Flexible PLM: Better Productivity through Multitasking in Aras Innovator Version 12

Multiple tabs open in your internet browser at the same time, paging through open applications on your phone to find what you need, and 2, 3, or 4 (!!) monitors on your desk at once—if you are a multitasker like me, nothing makes you happier than seeing all of your work laid out side-by-side in front of you. Even if you prefer to focus on one thing at a time, having the choice to configure your work just the way you need it to complete your job most efficiently is what counts. Can your PLM do that yet?

Check out flexible multitasking in Aras Innovator Version 12, with many brand-new ways to configure the tasks you’re working on to get to the results you need, faster:

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If you missed the last two blogs in this series, click through to check out how Personalization and Search also got significant updates to improve user productivity in Aras Innovator Version 12. 

Multiple Tabs

Kicking off a new search or opening a new Item in Aras Innovator Version 12 now opens a brand-new tab along the top of the browser window. This convenient mode of working is familiar to users and is widely employed across Web browsers today. Just like those tabs, you can “click and drag” each of these tabs to prioritize your work onscreen, to better suit your needs. And if you fill up the horizontal space along the top of your browser windows, use the left and right arrows to page through the tabs—and unless you like to make your coworkers cringe like I do, you might consider shutting a few once in a while.

Split Screen Mode

Who else has used the heck out of split screen mode ever since Microsoft introduced it? I’m using it right now: keeping an eye on my emails in one pane, side-by-side with this blog I’m writing, to be sure something more pressing doesn’t pop up. I love to edit documents and PowerPoints side-by-side as well, to be sure I’m not missing anything during the cumbersome task of switching back and forth between applications. And don’t get me started on the multiple monitor situation at my house right now: it’s out of control. If you’re a multitasker too, you’ve long wished that every application you work in does exactly this.

Well now at least your PLM does. With multiple tabs open, Split Screen mode in Aras Innovator Version 12 “docks” the active tab on the left-hand side of your screen; with all the remaining tabs jumping to the right-hand side as “undocked” tabs. Right-click a tab to see all its options: choose to “dock” additional tabs on the left; “undock” them back to the right; or if you’re more right-brained than left-brained, choose to stack multiple tabs at left and one working tab at right: the flexibility is endless. “Tear off” tabs to open them in a separate pane on top of the rest. And there are plenty of options to close all those open tabs simultaneously. The best part? This mode is interactive: see changes you make in one pane appear in another—no click on the “refresh” button required.

 Toolbar Refresh

Speaking of buttons, the most significant changes to the user experience that may stand out for long-time Aras Innovator users are the new Edit, Save, Done, and Discard buttons—replacing the old “Lock” and “Unlock” modes. 

Clear, graphical buttons now dominate the toolbar at the top of each form, ensuring a clear and easy way to initiate the action you want, identify when the item is claimed (green flag when claimed by you; red flag when it's another user), “Favorite” the item (gold star) to pin it to your Quick Access Panel for more frequently-used items, and more.

Many commands across the platform – on the Item form, Relationship Grid, and Search Grid – were reorganized into menus sporting more graphical, easy-to-understand buttons; shorter lists with multiple levels that are better organized, to help users find what they’re looking for faster; and improved use of right-click context menus, too.

   

ItemType Form and Relationship Grid Updates

Also working in a more familiar way that resonates well with other applications you use daily: accordion-style roll-up for ItemType forms, which let you maximize screen real-estate when you want to focus in on the relationship grid—or Part form—and “roll up” the other one, out of sight.

Scrolling in Relationship Grids (and Search Grids) is enhanced with new Freeze Column functionality that lets you click and drag the “stop point” for the scroll to continuously display left-hand information while the right-hand information can still be scrolled beside it. Not accusing anyone here of being old, but this feature is helpful when you prefer a zoomed-in view of your data onscreen. And while we’re discussing zoomed-in states, a new “hover” state for those clipped-off words that appear in grids lets the full, hidden text pop up when you hover your cursor over them.

  

Additional Enhancements

If you’re a long-time user of Aras Innovator, you’ll notice too that a new highlight feature in the Workflow interface help you to better see which state the item is currently in.

And let’s not forget about what you can’t see: faster Search performance for both Search and Relationship grids, accelerated Enterprise Search technology, and improved Time-to-Save for large structures.

If you missed our last two blogs on user experience updates in Aras Innovator Version 12, check out how recent enhancements to Personalization and Search can improve your productivity and efficiency across the platform, as well. It’s true what they say: it’s the little things that make a big difference. 

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