Application of the Week – AutoCAD 2020 (Part 1)

AutoCAD is probably one of the most time consuming applications when it comes to preparation and testing for a successful deployment. You definitely need patience for this one, a coffee machine standing by, smiles from your dear colleagues and time to read and learn from others who have dealt with deployment.

In order to help you deploying Autodesk applications like AutoCAD, we teamed up with Autodesk and registered for the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN). That gives us access to both Autodesk software, NFR licenses and additional information to give you guidelines on deployment.

Using the ADN and its benefits we have been able to create KB articles for e.g. AutoCAD, DWG TrueView and Inventor View.

This blog focuses on deploying AutoCAD 2020 using Liquit Workspace. I presume you know how to dowload it from the Autodesk website. This is what’s offered through ADN, choose ‘Download now’ or for ‘Browser Download’:

‘Download now’ uses the Autodesk Download Manager which is a small executable which downloads all AutoCAD 2020 setup files from the Autodesk website to c:AutodeskAutoCAD_2020_English_win_64bit_r1_dlm:

That’s the easy part. Now have a look at this KB article ‘Autodesk AutoCAD 2020’. This describes how to create a deployment using ‘Create Deployment’, which is also named as an ‘Administrative Image’.

An ‘Administrative Image’ is a directory on a file share which contains all setup files and a set of scripts and configuration files which you can use to install AutoCAD unattended with.

After you’ve created the administrative image, have a look at this section in the KB article, which describes a file called AutoCAD2020_SCCM.txt:

Basically you have two options here. Either you use this command to install all prerequisites and Autodesk components in one go. Or you use all individual components of this deployment and install them individually. That’s described in the second part of this script file.

That second part is divided in a section called ‘3rdParty Prerequisites’ and a section called ‘Autodesk products’. In this blog I will describe the ‘in one go’ option only.

Now the administrative image has been prepared, we need to create a template in the Credential Store. The Credential Store allows you to add and configure credentials within the Liquit Workspace. The credentials can be used within packages, to perform network actions under the ‘Device’ context using the specified network credentials or for enabling SSO for specific actions. This template will be then be used to access the UNC path of the administrative image.

In the main screen:

  • Click ‘Credential Store
  • Click ‘Add
  • Select ‘Static‘, click ‘Next
  • In the Details screen opt for an appropriate name for the template Name, click ‘Next
  • Provide the Username and Password to be used withing this template, click Next
  • Click ‘Finish

Now we can create a package in Liquit Workspace to install AutoCAD with.
In the main screen:

  • Click ‘Packages
  • Click ‘Add
  • Select ‘Custom package
    Note: out of the different templates you may know that ‘Install MSI’ has two options: Network and Uploaded. For executable setups (.exe files) we don’t have this option yet. So use ‘Custom package’ instead.
  • In the Details screen opt for ‘AutoCAD 2020’ for the package name, click ‘Next’
  • In the Summary screen leave the ‘Modify package after creation’ checkbox checked
  • Click ‘Actions
  • Click ‘Add action set
  • Use ‘Install‘ for ‘Name
  • Change ‘Type‘ to ‘Install‘ and click ‘Confirm‘.
  • Click ‘Add action

    On the General tab:
  • Select ‘Start process‘ for ‘Type’ (which is selected by default)
  • Use ‘Start setup.exe’ for ‘Name
  • Use the UNC path to setup.exe for ‘Process‘. In the example I’ve used:
    Because that’s where I’ve created the administrative image
  • For Arguments use:
    /W /q /I ImgAutoCAD2020.ini /language en-us
    These are the silent switches used in AutoCAD2020_SCCM.txt.

    On the Advanced tab:
  • Set the Context to ‘Device’
  • After you’ve switched to ‘Device’, a new option called ‘Network credentials‘ is shown. Select the template from the Credential Store, which has access to the UNC path of the administrative image
  • Check the ‘Wait for completion‘ checkbox. Doing so only when setup.exe has finished, the installation of this action will finish in the Liquit Workspace UI.
  • Click ‘Confirm‘.
  • Click Entitlements and add the users you want to assign this package to.
  • In the upper section of your screen click ‘Save changes‘ to publish the snapshot into the ‘Production’ stage. Click ‘Confirm‘.

I will go into more detail of the configuration of AutoCAD in Part 2 of this blog.