Archive for June, 2010

How to deploy Inventor 2010 with SAP and SP3

The reason
This blog is a bit off topic from Civil 3D in general, but I ran into it doing my job as a CAD application administrator and I want to share this with you.

There is lots of information to find on internet of how to deploy Inventor. Here’s one:

By the several hotfixes and service packs released during the year, it’s a bit hard to get all this stuff in place for creating a working deployment. At least it happened to me.
The documentation from the Autodesk support web pages are very expanded and may get you far. But they can be overwhelming.
Digging into these pages and reading lot of readme files and with help of Autodesk Subscription web support got me writing a more suitable and overall perspective.
So I hope this will help you to better understand the pages from Autodesk support website. If not, please leave a comment to make this page better.

The Source
There are two sources from where you can start to make deployments:

  • The shipped media source will let you create deployments for all types of Inventor products. From Inventor Suite to Professional.
    If you’ve created one deployment for example Inventor Suite, the wizard from the Tools folder will easily let you create a new deployment for another Inventor product by copying an existing deployment. Of course you need a corresponding serial number and product key to get any further.
  • The download source from the Subscription website isn’t product specific anymore. All Inventor products, like the standard Suite, Routed Systems, Simulation or Professional uses the same and only one installation source. Like the shipped media you can create a deployment by copying from another deployment by applying the corresponding serial number and product key.

The benefits of the download source is that you don’t have to switch media when installing the software or deployment, it runs the installation faster then the shipped media, and further more, I’ve discovered that this source may be more up to date then the shipped media. At least with Civil 3D 2010 and the Content Libraries it is.

The Deployment parts.
You can create a deployment with Hot Fixes and Service Packs with or without Subscription Advantage Pack (SAP). See also picture below:

  • the standard deployment (1) including hot fixes en service packs (2a).
  • the deployment (1) with SAP including hot fixes en service packs (2b).

With Inventor Suite, you also get AutoCAD Mechanical included. AutoCAD Mechanical also has service packs and can be included in the standard deployment.

The included Service Packs and Hot Fixes.
In above picture explained the 4 steps to take, to complete the installation.

  1. The Basic deployment with Inventor SP1 (Service Pack 1) and with AutoCAD Mechanical SP2.
    Both service packs are not required for the basic deployment but you need to include them for other service packs.
  2. a. The deployment with hot fixes and service packs 2 and 3.
    b. The deployment with Inventor SAP and with hot fixes and service packs 2 and 3.
  3. The actual deployment installation.
  4. The AutoCAD (Mechanical) SAP installed separately after the deployment installation.

The Deployment creation.
There are two ways to add the additional Service Packs and Hot Fixes to the installation:

  1. After the installation of the deployment on a workstation as additional and separate installations.
  2. Integrated into the existing deployment using the Deployment Wizard.

Of course with large companies and/or with complex IT infrastructure using the integrated way with the Deployment Wizard is preferable. But integrating the Subscription Advantage Pack (SAP) can’t be done with the Deployment Wizard.

You can though integrate the SAP by altering the Admin image of the deployment.

So here are the actual steps to take to create a deployment with Subscription Advantage Pack (path 1 and 2b). Most of below lines are taken over from the Readme file from Autodesk Knowledge Base:

  1. Create the basic deployment with Inventor SP1 and AutoCAD Mechanical SP2.
  2. Download Subscription Advantage Pack and extract it.
    Copy the Inventor2010_SR.exe, TS1109427.msp and TS1109487.msp file to the deployment folder …\your_deployment_name\AdminImage\x86(x64)\Inventor\…
  3. Download Inventor SP2 here and extract it.
    Copy the Inventor2010_SR2.msp to the deployment folder …\your_deployment_name\AdminImage\x86(x64)\Inventor\…
  4. Download Inventor SP3 here and extract it.
    Copy the Inventor2010_SR3.msp to the deployment folder …\your_deployment_name\AdminImage\x86(x64)\Inventor\…
  5. Carefully read the installation instruction part of the Readme file here.
    In a nutshell: Change this deployment by altering the Admin ini file:

    1. Go to the [Inventor] part and add the following line to it:
    2. Go to the end of the ini file and add the following lines to it:
      PRODUCT_NAME=TS1109487 hotfix
      PRODUCT_NAME=TS1109427 hotfix
      PRODUCT_NAME=Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk Inventor 2010
    Make sure that you use the names of the service packs and hot fixes files in your ini file according to the actual file names.

June 14, 2010 at 6:22 am 3 comments

When to use the Layer & Spatial Index

I was triggered to write this blog when I read an article about External References also known as XREFs, tweeted by Edwin Prakoso. I was doing the preparation of an AutoCAD course a while ago when I was looking for some answers to cover this topic. 
There are good articles to find on the internet how to use eXternal References in AutoCAD products. But what I’m interested in is, how the Layer & Spatial Index will work for you or benefit you when using with Xrefs.
To understand this topic you first need to understand how Xrefs works. Herefor I refer to an article from CAD-Notes: Using XREF, Attachment or Overlay.

What is the Layer & Spatial Index?
An index is a typical term used with databases for finding records as fast as possible. You could see an index like a rolodex which you use for fast and easy access of the addresses and telephone numbers of all your contacts. The index used this way is typically alfabetically ordered from A to Z.

Using an index will keep track of the objects so they can be found fast in a drawing.
There are two types of indices:

  1. Layer Index, is used to gain optimized access of objects on a layer.
    Actually it is a list showing which objects are on which layer.
  2. Spatial Index is used to gain optimized access of the geometric location of objects in space.

Using an index will make the drawing slightly bigger in file size. This has to do with storing the index information with the drawing.

When to use
There are two ways when you can use the Layer & Spatial Index.

  1. Xref clipping
  2. Partial Open/Load 

Xref clipping
When used with Xrefs, loading of related drawing information will go faster then without. I’ve used the word ‘related’, because it works great with clipped Xrefs.
But remember: the use of the Layer & Spatial Index for Xrefs only works best when Demand Loading for Xrefs is turned on. Demand loading is a feature to load only xref data that’s necessary to regenerate the drawing. It works great with large drawings or many objects on frozen layers in Xrefs.
You can find these settings in the Options, the Open and Save tab, under External References (Xrefs).

Or you can also use and set the AutoCAD drawing variable XLOADCTL to 2.
With this value set, demand loading is turned on and a copy of the Xref will be used for attaching the drawing leaving the original in place for editing purposes by another session.

Partial Open/Load
Another method of using the Layer & Spatial Index is when opening, mostly large or big, drawings. And you want only a portion or part of that drawing being loaded for editing purposes. This will result in faster loading of the drawing with the pre-selected objects.
For partial opening a drawing you do the following: when opening a drawing, you can click on the down arrow on the right of the Open button and click Partial Open:

You can partially open drawings by loading objects within a Window (which will benefit when using the Spatial Index) and/or loading objects from selected layers (which will benefit when using the Layer Index). 

Later you can partially load additional data to this partial opened drawing by using the PARTIALOAD command.  This will open a window like above where you can select additional layers from where to load the objects.

Activating the Layer & Spatial Indices
You can use the Layer & Spatial Index by saving it with your drawing. You can do this two ways:

  1. by going to the Saveas command, Tools (upper right corner) and click on Options.This opens a window where you can activate the Layer and/or Spatial Index.
  2. or you can also use and set the AutoCAD drawing variable INDEXCTL to 3.

So why not always use this index turned on with all drawings?
Well not every user works with large drawings or uses Xrefs. Not using the Layer & Spatial Index will save you disk storage space.

If you have any questions or comment on this topic, please do so to make this topic valuable for everyone.

June 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm 2 comments

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