Monday, October 26, 2009

Autodesk 2010 products FlexNet error -15.570.36 solution

You configured a machine to be a network license server and then installed an Autodesk product on the same machine.  When you launch the product, it tries to check out a network license and fails.  This seems to affect most 2010 products.

On Windows, the FLEXnet Finder dialog displays and, when dismissed, is followed by a license error dialog displaying the error code [-15.570.36]. In the Mac OS, a license error dialog displays the same error code but it does not display a FLEXnet Finder dialog.

Find the solution is this Knowledge Base document: Failure to check out a license when running a network product on the same machine as the network license server

ACAD_db 1.0 released – sync block attributes with database

Make use of AutoCAD together with an external database. Block attribute values can automatically be updated back and forth to one or many external databases. If you make changes to the attribute values they can be synchronized back to the external database and the other way around.

With the new ACAD_db from JTB World this is now possible. ACAD_db works with AutoCAD and all its verticals. Use for example Access, SQL Server, SQL Server Express, Oracle, ODBC or Excel as your database.

ACAD_db

There are three sync methods available and can be set individually for each attribute to synchronize.

  • Sync in both directions.
  • Sync only from the drawing to the database.
  • Sync only from the database to the drawing.

Some information might be useful to sync in both directions while other information like dimensions needs AutoCAD to be the owner. Other information like price might best be owned by the database.

    Contact us to get a time limited license file for free and try ACAD_db in your environment.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Autodesk University Attendees Can Give Away 'Virtual' Passes

    Via this press release I learned that “Autodesk announces the availability of four (4) complimentary Premier Passes for Autodesk University Virtual.”

    I would love to get one of these as I will not be there IRL. Anyone having a spare?
    Update: I have now got a virtual pass. Thanks!

    Subscription Advantage Pack – AutoCAD Architecture 2010

    Renovation Extension for ACA 2010 makes it easier to work with the 3 phases Existing, New and Demolition. This really simplifies the work so if you do these kind of works and have subscription just go get it. Others need to wait for AutoCAD Architecture 2011.

    Here is a video showing how it works.

    AutoCAD 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack

    AutoCAD 2010 Subscription Advantage pack is now available to AutoCAD subscription members. Other have to wait for AutoCAD 2011.

    Isolate, Add Selected, Select Similar is something that been found in verticals earlier and as 3:rd party tools.

    With Isolate Objects, Hide Objects and End Object Isolation you get more freedom on visibility of objects that extends beyond layers.

    There are also two Draw Order tools: Bring Annotations to Front, Send Hatches to Back.

    These are some useful tools so go and grab this advantage pack.

    Here is a video showing the features.

    AutoCAD 2010 support for Windows 7 and for other Autodesk software

    Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of AutoCAD® 2010 and AutoCAD® LT® 2010 are compatible with and supported on Microsoft Windows® 7.

    Windows 7 Autodesk does not officially support 2009 and older versions of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT on Windows 7. If you choose to run older versions of AutoCAD on the Windows 7 operating system, you may opt to use Windows compatibility mode.

    There are some known minor limitations of AutoCAD 2010 and AutoCAD LT 2010 on Windows 7.  For a description of these limitations, please refer to the following solution:

    Known Limitations with Windows 7 for AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based Products

    The following issues have been identified with Windows 7 and are currently being researched for a potential fix in a future release:

    AutoCAD® and all AutoCAD-based vertical products:

    • Infocenter balloons sometimes display blank
    • Dragging Ribbon tabs sometimes crashes the product
    • Encrypted files fail to open and save on Windows 7
    • Open files do not appear on Windows 7 Jumplist
    • Export to Impression functionality will not work because Autodesk Impression is not supported on Windows 7

    AutoCAD Architectural 2010 and AutoCAD Mechanical 2010:

    • Text in the Drafting Settings dialog overlaps radio buttons

    Knowledge Base document: Windows 7 Support for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

    According to this press release:

    For the 2010 product line, Autodesk will support nine products on Windows 7. These products are Autodesk Inventor 2010, Autodesk Inventor LT 2010, AutoCAD 2010, AutoCAD LT 2010, AutoCAD Architecture 2010, AutoCAD Electrical 2010, AutoCAD Mechanical 2010, AutoCAD MEP 2010 and Autodesk Algor Simulation 2010 software. Autodesk will support Windows 7 for most of its other products as updated versions are released.

    See also

    Knowledge Base document: Windows 7 support for Revit 2010 products and previous versions

    Knowledge Base document: Support for 3ds Max 2010 and 3ds Max Design 2010 on Windows 7

    Knowledge Base document: Support for Maya 2010 on Windows 7

    Knowledge Base document: Support for AutoCAD Map 3D 2010 and Windows 7

    Knowledge Base document: Support for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 and Windows 7

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    FlexNet lmgrd.exe problem solved

    During the start of evaluating JTB FlexReport one customer got a problem with Autodesk Network License Manager FlexNet (FLEXlm) that eventually was solved.

    The following command was run on the server where FlexNet license manager is installed. The server is a virtualized Windows 2008 std server.

    lmutil.exe lmstat -a -c 27000@server

    [Detecting lmgrd processes…]
    Error getting status: Cannot connect to license server system. (-15,10:10061 “Winsock: Connection refused”)

    The FlexNet debug log also had this information.

    16:27:23 (lmgrd) adskflex exited with status 58 ()
    16:27:23 (lmgrd) Since this is an unknown status, license server
    16:27:23 (lmgrd) manager (lmgrd) will attempt to re-start the vendor daemon.
    16:27:23 (lmgrd) EXITING DUE TO SIGNAL 1

    There were no problems with the ports and firewalls as they were opened. LMTOOLS.EXE did not show any problem on the status.

    Using IP instead of server name resulted in this message:

    lmutil - Copyright (c) 1989-2007 Macrovision Europe Ltd. and/or Macrovision Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
    Flexible License Manager status on Tue 10/20/2009 15:49

    [Detecting lmgrd processes...]
    Error getting status: Cannot find license file. (-1,359:2 "No such file or directory")

    Other errors that also might show up are some or all of these:

    The TCP port number in the license, [portnumber], is already in use.
    (adskflex) Unable to initialize access to trusted storage: 1
    (adskflex) Failed to open socket to lmgrd, Exiting
    (adskflex) EXITING DUE TO SIGNAL 28 Exit reason 5
    (lmgrd) Can't send reread to adskflex: Cannot read data from license server system. (-16,10009:10054 "WinSock: Connection reset by peer")
    (lmgrd) adskflex exited with status 28 (Communications error)
    (lmgrd) Since this is an unknown status, license server 
    (lmgrd) manager (lmgrd) will attempt to re-start the vendor daemon.

    Eventually the solution found. The problem was caused because of Windows DEP (Data Execution Prevention) on the server. DEP simply killed lmgrd from doing its job.

    Another error that might show in the FlexNet debug log is: Lost communications with lmgrd Communications error. Connection closed. Exiting. EXITING DUE TO SIGNAL 28 Exit reason 5

    The solution is:

  • Stop the licenseservice using LMTOOLS.EXE or in Windows Services.
  • Stop any process in Task Manager like lmgrd.exe and adskflex.exe (or whatever the vendor daemon is named).
  • Start the DEP program from Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings > Data Excution Prevention.
  • Add an exception for LMGRD.exe and possibly also LMUTIL.EXE, LMTOOLS.EXE and the vendor EXE where the license manager is installed.
  • Restart the service and it should work.

    DEP might also have the effect that LMTOOLS.EXE crashes or that you just notice that the license service is stopped after a while and you cannot check out any licenses. The problem is no only on Windows 2008 server but have been seen also on Windows 2003 server

  • Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Revit Wood Wall Framing tool

    This is good news now that residential building also is expected to increase in 2010. This means Revit can be even more used for this industry.
    “Single family housing for 2010 will advance 32 percent in dollars, corresponding to a 30 percent increase in the number of units, to 560,000.” -ref
    Revit Subscription Advantage Pack will include this for Revit Architecture and Revit Structure and is now available for subscription customers.

    We’ll see how this will compare with MWF from StrucSoft.

    Do you face problems to automate Autodesk software installers?

    If you do take a look at this post and the invitation from Autodesk to hear your views (see the comment from Eric Stover).

    I recognize several of the key points mentioned and know that it is quite some work to automate installations of all kind of applications.

    The below point for example that requires you to automate a launch of AutoCAD and close it before you can push some of the settings to the client.

    • Make it easier for us to push a custom profile (.arg) and set default shortcuts on the clients.  First launch always reverts them back to vanilla configurations, which breaks this.

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Learn how to convert VBA code into VB.NET for AutoCAD

    Visit Through the Interface for details on the free webcast.

    The session will be taking place at 8am Pacific/10am Eastern/4pm in the UK/5pm in Central Europe, on October 20, 2009. If you cannot make it the webcast will be recorded.

    If you need help to convert or migrate old VBA code to VB.NET or C#, JTB World can help with this service. You’re welcome to contact us.

    Unable to find main dictionary. Could not start speller. Solution!

    Here are some reasons why you get the message “Unable to find main dictionary. Could not start speller.” or “unable to find main dictionary could not start spelling” in AutoCAD (or vertical) or AutoCAD LT when you try to add or change text or make a spell check.

    You have deleted some DCT files in your support folder and might need to restore them from the CD/DVD alternatively make a repair of the installation.

    Make sure to install dictionaries as feature if you select a custom installation. Even if you don't need multi-language dictionaries you will get an annoying error message every time you want to create or edit text. "AutoCAD Message - Unable to find main dictionary. Could not start speller."

    If AutoCAD is already installed use Windows Control Panel>Programs and Features and find the AutoCAD installation and select Change or “Add or Remove Features” and make sure "Dictionaries" is un-checked and proceed with the update of the program.

    You might have deleted the path to the location of the DCT files in OPTIONS. You can check that you have the path to where the DCT file are among the paths in OPTIONS>Files>Support File Search Path. If it is not there add it and restart the application. Another way is to restore the profile but then you might loose a lot of your settings that you have customized.

    Here are some of the DCT files that comes with AutoCAD:
    cat.dct
    csy.dct
    dan.dct
    dan2.dct
    deu.dct
    deu2.dct
    deuo2.dct
    enc.dct
    enc2.dct
    eng.dct
    eng2.dct
    enu.dct
    enu2.dct
    esp.dct
    esp2.dct
    fin.dct
    fin2.dct
    fra.dct
    fra2.dct
    ita.dct
    ita2.dct
    nld.dct
    nld2.dct
    nor.dct
    nor2.dct
    ptb.dct
    ptb2.dct
    ptg.dct
    ptg2.dct
    rus.dct
    sve.dct
    sve2.dct

    This post was made thanks to an email question I got on this problem and I wanted to give the solution to others that might run into this.

    DST editor – SSM editor without need for AutoCAD

    I make this blog post to make it easier for users that search for a DST editor as I heard from one that eventually found SSMPropEditor that he had searched for a DST file editor for quite a while. SSMPropEditor can edit DST files without having AutoCAD installed.

    Edit properties on multiple sheets belonging to AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager (SSM) or AutoCAD Architecture's Project Navigator (PN) Sheet Set View with ease. If you want to change properties like a revision, date or name on two or more sheets at the same time SSMPropEditor is for you. Your productivity will increase and you will save time avoiding a lot of manual work.

    Sheet Set Properties, Sheet Set Custom Properties, Sheet Properties and Sheet Custom Properties can be edited. If editing of more within the DST is needed we also have a DST to XML converter that makes it possible to edit everything and then convert back to DST.

    Contact us to get a time limited license file for free.

    AecAnnoScheduleTagAdd and AutoLISP

    Here is a solution I wanted to share on how to use AecAnnoScheduleTagAdd in AutoLISP.

    The thing is that it's a point that the command expects.
    "Expects a point or Symbol/Leader/Dimstyle/Edit/Constrain"

    To get a point on the selected object you can use (cdr (assoc 10 (entget(entlast))))

    Example:
    (command "._AecAnnoScheduleTagAdd"
      "C:/mypath/Schedule Tables (Metric).dwg"
      "_symbol"
      "M_Aec_Room_Tag"
      "_edit"
      "_n"
      (cdr (assoc 10 (entget(entlast))))
      "_c"
      ""
    )

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    ACA_db 3.0 released with 2-way sync between AutoCAD Architecture and database

    ACA_db helps to make use of AutoCAD Architecture or AutoCAD MEP more fully in your BIM process. Property Set values can automatically be updated back and forth to one or many external databases. If you make changes to the Extended Data values within a Property Set they can be synchronized back to the external database. Any Property in a Property Set Definition (PSD) can be exported and all editable Properties can be imported.

    Synchronization between database and CAD

    Contact us to get a time limited license file for free.

    Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change – what can be done

    Today is Blog Action Day 2009 so it’s a good day to consider the theme Climate Change and what can be done to be more environmentally friendly.

    Here is a study Microsoft did on the environmental benefits to provide software to consumers online instead of shipping DVD’s.
    The study concluded that downloading Office 2007 avoided 8 times the amount of carbon emissions compared to producing and shipping a DVD and its associated packaging through traditional retail distribution channels.
    The study determined that carbon emissions avoided through online purchasing of 10 million copies is equivalent to:
    • the electric consumption of 7,715 US households, or
    • 13,008 passengers cars driven in one year, or
    • 231 acres of avoided Amazon rainforest deforestation.
    Software Downloads Help Microsoft and Customers Reduce Carbon Footprint
    At JTB World we only provide our software electronically via download or email.
    In the summer of 2007, sea ice was roughly 39% below the summer average for 1979-2000, a loss of area equal to nearly five United Kingdoms. Many scientists now believe the Arctic will be completely ice free in the summertime between 2011 and 2015, some 80 years ahead of what scientists had predicted just a few years ago. Read more about highest safe level of CO2 to 350 parts per million.
    1979 vs 2007
    In 2009 the sea ice was
    1979 vs 2009 
    This is what it looked like in September 2009. Via NSIDC that has a lot more info.

    A pair of German merchant ships traverse the fabled Northeast Passage. Ironically melting of the Arctic can help to lower fuel usage and carbon emissions for some ships.  Read more.

    Sustainable design and building, green building, LEED, are things that will help.
    Autodesk’s sustainability site and guide to sustainable design.
    Yesterday I was reading about a house that produces more energy than it consumes. The article is in Swedish though. Three layers of insulation on the walls and two layers on the roof.


    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change

    6,723 Blogs registered right now. You can register and participate too.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    FlexNet hotfix from Autodesk solving side-by-side licensing problem

    This hotfix repairs a problem that occurs during the side-by-side installation of two different licensing products. During the installation of stand-alone licensing products with previously installed network licensing products, an error occurs indicating that the installation failed.

    Knowledge Base document: FLEXnet Licensing Side-by-Side Hotfix

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    FlexNet downloads for lmadmin, lmgrd, lmutil, lmtools

    The latest version is 11.7 of the FlexNet (FLEXlm) executables lmgrd.exe, lmutil.exe, lmtools.exe and lmadmin.

    COMPATIBILITY: The version of the license server manager must be greater than or equal to the version of FlexNet Publisher used in the application/application's vendor daemon (for Autodesk it is adskflex.exe). You can always use the latest license server manager and utilities; they will be backward-compatible with your application and its license file.

    Download them here and select your Operating System. Normally updating is not needed unless your application vendor requires it. But if you experience problems in some way, then it can be a good idea to see if it helps with the latest version.

    To upgrade. Take backup of the old exe files. Stop the license service(s). Replace the exe files. Start the license service(s). This can in most cases be done even during daytime and the users will not notice anything but it is usually best to wait until there are few users having licenses in use.

    For license usage reports of FLEX enabled software and other software both network licensed and single licensed use JTB FlexReport.

    Flexera Software was formerly Acresso Software was formerly Macrovision.

    Flexera Software was Acresso Software was Macrovision was GLOBEtrotter

    Under a legal threat from another software firm (ERP software maker Agresso Software) with a similar name, Acresso Software Inc. is changing its name to Flexera Software after just 19 months.

    I actually thought about this similarity when I heard about the new name Acresso the first time so it is no big surprise considering that Agresso is such a larger company too the smaller Acresso don’t want to go into that fight.

    Flexera Software sells software such as its installation utility  InstallShield, and software license manager FlexNet Manager and FlexNet Publisher (FlexNet/FLEXlm), to software vendors and enterprises.

    Notice also the change from FLEXnet Publisher to FlexNet Publisher. This indicates we should start to use FlexNet now instead of FLEXnet when we refer to the software that are FLEX enabled like AutoCAD.

    Via Computerworld

    PS. For an alternative to FlexNet Manager take a look at JTB FlexReport.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Reboot networked computers remotely

    Here is how to reboot computers in a network without having to go physically to it.

    Using any of these methods:

    • shutdown.exe -r -m \\computername -t 0
    • Microsoft's PsExec program
    • MASS-REBOOT:  A stand-alone "network reboot" utility from CodePlex's Darrell Elmore that makes this process much, easier! MassReboot allows IT Administrators to remotely reboot and monitors multiple systems at one time, along with the systems' status.  (NOTE: MassReboot must be launched as "Run as Administrator")

    Thanks to The Road to Know Where

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Solution to registering of DLL problem on 64-bit systems

    I was preparing installers for DWG Explorer Column Handler (DWG Columns) when I run into problem with the 64-bit versions for Vista and Windows 7. I used Visual Studio 2008, a C++ project and a basic setup project with a couple of custom actions to register and unregister a DLL file. The 32-bit setup worked without problems.

    I first got the following error on Vista 64-bit and Windows 7 64-bit.

    Error 1723. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package.
    A DLL required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.
    Action _474A8F1D_82B8_4FC0_8E65_22E8CDBD2B7B, entry: _InstallPropertySchema@4, library:
    C:\Program Files\JTB World\DWG Explorer Column Handler\DWGPropertyHandler.dll

    After trying to create the setup directly on a 64-bit system I was able to install but the uninstall failed like this.

    Error 1723. There is a problem with this Windows Installer package.
    A DLL required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.
    Action _8B4F6610_75E7_462C_AB3D_BDC92ECCF640, entry: _UninstallPropertySchema@4, library:
    C:\Program Files\JTB World\DWG Explorer Column Handler\DWGPropertyHandler.dll

    I first figured out that I could edit the MSI file with Orca. In the table CustomAction I found the Actions I needed to change.

    was changed to

    This worked good but needed to be done manually each time.

    I then tried to use a trick to change how the DLL is built so it will use the correct name. I tried with the following link step in
    Visual Studio>Project Properties>Linker properties>Command Line>Additional options

    /export:_InstallPropertySchema@4=InstallPropertySchema /export:_UninstallPropertySchema@4=UninstallPropertySchema

    And that worked just great. Now I have installers working for XP, Vista, Windows 7 and both 32-bit and 64-bit.

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    Autodesk network licenses and adskflex.exe for Linux

    I found this discussion thread interesting as it seems like there now is a version of adskflex.exe available for Linux but it requires you have Maya 2010. It would be good if Autodesk made this available directly from their website as well.

    Even though JTB FlexReport still needs Windows to be installed on it can report FLEXnet/FLEXlm usage from other operating systems like Linux, Solaris Sparc, etc.

    Update: Download available from DL16273721

    Autodesk IPv4 Network License Manager for Linux 32-bit and Linux 64-bit

    The Autodesk Network License Manager for IPv4 networks using Linux® 32-bit or 64-bit Red Hat® Enterprise Linux 5.0 WS (U4). Please refer to the appropriate readme file for installation instructions.

    SPLM usage monitoring added to JTB FlexReport 5.1.2

    SPLM license reporting (Intergraph SmartPlant License Manager) is now supported in JTB FlexReport. Core JTB FlexReport is the same as in 5.1.0 as the SPLM support are added with two separate installers. Contact us if you would like more details, a trial or purchase.

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    JTB Process Monitor updated to solve a couple of bugs

    JTB Process Monitor that is a module for JTB FlexReport is updated and if you have JTB Process Monitor you should install this update.

    With JTB Process Monitor standalone application can be monitored and the usage can be reported with JTB FlexReport.

    JTBProcessServiceSetup.zip is updated to version 1.0.2 to fix some issues that made reports failing as well as a problem on 64-bit systems. Only this installer is updated. Uninstall previous version first.

    The complete JTB FlexReport suite is updated to version 5.1.1 with this update.


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