to the future updates.
I hope you guys are working on a merge solution, if not your opening a huge bag of worms. Been there done that, not fun.
I use a graphical programming language, it is extremely hard to merge. We must communicate with the team very carefully if our source code control server goes down.
But in that case most times everyone is working on separate files, so easy to merge when the server is back up.
I understand your grand plan, but the last post felt more like a sales pitch then a solution to this weeks events.
Kind of like, hey, I know we just kicked you in the teeth for 2 days, but your really going to love this!
I have yet to have a customer using fusion collaborate and share files to do the machining. Most still send a solid file.
And most shops don't normally share CAM source and G code, that is not the way its billed for.
I don't see the detraction from the product or the difficulty in saying, hey you can save locally but your not getting XYZ features. You can pretty much do that now today.
Then your sales pitch can be, Hey all you dinosaurs can save locally, but if you want to be truly innovative you can use the cloud!.
You would also potentially reduce cloud maintenance costs ;)
It's going to be better than just a local save. Having all my stuff in the cloud is better than your computer or local server going up in smoke and you losing everything. It can and does happen.
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Win10 | 8 GB ram | 2 GB graphics Nvidia Geforce 940 MX | i5 2.3GHz
Fair enough, but I have had customers specifically say no cloud.
So back to MY use case (sorry we are all different) I'm looking for an affordable entry cad/cam package to do machining with.
I'm a one person shop, could really care less about the cloud. For me its just a penalty to use Fusion.
And every time it goes down, its just a reminder of how expensive that cloud costs.