What’s New with the Product Installation Experience?

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Danny Polkinhorn March 1, 2021 3 min read

When you download and install an Autodesk product on your machine, we call that a “standalone” installation.  It could be either a download that you execute or an Install Now that downloads components as it’s installing others.  Let’s talk about some of the improvements we’ve made to make these types of installs faster, easier, and more reliable.  Click here for a recap of how we got here and how we make decisions.  

How is it Faster?

We have heard that our installs are too big and take too long to install, having a direct impact on how long it takes for you to get up and running with a product.  For Install Now, Downloads occur much faster as we’re using parallel streams to download, meaning that we’re downloading multiple items at the same time.  This maximizes your available bandwidth so that the installation starts sooner.  We’ve been working with product teams to assess what’s in their old installers and determine how they want to optimize them.  One of the new features we’ve introduced is installing core products first, then adding optional functionality after the product has launched. 

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This allows you to run the product sooner, while installations are still happening to extensions, content, and other plugins.  We’ve also encouraged teams to reduce the size of their installers, separating as much from the core installer as possible and making it available separately.  This reduces both download and installation time. 

How is it Easier? 

When you start the install process, you will see a much simpler interface with fewer options than previous installers.  We have found that most of our customers don’t want a lot of options and just want to accept the defaults that product teams define.  They’re also confused about many of the options they see and don’t want to dig into how these configuration options change their installation.  To make it easier, we reduced the number of dialogs to get through before starting the installation, and at most you’ll see just 5.  Most of the product options that were part of the old installer are still available in-product, so you can still make configuration changes after install as you wish.  We have plans for a more custom installation experience for the smaller group of users who still want to configure products before installation. 

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How is it More Reliable? 

We have spent a great deal of effort to make sure our installations are more reliable than before, as well as gathering very detailed data about why installations are failing so we can fix them.  We are investing in better workflows to get you the information needed to address failures when they do occur, for example if you don’t have a required update of your operating system.  We’re continuing to make sure that uninstalls are also cleaner and we’ve been working with product teams on addressing those areas as well.  An “Uninstall Tool” is not something we feel our customers should need to uninstall a product properly.  It should just work. 

We hope that the standalone installation process is faster for you from download to starting the product, that it’s easier for you to configure, and that it’s vastly more reliable.  Getting out of the way of what you really need to do – designing and creating a better world – is our primary goal.