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Centralized distribution of Tekla Structures 20.1

Software version: 20.1

Last updated November 16, 2016 by Tekla Global Support tekla.globalservicesupport@trimble.com

Not environment-specific

Centralized distribution of Tekla Structures 20.1


From version 19.0 onwards Tekla Structures consists of the following installations:

  • Tekla Structures software installation
    • Either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of the software installation, depending on your operating system. Note that the Common environmentTekla Structures environment that forms a basis for other environments

      The common environment is included in the software installation and includes the global settings, macros, symbols, items, and fonts, for example. The common environment and global settings form the basis for all other environments.

      is included in the software installation from version 19.0 onwards.
  • Tekla Structures environmentregion- or company-specific settings and information that are predefined in Tekla Structures or that are defined by the user

    To be able to use Tekla Structures, the user must install the software and for region-specific settings at least one Tekla Structures environment. The software installation includes the common and blank project environments and the global settings. The common environment and global settings form the basis for all other environments.

    Property files form the largest part of a Tekla Structures environment. A Tekla Structures environment consists of, for example, profile catalogs, part property files, and drawing settings.

    • Localized environments include your country-specific codes and standards.

Installing Tekla Structures software and environments one by one on each user’s computer is a time consuming taskin the task manager, a representation of a piece of work that needs to be carried out in order to complete a project

in large companies, and therefore, Tekla Structures is often installed in a centralized manner across company workstations.

This article clarifies the basic principles of building a centralized installation for the Tekla Structures installation package. Notice that there are separate support articles for each Tekla Structures version.

Scope of this support article

This article describes two different methods that can be used when Tekla Structures is installed in a centralized manner:
  • Installing Tekla Structures using setup.exe files containing the needed settings, see Method 1.
  • Installing Tekla Structures using an MSI package with a transformation file, see Method 2.
There are other methods available as well, but these methods are not described in this article.

This article is meant for a Tekla Structures main user who prepares installation packages and determines the correct installation settings for the IT department. The company IT department can then distribute Tekla Structures into workstations in the company network.

The basic assumption is that you, or someone in your company, have earlier experience in centralized distribution and that you are familiar with the distribution tools used in your company. The steps to configure the actual distribution depend on the software you are using, and therefore this article or Tekla cannot give you support on that. This article only explains the steps that are Tekla Structures specific, or relevant to a Tekla Structures main user.


Do not use any self-made batch files for the centralized installation of Tekla Structures. Tekla Structures installation is designed to be run either interactively by double-clicking the installation .exe, or in centralized manner explained in this instruction by using proper distribution tools.


Hardware recommendations

The hardware recommendations need to be fulfilled on the client computers where Tekla Structures is going to be installed. Hardware recommendations for Tekla Structures 20.1 can be found in here.

Installation settings in Tekla Structures 20.1

In the interactive installation of Tekla Structures, the user defines the settings in dialog boxes (installation location and default location for the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

). In the centralized distribution, the dialog boxes are typically not visible to the user, and therefore the settings need to be defined in some other way.

The installation settings are valid for both installation methods explained in this article. The settings are the same even though they are entered in different ways depending on the installation method used.

Installation settings for Tekla Structures 20.1 final software

Installation folders

The following installer properties refer to the installation locations:

  • INSTALLDIR – Software installation folder
  • TS_MODELDIR - Default location for Tekla Structures models
  • TS_INSTALLDIR - Software installation folder in environment installations

The software installation folder and the environment installation folder are dependent on each other:

  • If your software installation folder is C:\Program Files\Tekla Structures\, then your environment installation folder should be C:\ProgramData\Tekla Structures\.
  • If your software installation folder is C:\TeklaStructures\, then your environment installation folder should also be C:\TeklaStructures\.
  • If you want to use any other installation location, then the software installation folder and the environment installation folder must the same.


Tekla Structures 20.1 installer includes all supported languages by default so there is no need to select the languages separately anymore. 

Installation settings for Tekla Structures 20.1 service releases

For the service release installer you need to set:

  • INSTALLDIR – Software installation folder

Use the same folder as with the main version installer.

Installation settings for Tekla Structures 20.1 environments

For the environment installers you need to set

  • TS_INSTALLDIR – Software installation folder
The installer internal logic will resolve the folder where environments are installed.

Installing to a computer where other Tekla Structures versions already exist

If you are installing Tekla Structures to computers that have earlier Tekla Structures versions installed, it is possible that giving INSTALLDIR in the Tekla Structures 20.1 software installation does not have any effect but the installation always goes to the same folder as the previous version.

To resolve the problem you must temporarily change the registry setting that defines the installation folder of the latest Tekla Structures version (for example, Tekla Structures 20.0).

The registry setting you need to edit is the MainDir registry string value in the following registry key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Tekla\Structures\<version>\setup (x64 operating systems)
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tekla\Structures\<version>\setup (x86 operating systems)

Edit the MainDir value data to be the folder where you want to install Tekla Structures 20.1, for example C:\Program Files\Tekla Structures\ or C:\Tekla Structures\. Do not include the 20.1 subfolder in the path - the installer adds it automatically - but include the last backslash.

After installing Tekla Structures 20.1 remember to change the registry values back to the original values. Changing the value back is important as the installation folder needs to be correctly set in the registry for the future environment and service release installations.

When installing Tekla Structures 20.1 environments you always need to enter TS_INSTALLDIR. There is no need to change anything in the registry.

Method 1: Preparing a centralized distribution of Tekla Structures with Setup.exe files

In Tekla Structures 20.1 you can use the original setup.exe files in the silent installation if your deployment software supports using setup.exe. You do not need to extract the setup file separately but just run the installer .exe file in the command line using the appropriate parameters. The prerequisites are installed automatically if they do not exist on client computers.

You can find more information about the setup.exe settings here: http://helpnet.installshield.com/installshield18helplib/ihelpsetup_execm...
Instructions for Project Type “Basic MSI” are valid for Tekla Structures installers.

Enter the settings described in the previous chapter in the command line. Notice that it is essential to enter INSTALLDIR and TS_MODELDIR when installing Tekla Structures 20.1 software especially when you want those to be something else than the default values. When installing Tekla Structures 20.1 environments you always need to enter TS_INSTALLDIR . See the examples below.

Examples of a command line command for running setup installation silently

  • To install 64-bit Tekla Structures 20.1 to the Program Files folder:

TeklaStructures201x64Software.exe /s /v"/qn INSTALLDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Tekla Structures\" TS_MODELDIR=\"C:\TeklaStructuresModels\" /lvoicewarmupx TS201_logfile.log"

As the above command has default values for INSTALLDIR and TS_MODELDIR, you will get the same result with this command: 

TeklaStructures201x64Software.exe /s /v"/qn /lvoicewarmupx TS201_logfile.log"

  • To install 64-bit Tekla Structures 20.1 Service Release 1 to the Program Files folder:

TeklaStructures201SR1x64Software.exe /s /v"/qn INSTALLDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Tekla Structures\" /lvoicewarmupx TS201SR1_logfile.log"

Note that from Tekla Structures version 19.0 onwards, the Common environment is included in the software installer. The software installer does not include the Environment manager anymore. You have to install all needed environments separately.

  • To install the Tekla Structures Default environmentTekla Structures environment that contains basic example settings that are not related to any standards specific to a country or a region


Env_Default_inst_201.exe /s /v"/qn TS_INSTALLDIR=\"C:\Program Files\Tekla Structures\" /lvoicewarmupx TS201Default_logfile.log"

The command above can be used to install any Tekla Structures environment after you have installed the software. You need to give the Tekla Structures software installation folder  (TS_INSTALLDIR) but you do not need to separately define the installation folder for the environment itself as it is read from the registry values inserted by the Tekla Structures 20.1 software installer.

Notice that setting /v is used in the msiexec. You need to have all of the settings in quotation marks. Also, if for example the INSTALLDIR path includes spaces, you need to enter the path in quotation marks and use a backslash in front of the quotation mark to distinguish these quotation marks from the start and end quotation marks of setting /v.

Method 2: Preparing the centralized distribution of Tekla Structures with MSI-files

Checking Tekla Structures prerequisites

When you install Tekla Structures in a centralized manner running MSI files, it is essential that all the needed prerequisites exist on the client computers before installing the Tekla Structures software.

The prerequisites for Tekla Structures 20.1 are:

  • Microsoft .NET 4.5.1 Full
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 x86 Redistributable 8.0.59193
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 x64 Redistributable 8.0.59192
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Redistributable 10.0.40219
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x64 Redistributable 10.0.40219
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 x86 Redistributable 12.0.21005.1
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 x64 Redistributable 12.0.21005.1

Note: For 64-bit Tekla Structures both the x86 and x64 redistributables are needed but for 32-bit Tekla Structures only x86 redistributables are needed. It is expected that Tekla Structures works with a newer version of the same redistributable. Microsoft .NET 4.5.1 and the latest Visual Studio redistributable installers can be downloaded from the Microsoft site. You can also extract the installers from the Tekla Structures installation setup.exe. Microsoft .NET 4.5.1 is included in Windows 8.1 as a part of the operating system.

Additionally, Tekla Structures 20.1 installer contains prerequisite installers Tekla Warehouseservice for collaboration and for storing and sharing Tekla Structures content

In Tekla Warehouse the content items are stored in collections. Tekla Warehouse includes the Tekla Warehouse Service and the Tekla Warehouse web site.

Tekla Warehouse is one of the Tekla online services.

Content and Tekla Warehouse Service. These include environment test files and are not necessary for Tekla Structures 20.1 usage.

Extracting the Tekla Structures software installation package

1. Save the Tekla Structures software installation package (either 32-bit or 64-bit) on your computer. In this example 64-bit Tekla Structures installer is saved in the C:\TS_admin_install folder.

2. Run Command Prompt as administrator.

3. Change the directory to the folder where you saved the installer and run the installation package with setting /a. If you want to extract prerequisite packages from setup.exe, add a folder path after the /a setting to extract the prerequisites to that folder. 

TeklaStructures201x64Software.exe /a"C:\TS_admin_instal\Prq"

By using setting /a, the installation package is run in the administrator mode. This means that the software is extracted instead of installed, even though the user interface is very installation-like.


4. The installation initializes, shows the language selection and then shows the first InstallShield Wizard dialog box. Click Next.

5. Select the location where you want the system to extract the software installation and then click Install.

6. Click Finish.

7. You can now browse into the extraction folder that you defined in step 5. The folder contains the .msi package and subfolders.


When extracting the setup, if you defined a folder after setting /a, the prerequisites are extracted to separate subfolders (Prq folder in the image above). If the operating systems on the client computers are up-to-date, you do not need to install all extracted prerequisites but only those needed for Tekla Structures if they do not already exist on the client computers. In the extracted folder, the Microsoft .NET 4.5.1 installer is named “NDP451-KB2858728-x86-x64-AllOS-ENU.exe” and the Visual Studio redistributable installer file names start with “vcredist“. You can also get the latest versions of these from the Microsoft web site.

Extracting the Tekla Structures service release installation package

We recommend that you install the latest Tekla Structures service release. Repeat the same extraction procedure as above (steps 1 to 7) for the latest Tekla Structures service release, but extract the service release to a different folder (for example, to C:\TS_admin_install\extract-SR).

Extracting Tekla Structures environments installation packages

Repeat the extraction procedure (steps 1 to 7) for all environment installation packages that you need. Environments can be extracted to the same folder as the final software.

If you are going to install a service release, use the environment installers released at the same time as the service release.

At the end of the extraction process your folder should look for example as follows:


Defining the installation settings

This section describes the settings used in the Tekla Structures installation and using a transformation file as the method for defining the settings.

Transformation file

Transformation files (.mst) can be used in defining the settings that are normally selected interactively in the installation dialog box, for example, the installation folder or Tekla Structures model folder.

Transformation files can be created and viewed with a variety of installation or .mst editing software. The software is third-party software and it is not included in the Tekla Structures installation package. A free transformation file editor called InstEd is available at: http://www.instedit.com/.

As the steps to create the .mst file depend on the .mst editor you use, Tekla cannot provide you with more detailed instructions on the creation method. The following section describes the valid settings that can and need to be defined by using the .mst file.

Installation settings in a transformation file for Tekla Structures 20.1 final software

The following image shows an example of a transformation file. The person preparing the centralized distribution should create the transformation file, and change or add the needed properties.

In InstEd you can create a new transformation file with the Transform - New Transform command. You can make changes by changing the Property Value in the property tableview in object browser that shows the values of selected model object properties

The property table is created based on a selected property template.

and saving the transformation file. It is not recommended to modify the original .msi file.

If you want to change the default installation folder or model folder, you need to add INSTALLDIR and change TS_MODELDIR in the property table and save the changes in your .mst file. You do not have to change TSMODELDIR as it will be changed automatically during the installation. 


Installation settings in a transformation file for Tekla Structures 20.1 service releases

Define a separate .mst file for the Service Release installer. You need to define only TS_INSTALLDIR. Use the same folder as with the main version installer.

Installation settings in a transformation file for Tekla Structures 20.1 environments

Define a separate .mst file for the environment installers. You need to define only TS_INSTALLDIR which is the folder where Tekla Structures software is installed. The installer internal logic will then resolve the folder where environments are installed. You can use the same .mst file for all the environments you are going to install.

Example of a command line command for running MSI installation silently

You can use for example the following kind of command to run the MSI installation silently:

msiexec /i "Tekla Structures 20.1 x64.msi" TRANSFORMS=TS201x64_installation.mst /qn /lvoicewarmupx TS201_logfile.log

The example is for the Tekla Structures 20.1 x64 software package so you need to have similar commands for the service release and all environment installers.

Configuring the distribution

The rest of the steps in the centralized distribution vary depending on the distribution software that is used in your company. Therefore, Tekla cannot give you any detailed instructions.

However, some general tips about the centralized distribution can be given:

  • Tekla Structures needs to be installed with administrative rights.
  • We recommend that you set the installations to write log files instead of showing messages to users.

Validating the installation result

If you want to make sure that the result of the centralized installation is correct, you can check the following items to validate the installation result.

Tekla Structures shortcut

The Target and Start in boxes show the Start menu and/or desktop shortcuts according to the value you gave for INSTALLDIR.

Installation paths in the Control Panel

The software installation location displayed in the Control Panel should match the value you gave for INSTALLDIR. Environment installation location depends of the software installation location.

Content of teklastructures.ini

The content of teklastructures.ini should match your settings in the transformation (.mst) file. To check this:

  1. Browse to your software installation folder (defined in INSTALLDIR in the .mst file).
  2. Browse to the sub folders nt\bin\.
  3. Open teklastructures.ini in a text editor.

The .mst file values should match the teklastructures.ini values in the following way:
Environment installation folder – XSDATADIR


If there is a problem that seems to be related to the Tekla Structures installer, but not to the distribution software, contact Tekla Structures support and provide the following information:

  • How the installation was executed; msiexec or setup commands used
  • Which MSI installers and .mst files were used (send the .mst files)
  • Installer log files
  • Description of the problem

Some tips on using InstEd

Creating a new .mst file

If you want to create a new .mst file:

  1. Open the extracted .msi file in InstEd with the File > Open command.
  2. Create the .mst file with the Transforms > New transform command.
  3. Make your changes (add, delete, modify) in the tables.
  4. Click File > Save to save your changes in the .mst file.

Opening the existing .mst file

If you want to see what an .mst file contains:

  1. Open the corresponding .msi file in InstEd.
  2. Open the .mst file with the Transforms > Apply transform command.

The changed table names and rows are shown with colors.

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