By Warren Baird on Jul 25, 2014
There are a number of factors that can influence the final performace that users get with AutoVue - but this post will focus on one of the most important items: Effective use of AutoVue's Streaming Files.
Streaming files are a long-standing feature of AutoVue (they were originally called 'metafiles', and you may still occasionally hear someone refer to them that way) - they are a single, self-contained file that contains a 'pre-processed' visual representation of a document, drawing or model, plus a collection of attribute data. The idea is that when AutoVue has read the native file(s) - for instance a Creo 2 assembly - it creates a streamlined form of the same data in a single file, that can be read much more quickly than the original data.
For large 3D models, loading from streaming file can have a huge impact on performance - we've seen Creo 2 assemblies that were over 2 gb in size, where the native data took about 1.5 hours to load in AutoVue (and over 10 hours to load in Creo 2) but from streaming file it loaded in AutoVue in around 2 minutes. This isn't necessarily typical, and for smaller assemblies you might "only" get a factor of 5-10x speed up - but it will still be a *very* substantial speed up. Non-3D formats will also often get a big boost from this as well, although the speed-ups may be more like 2-5x. PDF is an exception where you often will not see a major improvement, as well as raster formats like Tiff, and AutoVue does not generate streaming files for these formats out of the box.
If you are using AutoVue with Agile, you can configure pre-generation of streaming files for all models checked in through Engineering Collaboration - For other documents and drawings what will generally happen is that AutoVue will load from the native file the first time, and will save the Streaming file in Agile so that subsequent views are done from the streaming file.
To tell whether streaming files are in use is very easy - just go the the 'File->Properties' menu item - at the bottom of the 'File Properties' tab you will see it say "Loaded From Streaming File" if a streaming file was used for the current session.
Ensuring that streaming files are properly configured is one of the best ways to get a quick performance boost for users of AutoVue.
I'll talk about other aspects of performance in future posts. Until then - if you have specific questions around performance or any other topic, just let us know in the comments section below!