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CADconform for MicroStation


CADconform will not install

Problems with the installer are usually caused by issues with Windows privileges. If the logged in user does not have the required installation privileges, then an error message will be generated before the installation will continue. You must be logged in as an administrator in order to install CADconform. Additionally, you must be able to write to the defined server install path when installing the server component. When installing the client component, you must be able to write to the "\Program Files\Bentley" folder for 32-bit Windows installations, or "\Program Files (x86)\Bentley" for 64-bit Windows installations. The CADconform installer will be granted elevated privileges under Windows Vista, 7, 2008 and higher; so that UAC prompts should not occur.

CADconform will not run

Launching problems with CADconform are usually caused by MicroStation not being configured correctly to see the path to CADconform on the server. Check to make sure you have followed the steps correctly with installing the client component. If these steps have been followed and CADconform still won't run, check the following:
  1. Open the MicroStation keyin window and try typing in "MDL LOAD CADCONFORM". If CADconform now loads, make sure the "Auto-Start" is enabled in the menu.
  2. Open the Workspace Configuration dialog and ensure that the expanded variable "$(CADCONFORM_SERVER_BIN_PATH)" points to the correct server location of "" and related DLL files.
  3. Open the Workspace Configuration dialog and check the expanded variable "$(CADCONFORM_CLIENT_BIN_PATH)". Try deleting the whole "CADconformn Client" parent directory if it exists in this local path, as these files are a cache of the server files and may have been corrupted.
  4. Open the Workspace Configuration dialog and check the expanded variable "$(MS_MDLAPPS)" and "$(MS_LIBRARYPATH)". These variables should include either the server or client bin path as above.
  5. Create a MicroStation debug log to determine where each variable has been set.

If the server or client bin paths are not defined as above, then it is likely the correct configuration file has not been read in. You can determine the load order of configuration files and where each value is set by creating a MicroStation debug log.

The MicroStation Debug Log

MicroStation and CADconform can be configured in numerous ways beyond the default installation. Sometimes loading of CADconform is performed via a networked configuration file specific to the client and sometimes it is performed via a local "CADconform.cfg" file in the "config\appl" directory in the Bentley directory. It is impossible to guess all the various methods of setting up MicroStation configuration files and the workspace environment, so the debug log is essential for trouble-shooting. The debug log can be generated by running MicroStation with a shortcut containing "-debug" after the "ustation.exe" path, with a space between keywords, e.g:
"C:\Program Files\Bentley\Program\MicroStation\ustation.exe" -debug
This command can be run either from the command line via opening a DOS window, or modifying your existing shortcut to MicroStation on the Desktop or Start Menu.

After launching MicroStation with the modified command line, you will be presented with a large amount of text output. This output is also written to a text file. The last line of the debug log output tells you where the generated debug file is located. Open this file in a text editor such as Notepad. The debug log lists in chronological order all of the configuration files read by MicroStation during startup. At the end of the debug log, the final values of all variables is listed. Both sections are important to understand what has gone wrong in your configuration.

CADconform will not upgrade properly

If after running the CADconform installer and performing an "Upgrade" CADconform still shows the previous version in the "About CADconform" dialog box, then follow these steps:
  1. Login as an administrator
  2. In the  Login dialog box, choose "Configure"
  3. Check the server and client versions. If they are both older than the version you just installed, then ensure both the "Automatically Update Local" and "Check For New Server Versions" toggles are turned on.
  4. Click on "Upgrade Server Version". Choose the latest version in the dialog that pops up. If the newer version is not there then the server upgrade install did not succeed and needs to be reinstalled. Otherwise go to the next step.
  5. Click "OK" and then "Save & Exit".
  6. Upon restarting MicroStation, the new version should now be loaded. Verify this by looking in the About dialog.
  7. If the new version still does not display, then it is likely that the server version has been set in a different configuration file than the standard one. Verify this by running a MicroStation debug log and checking for the "CADCONFORM_SERVER_VERSION" variable. If this is the case then this file needs to be manually edited to contain the correct version. Additionally, the path to the configuration file itself probably needs to be defined in the variable: "_CADCONFORM_EXTERNAL_CONFIG_FILE" so that it can be automatically updated for the next upgrade.

Only one user can write to the database during reporting or certifying

If you get an error when trying to run a report or certification that the database is locked by another user, then it is likely caused by an older Microsoft Access database format. Older Access (*.MDB) formats (for example, Access 2000) will not allow concurrent users to read/write the same database if the first user to open the database is running a newer version of the JET ODBC driver. In order to maintain compatibility with older file formats, the JET driver will open the legacy database in single-user mode, which only allows one person to be connected to the database at a time. The solution to this problem is simply to:

  1. Log off all users from CADconform
  2. Open the database file in a newer version of Access
  3. For Access 2007, select "Save As..." and choose the format from the section entitled "Save the database in another format"
  4. For Access 2010, select "Save & Publish" and then choose the desired format from the section entitled "Database File Types".

The minimum version of Access to save as should reflect the minimum version supported by the JET drivers used by all CADconform users connecting to the database. This is usually dictated by the Windows platform version, though JET drivers may also be installed separately with Access 2007 and up. For Windows XP and higher (e.g. Windows Vista, 7, 2008 Server, etc) the JET drivers are usually updated by Windows Update, so always support the latest Access version. If a client cannot connect to the newer database format and the client machine does not have the corresponding Access version installed, then JET may need to be upgraded manually. The JET drivers can usually be obtained for free from Microsoft.


CADconform crashes or doesn't work as expected

Software development is not an exact science and sometimes things can go wrong. If CADconform is failing in a predictable way, there are several things you can do:
  1. Report the problem to Altiva Software.
  2. Try to isolate the problem. Crashes are often specific to certain datasets or settings. Experiment with different workspaces, different design files or different feature tables.
  3. If a problem is specific to a certain dataset, ensure this data is sent to Altiva Software along with a description of how to replicate it.
  4. If the problem is caused by a single element in the design file, try doing a file fence of that element (keyin "FF=filename.dgn") to create a new design file containing only that element. Also try copying that element to a new blank design file.
  5. If MicroStation creates a crash minidump and exception log, send this data to Altiva Software along with the report.
Useful files to send to Altiva in the event of a problem with CADconform include:
  1. The CADconform version number and MicroStation platform and version.
  2. The Windows OS version
  3. An export of the current feature tables as *.DICT files.
  4. The global configuration file - e.g. "CADconform\Config\MicroStation V8i.cfg"
  5. The design file or a file fence of the area of a design file causing the problem.
  6. Instructions on how to replicate the problem.

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