PTC Email Newsletter
April 16, 2001

This Weeks Topics:

A) PTC Product FocusPro/Engineer 2001

B) Tips of the week:

Suggested Technique for Improving Retrieval Performance Through The Network.

C) Upcoming Events and Training Class Schedules

A) PTC Product Focus:  Pro/Engineer 2000i1

Do you know what’s new in the upcoming release of ProE 2001?

Check it out HERE!

B) Tips of the week:


 Suggested Technique for Improving Retrieval Performance Through The Network.

Note: Links that are made available here require account access to PTC tech support page. Please register for an account access here if you do not have an account.

1. Settings in the option




/tmp or c:\temp

This option will make Pro/ENGINEER create the trail file in the directory specified. Specifying a local directory (as /tmp) will avoid network access.



This option will make Pro/ENGINEER use the directory specified by the TMP or TEMP system variable to create temporary file while retrieving instances.

This is important to set these system variable correctly to /TMP or /tmp for UNIX; TMP c:\temp for NT; TEMP c:\temp for NT

See also

TPI 21133 "How To Speed Up the Retrieving of a Model With Family Table From a Shared Network Drive or a Mounted Directory" ,


directories in which Pro/ENGINEER models are stored.

Pro/ENGINEER will search in every directory listed in the SEARCH_PATH (or in the file) until it finds the correct model. Therefore, the retrieval time is very impacted by the number of search_path.

For these reasons it is important to have as few SEARCH_PATH statements or a as short file as possible with a as few objects as possible per directory.
If it is not possible to remove libraries from these lists, it is important to have the search paths listed in the most efficient order as possible.

See also TAN 101321 "On NT Machines, Retrieval Time is much more Longer while Using SEARCH_PATH Than When Retrieving Models from a Single Directory"

2. Network settings

Even if a file server is used to store the Pro/ENGINEER models onto the network, it is more efficient to have a local installation directory of Pro/ENGINEER (to at least improve the Pro/ENGINEER starting time), as well as a local starting and working directory.

If DNS is used, try the following command from the client machine: ping <dns server ip address>. If the return time is too long, this can show a problem on the network. (a normal respond time will be <10ms on a 10 Mbyte Local Area Network)

Examine the time returned by ping <file server>, ping <license server>, if these times are too long, Pro/ENGINEER will be longer. (The same respond time should be obtained than for the test with DNS)

Considering the architecture of the network it could be useful to know how many hubs there is between the client and the server (this number should be less than 4).

Is it hub or switch network?
If switches are used, it is interesting to make a test locally with a simple hub between two machines to look if some switch settings are impacting the network performance.

Which network topology is used? Only Ethernet networks are supported.

3. UNIX specific settings.

When using NFS to mount directories from a server to a client, some options should be set to improve performance. It is important to contact the hardware vendors to tune the network. These settings can change depending on the workstation model and the OS release.

However, it will always be better to use a hard mount instead of a soft mount. This will avoid data loss if the NFS connection is interrupted.

In addition to this, the version of the NFS software being used is important. The performance improvement between two versions is very often significant but can only be measured by tests

This setting can usually be changed using the option of the mount command:

example: mount -o vers=2,hard server:/path_to_dir /path_to_local_dir ( ver=2 gives the version of NFS to use)

4. Windows NT specific settings.

The Network properties (#Control Panel\#Network) should have the following protocol and services listed:

Protocols: NETBEUI, TCP/IP. (Note: NetBEUI is not a suitable protocol for networks with more than 200 machines)
The TCP/IP protocol should be configured with a fixed ip address, a subnet mask and a default gateway.
In the DNS folder, the setting should refer to existing DNS servers (if ones configured).
If the DNS servers cannot be ping, remove them. The DNS domain (if one set) should exist.

Services: The network services should be: Interface NETBIOS, Server, Workstation, RPC configuration, computer Browser, simple TCP/IP and eventually Microsoft TCP/IP Printing.

Bindings: One of the most important thing on windows NT network is to configure the bindings in the following way: for all services listed (Netbios Interface, Server and Workstation) the NETBEUI protocol MUST be placed in first position before WINS TCP/IP. See also TPI 20297 "Retrieval of Models in Pro/ENGINEER is Significantly Slower than to be Expected"

These settings should be made on both the server and the client machines.

If other protocols and services are listed (like IPX/SPX, nwlink netware ...), a test should be made without these additional protocols to control the impact on the Pro/ENGINEER performances..

The Pro/ENGINEER installation directory, the starting directory, the working directory and the directories in which Pro/ENGINEER data are stored must be NTFS formatted.

In #Control Panel\#Services, it can be convenient to look if some extra services are running, like Network sniffer, antivirus etc? In this case it is a good practice to stop them for testing purpose. For example, an antivirus software which checks the incoming and outcoming files on the server will increase dramatically the retrieval time into Pro/ENGINEER. Configuring it to check only the incoming files will improve the performance.

Due to a Microsoft issue, if there are a lot of files in one directory or filename with 20 characters or more, the directory listing is longer and impact the retrieval time. Against this issue a registry key can be added. See

To workaround this issue, our developers have created the option " NT_CACHE_DIRS "which can be set to "YES", to test if it improve performance. However it is important to look at TPI 21817 "NT_CACHE_DIRS Option To Enhance Performance Of Directory Listings And File Retrieval Times On Windows NT Platforms. " for more information about this option.

5. Related Links

·        Suggested Techniques for Increasing Performance when Working with Large Assembly Drawings

·        TPI 31947 "Network Retrieval of a Pro/ENGINEER Assembly Over a 100BaseT Network Connection Is Slower Than Retrieval of Same "

·        TPI 22005: "Poor Large Assembly Graphics Performance Issues in Pro/ENGINEER Release 20.0 Like Ctrl Spin/Pan/Zoom, Orientation Dialog Closing, and Menu Button Delays. "

·        TPI 36316 " Effect of Feature Regeneration Order On Family Table Instance Retrieval Time Performance" .

C) Upcoming Dates: Events and Training Class Schedules
Updated: April 16, 2001

PTC Innovation Days!!! (Product Development Workshops)

Accelerate your product design and development!

Learn how to:


Click HERE to check for the event near you!

Bellevue/Portland April Training Schedule:

Start Date

Course Title


Registration Info

2001 04/16

Introduction to Pro/ENGINEER

Bellevue (WA)

Request Registration


2001 04/23

Fundamentals of Drawing

Bellevue (WA)

Request Registration


Click here to register for any class!

Note: This weekly PTC email will continue to be used for the following:

1) Inform you of events related to PTC products. (user groups, conferences, training schedules, etc.)

2) Educate you on products that are available at PTC

3) Tips and Techniques using PTC products