You can't open newer versions in older software, but you can open old versions in new software. You may want to try saving it as an IGES or a STEP in 2009 and then open it in 2008, you might be able to do it that way
Actually when going between versions of Solidworks a better way is to use Parasolids. This allows you to reproduce the entire tree easily, unlike IGES. I Parasolids often when having to back convert for clients and asscoiates.
You loose some of the information from the design tree, but if the original person developing the model did it well it does a very good job.
Does anyone know if Solidworks intends to include backwards compatibility at any point? We have run into the same problem with mixed licenses and the exporting can be a pain as I find rarely is it perfect.
SolidWorks has always been this way and as far as I've been told always will be. The problem with allowing older versions to open newer files is that the new files many times were created with new features or items that were not yet available in prior releases. The official SolidWorks plan is to always move the product forward and bring the users along for the ride (a financially smart move on their part). My best advice is to get set up with the annual maintenance program through your VAR for each seat of SolidWorks you own. This means a significant expense, especially for those with multiple licenses, but it means that you will always have access to the latest software, not to mention tech support, and you won’t have to worry about falling behind the rest of us. Basically you should plan on doing a full uninstall and re-install of new SolidWorks software once a year. This is also the time to do a full backup of all of your SolidWorks files, so that if you need to go backwards for some reason, perhaps to provide files to a customer or supplier who may be on an older release, you still have the ability to do so. As a last resort, Parasolid files can be exported (this format is definitely preferred over STEP or IGES for SolidWorks to SolidWorks translation), however realize that the imported files will be 'dumb' or no longer parametric. In other words, the ability to edit features, as you are accustomed to, will be lost. The best plan is to bite the bullet and DO THE UPGRADE!
Recently there has been serious talk from SolidWorks employees about the possibility of allowing some sort of backward compatibility. I believe the backward compatibility block has been a business decision rather than a technical problem. SolidWorks has solved many difficult technical problems, but backward compatibility and Catia compatibility are two that remain unsolved, and I don't believe it's a coincidence.
I don't have any special information on the backward compatibility, but based on the timing, I would possibly look for something in 2010, with beta possibly becoming available as early as this spring 2009.
No software has given the option to open the file of the newer version in older version. So there is parasolid, step and iges to do that. You can save your file in parasolid and then open in solid works 2008. But you will loose the history tree,
This is one of the most important problem needs to be solved by Solidworks .Many design software Allows you to save older version of the same software.
you may use different software has compatibility of conversion different version of solidworks to convert from new to older version , or you can use one of the data exchange format such as iges, step , parasolid etc.
if you have free from surfaces iges
design tree step
one body complex solid sat
I have had the same problem in the past. The BEST way that I have found, to back convert, is to save as a Parasolid. Then, you can open it in the older version and, using FeatureWorks, get most of the feature tree back.
That said, the better practice might be to do the preliminary work in SWx 2008 and then the finishing work in 2009. That way, you don't have to back convert.
As mentioned earlier, Parasolids is the preferred choice because it is the native kernel used by SolidWorks. It will provide the best neutral format for converting different versions of SolidWorks as well as other CAD and CAM systems that use Parasolids. A dumb solid yes, but very usable and easily editable. Sometimes I will convert complex parts, even assemblies, to Parasolids and back into SolidWorks as a means of simplifying models for efficiency. Works great if there is no need to modify features.
Third party software is available to recreate features, but we have rarely found that need. I would probably use a service for the translation if necessary.
Parasolids began use in Unigraphics (and still is as NX). I have found it best for backward compatibility issues when other companies have older versions of SolidWorks. It also is superb for machine shops using Parasolids based software such as MasterCam, and analysis folks using programs such as MSC Patran.
Forget IGES or use it only if nothing else is available and only for very simple parts. STEP is the replacement for IGES and is superior in every way.