Thursday, March 9, 2017

Autodesk Subscription or Maintenance or?

Big changes to licensing of Autodesk products. I gathered some info I found on the topic. It may or may not be good for you.  Steve Johnson at blog nauseam that looked at the costs find that you should stick with maintenance.

image

Here’s what Autodesk says:

Autodesk believes that subscribing is the best way for our customers to get the greatest value from our tools and technologies and that subscription will fundamentally change how we deliver extended capabilities and new functionalities through connected services.  Only with subscription will you realize greater value through the following benefits:

  • Latest and greatest product capabilities – Get access to Autodesk’s ongoing stream of innovation, updates to core products, cloud services for desktop products, and additional capabilities as soon as they are available, at no additional cost.
  • Access to new industry collections – Available only through subscription, you’ll realize significant savings when you need two or more Autodesk software products.
  • New and improved support – Enjoy faster response times and the option to receive help by scheduling a call with Autodesk technical support specialists.
  • Simplified administration – Access tools that streamline deployment and software management when you standardize all of your Autodesk products on subscription.

On March 2, 2017 we announced several changes to our maintenance plan program. The changes are:

  1. Because managing two business models (subscription and maintenance plans) is costly, in order to continue supporting maintenance plans, beginning May 7, 2017, maintenance plan renewal prices will increase by 5% in 2017, 10% in 2018, and 20% in 2019.
  2. While we will continue to offer the choice of renewing your existing maintenance plans, effective February 20, 2017, multi-year maintenance plan renewals will no longer be offered.  If you currently have a multi-year maintenance plan (i.e. 2-year or 3-year term), you are able to renew it for one year at a time.
  3. We have also announced a special offer for our maintenance plan customers.  Beginning in June 2017, you will be able to move (switch) products that are on a maintenance plan to a subscription for up to 60% less than the cost of a new subscription. You can take advantage of this offer during your renewal period and it is valid once per seat of a product on maintenance. The price to switch from maintenance to subscription will increase 5% in 2018 and another 5% in 2019, so the earlier you switch, the less it will cost. When switching, you can choose to switch to a subscription of the same product or to an industry collection.

It is our objective to provide you with as much information as possible.  Please see our FAQ for additional details and contact your Autodesk Sales Representative or Autodesk Reseller. Also feel free to use this forum to pose additional questions as these are big changes and we want to do everything we can to support you and your business. We appreciate your time and interest.

Subscription site at Autodesk.

Autodesk Maintenance Plans FAQ will help with these questions:

1. Overview
2. Switching from Maintenance to Subscription
3. Pricing for Switching
4. Use and Support

Autodesk’s Moving To Subscription forum

Autodesk Terms & Conditions

Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) Change to type of licenses provided through ADN

ADN subscription: How do I support customers on old versions? According to this post: “Under Subscription we will only support and provide the current release plus 3 releases back. Sorry but we are no longer able to provide perpetual license access.”

What does this mean? "Enjoy faster response times and the option to receive help by scheduling a call with Autodesk technical support specialists." According to this post: “Beginning May 2017, all subscribers will have the option of scheduling a call with an Autodesk technical support specialist to discuss and work through issues quickly.”

You find several posts on the subject at blog nauseam like this post and this post examining the alternatives to stay on maintenance or go with subscription.

See also posts on CADNOTES and ITAM REVIEW.

Interview with Amar Hanspal and Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk's interim co-chief executive officers.

According to Amar Hanspal: “So there’s a different price for each year, when that three-year lock in expires that customer immediately goes up to the terminal loyalty price a little over – roughly 60% more in their maintenance price, and then they’re kind of subject to ongoing price increases that will affect with our long-term pricing strategy.”

How is this going to affect education customers? According to this post: “even though your free educational licenses are based on a perpetual model (they are not subscription-based), there is no impact to the offer of free access to Autodesk software for qualifying students, teachers and academic institutions.  We will continue with this program as is and as described on the education home page on autodesk.com.”

To further learn about your specific options talk with your Autodesk reseller.

JTB World’s JTB FlexReport can help you monitor usage of Autodesk network licenses as well as standalone licenses as well as other FlexNet based licenses and several other network license systems. With the data JTB FlexReport provides you can be in a better position when it comes to knowing how historical usage has been and how to plan for the future.

JTB World will continue developing apps and make custom solutions for Autodesk products like AutoCAD and Revit. If you decide to go with or already use other CAD products like for example BricsCAD, DraftSight, GstarCAD or ZWCAD we can also help to create apps based on your needs. Feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

JTB XClipClean 2.0 released - clean up clipped xrefs and blocks

JTB XClipClean 2.0 is now released. A few bugs have been fixed and there is now installer available.

JTB XClipClean is an Xclip-cutter app for AutoCAD to clean up xrefs or blocks that been clipped so that the information that is outside the clip is removed. This is useful when you need to remove hidden geometry and minimize DWG file size. AutoCAD allows blocks and xrefs to be clipped using the XCLIP command. Sometimes for different reasons you have to clean up the blocks or xrefs that have been clipped. JTB XClipClean can help you with that by deleting and trimming geometry that is outside the xclip boundary.

Kitchen with the xclip boundary visible

Revit does not handle xclipped blocks and xrefs so XClipClean can be useful to run on drawings before taking them into Revit.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Inventor - AutoCAD and DWG drawing file provider

Autodesk Inventor can work with AutoCAD DWG files in different ways and sometimes it can be good to know if the DWG file was created by Inventor or AutoCAD.

Here are some quotes from the post Drawings in Windows Explorer: Inventor or AutoCAD? on the IMAGINiT Manufacturing Solutions Blog.

You can “right click on it and see if it shows the Inventor iProperties option through the Windows shell integration or use the Provider field in Autodesk Vault to see the creator of the program”. But there is a better way.

“Since the authoring program of the DWG has to be one that edits the native geometry of the DWG, a user has to know the correct program in which to open the file and make the edits.  For instance an Inventor DWG that contains modeling data will not be able to be exploded in AutoCAD because Inventor contains the modeling and assembly feature data.  Likewise an AutoCAD drawing containing vector geometry should be edited in AutoCAD so that the entities are properly modified or adjusted.”

DWG Columns Inventor Open dialog box

About DWG Columns Mark Flayler says: “This is a must for any company with mixed AutoCAD and Inventor DWG files in legacy or production use around the company.  If you are looking for a large amount of seats there is even a volume discount for your engineering teams.  Go check it out and see the other things it can do as well.  Even for a single seat it is really inexpensive to increase your sanity and productivity.”

Check out the trial of DWG Columns here.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

AutoCAD network unavailable license alerts

If you wonder what happens to users of AutoCAD if the Autodesk Network License Manager is unavailable for whatever reason, here’s what.

Users that try to start AutoCAD will get the FlexNet License Finder dialog box showing up.

Your application was not able to obtain a license because the FlexNet license server manager could not determine where to find the licensing data it needs. Please choose one of the following: Specify the License Server System or Specify the License File

Pressing Cancel shows the Licensing Error dialog box.

Network License Not Available
Common causes: all licenses are in use, the server is down, or the license has expired. Contact your system administrator or support.
Error [-15.570.0]

Finally this License Error dialog box shows.

The License manager is not functioning or is improperly installed. AutoCAD will shut down now.

But what if a user is already running AutoCAD while the license manager gets unavailable?

After 2 hours this Unavailable License Alert dialog box will show up.

Your license is no longer available.
To re-establish the license, close and then restart this product.

If the user keeps using AutoCAD there is a 2 minutes grace follow by this Network License – Lost Connection dialog box.

A valid license could not be obtained from the network license manager. Please save your work and shutdown.
6 minutes remain before AutoCAD will shut down.
Save drawings and quit – All open drawings will be saved and the application will be shut down immediately.
Continue working – Return to the application to manually save your work during the grace period.
Quit without saving – The application will quit without saving any open drawings.

If the user click on Continue working and does not close AutoCAD the above dialog box will show up when there are 4 minutes remaining and eventually again when 2 minutes are remaining. If still using AutoCAD this final “Network License – Out of Time” dialog box shows up.

A valid license could not be obtained from the network license manager. What do you want to do?
AutoCAD will be closed now.
Save drawings and quit – All open drawings will be saved and the application will be shut down immediately.
Quit without saving – The application will quit without saving any open drawings.

If you want to monitor the network license usage see our JTB FlexReport product.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

JTB Sort Table 1.1 released

JTB Sort Table 1.1 has been released with a couple of bug fixes:

  • Fixed bug in cells with block
  • Fixed bug when sorting locked, read-only or linked cells

Sorts data in AutoCAD or BricsCAD tables, ascending or descending in selected columns.

If you are looking for a command on the Table Cell tab to sort data in your table, and can not find it, this app is for you.

Click to see animation of JTB Sort Table

There’s a 30 day trial available for JTB Sort Table.

If you need help with any BricsCAD or AutoCAD customization feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

DWG Columns for Explorer 3.2 released

JTB Word's DWG Columns for Explorer has been updated to version 3.2 and got some performance improvements.

We have observed that the performance enhancement is more than 90% for almost all cases. The version 3.1 update could slow down file browsing in Explorer and especially the file selection dialog boxes within Autodesk software.

If you want to see the DWG and DXF properties and metadata in Explorer columns please give the trial a try. No need to have AutoCAD or other CAD programs installed for this to work. After the trial has expired you can still use it to show the DWG version information as long as you like.

Click to see a larger version with more columns

DWG Created By (can for example show AutoCAD 2017 or Inventor 2017), DWG id (for example ACAD0001409 making it possible to see difference between a drawing created in AutoCAD or an AutoCAD vertical like AutoCAD Architecture. ODA can show for a DWG created with the Open Design Alliance API), DWG Reg (Version in registry, for example 210 that stands for R21.0) and DWG Build (AutoCAD build number, for example N5200x64).

InfoTip showing when holding the mouse over a file:

If you are also a Revit user our RVT Columns shows the Revit version and Revit build for RTE, RVT, RFA and RFT files.

JTB DST Tool 1.2 released

JTB DST Tool can merge, purge and convert Sheet Set DST files for AutoCAD, BricsCAD and any other CAD software using Sheet Set DST files. For example AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager (SSM) or AutoCAD Architecture's Project Navigator (PN) Sheet Set View.

  • Merge one or more sheet sets.
  • The purging is useful for IT or CAD Managers to correct performance problems with SSM Sheet Sets that started to perform badly. Sometimes the DST file can grow unreasonable large and the purging can help.
  • Convert to XML for more advanced editing and convert back to DST again.

Version 1.2 fixes a bug in trial mode, related to decimal symbol so if you tried it before and it failed give it a try again.

If you work with the Sheet Set Manager and want to edit Sheet Sets see our SSMPropEditor app or if you want to create Sheet Sets and their properties in an automated manner take a look at our JTB Sheet Set Creator.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

JTB Steel 1.3.1 released

JTB Steel 1.3.1 is now released with following changes:

  • Fixed US Metric ST section: flange slope column missing
  • Added Japanese sections, Russian sections and Taiwan CNS sections

JTB Steel is an app running inside AutoCAD, adding powerful command features to help you draw simple and complex steelwork frames and details efficiently.

You can select and insert Steel Sections from JTB Steel library to AutoCAD drawing just as inserting blocks. You can draw Steel Frames just as drawing lines by 2 pickpoints. All created drawing objects are either blocks or dynamic blocks. Once Steel members are inserted, you can edit these using powerful editing commands located on Tools Palette.

JTB Steel includes advanced automation techniques for modifying dynamic blocks. This means that you can easily manage your drawings and quickly finalize your details. The below example was fully created using JTB Steel (this includes any alignment, rotation etc):

Trial is available for JTB Steel.

Monday, February 6, 2017

JTB Quick Perspective 2.5 released

JTB Quick Perspective 2.5 is released now. JTB Quick Perspective for AutoCAD will transforms Points, Lines, straight Polylines and "landscape" Blocks to perspective view drawing, all in 2D working space. Take a look here what can be done.

Free trial available at JTB Quick Perspective.

What do you want to be automated? We create custom apps. Contact us.

Monday, January 30, 2017

AutoCAD Lisp signing command line tool

You maybe knew about AcSignApply.exe but did you know that command line tool is available too? It’s not so obvious because AcSignApply.exe is found in the installation folder of AutoCAD but AcSignTool.exe is not. AcSignTool.exe can be downloaded here and described here. It’s for AutoCAD 2016 but should work for AutoCAD 2017 too.

AcSignTool.exe

In AutoCAD 2016 it was added the ability to digitally sign lisp files (.lsp, .fas and .vlx). There is the GUI version, AcSignApply.exe (which gets installed in the AutoCAD install folder) to sign the lisp files.

AcSignTool.exe is the commandline version of AcSignApply.exe. It is meant for signing lisp files in a batch process. AutoCAD doesn't need to be installed.

You can find the usage instructions by entering AcSigntool.exe /?

Usage: AcSignTool -sign /file:[inputfile] /cert:[certificate] /time:[timestamp] /comment:[description]
Usage: AcSignTool -verify /file:[inputfile]

Usage: AcSignTool -remove -force /file:[inputfile]

AcSignTool -sign /file:"c:\files\foo.lsp" /cert:12345678901234567890 /time:1
AcSignTool -verify /file:"c:\files\foo.lsp"
AcSignTool -remove -force /file:"c:\files\foo.lsp"
AcSignTool -issigned /file:"c:\files\foo.lsp"

/file:[inputfile] Full path of the file that needs to signed.

/file:[certs] Certificate to be used for signing, please enter the serial number.
The following certificates are available for signing on this machine.
----------------------------------------------------------------
/Serial Number                  Subject                 Issuer
----------------------------------------------------------------
123456789                       JTB World Inc.        DigiCert SHA2 Assured ID Code Signing CA

/time:[timestamp] Timestamp that should be used for signing please enter the index.
The following time sources are available.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Index                   Time Source
----------------------------------------------------------------
0               (No time stamp)
1               Time from this computer
2               National Institute of Standards and Technology (time-a.nist.gov)
3               Symmetricom (nist1.symmetricom.com)
4               CTS (tick.ucla.edu)


/comment:[description] Description to be included in the signature.


-force Clears the Read-only file attribute.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure that AcSignCore16.dll is available with the tool, copy timesrvr.txt to AcSignTool exe folder.

If you need help with any Lisp customization feel free to contact us.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Autodesk Seek no more

If you now use the SEEK command in AutoCAD either from command line

Search Autodesk Seek

or from DesignCenter

Autodesk Seek in Designcenter

you will now notice find out that Autodesk Seek is no more.

You are now leaving Seek.Autodesk.com and will be automatically redirected to your desired search results page on BIMobject.

As of the 18th of January 2017 Autodesk has transferred the operation of its Autodesk®Seek business to BIMobject®

Autodesk Seek operations transferred to BIMobject

For more information please click on the link below, or click on the link to start browsing and downloading BIM objects from bimobject.com

BIMobject

Thanks to Steve Johnson at blog nauseam where I read about this first.

Friday, January 20, 2017

SSMPropEditor 6.4 available - Sheet Set Manager Editor

SSMPropEditor 6.4 is now available. Are you using the Sheet Set Manager then you will save a lot of time, frustration and money with JTB World’s SSMPropEditor.

Here are the main news:

  • Export and Import to Excel files does not require Excel to be installed. This makes it work with other software that can edit XLSX files.
  • Natural sorting implemented for sorting of sheets in the tree view. Before it was for example sorted like S-001, S-1001, S-101 but now as S-001, S-101, S-1001.

Version 6.4 has some known Vault issues that makes it not work in all environments. Work is being done to fix it ASAP.

For all details on this release see the revision history.

Downloads are available here and works in trial mode for 30 days. Existing customers can upgrade for free and use their existing license file.

More from JTB World: Create new Sheet Sets including drawings based on an Excel template with our JTB Sheet Set Creator or make merge, purge and convert with JTB DST Tool.

If you would need help to develop any custom app or program we can help. We specializes on AutoCAD and Revit but also do work for other CAD platforms as well as pure Windows apps. You are welcome to contact us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

JTB Layout Palette for AutoCAD or BricsCAD

JTB Layout Palette is a new app from JTB World that makes it easier to work with and manage drawings with many layouts or when the layout names are very long.

Run command LAYOUTPALETTE or click to the ribbon panel to Show or Hide the Layout Palette. You can quickly browse for layout, add, delete or edit name like working on a spreadsheet. This app is for you when there are too many layouts, or the layout names are too long to effectively work with out-of-the-box in AutoCAD or BricsCAD.

Quickly show only the layouts you want to see with filters.

Edit layout names

Moving and Sorting layouts

If you would like to try it visit JTB Layout Palette.

Monday, January 16, 2017

SmartPurger 3.9 released

SmartPurger 3.9 is released and here’s what’s fixed:

  • "Delete only files older than specified number days" setting did before not delete files as expected. This is not fixed.
  • Fixed error that caused SmartPurger to stop when path or files names were very long.
  • Fixed error that caused SmartPurger to stop when it reached certain folders that could not be accessed by the current user.

Download the update either as a customer or if you want a trial.

What is SmartPurger? SmartPurger can batch purge CAD drawings as well as run custom scripts (SCR or LSP). Delete old backup and other files you may not want to take up space. Works with AutoCAD, BricsCAD, GstarCAD and possibly other DWG compatible software. And there are more features.

"You provided an excellent product in “SmartPurger”. This application suits us perfectly." - Clint Hill, that found these issues and also helped to test this version.

Some of the latest blog posts

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