How to install Axiom MDL applications to a network

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In this article, you will learn how to install Axiom’s MDL tools to a network. This saves time when carrying out a site- or company-wide installation of Axiom’s tools, especially for sites where many MicroStation users will be using them. Also, this type of installation gives the CAD manager or IT department control over the usage of the software (like restricting who uses the each program and ensuring that the latest version of the software is installed throughout the network). Before we begin, here is a quick refresher of a couple of key terms:

MDL = MicroStation Development Language. MDL is based upon the C programming language with Bentley-specific additions for MicroStation. Most Axiom applications are implemented using MDL.

DLL = Dynamic Link Library. A DLL is a collection of small programs, any of which can be loaded into memory and run as needed to support another running program.

Prior to starting this installation, it’s a good idea to plan where on the network you want to install the Axiom product or products. Make sure that you have write access to modify that network location. It is not necessary to create an “Axiom” folder prior to installation, as there is a prompt to do so during the install. Also, this installation assumes that you have never installed an Axiom product on a local (client) machine before. If you have installed the product on a local machine before, remove it from its current local location before proceeding with the network installation.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this network installation, contact Axiom’s licensing department for help. Call 727-442-7774 or e-mail

Materials needed
To perform the network install, you will need the following: an Axiom product CD and a diskette labeled “Axiom License File”. You should have received these items from Axiom after you purchased your software. If you received your license file via e-mail, replace all instances of the “a:axiom.lic” in this how-to with the location where you saved your license file. If you don’t have both of these items, again, contact Axiom’s licensing department.

Base installation
Now we are ready to start. Here we go:

  1. Place the Axiom product CD in your CD drive and the license diskette in your floppy drive. Start MicroStation.
  2. From the MicroStation main menu bar, open the “MDL Applications” dialog box located under the “Utilities” menu. From the “MDL” dialog, click the <Browse…> button and specify the drive letter your product CD is in. For MicroStation 95, SE and J, select the ustnv7 directory in the CD and double click For MicroStation V8, select the ustnv8 directory and double click
  3. After selecting, your machine will scan through the products on the CD.
  4. Next, you will be prompted for the location of your Axiom license file. This file is located at a:axiom.lic.
  5. Click on <Next>.
  6. You will now see a list of Axiom products that can be installed. Products are highlighted when you have a license for them. You can install all of the highlighted products by clicking the <Next> button. If you wish to exclude a product, de-select it by holding down <Ctrl> and clicking it.
  7. Next, the Axiom “End-user License Agreement” window comes up. Read it and click on the <Accept> button to proceed.
  8. Next, a dialog box will pop up prompting you for the base Axiom installation directory – all Axiom applications will be installed in sub-directories under the directory you specify. Here is where you will want to specify the pre-established network location. Be sure to add “axiom” in the path. For example, if you want to install the products to the root of server drive “x” the directory you would want to specify would be “x:axiom”. With the correct path entered in the command line, click on the <OK> button to begin the installation.
  9. Once the products are installed, you will receive a “Successful installation” message. Click the <OK> button to close the window and MicroStation. This will finalize your installation.

This concludes the base installation.

System configurations
Now there are only a few steps left to allow other users to automatically access the programs from the network.

  1. During the initial installation, there are four “.DLL” files that get automatically copied to the Windows System folder of the machine which the installation was executed from. These files are: axilib.dll, aximdl.dll, axiomsys.dll and axireg.dll. These files need to be made accessible to other machines. So, go to your Windows System folder and copy these files and paste them into the Axiom base directory on the network.
  2. The Windows System folder’s location varies with each Windows version. Here are the typical locations:
    For Windows 98 go to c:WindowsSystem
    For Windows NT and 2000 go to c:WINNTSystem32
    For Windows XP go to c:WindowsSystem32

  3. Now, the configuration file called “axiom.cfg” which is created at MicroStation’s “application” level, needs to be added to every machine needing access to the products. The default location for this file is:
  4. For MicroStation SE and 95: c:WIN32APPconfigappl
    For MicroStation J: c:Bentleyprogrammicrostationconfigappl
    For MicroStation V8: c:Program filesBentleyprogrammicrostationconfigappl

When copying the “axiom.cfg” file to other machines, place it in the same directory as it was on the original machine. That is to say that if the file is being copied from the “c:WIN32APPconfigappl” directory on the original machine, it should be copied to that same directory in the new machine.

Now, your network installation is complete. Enjoy!

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