The phrase Painless Civil 3D Upgrades does sound like a contradiction of terms. These words don’t seem to go together - sort of like Intelligent Political Speech. Eheh.
Some recent Civil 3D Update performance art is fresh on my mind. The latest versions of the Framework for Civil 3D 2021.1 Update products hit the street earlier this week. That effort brings up some important issues and available solutions that affect us all in Civil 3D Land. I hope this blog post helps.
We all get it that Autodesk Civil 3D is a continuously developed product. New Updates, Hotfixes, and new Civil 3D product Releases happen. Ho. Hum. Same old same old. We might not notice these issues remain true whether we employ the latest Civil 3D release or an earlier version. Just sayin’. More about that in detail to follow.
We can hope to ignore this ever-changing Civil 3D reality or be mature about it.
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.
We can and must learn to proactively manage these Civil 3D Upgrade and Update events.
The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility to the Rescue
If you and your organization does not already understand and employ the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility on a regular and repeating basis, you are out of your mind.
What you don’t know and see kills you.
What we don’t do is not as important as what we do.
See the popular and much read 10 Best Civil 3D Production Tips for 2020 post.
To be clear. I do get the maintenance and upkeep work that The Civil 3D Diva requires.
The Framework of Perspective
You may not face the problem of supporting the largest and most in-depth Civil 3D Style libraries and Civil 3D template collections on the planet. This Update and Upgrade slight-of-hand is performed simultaneously in three separate Civil 3D Releases, in multiple NCS Standards Flavors, and in multiple forms of Framework product deliverables.
Some Contents perspective: The current Jump Kit products contain well over 1500+ separate resource drawings each with a multiplicity of Style and Civil 3D resource content. That number doesn’t even include another 1000+ drawings of raw AutoCAD standards parts and pieces for the many supplied Adaptive Standards formats.
The answer to the most frequently asked Framework for Civil 3D question…
It’s in there.
Do your Civil 3D Styles and Templates deliver that?
Content with the Context to See the Tools in Action is Priceless
All of the many Jump Kit products must include Civil 3D Projects. I often call them Project sandboxes. These are Civil 3D Implementation Projects. These Civil 3D sample projects include considerable detail in project drawings of both working and publish kinds of Civil 3D project content in separate and complete STB and CTB project deliverables.
At this point you are thinking this man is a crazy person. Me too.
If you employ Civil 3D in production, someone has your own company Jump Kit to Update, Upgrade and maintain. God knows, I hope you have a lot more complex working Civil 3D projects to keep functioning than we do.
There are Planning, Process, and Structure mechanics necessary to proactively manage Civil 3D Upgrades and Updates.
Your Civil 3D Implementation Project
Some folks still think/believe a Civil 3D Implementation Project means to get your Civil 3D Template(s) right – whatever that means. 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.
- See The Multiplicity of Civil 3D Templates post for everything you never wanted to know about the many templates for Civil 3D.
- See The Multiplicity of Civil 3D Drawing Types post for everything you never wanted to know about the many drawing types in Civil 3D.
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.
Simply put another way – Our Implementation Project delivers the necessary updates to the Styles and Templates structures and particulars. Those changes we then cascade back into the Upgrade or Update process in our working project structures.
The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility
The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility helps us both standardize the processes and speed their execution in real world practical terms.
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 Object Model 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 tool does.
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?
In Civil 3D these days many Civil 3D Object Model changes cascade back into older releases via the Civil 3D Updates. If you employ Civil 3D 2020 or even 2019, you may have to deal with on-going Civil 3D 2021 Object Model changes.
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.
The Civil 3D Object Model Updates are easy.
In Search of Truth of Consequences
Most of us just want to see what the latest Update 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. This is Prophylactic Think.
Recent releases of Civil 3D are employ References in resources and Civil 3D projects at ever deeper and deeper levels. This means that some Resources and References we test may be 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.
Get all the Civil 3D resource and Project stuff to the new current Civil 3D Object Model as quickly as possible. Fix, test, QAQC, and repeat on copies ad nauseum.
Separated Managed Structures Matter
When we employ regular and separated structures for both the Civil 3D content resources and the project content these Upgrade and Update Batch Save processes gets to be lots easier to execute.
The Framework for Civil 3D ended up with all its separated and evolved management structures for good reasons.
Employ Read Only File Properties Effectively
Batch Save is theoretically release, time, and read only sensitive about the files it processes. Practically, all of that Batch Save choice detail is often a bit too much to practically manage and maintain. Just keeping that type of book requires Spreadsheets of data not to mention an in-depth knowledge of the Civil 3D project contents itself. No fun, son.
Read Only properties (maybe even temporary ones) are the easiest Batch Save process method to manage and execute in the real world of working Civil 3D projects and Civil 3D resource management Upgrades and Updates.
We need to consider and strategically plan for this easier to manage Batch Save behavior and capability in our Civil 3D Project Templates and working Civil 3D project structures. There is a coupling of Where and When we should not overlook in our Update How to.
Our Civil 3D Project Templates and our Civil 3D Implementation Projects help us work the kinks out before they become the next Civil 3D project crisis and/or Upgrade or Update nightmare.
Those Painless Civil 3D Upgrades and Updates are possible.
This is one more important part of what makes the Managed System that is the Framework of Civil 3D an innovation beyond the code.
Manage the Impossible to Become the Possible in Civil 3D
Get the Framework of Civil 3D Release 8