CADconform for MicroStation

Installing CADconform

  1. Installation of CADconform is performed by the supplied installation program. This program is executed by running the ".exe" file. The file name will vary depending on platform, language and version, but should be something like "c4m-English-MicroStation-v70000.exe".  After launching the installer, the splash screen, welcome screen and licence agreement are displayed. The first page to display user options should be the "Standalone or Network Installation" page. If this is not the first time CADconform has been installed, you may also get the "Upgrade/Reinstall CADconform" page.

A simple workflow map of the installation options is shown below:

Installation Types

You will need to install the server component on at least one computer. After that, you can install the client component on as many computers as you wish, but the client machines must have MicroStation or PowerDraft installed. Each client computer can only point back to one server. Installation of both the server and the client component of CADconform should be done by a computer administrator with full write privileges.

NOTE: The installation instructions below describe the process of installing on MicroStation, however the same procedures can be used for installing for PowerDraft. The only effective difference is that the installation directory of the executable for MicroStation is "MicroStation\ustation.exe" and for PowerDraft it is "PowerDraft\draft.exe".

The various installation types are described below:

Installation Types


This option is available when installing CADconform after an existing installation has been detected. This option allows the minimal program update to be performed without overwriting the user settings or configuration. This is often useful when installing a new version of the software over the top of an existing installation.


This option is available only when an existing CADconform installation has been detected. A reinstall allows the existing install to be ignored or overwritten, and a new install to be performed on the same machine. This can be done to overwrite existing files in the same directory, or to install to a new path. Reinstallation may be useful if a previous installation of CADconform has been manually deleted or has been misconfigured and no longer operates.

StandAlone Install

The Standalone install should only be used for single licences of CADconform, test machines, laptop installs or computers not connected to the network; as this install type will not allow other machines to connect to it without some manual configuration after the installation has completed.

Network Install

The Network Installation is the normal installation type for deploying CADconform to multiple computers. It allows the server to be nominated, as well as a share path and share name to be configured for access by the client machines.

Server Install

Installation of CADconform begins with the Server install.  The server install type installs the executable files for CADconform, as well as the documentation, example databases, menus and configuration files. The server installation can also create the Windows network share name for the CADconform server folder. The path chosen for the server install is written to the configuration files during installation, which are also used by the CADconform client. Note that you do not have to be on the server machine in order to install CADconform. Installation of the server component of CADconform can be performed from any machine to any other machine. Bear in mind that the uninstallation settings are written to the Windows Registry, and therefore the same computer should be used to uninstall as was used for the first install, even if the installation location is to a remote server.

Client Install

The Client Install sets up a standard MicroStation configuration file telling MicroStation where CADconform is installed and how to locate the various resources. Client machines must have either MicroStation or PowerDraft installed (see the Installation Prerequisites for more information) and the CADconform server component needs to have already been installed somewhere on your network. This installation type is used to configure MicroStation load CADconform. This is configured by the installer by writing a single file "CADconform.cfg" into the "\Config\appl\" directory within the MicroStation program folder. Configuration files in this folder are automatically loaded when MicroStation is started regardless of the current workspace, so this ensures that the CADconform server path is set regardless of how MicroStation itself is started. If you don't wish to visit each computer to run the installer for a client install, then other options are available, as shown in the Client Network Installation instructions below.

Client installation can be configured either one of four ways:

  1. Simultaneously when installing the CADconform Server component (available only with the "Server & Client" installation option).

  2. Separately on each machine (run the installer and choose the "Client" installation type)

  3. Using a shared network configuration file (see "Client Network Installation" below)

  4. Manually copying the required configuration file.


Server & Client Installation

This installation type is useful for standalone testing, or where the server is also a CAD workstation, or where CADconform will be run from a laptop that may not always have connectivity with the server.

Client Network Installation

Client Network installation can be performed if MicroStation has already been configured to use a MicroStation project or workspace from a shared network resource. CAD Administrators usually achieve this by copying the preconfigured Workspace folder to a network device and then manually setting the $(_USTN_WORKSPACEROOT) directory on each CAD client machine to point to the network. The advantage of doing this is that each CAD client will then use one shared workspace, thus making CAD administration easier.

NOTE: To view configuration variables in MicroStation that are prefixed by an underscore (e.g. "_USTN_WORKSPACEROOT"), you need to define the variable "_USTN_DISPLAYALLCFGVARS" and set it to "1".
After doing this and saving the changes, reopen the Workspace Configuration dialog and the hidden variables should now appear after the ones normally displayed.

If you have a setup like this, then CADconform can take advantage of it so that it is not necessary to install the CADconform client component on each client machine. To set up a network installation, several lines may need to be added to your network configuration file (either PCF, UCF, or CFG).  Which file you alter will depend on both how your current workspace configuration is set up, and also whether you want CADconform loaded under certain workspaces or all of them. This configuration  only needs to be done once. Upgrades or resintalls of CADconform should be able to continue without requiring these steps, as long as the network path to the workspaces or CADconform has not changed.

Here are some basic setup options for configuring CADconform for all clients:

1) Setting up CADconform to load for a particular project:

  1. Locate the appropriate Project Configuration File (PCF). The project files location can be found by looking for the the expanded value of the $(_USTN_PROJECTSROOT) variable.
  2. Open the file in a Text Editor such as NotePad.
  3. Add the lines shown below in the section "Including the CADconform configuration file".
  4. Save the file.
  5. Restart MicroStation and choose the edited project in the MicroStation Manager.
  6. CADconform should now automatically load.
2) Setting up CADconform to load for a particular user:
  1. Locate the appropriate User Configuration File (UCF). The user files location can be found by looking for the the expanded value of the $(_USTN_USER) variable.
  2. Open the file in a Text Editor such as NotePad.
  3. Add the lines shown below in the section "Including the CADconform configuration file".
  4. Save the file.
  5. Restart MicroStation and choose the edited user in the MicroStation Manager.
  6. CADconform should now automatically load.
3) Setting up CADconform to load in all workspaces:

This can be achieved in one of two ways, depending on whether you already have a configuration file that is read by every CAD client computer. Here are the steps for each method:

Method 1: A networked configuration file already exists:

  1. Locate the appropriate configuration file (for example: "L:\CADD Data\Workspace\Altiva_Site_Settings.cfg"). 
  2. Open the file in a Text Editor such as NotePad.
  3. Add the lines shown below in the section "Including the CADconform configuration file".
  4. Save the file.
  5. Restart MicroStation and choose any workspace project or user
  6. CADconform should now automatically load.

Method 2: No networked configuration file currently exists:

  1. Locate the "Config" directory under the CADconform Server installation path. Note there are several configuration files in this directory for each platform.
  2. Copy the appropriate config file for your platform, e.g. "\CADconform\Config\Networked_Workspace_Settings_for_MicroStation_V8i.cfg"
  3. Paste the file into the site/standards workspace directory as specified by $(_USTN_SITE) on the network, e.g. "L:\CADD Data\Workspace\Standards\"
  4. Restart MicroStation and choose any workspace project or user
  5. CADconform should now automatically load.

NOTE: If MicroStation does not load following either an Install, Reinstall, Upgrade or modification of the configuration files as shown above, then see the "Troubleshooting" chapter below.

The CADconform Network Settings configuration file

CADconform installs several different standard MicroStation configuration files in the "Config" subdirectory of the server. The network settings configuration files provide MicroStation with the installation path of CADconform, and need to be read in before CADconform can successfully load. These files are created automatically by the installer. There is one file for each platform, named as below:

An example config file for MicroStation 2004 may look like this:

# This sets the install directory of CADconform Client locally.
CADCONFORM_CLIENT_DIR = $(APPDATA)/Altiva Software/CADconform Client/

# This sets the install directory of CADconform Server on the network.

# This sets the current version of CADconform that we are on. This version is used to define the directory name used to locate the executable files.

# This sets the name of the current CAD platform, and is used for locating required files.
%if defined (_VERSION_8_11)
%elif defined (_VERSION89)
%elif defined (_VERSION80)
%error "ERROR: Unsupported $(_ENGINENAME) platform for CADconform. Please delete (or rename the extension of) this config file to resume $(_ENGINENAME) without CADconform."

# This points to the directory containing the executable files on the server

# This sets the location of the global administration config file.

# This sets the location of the 'CADconform' menu file.

# This includes any local customisations of the settings in this file performed by the current Windows user.

# This includes the config file to check if CADconform should automatically load. If it doesn't exist yet then automatically load CADconform.


# These lines tell MicroStation where to find executable program files as well as adding CADCONFORM
# to the list of available MDL applications.

# The files are first looked for locally, and then pathed back to the server if not found.





The network settings files are only used when doing a network client install. They contain the same settings as set in the file named "CADconform.cfg" which is automatically created in the "MicroStation\config\appl" directory when using the installer to do a client install.

Including the CADconform configuration file

These lines will simply tell MicroStation to include the CADconform settings file on startup. 

To include the appropriate configuration file, simply add these lines to the end of the appropriate configuration file.

%if exists (Networked_Workspace_Settings_for_MicroStation_2004.cfg)
%   include Networked_Workspace_Settings_for_MicroStation_2004.cfg

Alternatively, you can copy/paste the actual contents of the network settings file to your own configuration file. Note that the contents of this file do not specify any particular MicroStation platform, they are separate for each platform only for convenience sake so that each platform can have its own settings.

Running the Installer

The installer is started by running the ".exe" file. The installer will give the user four sets of options:

  1. The Setup type: CADconform Server, CADconform Client, or CADconform Server & Client.

  2. The CADconform Server Install Path.

  3. The UNC Path for each client to locate the server machine.

  4. The MicroStation Install path (if installing as a Client).

The Install Path

The install path will usually be to a local drive, but can also be any UNC path or mapped network drive. By default it is set to:

C:\Program Files\Altiva Software\CADconform\
However, for a network installation the path should be writeable by all users. Therefore, for servers running Windows 2008, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (or higher), the install path should be in a shared network path other than "Program Files" as this directory is not normally writeable under these operating systems.

The UNC Path

The UNC path is the path that CADconform Clients will use to find the server machine. It can be the full UNC path or a mapped drive. By default it is:


Note that 'MyServer' will be replaced by the computer name of the machine you are installing on, and the rest of the path will be taken from the Install Path.

The MicroStation Install Path

The MicroStation path is only required if installing CADconform Client. It will look in the registry for the default path to the 'ustation.exe' directory - by default:

C:\Program Files\Bentley\Program\MicroStation   (MicroStation 2004)
C:\Program Files\Bentley\MicroStation   (MicroStation XM and V8i)
For PowerDraft, the default directories are:
C:\Program Files\Bentley\Program\PowerDraft   	(PowerDraft 2004)
C:\Program Files\Bentley\PowerDraft (PowerDraft XM and V8i)

Uninstalling CADconform

CADconform can be uninstalled by one of two methods:

  1. Executing the file $(CADCONFORM)\CADconform for MicroStation Uninstaller.exe

  2. Using the Windows Control Panel - either:
    "Control Panel > Add / Remove Programs > CADconform for MicroStation" (Windows 2000/2003/XP)
    "Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall Programs" (Windows Vista/2008/7)

Note that if you have a previous installation of CADconform and wish to install a new version, there is no need to uninstall the old version first. In this scenario, CADconform will detect the previous installation and prompt the user to do either an Upgrade or a Reinstall.

After uninstalling CADconform, several files may remain in the directory created by the installer. These files may be anything modified or created after the setup program installed CADconform. Typically, this will include the password list "CADCONFORM.PWL" and possibly also any File DSNs, databases or configuration files edited by the user after the software was installed. This allows customized menus and files to be retained for use with a newer version of CADconform, if the administrator chooses to install a newer version into the same directory.

Be careful to backup files when reinstalling CADconform, particularly if you have modified any of the standard installation files, such as the demo database in:

"$(CADCONFORM)\Database\CADconform Demo.mdb"

To completely remove all files installed by CADconform to prepare for a clean reinstall, follow these steps below:

  1. Uninstall the existing installation of CADconform via the Control Panel "Add / Remove Programs".

  2. Delete everything left in the "$(ProgramFiles)\Altiva Software\CADconform" directory.

  3. Ensure there are no CADconform files in the local Bentley path "...\MicroStation\config\appl\CADconform*.cfg".

  4. Delete everything in "$(APPDATA)\Altiva Software\CADconform Client\".

The path defined by the "ProgramFiles" will vary according to the language of the system. It is usually set by default to "C:\Program Files" on English installations of Windows.
The value of the "APPDATA" variable will vary depending on the Windows version, language and current user. For example on an English Windows XP computer the full path might be:
    "C:\Documents and Settings\Piers Porter\Application Data\Altiva Software\CADconform Client\",
whereas on Vista it might be:
    "C:\Users\Piers Porter\AppData\Roaming\Altiva Software\CADconform Client\" .
You can verify the current expansion of "APPDATA" by opening a command window and typing "SET". This will list all environment variables and their current values.

Copyright 2001-2010 Altiva Software, Inc. Last modified by Piers Porter.