Improving Sheet Set Manager Performance

Sheet Set Manager (SSM) Performance is influenced by several factors.

  • a slow network connection can have a significant (negative) impact on the performance of the SSM.
  • the more sheets you have in a sheet set (dst file), the more demand assigned to the network in order to refresh the sheet set.

The negative effect of these factors is compounded by the number of users accessing the SSM simultaneously, (each periodically refreshing the DST file), makes it easy to see how quickly performance can degrade. This can be especially apparent on multi-office projects where staff are accessing the SSM outside of local networks. 

So what options are available to increase SSM performance?

The list below outlines several options to increase SSM performance. 
  • Increase the SSMPOLLTIME system variable to lengthen the time between refreshes. The default refresh time is 60 seconds, but you can modify it to a maximum of 600 seconds (10 minutes). Note: The system variable, SSMSHEETSTATUS must be set to 2 for the timer to operate.
  • Turn off automatic refreshing of sheet sets completely by setting SSMSHEETSTATUS to 0 (in this case, refreshing must be done manually). Making this (or the previous) change for all users on a project may help minimize the amount of traffic to and from the DST file.
  • Disable SSMAUTOOPEN (set to 0) to prevent the automatic opening of a DST file when you load a SSM drawing.
  • Check how frequently 'FIELDS' are refreshed. If your sheets contain a lot of fields and they are refreshed often, this will negatively impact SSM performance. Check the FIELDEVAL system variable or the Options dialog box (User Preferences --> Field Update Settings) and adjust how often the fields are evaluated. The 'default' setting for FIELDEVAL is 31 (turns every option on for that variable).
  • Close the DST file if you are not using it. This is different from simply closing the SSM. You need to "right-click" the sheet set name at the root of the SSM tree (Sheet Set Manager Palette) and select "Close Sheet Set" from the shortcut menu.
  • Disable background publishing. Although the idea of printing in the background while you continue to work on drawings sounds like a great idea, it typically can severely impact performance. You can disable background publishing from the Options Dialog Box (Plot and Publish tab --> Background Processing Options --> clear/un-toggle the 'Enable Background Plot When Publishing' option). 

Is there an easier way to provide this for my staff?

Yes, you could create two buttons on a company tool palette that will aid in SSM Performance and make it easier for staff to apply the adjustments. These buttons could be similar to the example below:

1. SSM Configuration (Disable Automatic Features)

This button and respective code example (below) could be used when accessing a SSM project in another office or when performance issues are experienced. These settings will boost the SSM performance by disabling the system variables listed below. 

Button Code: 
  • SSMSHEETSTATUS is set to 0 (disabled automatic refreshing)
  • SSMAUTOOPEN is set to 0 (disable SSM automatic opening)
  • SSMSHEETSTATUS is set to 2 (enabled automatic refreshing by time interval set in SSMPOLLTIME)
  • SSMAUTOOPEN is set to 1 (enabled SSM automatic opening)
  • SSMPOLLTIME is set to 60 seconds (time interval per automatic refreshing of the SSM)
*** additional code could be added (as required)

2. SSM Configuration (Default Settings)

This button and respective code example (below) could be used when your SSM project is not experiencing performance issues (normal access) and is recommended as 'default' settings unless performance issues are apparent. 

Button Code:
  • SSMSHEETSTATUS is set to 2 (default AutoCAD setting, refresh the status data when the sheet set is loaded or updated; or at a time interval set by SSMPOLLTIME)
  • SSMAUTOOPEN is set to 1 (default AutoCAD setting, opens the Sheet Set Manager automatically)
  • SSMPOLLTIME is set to 60 seconds (default AutoCAD setting, ensures this system variable is set back to default in case a user has adjusted it when troubleshooting SSM access issues).
*** additional code could be added (as required)

Important: Be sure to reset the SSM to (Default Settings) once you have completed working on the SSM project that is experiencing performance issues.

Autodesk Knowledge Network – System Variables Reference Links