Monday, September 23, 2013

Cascading of AutoCAD 2014 with Product Design Suite 2014

If you use Autodesk Network License Manager and have licenses for both the point product AutoCAD 2014 and Product Design Suite 2014 on the license server but on the user’s machines only Product Design Suite 2014 installed, launching AutoCAD 2014 will take a Product Design Suite 2014 license. Why is that? AutoCAD 2014 shortcut is a vanilla AutoCAD profile of AutoCAD Mechanical 2014. So if if you want to have your users use the cheaper AutoCAD 2014 license instead you will have to also install the point product AutoCAD 2014.

  • Point Product AutoCAD 2014 = This is AutoCAD 2014 only!
  • AutoCAD 2014 in the Product Design Suite 2014 = AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 with Vanilla Profile.
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2014 = One of the products in the Product Design Suite 2014.

Via Up and Ready

If you want to monitor license or application usage consider JTB FlexReport.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Autodesk 360 desktop companion Update 3

This update from Autodesk applies to Autodesk 360 desktop companion if your version is 4.0.27.1 to 4.0.32.100.

Note: If you have version 4.5.4.700 or above, you should not run this update. Users with 4.5.4.700 and higher will be automatically prompted to upgrade via an Autodesk 360 Desktop Companion system tray notification.

To see which version of Autodesk 360 desktop companion is currently installed, sign in to Autodesk 360. In the notification area (system tray), right-click the Autodesk 360 icon and choose Preferences.

Fixes in this live update include but are not limited to:

  • Stability Improvements

Download from Autodesk here: DL21520422

Here’s how to install Autodesk 360 Update 3 from the command line.

1.Download A360 UP3.
2.Open a windows command line (Start > Search > type cmd and hit Enter).
3.Change working director to the folder you downloaded A360 UP3.
   e.g. cd c:\a360u3
4.Run following command to extract msp file
   c:\a360u3> Autodesk360_x64_Release_update3.exe /e a360u3.msp
5.install the update 3 with following command
   c:\a360u3> msiexec /update a360u3.msp /passive /norestart

See also the recent AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

FlexNet license manager 11.12

The updated FlexNet (FLEXlm) version (based on Flexera Software’s FlexNet Publisher 2013 R2) has been released and is now available as a public download as well as the updated License Administration Guide.

Here are the news in Version 11.12 as far as I could find. There might be some bug fixes too that not are documented.

License Server Diagnostics in the Debug Log

Enhanced license server diagnostics will now be emitted in the license server debug log. Additional diagnostics are prefixed by “(@lmgrd-SLOG@)” for the lmgrd and “(@<vendor>-SLOG@)” for the Vendor Daemon, facilitating easy grep-like extraction from the debug-log. The Vendor Daemon would emit the additional diagnostics when run with lmgrd or lmadmin. These diagnostics are intended to assist publishers and Flexera diagnose license server issues.
These diagnostics include:

For lmgrd:
Start timestamp, Version, ProcessID, Network Info (IPv4/IPv6 interface, listening port), command-line options, list of license files, whether the license server is running as a windows service.

For Vendor Daemon:
Start timestamp, Version, ProcessID, Network info (IPv4/IPv6 interface, listening port, select timeout of vendor daemon), Vendor daemon name, Options file used, Trusted storage accessed (yes/no), Host name, Virtual/physical environment, (limited) hypervisor info if virtual, Lmbind used (yes/no), #Restarts of vendor daemon since lmgrd startup, #Rereads since vendor daemon (re)start, Last reread time, Reread initiation type (automatic versus lmreread).

Every 4 hours (and at vendor daemon shutdown) the following performance data are logged:
Details of the 10 peak client transactions (including client hostname, user, transaction time, concurrent clients at time of transaction, memory usage (Windows only)), Peak concurrent clients served, High watermark memory usage (Windows only), Transaction time for last 10 transactions.

Some examples from a log:

18:46:56 (lmgrd) Server's System Date and Time: Tue Sep 17 2013 18:46:56 W. Europe Daylight Time
18:46:56 (lmgrd) SLOG: Summary LOG statistics is enabled.

18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) ===============================================
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) === LMGRD ===
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Start-Date: Tue Sep 17 2013 18:46:56 W. Europe Daylight Time
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) PID: 6868
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) LMGRD Version: v11.12.0.0 build 136775 x64_n6 ( build 136775 (ipv6))
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@)
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) === Network Info ===
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Socket interface: IPV6
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Listening port: 27000
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@)
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) === Startup Info ===
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Is LS run as a service: Yes
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Server Configuration: Single Server
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) Command-line options used at LS startup: -c C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk Network License Manager\Autodesk2014.lic -l C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk Network License Manager\autodesk.log -z -s
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) License file(s) used:  C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk Network License Manager\Autodesk2014.lic
18:46:56 (lmgrd) (@lmgrd-SLOG@) ===============================================

lmgrd.exe, lmutil.exe and lmtools.exe are all version 11.12 now. It might take some time before vendors start supporting this new version.

Previous FlexNet 11.11.1 described.

JTB World’s JTB FlexReport license monitoring tool has been tested with and supports this new version.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1

Time for AutoCAD 2014 SP1. Downloads available for AutoCAD 2014 at DL22264351 and for AutoCAD 2014 LT at DL22264544.

This Service Pack can be applied to AutoCAD 2014 installed as a standalone application as well as AutoCAD 2014 installed from the following Autodesk Design Suites.

  • Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite 2014
  • Autodesk Building Design Suite 2014
  • Autodesk Factory Design Suite 2014
  • Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2014
  • Autodesk Plant Design Suite 2014
  • Autodesk Product Design Suite 2014

_VERNUM (product version) detail:
AutoCAD 2014 SP1: I.108.0.0 (UNICODE)

Problems Reported with the Customer Error Reporting Utility

As a result of detailed information from customers who used the Customer Error Reporting Utility, a number of problems were identified and fixed. Updates have been made in the following commands and features:

Block

  • Occasional crashes related to operating blocks with the Lookup parameter.

Autodesk 360

  • Crashes when trying to sign out of Autodesk 360 from inside AutoCAD if you have previously uninstalled Autodesk 360.

Command Line

  • Occasional crashes when clicking or dragging the command line window in Windows 8.

Materials

  • Occasional crashes when opening a drawing that contains certain customized materials.

Plot

  • Occasional crashes when plotting a drawing with unreconciled layers.

General

  • Occasional crashes when switching drawings or layouts.
  • Occasional crashes when editing with grips or cycling grips.
  • Occasional crashes when exiting AutoCAD.
  • Occasional crashes when zooming or panning in a drawing that contains a locked viewport.

General Service Pack Updates

The following defects have been fixed:

3D Modeling

  • Cannot read specific solid modeling information after saving a drawing to 2004-based version of AutoCAD and reopening it in a 2014-based version.

Block

  • The uniform scale check box sometimes displays incorrectly as unchecked.

DGN Support

  • Issues with copying and pasting DGN linetypes in a drawing.

Document Switching

  • The file name is not displayed in the File tab on Turkish-language operating systems.

File Navigation

  • The application sometimes stops responding when the file selection dropdown list is being used on Windows 8 with a smart phone device plugged in.

Plot

  • Wipeout doesn't work when Lines Merge is turned on during plot.
  • Lines near a Wipeout boundary don't plot.
  • Some images don't plot when the visual style is set to Realistic and software acceleration is turned on.
  • In some cases, DWG files containing Raster images, PDF or DWF underlays don't plot correctly when publishing to DWFx.

Point Cloud

  • A memory leak issue.
  • Some point cloud scan files are not displayed correctly.
  • An API issue might cause the colors set by normalization and intensity to change after cropping.

Selection

  • SELECTIONPREVIEW is incorrectly set to 0 during drawing certain editing and zooming operations.

General

  • In certain cases, external commands in an acad.pgp file are not executed correctly.
  • There's a performance issue with drawings saved as AutoCAD 2010 drawings.
  • Changing the position of multiple blocks via the Properties palette is not correctly applied to all selected blocks.
  • In certain cases, drawing files with invalid fonts cause AutoCAD to freeze on startup.
  • AutoCAD crashes when a custom entity contains embedded AcDb3dSolid.

Security

This service pack removes the security warnings displayed in AutoCAD LT when loading .SCR files from network locations.

Security Hotfix: Autodesk AutoCAD Code Execution Vulnerability is included in AutoCAD 2014 Service Pack 1.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AutoCAD performance issues and VBA

Here is a reason why you may not want to use VBA if you have 64-bit version of AutoCAD 2008 - AutoCAD 2013.

Background

Initializing VBA System...

By just initializing the VBA system running for example VBAIDE, some commands in AutoCAD will take 10 times longer. It might be more or less depending on different factors. No DVB needs to even be loaded for this to happen.

Using ProcMon I found that without VBA initialized and loaded a QSAVE command resulted in less than 2100 registry and file events.

But with VBA initialized QSAVE caused almost 950,000 registry and file events. No wonder QSAVE took so long. Many file and registry events are done multiple times and seems to be related to the number of folders AutoCAD usually search files in.

Changing system variables like INDEXCTL, SAVEFIDELITY and PROXYGRAPHICS did not help even though they in other cases can speed up the time it takes to save drawings.

Why is this happening?

With VBA component initialized, AutoCAD has to check for any callbacks registered in VBA component even for standard AutoCAD commands. This verification is consumes time as the communication is across processes.

Autodesk ships the 32-bit VBA version in an out-of-process server with 64-bit AutoCAD (up until AutoCAD 2013 where VBA 6.3 is used). Therefore, a lot of marshaling is required going between the out-of-process VBA server and 64-bit AutoCAD. As a result, 64-bit VBA is slower than 32-bit VBA.

This problem should not exist in AutoCAD 2014 because VBA 7.1 is used and is available in a native 64-bit version, but for some reason it did for me. Eventually I figured out that reinstalling AutoCAD 2014 and VBA completely solved the issue.

Solution

Downgrading to AutoCAD 32-bit on Windows 32-bit is probably not desirable as a solution. A better solution or workaround is to upgrade to AutoCAD 2014 (but that could cause problems with 32bit VB6 controls that are not available for 64-bit) or better yet porting the VBA application to .NET DLL (using VB.NET or C#). JTB World can help with porting of VBA to .NET.

See also this post: AutoCAD 2014 supports VBA 64-bit

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