I’ve been doing a few software installs recently; updates to Autodesk Building Design Suite 2015 at the previous workplace and a fresh install at the new one. As a result I’ve come to really appreciate Autodesk Application Manager; one of the best support applications Autodesk have ever made.
Remember the pain?
Install an app — or more like a dozen for the Design Suites — then spend hours finding which have been updated, downloading patches and installing (or updating deployments) on the machine. That is history as Autodesk Application Manager makes it a one click process, well nearly. You still do have to select which updates and click install but that is trivial compared to the alternative!
Updates tailored to your device:
The Application Manager looks at the software installed (not just the software in the suite), the user subscription rights, the device and existing patches to decide what is needed. I was impressed that the same Design Suite installed on my Tablet (where had just picked AutoCAD Architecture & Revit) only got a those updates, my desktop picking up the full set for all the installed applications.
Download overhead shared:
If you have multiple machines to update Application Manager can eliminate duplicated download overhead and time.
In Settings>Files tick the “Use shared storage or content downloads” and set the path to a common network folder all your PCs can access.
The first machine to encounter a new update will download the install file to the shared folder. Other machines will check the folder first and install from the existing download. With some updates being up to a gigabyte (Recap) you can save a lot of download data and time.
You can export and import Application Manager settings to easily configure multiple machines.
First phase of a cloud delivery framework:
The Application Manager framework currently delivers:
For the User:
Desktop notification of update availability
Delivery and install of updates: 'The best experience is no experience', not to get in the way of productivity
For Administrators/CAD Managers:
Discover and download updates
Manage updates distribution
Manage users access to notification updates and install
There are still some limitations — local user rights may need admin permission, users can ignore notifications — but the system is a vast improvement.
Updates are just the start:
Autodesk have put in place the framework to support a far more comprehensive solution. The future could include full installs and possibly even Microsoft Office 365’like click to run. In that case you can start using the core software almost immediately while the rest of it installs in the background.
And using Autodesk PLM 360 to do it!
It was interesting to hear the data source for the system is a case of Autodesk ‘eating its own dog food’. The Product Data Master, a complex mesh of products, applications and applicable updates is being managed with Autodesk PLM 360. The only glitch I’ve seen was Navisworks wanting to install a language update for a language pack I hadn’t installed. This disappeared off the list after a couple of days, presumably after the Product Data Master was updated.
As the complexity of software increases it is nice some attention is being given to making it easier to manage.
I arrived back from Tibet to find some very welcome news from Shaan Hurley. Autodesk now provides students, teachers and schools WORLDWIDE with free* access to Autodesk software: 3-year licenses of 80 titles of the exact same software that our commercial customers use.
Hooray! I have been anxiously awaiting this for years. Effective today, Autodesk provides FREE access to our software to students, teachers and schools around the world. If you are an engineering school or teach CAD drafting or design classes, or a computer lab facing tight budgets, you can now get the software free without limitations. There is no catch or fine print or restrictions on use in school… [cont]
* Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the software license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software or cloud-based services. Software and cloud-based services provided without charge to Education Community members may be used solely for purposes directly related to learning, teaching, training, research or development and shall not be used for commercial, professional or any other for-profit purposes
If you are interested in learning about laser scanning, photogrammetry or other reality data with Autodesk ReCap (part of Autodesk 360 & Building Design Suites):
There is a free webinar series being hosted by the Autodesk Reality Solutions team. If you want to know more about how to incorporate laser scanning, photogrammetry or other reality data into your workflow, this might be a great resource for you. These are available to everyone, no matter what country you are in*.
The first scheduled webinar on May 13th will focus on 3D laser scanners and ReCap entitled "The basics of terrestrial 3D laser scanning with ReCap". Please use this link to sign up:
It’s a busy time for Revit related events. Just a reminder of those coming up this month in addition to the usual RUGAKL Meetup on Wed 15th May.
Revit Technology Conference on-line registration deadlines looming & AUGI offer:
There is only about a week left for On-line Revit Technology Conference Australasia 2013 registration (available until May 10th). You can register on-site from 11th until the start date but at a slightly higher price. I have also been told there are “only a handful” of conference/accommodation package deals available if you want to stay at the venue at conference rates.
Autodesk User Group International (AUGI) is a Gold Sponsor of RTC Australasia 2013 and is giving AUGI members the chance to win a conference pass and 4 nights' accommodation! If you are an AUGI member all you need to do is register by end of day Wednesday 8 May. If you are the lucky winner you will then receive the registration package complimentary (and be refunded as applicable).
Event: Thursday, 16 May, 2013 - Saturday, 18 May, 2013, The Langham, Auckland
Autodesk have unveiled a new look Autodesk.com and announced their 2014 product updates. The new look Autodesk, hinted at earlier this month, comes with updates to existing products, new applications, revised industry specific Design Suites and Autodesk 360 Cloud Services.
I was removing an existing Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium 2012 install prior to test deploying the 2013 version. Most of the components (AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor Fusion, Showcase etc.) uninstalled fine but I struck a problem with 3DS Max Design 2012.
It failed as was unable to access a set of user profile related folders on the particular machine. They were standard folders with resources etc. found (in Win 7 at least):
For some reason the (un)installer could not access these folders from the admin logon (as used for the install) and failed. The user logon had been removed from the machine but it seem this troubled the installer. The simple solution was to use the troublesome user logon and run Max (to rebuild the folders), give it temporary local admin permission and run the uninstall from there.
That was successful but quite why only one of six identical machines had this snag I don’t know. The other pain was the lovely one click Autodesk Building Design Suite 2012 install doesn’t have a one click uninstall!
Autodesk have posted some other tips for those preparing systems for install:
I encountered this error today when I attempted to add the recent Revit Update Release 1 to an existing Building Design Suite deployment using the modify admin tools. I got through the wizard OK, adding the service pack, and the image update proceeded normally until failing with this error:
After a couple of attempts (which failed) and checking the basics (like sufficient disk space to store the image!) it was time to investigate further. A web search found this Autodesk Up and Ready blog post with an answer, if not one I wanted.
Alas there is no fix but I thought it a great example of how the “old” social media like blogs* combine with newer social media, like Twitter, for near instant interaction. Both still have their place!
Until I make a new image I will just deploy, then manually apply the update. Not really a big deal for me as don’t have many machines to do.
* Remember when blogs were new media!
UPDATE 29/06/2013: Comment from a reader with link to updated forum post regarding this issue
Came across your blog about the FBX error. With the release of UR3 thought it might be a good time to point you to this.