Status Update June 2016

I am a little overdue for an update, as there is a lot going on. Px Tools 3.4 development is progressing, ADSK 2017 products are getting Package validations, the web site is getting 2017 updates, formatting updates and some new payment options. And I am continuing to chase issues with Windows 10 support.

Px Tools 3.4

Px Tools 3.4 has some great new features including

  • Multiple & nested Conform Sets
  • Expanded Directive options
  • Remote “Jobs” that allow you to Conform machines en mass
  • Improved logging and progress monitoring
  • Extensive under the hood refactoring


Additionally there is another new concept that doesn’t yet have a name, but that will be something like “Aggregation” of “Collection”, which will allow you to assign machines (and users!) to groupings like Power Users, for example. The feature will allow you to create your own Collection types, so for example you could have a Studio collection, with Studios for K12, Hospitality, Healthcare, etc. Directives can then be used to manage all sorts of things based on membership.
With any luck Px Tools 3.4 will be available for beta testing by the end of June. And if you see a use case in your office for this new “Collections” idea and you would like to shape this feature to match your needs, please let me know.

ADSK 2017

The Autodesk 2017 products have been out for a while now, and firms are starting to upgrade. I have been busy validating Packages and as I complete products I am adding the new Recipes to the product chapters.

One thing to be aware of. Autodesk has once again changed the rules when it comes to Revit addins. Most (but not all!) first party ADSK addins are now only accessible via Autodesk Desktop App (AdA for short, thanks to Steve Stafford). The workflow I suggest is to set up a Honey Bucket VM with AdA, where you let AdA download and install, and then harvest the installers for use in an otherwise familiar “Unpack and Use” workflow. I am researching the ins and outs of this now, and will be publishing a lesson in the near future.

Course Updates

From a PxTools standpoint, the main change is with Resource files. Because there is not a new build at the same time, and because the number of supported products is now so large, Resource files are now a separate download. Simply go to the appropriate product chapter and you will find a Resources section right below Recipes, where you can download the Resource XML for just the product you actually need to support.

In addition, the recipe reviews and other XML documentation is being updated to show the same color coding you will see in NotePad ++.

And lastly, I am completely reworking the Introduction chapter, to address the many shortcomings of the current iteration and bring it up to date with new features and workflows through Px Tools 3.4. I will be publishing the Work In Progress chapter structure this week, and if anyone with Px Tools experience has the time and desire I would love some early feedback on the proposed content. Specifically, if there is anything that caused you trouble or confusion in your initial rollouts, that is not covered in the new Introduction, please let me know.

Windows 10

Windows 10 is gaining traction (though not without some “accidental cheating”) and I am continuing to refine support in Px Tools. There are two major issues still outstanding.
1: Sometimes Px Tools throws an error trying to resize the console and refuses to continue. This is being addressed with a change in progress monitoring in Px Tools 3.4, and a less elegant solution may make it’s way to a 3.3.3 update if there is a need from customers.
2: Microsoft has “blocked” the ability to programmatically pin to the Start Menu and Taskbar in Windows 10, thus breaking that functionality in Px Tools. I am exploring workaround options and hope to have a solution in time for 3.4.