|Pretend you work at an engineering company that has an aggressive IT department. (OK maybe some of you are not pretending.) Based on your needs to view design data, your IT department has completed a thorough evaluation of Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0. It is safe. (Wow, this is starting to sound like Marathon Man.) As such, your IT department is OK with installing Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 across the company; however, that's all. Your IT department does not want anyone to update to a newer version that has yet to be analyzed and certified. Sounds reasonable.|
With this in mind:
- Your IT department wants to disable automatic updates.
- Your IT department wants to disable manual updates.
- Your IT department wants to disable the user registration feature. (If users register, they may get update announcements. IT departments analyze and certify new versions in line with corporate time windows for doing so - not necessarily immediately when new versions are available.)
With these three ideas in mind, things would just be simpler if all users across the company used Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 and stayed with that until IT unveiled a newer release as part of corporate policy. This is possible with Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0.
Although the changes contained in this blog article have to be applied to each installed copy of Autodesk DWF Viewer, luckily most IT departments have some sort of company-wide install process, e.g. SMS, at their disposal. The IT department can make changes to a master copy of Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 and then push those changes across all computers on the company network.
To disable automatic updates via registry settings:
There is a section in the registry for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\DWF Viewer\Settings\AutoUpdate. This section contains three values that can be set to disable an automatic check for update:
The InitialCheck is set to true. This indicates it has already happened. The NextCheckDate is set to a large hexadecimal value that represents the number of seconds since midnight on January 1, 1971. This large number means that the next check for updates will happen in the distant future, at least 10 years from now. The DoNotShowAgain capability disables the check for updates. The DoNotShowAgain does not exist by default and must be created. InitialCheck and NextCheckDate are not normally created until the first time the Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 is run. So they too should be created by a preemptive install process.
To disable manual updates via the Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 UI:
The standard installation for Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 includes a file, menubar_exe.htm, that can be found in the C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Autodesk DWF Viewer\EComposite folder. Lines 541 through 544 look like:
helpMenu.add( helpUpdateMenu );
helpUpdateMenu.mnemonic = _helpUpdateMenuM;
helpUpdateMenu.disabled = false;
Changing line 544 to:
helpUpdateMenu.disabled = true;
disables the "Check for Updates..." UI element of Autodesk DWF Viewer. The item is not removed from the pull down menu - only disabled. Curious users will not be able to determine if a new release of the Autodesk DWF Viewer is available.
To disable registration via the Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 UI:
Lines 536 through 539 of menubar_exe.htm look like:
helpMenu.add( helpRegisterMenu );
helpRegisterMenu.mnemonic = _helpRegisterMenuM;
helpRegisterMenu.disabled = false;
Changing line 539 to:
helpRegisterMenu.disabled = true;
disables the ability of a user to register with Autodesk. As with the "Check for Updates..." item, the "Register..." item is not removed from the pull down menu - only disabled.
Applying these changes across the company ensures that computers will remain with Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0 even when newer versions are released. The changes outlined in this blog article are applicable to Autodesk DWF Viewer 7.0. The approach to disabling updates for future Autodesk DWF Viewer releases may be different. Any unanticipated side-effects as a result of these changes should not be reported as defects. The ability to control changes to software for viewing of design data allows DWF to be integrated into company-wide workflows that go beyond what can be done with plain paper.