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How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

People on this forum often ask how to get started with NX programming/journaling, and where to find documentation and other help. This post is an attempt to gather all the relevant advice in one place, so that people (like me) don't have to keep writing bits and pieces of it over and over again. I expect others will have good suggestions, too. Please feel free to embellish. 

 

First, a definition ... an API (Application Programming Interface) is a collection of software functions that your code can call to do useful things. Nowadays, there are two main NX APIs that are widely used: NX/Open, and SNAP. NX/Open is very broad and powerful -- it provides functions to do basically everything that interactive NX can do. The SNAP API is much more limited, and better documented, so it's easier to grasp. Learning SNAP can sometimes serve as a useful step towards learning NX/Open.

 

You write code in some computer language to call the functions in the NX APIs. Several languages are supported, including C/C++, Java, Python, or any .NET language, such as Visual Basic (VB), C#, and others. The NX/Open APIs for these different languages are all essentially equivalent, so you can choose whichever one you want. The SNAP API is accessible only though .NET languages. Also, note that .NET technology is built in on Windows systems, but some extra effort is required to get it to work on Mac or Linux.

 

You should probably begin the learning process by working through the tutorials in one of the "Getting Started" guides. The NX12 versions are available here:

These both focus on the VB language, but applying what you learn to other languages is typically straightforward.

 

Another good way to learn is by "journaling". A journal is a recording (expressed in any supported programming language you choose) of a series of actions that you perform interactively in NX. You can then modify the journal code to suit your needs. For more details, look up "journaling" in the Getting Started with NX/Open guide.

 

Once you gain some proficiency, you will want to know all the details of all the available API functions. These are documented in various references guides. The NX12 ones are available here:

You can find older versions by starting here. Note that some of the documents are in CHM format, which can be troublesome, sometimes, as described in this post.

 

If you like to learn from examples, there are many available:

  • In the folders \UGOPEN\SampleNXOpenApplications and \UGOPEN\SNAP\Examples in your NX installation.
  • The GTAC Solution Center has a large collection of example programs that you can search through. You can find searching instructions near the end of chapter 1 in either of the two Getting Started guides
  • There are hundreds of small example programs in the SNAP Reference Guide

If you’ve read everything, and you’re still stuck, you can contact Siemens GTAC support, or try NXJournaling.com, or the NX forum at eng-tips.com. Or, of course, you can always ask right here on this forum.

山田
yamada
17 REPLIES

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Genius
Genius

Hi @Yamada

 

Is there a web edition (html) of the documents Getting Started with NX/Open and Getting Started with SNAP?

 

Thanks!

 

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

No, there is no HTML version, currently, only PDF.

 

I guess an HTML version could be produced, though formatting foul-ups would be a concern.

 

Is there some reason you prefer HTML?

山田
yamada

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Genius
Genius

Hi @Yamada   It seems that currently most documents of programming languages are html web pages. I have not read PDF documents for a long long time. Just private preference. I can see that the source of the pdf doc is just html web pages. Curious about why not simply publish html formats. Thanks!

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Experimenter
Experimenter

Hello, Can I use NX Open with NX Learning Version?

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

Sorry, but I don't know for sure. This is a question about licensing, which is far from my area of expertise.

 

I would guess that ...

 

You can run code in the Journal Editor. Try doing the "Hello World" example -- the first example in chapter 2 of the "Getting Started with NX/Open" guide. If that works, then you're good to go.

 

You probably can not compile and sign programs. To check, try doing the first example in chapter 3 of the "Getting Started with NX/Open" guide.

山田
yamada

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi @Yamada,

It seems that there is no offline version of NX Open for .NET Reference Guide as .chm file for NX 12, as it is for NX 11?

 

Best,

Danijel

 

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

That's correct. In NX12, the NX/Open Reference Guide for .NET is supplied in HTML format, not in CHM format, as in the past.

 

You don't need to be on-line to read the HTML document, though. You can install the document on your computer, which would allow you to read it off-line.

 

There seem to be mixed feelings about the switch to HTML -- some people like it, and some don't.

山田
yamada

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

@Yamada wrote:

That's correct. In NX12, the NX/Open Reference Guide for .NET is supplied in HTML format, not in CHM format, as in the past.

 

You don't need to be on-line to read the HTML document, though. You can install the document on your computer, which would allow you to read it off-line.

 

There seem to be mixed feelings about the switch to HTML -- some people like it, and some don't.


So, how to install?

I have downloaded api and help documentation from Siemens download page. Also, both of them are installed so I can get into folder "C:\Program Files\Siemens\PLM Documentation Server\Collections\nx\12\nx_api\common\en_US\graphics\fileLibrary\nx\nxopen", there are some index.html pages.

 

Re: How to: get started, find documentation, get help

Siemens Phenom Siemens Phenom
Siemens Phenom

The installation should place an item called "NX Programming Tools Help" in the NX Documentatio folder on your Start Menu.

 

The index.html file that you found is probably the top level of the documentation, so you could try pointing a web browser at it. I don't have NX12 installed on this computer, so I can't be more definite right now.

山田
yamada