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NX Continuous Release F.A.Q

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

We've had many questions surrounding NX Continuous Release. We've established a F.A.Q that hopefully answers your questions. Please see below for a list of question and answers.


NX Continuous Release | Frequently Asked Questions                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Siemens will become the first major CAD/CAM/CAE vendor to deliver its software using Continuous Release methodology in January 2019. Below are some frequently asked questions about what customer can expect moving forward with NX Continuous Release and what it means for Simcenter 3D.


Q: Why are we introducing Continuous Release?

A: In our regular Voice of the Customer survey our NX customers tell us that they want faster turnaround of product enhancements while maintaining our high quality levels.  The new Continuous Release process will significantly reduce the time between the proposal of a new enhancement, and its deployment to the end users. Customers will now have the opportunity to deploy the latest NX productivity enhancements more quickly in their production environment which helps them become more productive when using NX.  In addition the Continuous Release will also reduce deployment costs for incremental updates.

Adopting a continuous release strategy also allows both Siemens NX and our customers to be more responsive to new ideas and trends in technology, once again allowing our customers to stay ahead of their competition.


Q: What problem will Continuous Release address?

A: On average, customers in the PLM industry take at least 3 years to deploy PLM-specific software updates, which means they are not benefitting from hundreds of enhancements and fixes. With Continuous Release customers will have an opportunity to realize our latest advancements in production environment without delay.


Q: How will customers benefit from this new Continuous Release strategy?

A: With Continuous Release, customers can now leverage new functionality in their production environment more quickly while reducing the cost of deployment and upgrading. They will also benefit from a tighter feedback loop back to Siemens PLM Software, as well as an increase in responsiveness to new ideas and trends.


Q: What gives Siemens PLM confidence that Continuous Release will be successful?

A: Over the last few years, customers increasingly have begun adopting regular monthly Maintenance Pack releases which has reduced the number of customer specific hot-fixes. This demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on protecting customer investment is being recognized and that every NX  and Simcenter 3D release is customer deployment ready. With continuous release, Siemens will continue to improve the upgrade process through quality, product improvements with a focus on protecting customer data.


Q: What are the key concepts for Continuous Release strategy?

A: Built on a modern architecture, the NX platform will enable accelerated releases with step-wise enhancements and maintenance that focus on providing new and improved utilities along with process guidance while making it easier for customers to upgrade


Q: What are the key changes customers should expect with this new Continuous Release?

A: Customers in Continuous Release mode will see monthly update releases, with major enhancement releases approximately every 6 months.  The monthly updates will be for fixes and a small number of high priority projects. There will be no schema and compatibility related changes in monthly updates.


Q: Will the NX support model change in this new Continuous Release mode?

A: Yes, the vision is to have a single release stream. This means that any fix or enhancement will be made only in the latest update released. We are driving in this direction so that we can concentrate all of our development and test effort on the more frequent enhancement and monthly releases, and not to dilute the value of taking the latest update release.


Q: Is the traditional NX release numbering changing with the Continuous Release?

A: Yes, with Continuous Release the vision is to remove the focus on release numbering as the ‘decoder ring’ from the mindset of customer in terms of perceived quality and deployment readiness. Each new release is purely “NX”.


Q: Who is the target market for Continuous Release and when will it be introduced?

A: All users, ranging from single seat customers through to large enterprises with or without configurations, customizations and integrations will benefit from our new Continuous Release approach which will be introduced in January 2019.


Q: Customers have a number of add-on products that are separate downloads, will they be compatible with the new continuous release approach?

A: We will share early builds with our partners to enable them time to ensure compatibility. This early build process will be rolled out in coming months to allow our partners time to be ready for the launch in Jan 2019.


Q: Some customers are happy with the current process, why change?

A: Our goal is to make customers as productive as possible with little to no additional cost. This new process as compared to the current process will allow new features and capabilities to be delivered more frequently and more economical.


Q: Will Continuous Release affect Beta testing and/or the ability to preview and test early builds?

A: With Continuous Release, we will be looking at ways to make it easier for customers to participate in early Beta testing events and to download and test early builds.


Q: Will the new Continuous Process impact existing NX licensing process?

A: Customers with a perpetual licensing model will be able to continue using their existing license request, procurement and install process. 


Q: How will NX Continuous Release impact integrations with Teamcenter and Active Workspace from version compatibility perspective?

A: Continuous Release will incorporate new development practices that will remove the need to upgrade currently supported versions of Teamcenter and Active Workspace when updating NX.


Q: Will the new Continuous Release process impact the traditional NX or Simcenter 3D download and install process?

A: Customers will still have the option to use their existing GTAC process of downloading updates and enhancements to NX and Simcenter 3D. As soon as an update is released under this new Continuous Release process, it will be available on GTAC for customers to download.


Q: Currently I can “roll back” from a point release (from 11.0.2 to 11.0.1 for example) and my data is still compatible, how will this work in the new process?

A: With Continuous Release customers will still have the ability to “roll back” as they do today, however, we will be introducing some validation checks and policies on how far customers can roll back to prevent any compatibility issues.


Q: How will Continuous Release impact customer-specific NXOpen customizations?

A: API reports will be published with information on what has changed, as well as tools that can be used to generate a report on how the incoming update will impact customer-specific NXOpen customizations.


Q: How will Continuous Release impact customer specific NX configurations?

A: An easy out-of-the-box solution will be delivered as part of the upgrade to preserve all NX configurations automatically during the update. For the most important business-critical NX configuration planning and deployment, reports on what's changed will be published along with tools that can be used to generate a report on the impact the incoming update will have on customer-specific configurations.


Q: Will NX documentation be kept up-to-date in this new Continuous Release mode?

A: NX documentation and the What’s New guide will become more valuable with this new Continuous Release model. They will be restructured to enable customers to plan for and accept incoming NX updates.


Q: Which applications will be included in the new Continuous Release process??

A: Both NX and NX CAM will be updated through the new Continuous Release methodology. See further in this Q&A on what it means for Simcenter 3D.


Q: How do I keep NX up to date?

A: The best way to keep your NX up to date is to turn on automatic updates. With automatic updates, customers do not have to search for updates online and will not miss critical fixes. The NX Update mechanism will automatically notify and installs important updates as they become available.


Q: Will it still be possible to run multiple different releases on the same hardware as today?

A: Yes, it will be possible to run multiple versions of NX side-by-side, but only one version will be compatible with the automatic updates. It will be customer’s responsibility to install and maintain NX versions that are not current and automatically updated.


Q: How much time is needed to download NX updates to my workstation?

A: The time required to download NX updates primarily depends on connection speed, network settings, and the size of the update. Make sure the workstation is plugged in and connected to the Internet to download and install updates faster.


Q: What does the NX Continuous Release strategy mean for Simcenter 3D?

A: Simcenter 3D and NX continue to be fully integrated and fully interoperable with the NX Continuous Release deployment. This means that Simcenter 3D and NX releases and respective release mechanisms will remain fully synchronized and integrated.


However Simcenter 3D major releases (which provide major new functional contents) will move to a 6 months release schedule starting January 2019. This means that intermediate NX releases will only include quality releases for Simcenter 3D (= only PR fixes) and exceptionally some minor enhancements.


The NX Continuous Release mechanism will thus benefit combined NX – Simcenter 3D customers with faster access to quality improvements for both NX and Simcenter 3D 


The NX Continuous Release strategy thus sustains full NX – Simcenter 3D integration and interoperability.

Solution Partner Genius

NX has typically allowed reverse compatibility within a major release. Parts designed in NX10.0.3 can be opened in NX10.0.1 but not in NX9.0.X. And of course, I can open this part in NX11.0.x. This lets me jump to the 0.3 release ASAP as a designer and still allows an outside shop to lag behind. How will continuous release handle this? If I adopt continuous release in my orgainization and I've bumped up to the second major release in 2019 (June/July 2019), can the part be opened by the previous version of NX released Jan 2019 (NX version 1847)?


Reverse the perspective. As an NX CAM job shop, do I have to maintain continuous release to stay with the latest version of NX in order to support anyting that comes in the door regardles of NX version?

Siemens Phenom

Hi @martinm,


The FAQ says:

"With Continuous Release customers will still have the ability to “roll back” as they do today, however, we will be introducing some validation checks and policies on how far customers can roll back to prevent any compatibility issues."


As schema changes will only be made in a functional update, which will be available every 6 months, I expect that the data will be compatible to all minor monthly updates delivered in this 6 months timeframe. Updating to a higher functional release may or may not break downstream compatibility to the prior functional release. It is dependent on what is being changed in the system and may even be dependent on what features you used in your parts...

I expect we all need to stay tuned on this one. Still some time to go. But I'm happy communication to the field is done that early so customers have time to prepare. 




Siemens, please be realistic and have a look at this article, which is about Microsoft and their Windows 10 strategy about continuous releases:

I am afraid the cost to maintain your upgrade tempo will only increase instead of decrease...

Gears Esteemed Contributor

Will there be a notice before/after the update happens?

I might want to save a copy of the install folder to "freeze" that version/release, before the update happens...

Valued Contributor

JCRP, its just natural that when u got updates and if you dont update your hardware in a while you maybe need to upgrade it.

as software envolves hardware also does. Continuous Release is a must have in my opinion, when you want to deliver good product in short time and ez way taking advantage of all comands and technology.

didnt saw any disadvantage on the w10 Continuous release (only if you got a 15year old computer) on the contrary i just see a lot of advantages (if you manage it corretly )
ps. dont want to "hurt feelings" just debate a subject


Romealanuario, thanks for sharing your thoughts about Continuous Releases! I really hope the advantages will be bigger than the disadvantages. If you have a lot of customization running as well as interfacing to other systems (Teamcenter, ERP, sales configurator, ...), then Continuous Releases can be a very delicate affair and one must be very careful with it. While writing this, I think that the openness of NX is a bit in conflict with Continuous Releases. The openness results in the possibility to set up customization and interfacing to other systems. If continuous releases makes a change in the way NX communicates with the outside world (other systems), this has consequences for the customization and interfacing and this can cause extra costs for admins and software engineers. As far as I understand it, the article about windows 10 releases form Gartner I referred to is mainly about that aspect.

Siemens Phenom


Yes, the updater includes a notification mechanism for available downloads, download progress, and allows you to control when the update will take place. I do not think you will be able to work with NX while the actual file changes takes place.

And, you do not have to use automatic updates. You can do manual installs as today.



Continuous releases is not in conflict with openness. It does not dictate WHAT technologies or interfaces will be inplemented in NX. But it changes the way WHEN changes can happen. As new technologies emerge faster than ever today (and I guess this trend is ongoing) it is even an enabler to implement new technologies faster than before.


But yes, if you update your NX installation every 30 months (2 traditional NX release cycles), you need to verify our NX Open customizations only once in 30 months, too. With continuous releases, API changes can happen more often. Therefore, a tool will be provided to analyze your customizations and find if there is any deprecated functionality used. And there will also be a policy in place about support of NX Open legacy calls/classes, so you may not even need to analyze your customizations with every functional release.

A bit more information has been provided along with the beta test.


By the way, Siemens is first supplier of complete design-to-manufacture software to certify with the international Code of PLM Openness. Read this press release and see this article if you are interested.


Hope that helps.


Guys, maybe I overread it, but what happens if you are still on NX9? Does this change also from NX9 on automatically or do we need a special license to get this continuous release? Thank you!

Siemens Phenom

Hello @FranzS,


For NX 9.0 nothing will change. You will simply just have to upgrade to NX  "Continues Release", in the same way as you would have as with upgrading to i.e. NX 12.0.

You just need your latest license file, with the correct version in it (if you have active maintenance, you should receive this, when the next version of NX is released), from there onward you can use the automatic update option.

So at least for this one time, you will still need to upgrade yourself. it will not be pushed automatically.


Kind regards,



How would this work in a regulated industry where software tools must be validated?

Gears Esteemed Contributor

Just disable automatic updates and update manually as you have done before.


How is this going to be documented?  Say I have a customer on continuous release, then I am on a newer update version, how Can I query compatibility between the two systems?  There has to a be release version, revision, update version or something?  What happens if a show stopper gets pushed out,  I have saw it at least one time in the NX11.0 or NX12.0 release where Siemens actually had to recall an update.   What happens?  

To uninstall NX it takes a long time, what is the time delta on a roll back change if the a there is a huge issue that got pushed out?  If I need to roll back 100 computers where is this data stored?  Will it pulling the rollback off of the GTAC website or is this something that is stored on the local machine?  If so what is the new foot print of NX, will it now triple because we are storing all of this roll back data on the local machine?



Gears Esteemed Contributor

If I want to turn off continuous release automatic update, how is it done?

Customer default?

ENV variable?

Some other way?


My concern is that if it is a customer default, for our TC users, we can make sure they use the right one.  But if someone opens a native NX session (e.g. to do some Learning Advantage training) NX will not see that customer default, and NX will start upgrading itself...

Note we have several hundred NX users WORLDWIDE!  So I need a method that will work in the face of hundreds of users doing different things...


Edited to correct nomenclature ;-)

Gears Esteemed Contributor

It is no customer default and customer defaults are usually shared between native and managed NX.

If you install using the MSI package, automatic updates are enabled, if I remember correctly.

If you create an administrative install package, you can select to update or not, if I am not mistaken.

I have read this somewhere in the community, may be in the private EAP section.

Gears Esteemed Contributor

Stefan -

The issue with CDs is that when the users start NX from TC, the CDs are in a folder pointed to by UGII_SITE_DIR.

If they start NX "out of the box" (Windows "Start" menu -> Siemens NX -> whatever) UGII_SITE_DIR will not be defined.


If we can do an Administrative install, that should work...I just need to hope no one downloads & installs NX themselves!


(edited to remove some of the worst typos)

Gears Esteemed Contributor


I have set UGII_ENV_FILE at system level, so there is no possibility, that a user will start NX without our customization.

In addition software is deployed through software deployment and no regular user can install any software.

Siemens Phenom

Hi @Ken_A,


An administrator can disable Automatic updates in the customer defaults.

However, if customer defaults are bypassed (by whatever reason) NX needs the user authentication before downloading the updates (webkey). Which means: No webkey, no automatic update.


Additionally, continuous release and automatic updates are two terms that are often mixed up. Continuous releases describes the way how the software is developed and delivered (monthly updates, functional vs. quality updates...), but not how it is deployed at NX customers (automatic update, manual update, traditional install)



Solution Partner Genius

Hi guys


I have some confusion in mind.


When you speak from NX Continuous Release you mean the new NX Release NX 1847?

NX CR = NX1847

Or just the methology how you handle the new updates and releases overall or just in the new NX1847?


Best regards

Winn Chelini

Gears Esteemed Contributor

The next release is "Siemens NX" and there is no version number included. You may recognize it as released in January 2019.

"Siemens NX" will be updated continuously, like Windows 10, so that is the continuous part of the confusion.


My concern about continuous releases is our environment. Our main CAM group share a common MACH dir, which we place out on the network. This allows all users to share the same Tool Libraries, Machines, Speed & Speeds, UDE's, Posts, Customized Templates, Methods, etc... If a users install gets updated before the common MACH dir is updated what kinds of problem might ensue? Updating our customizations when there have been updates in the past can take time. Checking that files we have modified are not effected by the current update. NX currently does not have utilities to scan for file modifications, they just over write the files. If they add a new tool type or parameter they could overwrite the tool_database.dat, holder_database.dat, part_materials.dat, as well as tool_materials.dat, cut_methods.dat, ude.cdl, (shop_docs), cam_general.opt, etc... They need have customization migration tools in place before users are just updated. What if the opposite happens. The MACH gets updated but not all users up to the same level?

Thanks Paul


I really do ask myself the same questions as pswartz. We have the complete resource folder in a central location asl well as some other standards and customizations in other folders. How will this be manageable when we have to upgrade continuously?


I you look at this as a customer, I think one must conclude that the maintenance frame is shortenend to 6 months. If you consider that upgrading NX for us takes about 1 year of preparation and 1 year of follow up actions, then you can see that we will never have the chance again to upgrade to an NX version which is still under maintenance. Why then should we continue to pay for it?

Gears Esteemed Contributor

In a cooperative environment I would never allow to update clients automatically, therefore I will turn off automatic updates in the customer defaults.

In addition one needs to have a valid full WebKey account at Siemens that allows downloading of software, which no regular user has, only administrative users do.

I will monitor the new distribution scheme for a year or so, to get a better feeling of how things work out.

In general the shorter periods for delivering new features to the customer should make excessive testing obsolete, since there are no longer so many changes that can break the software.

In addition, due to reducing the number of supported operating systems, the amount of developers used for NX should also increase reliability of the software.

Less changes => faster development => more time to test by development => increased stability and reliability => less maintenance by the customer. This is what I expect to see in the long term.


Why would you want to continuously up date, surely this would mean continuously training staff to use the new updates.
Also some of the updates that come out are just not user friendly and take longer to use.

My company uses what's called a "GM bundle" license, which has meant that we are a version behind the latest version of NX that we can use. We just recently began using NX 12 this month. Once we install and start using NX with continuous release about a year from now, how will our "GM bundle" license affect the NX updates? Will we be always be about a year behind on updates in order for our license to work?



I have version NX1851 installed and I saw that version NX1855 was available. But the button remain green.


I am wrong or do I have to open an IR ?

Software is up to date.jpg




Siemens Phenom

Hello Didier,


There is nothing wrong for you. It will just take a few days till the automatic update will be available. There is simply a small delay (1 week?) between the release from tha manual download, and the download location where the Automatic update is looking. So just be patient, and it should come online any day now.


Kind regards,



Hi Dennis,

Thanks a lot, it's clear for me now.

As I am beta tester, I  am going to wait and see what's append after one week.



Siemens Phenom



License Bundle definitions and software deployment are 2 different animals.

The GM Bundle is simply another definition designed for GM, but it does not restrict you to download or software usage limits.

(there could only be possible legal limitations regarding usage of GM Bundles for non-GM projects).


This means "being one version behind" is simply a result of the deployment. There can be dependencies on customizations (NX Open) or data exchange with other companies, or simply the traditional caution not to use the latest and greatest release.


Hope that helps,





Hi @Johannes_H


Our license bundle restricts us from using the newest version of NX, in this case NX-1847. The latest version of NX that we can run is NX12. But let's say for the sake of argument that it's a year later and our license now allows us to use NX-1847. Since Continuous Release is a function that eases deployment of updates to the software, it looks like we will have to disable the function so that the software does not automatically update to the latest and greatest release of NX, since we will not yet have the license to run whatever the latest and greatest release of NX is. With NX12, we know that we can install maintenance releases and maintenance packs for NX12 to keep it updated. With NX-1847 and up, how will I know which updates are OK to install and which updates to delay so that we don't run into license issues?

Siemens Phenom

Hi @Cezar,


I stand corrected. Just took our look in the licensing tables (I am a Siemens employee) and found out that the GMS bundles are not available for the new NX Continuous Release Versions. Sorry for my mistake. This means, that you can't run the new January 2019 NX version with your license right now.


Continuous Releases and (Automatic) Updates are two different aspects of the software.


The Continuous Release Method means that there is only ONE release channel, and each and every functional or maintenance update is based on the prior one along that channel. You probably heard that, every ~6month functional update, every ~1month a maintenance update. So we call that updates "Monthly update". Prior to Continuous Releases we have had multiple channels (NX 10.0, NX 11.0, NX 12.0). So Continuous Releases "only" change in which manner NX versions are released, but not how these are installed.


Every NX customer (with active maintenance) can decide which update strategy he chooses: Automatic updates or Manual updates (automatic updates are turned off by default). The automatic updates mechanism currently only updates to the latest version provided by Siemens. Manual updates however allow a customer to download a specific version and install it manually. This is not necessarily the latest NX Version. It is every customer's decision if manual installs are performed every month, year or probably even less often.

When you will get your NX January 2019 Release (1847) license, you will also be able to run NX 12.0 with it.


BTW, multiple NX Versions can be installed side by side on one machine, too (using start scripts).






After reading all these posts.  Here is our setup, and a few questions.


We load a Generic install of NX on all users boxes.  Our NX customizations are on a Shared server, the customizations are not stored on a users comptuer.  We run a  customized Script Start_nxmananger.bat from Teamcenter to start NX.  The Script reads the Site_ugii_env.dat file, which loads all our format, pax and template files. 


We think in our Global environment and with our business model, the chance that R&D can be shut down for a day or two could cause some serious issues.  We currently have a global solution where NX is used continuously around the clock, our risks are too high for any mistakes. So here are some questions:


1. The user can run native NX and turn on update save his defaults and NX will update NX.  Most users have to run as ADMIN for Teamcenter to work correctly. How can we prevent this from happening?  We could lock that file under the Siemens Installs but that is not bullet proof. 


2. We can at the site level trun on and off update after determining the update is a go to update.  But we can't control what version to load on a comptuer.  What if he does not every log in for a month and we turn it back off because we want to look at the monthly updates before we turn it back on using customer defaults. 


3. On of the Threads above says we can control what version we can allow a user to load.  How is that done?  No documentation is I have found how this is done. 


I feel we need a tool to manange a users NX version rather than an customer default that may or may not get read.  


Any answers would be appricated.  







Valid points and there are many of us who wonder the same thing. In addition to our own global setup which closely resembles yours we have outsourced engineering houses on multiple locations globally. This represents a risk that is far greated than the one with internal NX users. We feel that we control internal setup soso, with rome rogue element we virtually smack to get back in fold. But external engineering houses that install their own NX versions and have their own Gtac accounts and very digidigi and modern agile IT practise and processes are our of our control. We can make contracts and agreements yes, but first big save with too new NX version will crash the house of cards.


One reason to hold back is SPLM not having continuous release on all products. Rulestream being one of them. 1847 will be having rulestream integration in June, 1872 in Dec. And there are other reasons too. Training, projects, real life and so on.


I feel the only way to be ever safe in this would be to have TCIN built in check when whoever opens NX in managed mode would be inspected agains the approved global continuous release version stored in TC. This is the only way to truly avoid anyone writing to DB with too new version. At the end of the day anyone can open NX from TC without any warning. With earlier versions there was no deployment mechanism which forced all parties to agree on an update to occur simultaneously. 


Teamcenter SITE level preference that cannot be changed without company DBA and IT change management approval.


@ShirishMorecan you pls comment on SPLM ideas how to handle these scenarios? All customers can build their own contraptions to prevent this but the needs is same so we are looking to you to get some idea what is planned.