Recently we started getting reports from customers of our Pro/ENGINEER plug-ins that our plug-ins had suddenly stopped working after they updated their Pro/ENGINNER Wildfire 5.0 installations to Creo Elements/Pro 5.0 datecode M080. Upon investigation we found that the culprit was a simple version string that Creo Elements/Pro sends out to plug-ins when they initialize. Up until recently, the version string was “Wildfire 5.0”. In the rebranding exercise someone at PTC dropped the “Wildfire” and set the string to just “5.0”.
We use this version string to set the behavior of our plug-ins for different versions of Pro/ENGINEER. If our plug-ins cannot recognize the version string, they are designed to abort. Normally unless there is a change in compiler, future versions of CAD systems support older plug-ins. But after spending the last thirteen years developing plug-ins for CAD systems I have learned the hard way that it’s best to have QA verify that things work as they should before letting the code run on customer’s computers. My only hope is that when Creo reaches version 5.0, PTC sets the version string to something other than “5.0” otherwise my plug-ins won’t know if it is Wildfire 5.0 or Creo 5.0 and that will mess things up big time.
Today we fixed the problem, tested the plug-ins and uploaded the new installers. If you are our customer and have been affected by this issue go ahead and download the new installers from www.sycode.com. If you still face the problem or have any other issue please create a support ticket at our online support center.
This is pretty normal in the plug-in business. You need to continuously test your plug-ins with every service pack and update released by the CAD vendor. At Sycode we have nailed that process down to a science and are pretty proud of it. On their part, CAD vendors take all kinds of precautions to see that their updates don’t break plug-ins written by third party software developers. But sometimes things slip through the cracks. Then there is also the case where a bug in a plug-in crashes the CAD system and customers blame the CAD vendor for it. It’s all part of the game. 😉