How To Be Ready When Civil 3D Changes

Tags Project Management, Update, Civil 3D, Civil 3D 2020, Civil 3D 2019, project template, template, TREF, Style Management, implementation

Autodesk is in the midst of their annual AEC products Update 1 release cycle. I call this Update 1 cycle the Get Ready for Autodesk University Build. This set of Updates means a reduction Civil 3D user flak and whine with the hope for more adoption of the latest numbered release due to Update 1.

There are now other AU world-wide events delivered elsewhere aside from the Really Big Shoow in Vegas. Due to AU On-line, Autodesk University is the Show the Never Ends.
Que the Emersion, Lake, and Palmer bumper sound track.
Tough to follow an act with descending and tumbling grand pianos with an epic keyboardist strapped on.

I have a tumbling or troubling US bias. I work and produce product for the US Imperial civil engineering and survey segments of the truly global Autodesk sales effort. Call the Framework for Civil 3D the Civil 3D US Country Kit if you like.

Autodesk Civil 3D 2020 Updates

For Civil 3D 2020 there is already an Update to the Civil 3D 2020.1 Update. Crashes on Start are nasty hair-pull events that can wreck your week. Got my tee shirt.

Sometimes the Civil 3D Diva takes an unintended plunge off the stage. There will probably (hopefully) be more Updates to the Civil 3D Updates. These days the world-wide Civil 3D dev team is trying to be more responsive to found errors. Life in Civil 3D Land is better. Hoorah.

The Civil 3D 2020.1 Update does include changes to the Civil 3D Object Model for Pressure Pipe Fitting and Appurtenance Styles and adds new Pressure Pipe Banding Styles to Profile Views.

How To Be Ready When Civil 3D Changes

We must be proactive, or prophylactic, about the facts of life in Civil 3D Land. These are not quite the same thing. We know Civil 3D behaves somewhat like a virus, but that doesn’t mean it is a STD either. The real temperature - 98.6%+ of new Civil 3D Release or Update code is always better.

Futures Membership

I tell most of my larger customers that you want to be a member of the Autodesk Civil 3D Futures Site.
If you are new to Civil 3D, do NOT do this. You have other more important things to do. Catch up and remember this Civil 3D is a marathon not a sprint. Ok. You could argue Civil 3D these days seems more like an Ironman triathlon. The Framework for Civil 3D does helps you train better and faster.

The Civil 3D Futures Site helps a bit to give you a heads up on Civil 3D changes even if you don’t participate in the betas directly. We don’t want to step off the curb in front of the bus.

Your Civil 3D Implementation Project

Some folks still think/believe a Civil 3D Implementation Project means your Civil 3D Template(s). Denial is a wonderful thing until the next Release or Update hits. Templates are just one type of resource of many integrated resources needed in Civil 3D.
We have more to deal with in Civil 3D project production environments than working Civil 3D Templates.

Civil 3D Implementation Projects are a functional working Civil 3D projects with real data behind that are separate from our current projects. We use a Civil 3D Implementation Project to develop and test our Civil 3D resources, Civil 3D new Releases, and each Civil 3D Update.

The employment of a Civil 3D Implementation Project is proactive and not prophylactic. We employ it as the basis to improve our Civil 3D Project Templates and all the many forms of resources required to make Civil 3D perform better. You do the reps here or those new Release or Update days are something you always want to avoid.

The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility

The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility is one of those precious treasures that can remain hidden or forgotten. The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility is purpose built to help you update, cope with, and see the effects of the latest and greatest Autodesk Civil 3D code on your work and production environment. It does the same for projects, but only if you know what you are doing and what the tools does.

Let’s put this bluntly.
If you do not always and regularly employ the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility, you now know you do not want to upgrade.
It’s not your fault.
We were painfully trained this way over many years and many Autodesk Civil 3D releases and updates.

Civil 3D Changed. Did You?

When you couple a Civil 3D Implementation Project with the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility you get a lot of benefits. The problem is the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility takes some time and practice to learn to use the tool well to do some awesome change this and that tasks in Civil 3D.

Most of us just want to see what the latest will do to us. We copy some drawing/template stuff and start stumbling around trying to figure out what Civil 3D did to us this time. Prophylactic Think.

The problem is that recent forms of Civil 3D are using references in resources and Civil 3D projects at ever deeper and deeper levels. This means that some resources and references we test are in different versions of the Civil 3D code. We know from experience this rarely works out well.

This problem alone should speak to the need for us to employ a known Civil 3D Implementation Project coupled with the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility as a better initial new Release or Update workflow. I believe so strongly in this reality that the Framework for Civil 3D has always included Civil 3D Implementation Projects. We now supply them in multiple flavors.

New updates to the latest and greatest code with Batch Save (BS) are simple. Those basic scripts are supplied. Albeit, you might want to make some changes in them. We must to do the do with the BS tools a few times. We need to do the reps on a regular basis to master the tool.

Ok. We might discover the new Update exposes some failures in our customization resources and/or how we manage them. We may even have new things to build. Oh. Bother.

We can proactively know this result better faster which is the more important point.

We All Labor to Make Civil 3D Work
Get the Framework for Civil 3D Release 8