InFlow Empowering leading product developers & manufacturers to control the data that defines their organization, utilizing our team of dedicated industry advisors and delivering practical solutions. Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:11:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 InFlow 32 32 120006925 DriveWorks 15 Now Available Fri, 07 Apr 2017 04:35:41 +0000 We are proud to announce that DriveWorks 15 Pro and Solo are now officially available to download from the DriveWorks website. If you are not registered on the site already, let your reseller know and they should be able to send the new installation files over. Each reseller should have a copy of their customers new DriveWorks 15 license codes, so make sure that you request those as well!

Below are some of the new features and frequently asked questions provided by the DriveWorks team relating to the new release:

We have singled out a few of the enhancements / new features below:

• Getting Started – Enhanced Installer and Today Screen
• Configurable 3D models – for use in the application and on the web
• Diagnostics – Specification Rules Profile to allow real time analytics of rule evaluation
• New Generation Tasks and Generation Task Conditions
• Spec host control, load balancing and much more

The ONLINE Help has been updated for DriveWorks 15 and together with the information below should give you everything you need to get started with this latest release.

Online Help DriveWorks Pro

Online Help DriveWorks Solo

1. Will DriveWorks Ltd be hosting a ‘What’s NEW’ Webinar?

YES – There will be 3 x sessions as part of our regular Tech Team Thursday Webinar series– the dates on Thursday April 13th, 20th and 27rd – 2017.

You can sign up in the Community. Click here >>

2. Is DriveWorks Pro 15 available to download?

YES – It is available for DriveWorks Customers on Subscription Support and DriveWorks Resellers to download from the DriveWorks Community.

You will need your User Name and Password.

3. I don’t have a Community login or I have lost/forgotten my password

Don’t worry! – Just go to the login page for the DriveWorks Community

© DriveWorks Ltd. All rights reserved

You can Create an Account or you can Reset your Password.

Click the link Request New Password. Enter your email details then check your email. If you do not receive an email within 15 minutes please contact us –

4. Do DriveWorks Resellers need a NEW code for 15?

Yes – We have created codes for all reseller AEs already registered with us. If you do not have DriveWorks codes for demonstrating DriveWorks and would like them please contact

5. Do DriveWorks Pro Users need a NEW code for 15?

Yes – We are sending NEW codes out to all customers with an active subscription contract. The codes will be sent to your reseller who will then send them on to you.
If you believe that you are entitled to codes and do not receive them by 15th April 2017, please contact your DriveWorks reseller.

We generate codes for every new release as a value add to allow you test out the new functionality BEFORE updating to the new release in your production/live environment.

6. Are there any Pre-Requisites for DriveWorks Pro 15?

YES – this information is in the updated HELP file. You will find the full file online here.

7. I have earlier versions of DriveWorks Pro on my machine, can I still run DriveWorks 15?

YES – Please see the Online Help file for details.

NOTE – You should only have one DriveWorks add-in active inside SolidWorks at any time.

8. Can I use the new version with the customizations made to my existing DriveWorks Live theme?

The DriveWorks Online help file contains information that will assist with migrating your customizations to the new version.

9. I have earlier versions of DriveWorks Solo on my machine, can I run DriveWorks 15 alongside?

No – You will need to make sure that DriveWorks Solo and DriveWorks Pro are the same major version and the same service pack.

10. How do I run my older projects in DriveWorks 15?

You will find information in the Online HELP file.

11. Are there any Release Notes for DriveWorks Pro 15?

YES – We have produced extensive Release Notes. A copy is available inside the product in the HELP file and also in the DriveWorks Community.

12. Is HELP included with DriveWorks 15?

YES – product documentation has been updated for DriveWorks 15. Click on HELP or F1 in the product or visit: DriveWorks Pro or DriveWorks Solo.

13. What if I cannot find the answer to my Technical Question in the HELP file?

Resellers – please contact DriveWorks Technical Team to open a Support ticket. This will help us provide a prompt and relevant response.

Customers – please contact your DriveWorks Reseller for a prompt local response.

Please always remember to clearly state which product you are requesting support for i.e. DriveWorks Pro Administrator 15, DriveWorks Pro Live 15 etc., your SOLIDWORKS version and Microsoft Windows details.

14. What if I have a Sales/Product related Question?

Please email

15. Can I upgrade a DriveWorks Solo project to DriveWorks Pro 15?

YES – DriveWorks Solo is a subset of the DriveWorks technology and uses the DriveWorks Rules Engine – it is easy to migrate a DriveWorks Solo project. Simply open DriveWorks 15, click NEW project and select the option to import a DriveWorks Solo project.

16. Do you have any DriveWorks Solo sample projects that I can use to get started in DriveWorks Pro 15?

Yes – you can download the sample projects from the DriveWorks website. Click here for sample projects.

17. Which DriveWorks Modules make up DriveWorks Pro?

Remember – DriveWorks Pro has individual Software Modules to suit who is using the configurator and what they need to be able to do. When you upgrade your DriveWorks software to DriveWorks 15 you will need to update all the modules you have.

• DriveWorks Administrator
• DriveWorks User
• DriveWorks Autopilot
• DriveWorks Live
• DriveWorks Pro Server (Free Tool for connecting Groups)

For DriveWorks 15 we have updated the Installer and you will find more information about each of the modules as you step through the installation process.

18. Is there a new Training Manual for DriveWorks Pro 15?

Yes – It is available in the DriveWorks Community.

19. What is the best way of getting up to speed with 15?

Watch the ‘What’s New’ Webinars, download the software and go through the Release Notes.

20. When will DriveWorks Pro 15 be available?

All NEW licenses sold are now DriveWorks 15.

DriveWorks 15 is available now for EXISTING DriveWorks Resellers and DriveWorks customers on Subscription.

Have any questions or thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

The InFlow DriveWorks Technical Team


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SOLIDWORKS: Administrative Image Installation Troubleshooting Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:00:48 +0000 Utilizing administrative image installation for a system administrator can allow you to customize multiple installations and deploy the installation to all clients with one command, which allows all users to have the same install and setup. This can make the admin install process significantly easier and provide uniformity throughout the company.

However, as you can imagine, there are several steps that need to be perfected for this process to work and to be deployed to all users. In the unlikely event that you encounter a snag while doing your own administrative image installation, here are a few recommended decisions to help get you and your team back up and running quicker.

C:\Users\tsanelli\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCacheContent.Word\Admin Image.png

Decision Tree:



Tony Sanelli
PLM Support Engineer
Inflow Technology

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SOLIDWORKS: PDM Overwrite Latest Version Option – New in 2017 Sun, 02 Apr 2017 13:13:05 +0000 PDM Overwrite Latest Version Option

In the 2017 release of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional and Standard, a new feature was added to allow users to replace previous versions of documents in the vault. When a user checks in a file, they can choose the “Overwrite Latest Version” option when checking in the file.

The benefits:

  1. Cut down on all the versions that get stored in the archive as users are checking in their files each day.
  2. Give a power user the ability to fix a “non-critical” issue on a document without pushing the file through a state change or revision change.
  3. Allow users to change “common parts” in your vault without forcing updates of all the assemblies

When the user checks in the file, he/she will see a new column added:

Overwrite Latest Version Check In
Overwrite Latest Version Check In


Overwrite Latest Version

The version will be replaced and a note will be written into the history.

Overwrite Latest Version History

Overwrite Latest Version History

Once the file is overwritten, there is no way to rollback. So be careful to not give this power to users who will abuse it. The good news…permission for overwrite is available at the folder and state level. As an administrator, you can set up your workflow to allow overwrite in the WIP state, but not in other (more critical) states. You could give users the rights to overwrite in your projects folders (where iterations are not as critical) and not allow the rights in your product folders.

PDM Folder Permission

Overwrite Latest Version Folder Permission
Overwrite Latest Version Folder Permission

PDM State Permission

Overwrite Latest Version State Permission
Overwrite Latest Version State Permission

By default, this permission is not checked for the users when you upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017. Try it out, but make sure to use this power wisely. For more information, reach out to us at InFlow Technology.


Justin Webster
InFlow Technology

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SOLIDWORKS: Filtering Configurations with Enovia 2016X Thu, 30 Mar 2017 20:56:11 +0000 SOLIDWORKS configurations play a huge role in the way that many companies use the software. When it some to configurations, some companies will choose to use each configuration as a separate part number, while others choose to use the “one file, one part” methodology. No matter which method is in use in you company, you are most likely using configurations in some way, shape, or form. Even users that don’t consider configs as separate parts will most likely use them for simplified representation, alternate position, or one of the other thousands of uses. If your still telling yourself that you don’t use configurations at all, go ahead and create a sheet metal part; you’ll get those configs without even knowing it.

So where am I going with this? Well Enovia, if configured out of the box, will create a single part instance for each of these configurations. These instances are the basis for separate parts in the system. The big question is why do I need or want separate instances (part numbers) for each of my simplified rep, flat patterns, ect. The simple answer is you don’t, there is no need. Let’s look at how to tell Enovia that under some circumstances it can just ignore them.

Enovia Configurations

The object that we are going to look at is in the config for the SOLIDWORKS connector. Its type is “SolidWorksInteg-GlobalConfig” and the name should be “SWNewArch”. To get to it, we need to use the matrix.exe executable, and I find that the easiest search in matrix will be to search for *Arch*.

SolidWorks Configurations

Edit the attributes from the right click menu or select the “Attributes” from the toolbar.

The attribute in this object that we are looking for is “SLW-ConfigurationFilter”.

We are going to add a couple of lines to the “SLW-ConfigurationFilter” attribute. The syntax that we are going to us looks like this:

extension|exclude pattern|include – Extension would be SLDPRT and SLDASM.

An example would look something like this:

SOLIDWORKS Configurations Example 1


This example would take any part checked in to the system and exclude all the configurations, except for the include of any configuration that starts with “Default”.

SOLIDWORKS Configurations Example 2


This example would take any part or assembly checked into the system and exclude all configurations except for the inclusion of any configuration that is named “Default” or starts with the prefix “PN”.

SOLIDWORKS Configurations Example 3


This example would act on all parts and assemblies that are checked into the system and include all SolidWorks Configurations except for any configuration containing “simple” in the configuration name.

The configuration of this option in the system goes hand in hand with a few other options that work together to form the basis of your part numbering scheme. We will talk about some of the other options in upcoming blogs.

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SOLIDWORKS PDM 101: Content Search – Explore Inside Your Files Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:00:12 +0000 Content search is a feature that has been available in SOLIDWORKS PDM for many years. It was on a brief hiatus when Windows Server dropped support for the key feature that made content search possible. Well, its back with Windows Server 2012 and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional!

If you are new to content search, this feature allows your PDM users to search within the text of files stored in the system. For example, if you search for the phrase “Critical Change”, all files with that text anywhere in the document will be returned. This can be very useful if you have a lot of files that do not have metadata to search on (custom properties or attributes like description, title, etc.).

There are a few things you need to know before making content search a reality in your PDM system:

You will need to:

1. Enable Indexing on the PDM Server

2. Install an iFilter for each file type you wish to include in the index

3. Add a content search option to your search card(s) in PDM

We will cover each of these below.

Enabling Indexing

Everything you need to know about enabling indexing can be found in the PDM Install guide. There is a dedicated section just to configuring content search. The first thing that I should mention is that Microsoft no longer calls this feature indexing, it is now called the “Windows Search Service”. In the end, it produces the same result, and index or catalog of all the content to be searched. The steps required vary based on the host machines OS and where the Archive and Database are located. To get the instructions, refer to the installation guide, which can be found here: ‘<Install Directory>\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS PDM\Lang\GB’. Check out section 9 in the 2017 release.

In General, you will: Add the Windows Search Service via the server manager:

Enable indexing in the PDM administration tool:

Add the archive folder path to the index:

Once these steps are completed, the service will start scanning your archive and build the index.

Install an iFilter

Index filters (iFilters) are what enable the content of certain files to be indexed. PDM comes with a hand full of iFilters ready for use. These are added as part of the installation and do not need any extra setup. They are: Microsoft Office, HTML, MIME, Text, & SOLIDWORKS. If you wish to include other file types, like AutoCAD or PDF’s, you will need to install iFilters that support those file types. This often requires the install of the documents program. For Example, to add content search for DWG’s, you just install a full version of AutoCAD on the machine (Pro tip: this does not require the software to be licensed, just installed). Index filters can often be downloaded from the various vendors, such as the Adobe PDF iFilter 64 or the Foxit PDF IFilter for searching the content of PDF files. Many can be found free of charge. Once a new iFilter has been added, the index will need to be rebuilt before the search will return existing files. Any new files added after the iFilter is installed will automatically be added to the index at check-in.

If you want to know what files are part of the index, open the advanced window in the Indexing Options. There will be many file types listed. The only files that will used by the content search are those with “Index Properties and File Contents” option selected.

Add content search to search cards

This final step will allow you to take advantage of all the new data you are collecting about your files. This is also the easiest part, since it is already included on the “Complete” search card. You can copy these controls to other cards as needed.

If everything is working properly, this tab will allow you to find all that content. If you receive this message:

Indexing is not working and will need some troubleshooting. If everything is functioning you should see results like this:

Let us know how enabling content search in PDM has helped you find the answers to your search questions in the comments below.


Ryan Dally

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DriveWorks Pro 15 What’s New: Installation Wizard Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:00:03 +0000 Fresh back from DriveWorks World 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, we are excited to have a lot of new information to share with everyone regarding what is new inside of DriveWorks 15, along with some other really helpful tips and tricks. The team at DriveWorks did an absolutely fantastic job with this event and everyone who was able to attend was able to come home not only with more knowledge, but some experiences to go along with it! Click on the video below to see a recap video of day 1 at DriveWorks World 2017 and then continue on to see the first of many new features!

I think that the first new enhancement that deserves some recognition should also be the first thing that you see when working with DriveWorks 15: the installation wizard! The 15 release has an entirely new look and feel to it that will hopefully make what was once a very easy installation process even easier. Below is a visual comparison between the old installation manager and the new.

The DriveWorks 14 Installation Wizard

The DriveWorks 15 Installation Wizard

As you can see, while the installation manager for 14 and prior works absolutely fine, they’ve moved away from the old windows design and on to something a bit more fresh. When starting the installation wizard, there are a few helpful links to ensure that you are using the latest and greatest software.

Next you are able to choose the productions that you would like to install individually, but they have also given everyone a nice option to select everything to install, which in reality may not seem like much, but for those who administer the software installation can attest to is that anything you can do to remove a “click” is worth it!

Finally, as the installation kicks off, they have provided some very helpful links to explore while you wait, giving you the options to dive into the DriveWorks community forum, find training for specific modules and even look at the help file for what may be new.

So, the installation manager has gotten a nice visual overhaul along with some neat enhancements to make sure that you have everything that you need. If during the installation process you have any additional questions, please contact your DriveWorks reseller for additional assistance. Let us know what you think of the new installation process in the comments below!


– The InFlow Technology DriveWorks Technical Team

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Self Upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:29:17 +0000 If you choose to self upgrade your SOLIDWORKS PDM Products there are a few things that are commonly missed and some fundamentals that should be considered for healthy system and minimal downtime.  Also don’t forget to check the SOLIDWORKS PDM System Requirements!

1) SOLIDWORKS PDM Products are highly configurable to suite many types of business and company practices. This can make upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM to a new version of software less than intuitive.

2) Each Version can introduce new challenges or practices. Make sure your Installation guide and reference material is up to date. The Whats New guide for PDM Standard and PDM Pro can help you understand new features or developments for each new version of the software being applied.

These guides will typically be in your installation Files folder: Support\Guides\GB (This is English).

Or the current version is in your installation folder, typically C:\program files\solidworks pdm\lan\GB.

3) Your environment is a big factor to consider when upgrading. Operating systems, clients and companion Software must maintain compatibility with newly installed software and features.

Setting Expectations for Upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM

Attempting a self upgrade of SOLIDWORKS PDM is more complex than upgrading a typical application.

  1. First, this is a project with multiple facets and it may impact and require several types of expertise to bring to fruition. Engineering, Information Systems and your user community are typical stakeholders and task owners in the effort. A staff member attempting this solo can often be outside their comfort zone in one or more aspects of the work. Make sure to leverage the help from your VAR support with up front questions or concerns going in. A 15 minute conversation or a reference document can go a long way to avoiding pitfalls or delays.
  2. Second, this is not an intuitive process. What your VAR partners can complete in a few hours as a result of training and experience, may take the first timer many hours and a great deal of patience to navigate the learning curve. Preparation and planning is paramount and especially for first timers.

Risks Associated with Self Upgrade

Like any project, risk management is essential when self upgrading SOLIDWORKS PDM. Upgrading can encompass several different options based on your needs and installation. The least risky upgrade is moving to a new service pack for a given version of SOLIDWORKS PDM (i.e. 2017 sp 1.0 to sp 2.0). Other needs or Installation options can greatly increase the complexity and risk. Replication, server moves, storage changes, are a few of the types of activities that can make self upgrading a more risky project.

In these instances, I would urge first timers to Explore Var assisted options to reduce risk and accelerate the learning curve. Here are some of the undesirable results that upgrading makes you susceptible to.

  1. Systems are subject to downtime or information loss related to learning curves
  2. Opportunity costs related to lengthy downtimes can push out projects and interrupt operations
  3. Loss of information can strain staff and create redundant effort.

High Level Best Practices

  1. Upgrade your SOLIDWORKS Network License Manager and validate any new or invalid licenses right away. This will give you some time to resolve any license issues with SOLIDWORKS prior to launch day.
  2. Download software (full set of files Option) from Do not use disks unless you are comfortable upgrading to service pack zero. A full download of install files will currently look like this. It is not recommended to run the SOLIDWORKS installation manager for server upgrades.

Upgrading Solidworks PDM

  1. (Optional) Create a Test Environment and perform User, Administrator and IT (if appropriate) Validation.
  2. Prior to performing the upgrade, ensure users check in all files and then disable login/services make the PDM system Backups. SQL Databases, Archive Files and backup.dat (archive configuration tool).
  3. Go Live: Upgrade Your Server Application.
  4. Go Live: Upgrade Your Databases with Upgrade.exe from your installation files.
  5. Go Live: Upgrade Your Add-ins or customization.
  6. Go Live: Enable logins/services and make any new setting or Permission Changes.
  7. Go Live: Upgrade the toolbox on the first Solidworks client to upgrade if applicable.

Deciding on a Test Environment for a SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade

Consider creating a Test environment with the new software that mimics your production environment when upgraded. This will give you an opportunity to perform tests to see how changes impact your users and what technical issues you may experience in your customization and environment. This step is more critical the more users you have and the more you need to minimize risk.

This step requires considerable knowledge and experience with SOLIDWORKS PDM but can be crucial to minimizing risks when moving servers, jumping a few software versions or managing user expectations and needs.

Preparation and reference Material

Ensure system prerequisites and application compatibilities. All new PDM products require 64 bit operating systems for clients and servers for example. Currently .net 3.5 and 4.5 is a required prerequisite on any machine running PDM software.

You will want to check your other software for compatibility with your new SOLIDWORKS version like Pro/E, Inventor, MS Office, etc. These things are documented in a few places outside of the installation guide mentioned previously.

Ask us if you need help accessing a reference item or get stuck on a specific activity.

SOLIDWORKS PDM System Requirements

CAD Compatibility Matrix (sample of pdf)

Upgrading Solidworks PDM


Terry Griffith
Inflow Technology


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What’s New in ENOVIA 2017X Platform Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:41:36 +0000 ENOVIA 2017X Platform – What’s New

Apart from the standard platform components that were part of 2016x (3DSPACE, FED SEARCH, FTS, 3DPASSPORT, 3DDASHBOARD etc.), two new components have been introduced in 2017x.


Provides the ability for 3DEXPERIENCE platform members to interact with one another by liking content and adding comments to any item in the system. This is a mandatory module that needs to be installed.


Helps 3DEXPERIENCE platform members get timely updates about activities going on. It basically controls the notification message services. This is a optional module.

Azeem Saied
InFlow Technology

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InFlow Technology releases InFlow CONVERT for PDF Conversion Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:32:41 +0000 InFlow CONVERT for PDF Conversion

In January, InFlow Technology officially released our new PDF conversion tool for SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. The new application, called InFlow CONVERT, extends the capability of the out of the box PDF conversion tasks, with over 100 available source formats and improved scalability and performance.


Improved performance

InFlow CONVERT can send PDF publish requests to one of many configured “PDF Drones,” built to process hundreds of requests an hour. If your PDF conversions are not keeping up with demand, simply add more drones to improve the speed. The InFlow CONVERT command center will automatically determine which drone is available and send the request.

More file support

InFlow CONVERT supports PDF conversion of over 100 drawing and office file formats. Included are the common drawing files types, such as SOLIDWORKS SLDDRW, AutoCAD DWG, Inventor IDW, Microstation DGN, and others. In addition, InFlow CONVERT supports major office file types like Adobe Photoshop, Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Visio, Publisher, TXT, Email MSG, and image types like BMP, JPG, and GIF.

Tight Integration

InFlow CONVERT uses EDrawings Professional for PDF conversion, providing an exact match to the Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Many PDF converters use native SOLIDWORKS to create the PDF, which can lead to quality issues, as SOLIDWORKS can shift views or dimensions as the drawing is opened. InFlow CONVERT uses integrated EDrawings for SOLIDWORKS files, thus eliminating issues related to drawing rebuilds. What you see in PDM is what you will see on the PDF.

inflow labs 458x113

InFlow CONVERT is developed by the InFlow Labs team of software developers.  This team has developed hundreds of custom solutions for SOLIDWORKS PDM over the last 10 years.  Reach out to our team for your custom needs.

Justin Webster
InFlow Technology

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New: SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Database Replication – #SW2017 Fri, 18 Nov 2016 15:57:48 +0000 SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 now supports database replication which can be useful in high latency or high usage environments. This is only available in PDM Professional (and not PDM Standard) and requires Microsoft SQL Enterprise Edition 2012 or higher.

The way it works is by setting up secondary SQL server(s) that can assist a primary server with “read” type database requests which in turn reduces the load on the primary server. The primary server will still handle any read/write operations such as check ins/outs, workflow transitions, and datacard updates. The secondary servers will handle operations such as folder browsing, contains, where used, UI responsiveness, search, BOM, data card viewing, RMB on folder, reference trees in operation windows which will greatly improve performance in these areas.

Setup of data replication will be unique for each environment and are driven by the established PDM Groups. Groups can be assigned to a specific secondary database server along with the frequency that you want the secondary server to update. Again, this will be determined by the particular environment.

So whether you have a multi-site environment or even a single site environment with high usage, database replication may be something worth checking out.

I hope this part of the What’s New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017. Please check back at our InFlow Site where we will continue to blog about everything PDM 2017. Also please look at our CATI Blog as the CATI and MCAD Support Teams will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2017. All of these articles will be stored in the category of “SOLIDWORKS What’s New.” You can also learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2017 by clicking on the image below to register for one of CATI’s or MCAD’s Design Summits.

Jeff Barker

PLM Solutions – Team Leader


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