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The 4D Data Management Compatibility Matrix

Hagerman & Company

One of the challenges in the IT world is ensuring compatibility between all of your company’s computer hardware and software.

In the CAD world, this typically involves the interplay between operating systems, CAD software and CAD hardware (chiefly RAM and graphics cards). In the data management world, this is even a bit more complex and involves your:

  • CAD software
  • Data management software (such Autodesk® Vault, Synergis Adept or BlueCielo Meridian)
  • Windows Server operating system (including release and service pack level)
  • SQL Server software (including release and service pack level as well)

Consequently, for your data management system to operate properly, you need to ensure that all four of the above items are compatible with each other. A compatibility mismatch can cause inoperability, system data loss or unreliability. As an example of the specificity of these requirements, Autodesk Vault 2015 supports:

  • Autodesk Inventor 2013 through 2015
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (64-bit only)
  • SQL Server 2008 SP3 or 2008 R2 SP2

No other releases or service pack levels within Windows Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 are supported. (Please note that Vault does also support Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 with specific release and service pack levels as well.) Synergis Adept and BlueCielo Meridian, along with other Autodesk and non-Autodesk CAD software, can also have very similar and specific compatibility requirements. While it is not the case in the above example, it is also important to note that in many cases, specific service pack levels of CAD software releases may be required.

As you can see, this is a highly complex area. Our experience working in this environment has taught us the following:

  • It is always necessary to check, but you generally can upgrade your data management software without and/or before upgrading your CAD software (as long as the CAD software is only one to two releases back)
  • If possible, run your data management software in a dedicated Windows Server and SQL Server environment. This can prevent an even more complicated compatibility matrix. For example, sharing a single SQL Server instance between your data management system and your accounting software can cause complications if your CAD software upgrade requires a data management software upgrade. This upgrade may require a SQL Server upgrade which is not compatible with your accounting software. By keeping your data management and accounting software servers separate, you can avoid this particular difficulty.
  • Before performing any CAD, data management, Windows server or SQL Server software upgrades, even if it only involves release levels or service packs, be sure to do a compatibility check first. To be safe, we recommend that you contact us at Hagerman & Company as well.

By following these recommendations, you can navigate these waters safely and maintain all the benefits and productivity provided by these systems.

Submitted by Matt Lane, Director of Consulting Services, Hagerman & Company, Inc.