One topic that we have been working to clarify for users lately is when to install a service pack and when to install an extension. Today’s topic should help inform you of when to install extensions, as well as some of the installation steps to be aware of.
One thing that helps is to realize that the product is under continuous development. Even though we see major version releases, the Plant 3d never stops working on bugs and/or new features. For example, most of the items in the 2015 Service Pack 1 where not bugs created in the 2015 release, but bugs that had been reported in 2014 and earlier. The SP 1 was the first time the plant team could get the fixes out due to testing and major fixes that had to get into the 2015 major release.
Beginning with the 2014 release, Plant 3d started releasing extensions. Extensions include two types of code, new features, and bug fixes. Extensions generally include features that are going to come out in the next major release, and that do not change major existing functionality. So extensions won’t change spec or project formats, and generally include completely new functionality. This helps Autodesk get features earlier to clients, and avoid having to completely test the extension against existing code, since it typically won’t interact at all. For example, in 2014 Extensions we got a new Ortho BOM tool, and COG tools which were completely new.
In addition, Extensions are released early in the product cycle and include the bug fixes that will be put in the next service pack.
Extensions are only available for users on subscription.
The Service pack however is released to the general public, and will not include any new features. Generally these have been release after the extension is out.
Having describe the feature sets, let’s discuss installation and un-installation. These steps have been consistent for 2014, and 2015, so hopefully they should apply to 2016 and on as well. You should only install EITHER an extension OR a service pack, never both. In fact the product shouldn’t let you install both. However every now and then people find a way.
So, after the major release, you’ll want to watch this blog or follow us on twitter to get notified of a new extension. Generally these won’t be notified through the Autodesk App Manager since they are for subscription clients only.
Generally the installation process to install extensions on the major release, or on top of each other (if there is more than one).
If you installed the service pack first, you must uninstall it before installing the extensions. Service packs can be uninstalled through the Windows Updates dialog. Go to Uninstall programs, then View installed Updates.
There you should find the sp pack to uninstall.
Extensions are available for uninstall directly in the Add/Remove Programs Dialog.
At times if the extensions and/or service packs won’t uninstall, you have to do a complete uninstall/re-install in order to be able to update to an extension.
Darrell Dixon asked a good question, for 2015, Autodesk released Ext 1, then SP 1, and then SP 2. In this case, per the readme for SP2,
you must install extension 1 first, and then install SP 2 on top of it, in order to use the extensions. Since no extension 2 is being released for 2015, there is no correlating extension with the fixes from SP 2.