SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – December 2017

Hello to all,

Welcome to this new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News, coauthored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.

SOLIDWORKS World 2018 Top Ten List

Attention all SOLIDWORKS users!

The SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List is now open for idea submissions and discussion. For those of you who are new to the SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List, it is an opportunity to submit your ideas for enhancements to SOLIDWORKS. Once ideas are submitted, you will be given the opportunity to vote for your favorite ideas. All ideas are considered by SOLIDWORKS development and the Top Ten ideas will be presented at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 in Los Angeles, February 4-7.

Submitted ideas can be viewed by visiting the SOLIDWORKS World 2018 Top Ten List area of the discussion forum. Click on “Content” just under the Top Ten List banner. You can also click on the categories on the side to sort by specific areas of SOLIDWORKS (Assemblies, Drawings, Simulation, etc.).

Important dates:
January 5, 2018: deadline for new idea submissions
January 6, 2018: voting on all ideas begins
January 31, 2018: voting ends

Using information from Performance tab of SOLIDWORKS® PDM Status Report to Isolate Performance Issues

By Tim KWONG

The PDM Status Report tool has become an indispensable tool for investigating performance issues. The report creates snapshots of the SQL server and vault database information for analysis.  Always run the tool on consecutive days at around the same time when try to understand the SQL server workload. Analyzing the reports may reveal areas of interest that warrant further investigation. The following example demonstrates the use of the information from the Performance tab as part of the troubleshooting process.

CPU Usage by Process and By Database:

The CPU usage graph below shows three high and sustaining CPU usage periods. During these periods, users most likely experience overall slower PDM performance due to SQL server being under stress. The most severe period occurs after 2 PM and ends around 2:30 PM. The other two periods have lower CPU usage but the durations are still substantial. When high and sustaining CPU usage periods are revealed in the report, need to engage users and get confirmation of slower PDM performance during the time periods.

Current Database Object Execution Statistic Report:

The object names are PDM stored procedures. Top CPU usage stored procedures don’t always equate to performance issues. High CPU usage could be typical behavior of the SQL server or victim of external or internal SQL server stress. The screen capture below shows XRef_GetTree consuming 26.6% of the SQL CPU usage. The XRef_GetTree has an average duration of 241 seconds and 57 million database reads. This is typical indication that a GET activity is slow and also may affect other users. For this situation, the XRef_GetTree is executed twice which may indicate fileset specific performance issue. Check with users and ask if certain particular files are slow when performing GET activities.

The second top stored procedure is Arc_GetSysFileStatus which consumes 25.4% of the SQL CPU usage. This stored procedure is executed for either a schedule or on-demand replication and having the Archive Status dialog active. For an environment with multiple replicated archive servers and large number of users, the high usage could be normal especially if one or more remote replicated archives have started replication. Need to check if any scheduled replications are running during the capture and check the frequency of replications amongst the sites. If hourly or continuous replications are discovered, then recommend a daily replication schedule to reduce CPU usage during the work hours. Having Archive Status dialog open under Replication > Archive in the administration console will continuously trigger this stored procedure too and result in unnecessary CPU usage. If you confirm the dialog is left open, advise users to close dialog after obtaining the desired replication information.

The third top stored procedure is Msg_CheckMsg which consumes 21% of the SQL CPU usage. This object makes calls to check new messages from logged in clients. Msg_CheckMsg is executed every 30 seconds from each client even when SMTP notification is being used and may cause unnecessary CPU usage. This examples shows Msg_CheckMsg being very active and having high CPU usage.

Need to look at the information in the Messages table in Vault Size > Database Vault Size tab. If there are rows in the table and SMTP is being used, try deleting them to see if it help in reducing the CPU usage. Remember to make a backup of the database prior to the deletion. When SMTP is being used, the Messages table can be filled with rows of old messages or from invalid or blank email addresses. For this example, the Messages table shows 49,235 rows which is not a large amount but could result in higher CPU usage. Starting with PDM 2017, the 30 second interval can be increased to reduce the frequency (see SOLIDWORKS KB Solution S-072959).

Simulation Step-Up Series

Last month, Omar discussed the topic of Productivity Tools. This month, it is Reza’s turn. He talks about Reports.

Next month, Reza will discuss the topic of Buckling analysis.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW When activating SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager after an upgrade or installation, what causes the error ‘The current computer identifier (1) does not match the previously used computer identifier (0).’?
This error can appear when the previous SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager installation was located a drive other than the default C:\ drive.
To resolve this issue, uninstall the SNL Manager from any drive that is not the C:\ drive, and then reinstall the SNL Manager on the C:\ drive. You should then be able to activate to software successfully.
From Solution Id: S-073516.

icon - SW When I open a SOLIDWORKS® drawing on a Windows® 10 client computer, why does annotation text that contains Chinese characters display within square boxes?
This behavior typically involves text with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters. It occurs when legacy Windows® fonts are moved into optional font packages. In such cases, those fonts may not be available on all Windows 10 client computers. A side effect of these changes is that some characters appear as a square or rectangular box, or as a box with a dot, question mark, or ‘x’ inside.
This problem does not occur when the same file is opened with an earlier Windows version.
To resolve this issue on a Windows 10 operating system, follow the steps in Solution Id: S-073406.

Icon - EPDM Using the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2018 SP0.1 software, what would could cause users to lose their group membership after editing the group via right-click > ‘Open’ in the administration tool?
If you are using SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2018 SP0.1 to administer multiple groups at the same time, it is possible that users can lose their group membership if you select the ‘Automatic’ check box column and save the group.
To see an example of how the problem can appear and how to solve it, see Solution Id: S-073658.

When configuring the ‘Email Notification Settings’ in SOLIDWORKS® Simulation, is it possible to use Gmail™ as an SMTP server?
In SOLIDWORKS® Simulation, it is not directly possible to use Gmail™ as an SMTP server.
The SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Email Notification system does not support the use of external SMTP servers such as Gmail SMTP. However, it is possible to configure the Email Notification system to use Gmail by using a forwarding message proxy.
For more information, see Solution Id: S-073498.

When generating a mesh for a Topology study, what is the preferred mesher?
In general, the ‘Standard’ mesher is recommended for generating meshes for Topology studies.
Topology studies in particular require a refined mesh throughout the entire geometry, including internal regions. Because element material densities are altered by the Topology study to determine a new material distribution, having a consistent good quality mesh is important. For these reasons, using the ‘Standard’ mesher is recommended.
From Solution Id: S-073710.


That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News.

Originally posted in the SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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