WEBcnx 2023.1 is out now bringing with it a host of new features and performance enhancements. Read more.

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Performance Improvements

This version of Impact contains several performance improvements including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Switching layers and projects
  • Saving/updating projects
  • Opening and closing projects

These performance improvements are most obvious when dealing with projects featuring many layers, and also when generating report templates, which typically causes Impact to switch focus between several projects and layers.

Improvements to Smart Snapping

Automatic selection of grid type

Certain tools will automatically switch to a Polar grid (as opposed to Cartesian) to make interactive snapping more relevant and intuitive. The following tools are affected:

  • Draw > Circle
  • Draw > Arc
  • Draw > Polygon
  • Transform > Rotate

Configurable background colour for 2D snapshots

There is now an option to specify a background colour when exporting/saving images from Impact. This is accessed from the Options button on the Save Image form.

This same option is also available from COM (via IImageFormatParams.BackgroundColour), allowing script and plugin writers the option to control the background colour of any images generated through the Impact or nServer APIs.

Improved Login/Connect form

The redesigned database connection form that is displayed when logging in to Impact now shows the version number, includes links to the Help system and the About Impact function, and provides more prominent access to Impact workstation options.

Configure Markers shown with Geometry Analysis Toolbox

There is now the facility to configure the rectangular markers that are displayed when the Geometry Analysis Toolbox has found issues with a drawing. You can alter the size and to make it solid fill, if required. This is done in Options > Environment > Cursors.

Impact Project Browser – Hide Inactive Customers

There is a new option on the context menu available from the Customers node within the Impact Project Browser. This can be used to hide any customers that have the Active status disabled.

Nalpeiron Licensing Stability Improvement

For any workstations running Impact builds 2016 R4 to 2019 R2 SP1 in combination with Nalpeiron node-based licensing, it is not uncommon to experience service interruptions that could sometimes see Impact fail to extend its licence lease whenever their third-party servers encountered an error. In some cases, this could lead to the temporary, limited use of Impact, only providing save and exit of existing drawings.

Impact 2022 features a combination of an updated Nalpeiron library, and new configurable licence timeout mechanism, which together will help avoid any interruption to service, and offer a more fault-tolerant solution. If Impact cannot contact the Nalpeiron licensing servers for any reason, it will now carry on and utilise the remaining lease period, rather than holding out for a response, which may never be answered.

Registry option to disable Nalpeiron when Licence Server in use

A new Impact licensing option Never check for an activated workstation licence (restart required) has been introduced which only applied when Use Licence Server is enabled. This can avoid any delays in the normal start-up procedure where Impact may not be able to contact the Nalpeiron licence server.

You must restart for this option to take effect (Impact remembers the option from start-up). Once enabled this prevents ANY access to the Nalpeiron workstation licence, including the ability to view, activate or deactivate any existing licence.

If you go back into the Licensing options, then this is explained as below.

When this option is checked Help->About also does not now display any Nalpeiron workstation licence information.

Option to Skip the First Page of Wizards

Impact features 10’s of wizards to help guide a user through tasks with ease. However, all wizards offer an introductory first page which is not necessarily useful to longer standing users. It’s now therefore possible to skip the first page upon subsequent uses of the same wizard. This option is controlled per user and can be set independently for each wizard.

Suppress Expression Errors

Variable expression errors could be displayed when opening a project or when starting the Parametrics Editor with a project containing variables which are not located in the current database. These messages would typically require the user to frequently and repeatedly dismiss the error, or delete the variables from the project.

A new Suppress Expressions Errors option, found within the Impact Explorer Variables tab context menu, acts on a per project basis, so if you switch off the visibility of errors for one project, they would still be displayed for others.

An additional option has been added to the Impact Messages form, namely Don’t display these messages again, as an alternative way to stop such messages from being shown repeatedly.

Manual Apply and Refresh buttons removed from Entity Inspector

Historically, Impact’s Entity Inspector control had the option of allowing changes to entity properties to be made together, and then applied at once via an Apply button, which was accompanied with a Refresh button to force the update of the latest values in the control.

Most, if not all, users would normally utilise the Auto apply option so that they could reduce the number of clicks they have to perform. However, it wasn’t unknown for the Auto mode to sometimes get accidentally turned off, leading to confused and frustrated users.

As well as the Auto function, it was possible to hide these controls altogether via the context menu option, Always Auto-apply.

As of Impact 2022, these manual controls have now been removed altogether, and the default operation is now automatic for all users on upgrade.

Clear Standard Information for a layer

Impact now provides a new layer option to Clear Standard Information, effectively breaking the link between the layer and the original standard. This is helpful if the standard doesn’t exist in the current database, or if significant changes have been made to a design since the originating standard was used, and you want to avoid those features being lost by the re-run of a standard.

Copy Master Tool Settings Names

There was already an option, when viewing the Master Tool Settings list, to Copy any selected settings, enabling them to be pasted to another folder. Now, when this Copy operation is performed, the settings names (including the full path) will be copied to the Windows clipboard. This could prove particularly useful if you wanted to paste them into a script, for instance.

Symbol Insert Tool locking modes

The Symbol Insert tool can now work with the perpendicular and tangent lock modes. This will rotate the symbol if the user is hovering over geometry within the canvas. When this happens, the angle entry is disabled on the edit bar and the value is calculated automatically. This works like the nicking tools but can be used with any symbol. The cursor will rotate depending on which side of the geometry entity the user is hovering over.

Above shows a symbol inserted in three locations. The angle is calculated based on the user's click on a geometric entry.

Auto Tasks

Auto Tasks are set up in the Options > Environment > Database Installation > Automation section. This is where you can assign a script or plug-in library that will be executed whenever a certain event takes place. Most tasks can be configured to execute either before or after the event. Several new Auto Tasks have been added in Impact 2022, as follows:

  • Dieboard Sections (Before) - task is executed before the Dieboard Sections tool
  • Dieboard Sections (After) - task is executed after the Dieboard Sections tool
  • Dieboard Add Dovetail (Before) - task is executed before the Add Dovetail tool
  • Dieboard Add Dovetail (After) - task is executed after the Add Dovetail tool
  • Dieboard Stripping Knives (Before) - task is executed before the Stripping Knives tool
  • Dieboard Stripping Knives (After) - task is executed after the Stripping Knives tool
  • Dieboard Nicks (Before) - task is executed before the Dieboard Nicks tool
  • Dieboard Nicks (After) - task is executed after the Dieboard Nicks tool
  • Dieboard Nicks Creator (Before) - task is executed before the Dieboard Automatic Nicks tool
  • Dieboard Nicks Creator (After) - task is executed after the Dieboard Automatic Nicks tool
  • Dieboard Rotary Scrap (Before) - task is executed before the Dieboard Rotary Scrap tool
  • Dieboard Rotary Scrap (After) - task is executed after the Dieboard Rotary Scrap tool
  • Add Rotary Bridge (Before) - task is executed before the Add Rotary Bridge tool
  • Add Rotary Bridge (After) - task is executed after the Add Rotary Bridge tool

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