Friday, February 25, 2005

Performance tips when using SSM

If you use Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD 2005 or Project Navigator in ADT 2005 you might experience performance problems. This is especially when you have the DST placed on a location on the network with a slow connection like 10Mbps and/or if there are a lot of sheets in the Sheet Set. This can be related to the FIELDEVAL variable settings. You can find it here as well in Tools>Options>User preferences>Field Update Settings. You can for example uncheck it to update when running the Regen command. To force an update you can run the Updatefield command found in Tools>Update Fields.

The Fieldeval variable is saved in the drawing so you might want to force it into all drawings by using acaddoc.lsp and (setvar "fieldeval" 14), set it in the template drawings or something like that.

Other solutions might be to check the virus scan software and exclude DWG, DST and maybe some other safe files, possibly ACAD installation folder or acad.exe.

On a couple of PC's I found out using Filemon (now Process Monitor) from Sysinternals that the SSM was looking a lot in the folder C:\windows\csc. That is a folder related to off-line files. When I disabled offline files the performace increased a lot.

Run Process Monitor and filter on acad.exe and look for clues that might result in the performance issues.

With SSMPropEditor you can also edit many sheet properties or sheet custom properties at the same time in a Sheet Set.

See also Sheet Set Manager performance tips and the below information from an Autodesk knowledge base article:

Improving performance of Sheet Set Manager
Issue
You want to know how to improve performance when using the Sheet Set Manager.
Solution

The performance of sheet sets is largely dependent on the following factors: the speed of the network, the number of sheets in the sheet set, and the number of users on the network that are accessing the same sheet set.

A slow network connection can have a major negative impact on the performance of the Sheet Set Manager (SSM). In addition, the more sheets you have in a DST file, the longer it will take the Sheet Set Manager to check the network in order to refresh its status. When you multiply the negative effect of these factors by the number of users accessing the SSM simultaneously—all periodically refreshing a network DST file—it is easy to see how quickly performance can degrade.

Aside from increasing the network speed (something over which you may or may not have control), you can use the following tips to improve performance when working with sheet sets:

  • Increase the SSMPOLLTIME system variable to lengthen the time between refreshes. The default refresh time is 60 seconds, but you can increase it to a maximum of 600 seconds (10 minutes). Note: The system variable, SSMSHEETSTATUS must be set to 2 for the timer to operate.
  • Turn off automatic refreshing of sheet sets completely by setting SSMSHEETSTATUS to 0 (in this case, refreshing must be done manually). Making this (or the previous) change for all the users on a network may help minimize the amount of traffic to and from a DST file.
  • Turn off the Offline Files setting if it is enabled on your Windows operating system. If this setting is active, the Sheet Set Manager may include offline folders when polling for information during a file search. Note: The SSM does not explicitly poll offline folders; this is a result of the Windows functions called when a file search is performed. To turn off Offline Files, follow these steps:
    • In Windows Explorer, click Tools menu.
    • In the Folder Options dialog box, click the Offline Files tab, and clear the Offline Files check box.
  • Check how frequently fields are refreshed. If your sheets contain a lot of fields and they are refreshed often, this will negatively impact sheet set performance. Check the FIELDEVAL system variable or the Options dialog box (User Preferences > Field Update Settings) and adjust how often the fields are evaluated.
  • Close the DST file if you are not using it. This is different from simply closing the Sheet Set Manager. You need to right-click the sheet set name at the root of the SSM tree and select Close Sheet Set from the shortcut menu.
  • Disable background publishing.
  • Turn off SSMAUTOOPEN to prevent the automatic opening of a DST file when you load an associated drawing.

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