In a new series, we are featuring our partners and the work they do with us in the simulation field. Our featured partner, VIAS, has written a comprehensive technical piece on 3DEXPERIENCE updates, which is beneficial to SIMULIA users since 3DEXPERIENCE is a sophisticated collection of technologies. This post was written by Kevin Waugh – Director of PLM Operations at VIAS, Inc.
From time to time, certain communications relating to 3DEXPERIENCE will reference the “FD” level of the software. Here is an example, sent to cloud customers regarding a scheduled update:
Ever wonder what this means?
With V5, Dassault Systèmes software versioning has the format of <Release> <Service Pack> <Hotfix>. An example might be, V5-62018 SP3 HF004. It may not be obvious, but that’s not the case with V6 and 3DEXPERIENCE (3DX). Along with the many new capabilities that these new technologies bring, there is also a new method of software versioning. Let’s investigate…
Checking for the software version
On a client computer, there are a few locations to see the software version. I’m going to use an install of 3DX 2018x FD03 to illustrate. The first place to look would be the “About…” menu of a native application client:
Another method would be in the Add/Remove Programs in Windows:
And finally, a third would be from Software Management under the Dassault Systemes entry within the Windows Start menu:
Notice anything? Or perhaps… notice anything missing? FD is not shown in any of these locations! Instead, we see HotFix and Internal Build. I will explain why, but first I will introduce two other references. They are Fix Pack (FP) and Configured Fix A (CFA). The plot thickens…
3DEXPERIENCE is referred to as a platform. It is more than simply the next generation of CATIA, rather it is a collection of many technologies (“components”), each one with its own pace of development that must align with one another within the greater platform environment. As an example, native apps, e.g. CATIA, will be at one level of HotFix, while another technology, perhaps something within ENOVIA or SIMULIA, will be at another. Quite a lot to keep track of!
FD stands for Functional Delivery. It represents an update of the software that is validated by Dassault Systemes R&D across all the technologies (“components”) that make up 3DEXPERIENCE.
At the time of this writing, 2019x is in the initial “Golden” release, which is also known as General Availability (GA). Historically, each major release of 3DEXPERIENCE has had a minor update shortly after GA, which can be considered a “00” update. The first validated update however will always be FD01.
Typically released every 8 weeks, a Fix Pack (FP) contains all the Hot Fixes for each component. These FP’s are assigned a four-digit number YYWW which represents the year and week. At the time of this writing, the most recent FP for 2018x is 1846. Which means that it was made available on November 16, 2018, as Fix Packs are usually released on a Friday. This particular FP is also identified as FD06.
The definition of a Hot Fix can be seen in the Dassault Systèmes glossary located at https://www.3ds.com/support/new-customer/faq-glossary/. In short, these are incremental corrections to the software.
The Configured Fix is significant for its “A” classification. A CF is a collection of Hot Fixes configured and certified for all customers. Upon release, Configured Fixes with A classification are termed a Fix Pack with the naming format FP.CFA.YYWW. Configured Fixes of different classification (B, C, D, etc.) exist but these are only available through an explicit agreement with Dassault Systèmes for specific business needs.
Finally, we have the Internal Build level. This can be seen within the Windows add/remove programs dialog under the Version column. It relates directly to the installed code on disk and is named according to Dassault Systemes convention. The first digit, the “6” quite simply indicates V6. The internal designation for the 2018x major release is “420”, which can be seen on disk within Program Files in Windows. The numbers that follow are the software builds internal to Dassault Systèmes; the revision in my example shows a code build of 5. The important takeaway here is that this number is not the Hot Fix level.
How to track updates
With every revision of 3DEXPERIENCE, there are release notes. This is known as the Program Directory (PD). It is accessible online, at https://www.3ds.com/support/documentation/program-directories/. Beginning with FD01 and onward with each revision, there will be a link in the PD to the “Fixed components & Hot Fix numbers”, shown here:
Within this link, there is a summary of all Hot Fixes that make up the current Fix Pack. Also, there is an Excel spreadsheet that shows this information in column format, alongside all the other preceding Fix Packs. In the following image, I have hidden several rows in order to highlight the Native Apps (e.g. CATIA):
You may recall I mentioned earlier that FP 1846 is equivalent to FD06. However, if you count the columns from right to left, it would appear that this is wrong. That’s because 2018x FP 1751 was not FD01, but rather a “00” update shortly after GA. Here it is visible as such in the dropdown menu on the PD website:
One final note, there is a minor inconsistency in the Fixed Components document for version 2016x. There was a 00 update called FP.CFA.1546 which was subsequently pulled from availability. All revisions of the Fixed Components document from FD02 onward do not include this update. For the 2016x version of 3DX only, the rightmost column of the document is FD01.
3DEXPERIENCE is a sophisticated collection of technologies which Dassault Systèmes continues to enhance with development and acquisitions. Hopefully this article will be a valuable reference to help you keep track of its changes now and in the future.