Archive for September, 2012

Presentation for Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS)

September 27, 2012

For those of you that are not attending the TSPS Convention and Expo this year in San Marcos, you can see what Total CAD Systems has to offer from the video below…

Presentation for Texas Society of Professional Surveyors (TSPS)

Do Not Over Activate Your AutoCAD

September 25, 2012

In the last eNews, I outlined the major differences between Standalone installations and network installations. One of the differences outlined was, Standalone installations are activated before the product can be used full time (all Autodesk products can be run as a thirty day trial). I also noted that one of the leading reasons users were audited by Autodesk is because of over installations. In this eNews I will explain the process of activating your Autodesk installations and how to avoid over installations.

How the Standalone Activation Process Works

A specific process occurs when Autodesk software is activated.

The Activation process is how Autodesk validates your software installation, serial number, and computer. After the installation of your product is complete, you have two options for running your product, as a trial version or fully registered. Trial versions last for thirty days and are not registered to Autodesk. When the trial period expires, the user will be prompted to register the installation. If they decline, the product cannot be launched.

During the activation process, the serial number, product key, registration information, and a request code are sent to Autodesk. This information is used to generate an activation code. This process is performed automatically when done online. After the product has been registered, it may have to be done manually. Autodesk then validates your serial number and computer, and then generates an activation code. The first and second request can be activated online. The reason you are allowed two activations is so you can have an installation at home and the office. It is a violation of the license agreement to use these installations concurrently. After the second activation, you will get an Activation Limit Reached message. In this case, you will have to get your activation code directly from Autodesk.

1. Install Autodesk Product using a valid serial number, product key

2. Request code and registration information is saved on the computer to C:\Program Data\Autodesk\Adlm\ProductNameVersion_USRegInfo.html

3. Send this information to Autodesk

4. An activation code is generated

5. Product is activated by activation code

6. This is all done automatically when done online

Getting an Activation Code

To get an activation code you will need the following:

· Product Name

· Serial Number

· Request Code

An activation request can be sent to Autodesk through an internet connection. Once sent the product will be activated automatically. If the product has been activated more than two times, the online activation will be denied. In this case, the activation will have to be done manually. The product name, serial number, and request code will have to be delivered to Autodesk either by email or by telephone. Once the activation code is generated, it will have to be entered manually. This is typically done by a cut and paste process.

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Reasons for Multiple Activations

There are a few reasons that you may have to activate your Autodesk software multiple times such as:

· Working from home or remote office

· Upgraded computer

· Reinstalling operating system

In the event of one of these occurrences, it is important to consider all your options and not rush to reactivating your new installation. For example, you may be able to use the online license transfer process to transfer your license to a new computer rather than reactivating the license. Avoiding unnecessary activations is the best way to avoid an audit by Autodesk. If you upgrade your computer and decide to activate the new installation, make sure you uninstall the license off your old system. Remember, you do not want to over install your licenses.

Network Licenses

Network Licenses work a little differently when it comes to activations. Network licenses are not activated through Autodesk like Standalone licenses are. Network licenses are added to a license manager on a server. Rather than activating your product through Autodesk, you place a license file on a license manager located on your server. The license manager grants or denies access to licenses that are shared. For more information on this process, select the following link.

How to Plan Your Network License

The benefits of a Network license outweigh the benefits of a Standalone license. This is particularly true when considering license compliance. The biggest benefit is that it is virtually impossible to accidently over install your Autodesk software. It is true that installing network licenses takes more planning and is slightly more expensive. In the long run, the planning ends up paying for the initial investment and saving you a massive headache.

Over installations is the biggest cause of Autodesk audits. If you have over installed your software, it is not a matter of if, but when, you are audited. It is going to happen; it is just a matter of when your number comes up. This can all be avoided by choosing the right license type for your team.

Next month I will discuss license compliance and the process of getting audited by Autodesk.

…and how to avoid it.

Civil 3D 2013 Hotfix 2 is Back

September 21, 2012

Autodesk has re-released Civil 3D 2013 Hotfix 2.

What Autodesk Product Version are You Currently Using?

September 19, 2012

Please select the Autodesk product version you are currently using below…

External References, Data Shortcuts, Vault, Buzzsaw… AEC Choices for Data Management

September 18, 2012

Civil 3D recognizes several options for data management.  The mystery to many users is what makes these data management techniques different from one another.  Your company’s goals and directions will determine which would be a best fit for each situation.

External references have been around since Release 12—or 1998. By definition, an external reference (aka ‘xref’) is a file that resides outside of a destination or host drawing.  The host drawing contains information leading to the referenced file, but this file cannot be edited within the host drawing.  Using external references, the host drawing increases in size only minimally, and the user has options available such as on/off, frozen/thawed, linetype/color and such changes that only affect the view of the reference file within the host.  For much of the AutoCAD community, this has been a very effective management technique, allowing multiple users to access a picture of a common file in their current drawing while maintaining the integrity of the original file.  Up until recently, XREFS were ideal for project management.  However, with the increased intelligence of our drawings and softwares, we need a little more power.

When Civil 3D came along, users needed to have access to more than just a picture.  Enter Data Shortcuts.  Data shortcuts allow multiple users to not only access the picture of the referenced drawing (much like an xref), but also allows those users to access Civil 3D data from the referenced drawing as well.  With the introduction of associating data shortcuts to specific projects in 2010, there is less room for error in accessing the wrong data shortcut—the path stays in tact.  This management technique is very efficient in the civil design world, enabling users to work independently and in sync with one another on a common design.

Vault Collaboration works much like a library system, allowing check out and check in of project documents.  Users can be allowed levels of access, or permissions, depending on their role in project development.  Vault provides a central project database which provides constant versioning—check in creates new versions while keeping archives of past information; this occurs during the redline process.  Revisioning is also a function of Vault—revisions do not require check out to change the status of project documents, and are more for project milestones once something is ready /approved for construction.  Also, Vault is able to store documents from other disciplines, including emails and specifications, for your final product.  Although Vault has been around a while and is mostly used for mechanical and fabrication projects, Civil 3D is beginning to migrate to this type of document management using Vault Collaboration.

In addition to Vault Collaboration, there is also Vault Professional (formerly Manufacturing).  Vault Professional enriches replication features, which allows collective global data in a central location.  This data is synchronized among all workgroups, globally, and users away from the central depository are able to check information in and out at will without being concerned about duplication or contradiction of data.

Finally, there is a buzz in the air regarding BuzzsawBuzzsaw enables data management based on cloud services as well as enabling users to view Revit and Navisworks models.  Buzzsaw saves these files in a central location, allowing users to access from nearly anywhere using a multitude of mobile devices. If your company is BIM-driven, Buzzsaw may be the data management system best suited for this type of work.

Hope this sheds some light on some of the management options for Civil 3D, but keep your questions close at hand and let us know if we can help!