[CONNECT U17] Creating an MSDEBUG.TXT file from one of the Manage Configuration Configurations

I am trying to setup a number of other AGENCY workspaces for ORD 2022 R1 which is the first version to include the Manage Configuration tool. A few of these are proving problematic and I need to evaluate what is occurring during their processing. Are there command line switches that will result in one of the Manage Configuration Workspaces to load that I can use with a -debug command line switch. And can that same command line switch be used with the Configuration Explorer?

  • There are several ways to accomplish this, if you just want it for you the easiest is to create, or modify, your user association.

    • In ProjectWise Explorer: Tools > Associations > Programs...
    • Set the "Select an association view:" to User associations
    • Scroll down the list to the application you're using on the dgn files
    • Click the + to expand the application
    • Click the + (if there is one) to expand the Open option
    • If you have an application already listed there you can modify it by Expanding it then double-clicking the Command Line Arguments option
      • Enter -debug for your command line argument
      • Click OK
    • If you have no applications listed (or want to add a special one just for debugging):
      • Right-click Open > Add an Association
      • Highlight the application version you want to open (OpenRoads Designer CE 2022 Release 1)
      • Click OK
      • Double-click the Command Line Arguements option
      • Enter -debug for the argument
      • Click OK
      • If you added a second association you can right-click and Set as Default to make it the option that will fire when you double-click the dgn file

    There are other ways to accomplish this if you need other users to be able to do this too without going through all those steps. If you need those, ask over in the ProjectWise forum and I'll post there.

    I'll tell you straight up: The debug files from managed workspace are pretty much worthless compared to a normal debug file. It doesn't give a list of files that it opens and processes, instead it just says it's open a single cfg file. It dumps everything from that config into the debug file then adds the summary at the end. Only additional info you get is the level at which the variable is being set. That's occasionally useful, but 90% of the time I just open the product do the "show configuration" key-in and use that file instead of the debug file.

    When I really want to puzzle out what's going on is:

    • Purge the workspace files in PWE
    • Go to the workspace folder in my working directory and delete all the cfg files
    • Open my file (normally, not debug)
    • Do a Show Configuration to get the summary of all the variables
    • Go to the workspace folder in the working directory and examime the cfg files.
      • The GUID cfg file is the final assembly of all the CSB block configurations
        • GUID used in the cfg file name is the GUID of the file you opened from projectwise
      • Each of the numbered cfg files corresponds to 1 CSB block, except 0.cfg that is created by PW
        • The 0.cfg contains the _DGNDIR and _DGNFILE variables
        • Not sure how the CSB numbers are chosen, but they go in order of the PW workspace levels (predefined, global, application, customer, etc...)
      • Not only are variables from CSB inserted into the GUID.cfg file, but variables from any cfg files that are %included (or automatically included) are also inserted into the GUID.cfg


  • Everything I’m trying to do here is outside of ProjectWise. We actually have a custom application predefined in ProjectWise to make it easy for users to create an msdebug.txt file to assist when troubleshooting issues.

    But my current efforts with these other agencies is just from Windows with all local workspaces and files.

     And I found something interesting in one agencies workspace. They define a custom variable in every CFG file. It’s the same variable and they use the append (>) operator and the value is the name of the CFG file. This results in one variable that acts as a log file listing each CFG in the order of processing. I have begun adopting this but with partial path file names so that there is no confusion as to where the file was read from.

    This will be even more useful in ProjectWise but once implemented will mean I use an MSDEBUG.txt file much less often.

    Charles (Chuck) Rheault
    CADD Manager

    MDOT State Highway Administration

    • MicroStation user since IGDS, InRoads user since TDP.
    • AutoCAD, Land Desktop and Civil 3D, off and on since 1996
  • Ah, we do that as well (we include CSB in that variable too). I've also seen varaibles set at the beginning and end of each config file:

    _WorkSpaceSetup_Start = 1

    ... workspacesetup here ...

    _WorkSpaceSetup_End = 1

    If you want to force MicroStation to do a debug with a particular configuration you'll have to add in all the settings to a shortcut icon. For example:

    microstation.exe -wkWorkSpaceName -wwWorkSetName -debug

    You need to specify both a WorkSpaceName and a WorkSetName