So, SW2011 SP0 has been available since October 18th, but the Beta and Pre-Release versions have been around for a while. I am not sure how many people read the ~200 page What's New PDF that is available with every release, but that is kinda my job to know. It is a nice tool to read thru when doing Beta testing (not sure how many of you do that either), but also to prepare for the What's New Roll-Outs that we put on in the different cities around our territory. I have done a few here recently and it is always interesting to see what people get excited about and the items that they don't need.
When 2008 came out and the user-interface changed, the people that I thought would love the enhancements...didn't really care for them and vise-versa. We had a 2010 What's New about a month ago for a company that was just upgrading to 2010 because of SAP restrictions, but I ended up showing things that they had missed from the previous two releases too!
For 2011, there are some nice enhancements for Simulation and 2D simplification that will be very nice if you have that need. The Defeature tool will be nice for those that were using the approach to save an assembly as a part and remove detail so models can be put on the web and all the interior detail removed so that people can't "borrow" the designs. The new Walk-thru tool is nice (if you need that), but we could do that with different methods in the past. A new way to calculate un-folding of sheet metal parts is nice. You could just have used different bend allowances for each bend, but how many people do that? I just talked to a company that doesn't want to give flat patterns to their vendor and they are making them calculate them.
The tools to auto-arrange dimensions at the drawing level is huge, but in the events that I have been at, I showed the dimension widget that will place the dimension above and below the drawing view and move the other dimensions out of the way caught the attention of several people. That was there in 2010, but it still got a lot of interest. I had several people want me to explain Mouse Gestures again because they didn't understand it. I also try to show "Show-Hidden Components" while in the assembly. I think that is huge, but it has been around for a while and people still don't know that it is there. The Isolate command is great around the assembly level too.
So, what is REALLY new? I guess if you missed it, something from 2007 could be new to you. Don't be afraid to ask what something is if you see it in the menus and don't know what it does. We always say that people tend to find one favorite way to do something even if a new and better way is available.
Let's Go Design!