AutoCAD Integration Troubleshooting

Product(s): WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, SewerGEMS, SewerCAD, CivilStorm, StormCAD, HAMMER
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area: Installation


The OpenFlows product will not integrate correctly with AutoCAD. For example the "...for AutoCAD" shortcut does not appear, an error occurs when opening the shortcut (such as "unhandled exception"), or the OpenFlows product's menus / menu bar does not show up in AutoCAD.


When your product is installed, it will attempt to integrate with a compatible version of AutoCAD, and you will find shortcuts to both the Standalone version as well as AutoCAD (and potentially MicroStation or ArcGIS, depending on the product). There is not a separate installation file for the AutoCAD version of the OpenFlows product. If you do not see the "<Product Name>" for AutoCAD <version>" shortcut on your desktop or in your start menu folder, there are a couple of possible reasons for this, as seen in the numbered list below.

Important Note:

  • Licensing: The "For AutoCAD" shortcut will be created regardless of whether your product's license has AutoCAD integration enabled in the feature level. In other words, the license check is done later on when the product is opened, not during installation. In order to use the AutoCAD integrated version, you'll need to select a feature level that has "AutoCAD" listed in the features. If you do not own a perpetual license with AutoCAD integration enabled, but have a quarterly or monthly subscription, the AutoCAD integration enabled version will be available to you and the feature level can be selected. A term license charge will be incurred for usage of feature levels that are not owned. Also, if you have selected a feature level with AutoCAD listed in the "Features", but you only use the Standalone version, usage will still be recorded against the feature level with AutoCAD in it. In other words, the platform (Standalone, AutoCAD, etc) that you open does not dictate which feature level will be used, but rather it must be selected (see more here.) Selection of the feature level depends on the version. Version 10.01.XX.XX and below use the Municipal License Administrator (SELECTserver licensing) and version 10.02.XX.XX and higher use the Feature Level Selector (Subscription Entitlement Services Licensing)

  • AutoCAD vs. Standalone: OpenFlows products do not required AutoCAD, nor do they rely on it. You always have the option to use the Standalone version, which runs on its own without relying on other software. There are many CAD functions in the Standalone version such as the ability to place a DXF as a background, automatically create elements by importing a DXF, and exporting the plan view back to DXF. See more here: CAD Functionality in Standalone as an Alternative to AutoCAD or MicroStation Integration 

  • General information on AutoCAD Integration - see the following video: AutoCAD Integration for WaterCAD, WaterGEMS and HAMMER

Check Compatibility

You will need to make sure that the program is compatible with a given version of AutoCAD.

For instance, version of WaterGEMS, WaterCAD, and HAMMER; and version of SewerGEMS, CivilStorm, SewerCAD, and StormCAD will only integrate with AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD 2014. Early versions of AutoCAD are not supported.

For more information on AutoCAD version compatibility, see the Readme.PDF file, found in the program's installation folder, or the following support solution article: Platform Compatibility

The version of the Bentley product can be found by going to Help > About [Product]. See: How can I find my registration / license information and version / build number for my Hydraulics and Hydrology products?

Reintegrate or Repair

You may need to run the integration tool. This can be necessary if the OpenFlows program was installed before AutoCAD. To run the integration tool, go to Start > All Programs > Bentley > (program name) > "Integrate (program name) with AutoCAD..." You can also try running a Repair on the program through the Control Panel (you may need to click the "Uninstall" button first in order to see the Repair option). This will also rerun the integration tool. Be aware that you also need full administration rights in order to install the programs, including the integration tool.

Note: Some products like WaterCAD and StormCAD require AutoCAD integration capability enabled in the license. Check the Feature Level Selector (CONNECT Edition Update 2 and later). See more here: Setting the License Feature Level in the Feature Level Selector

CONNECTION Client and licensing

Starting with CONNECT Edition Update 2, users must sign in to the CONNECTION Client (a small application running in the Windows system tray) in order to license the product. Ensure that the CONNECTION Client is installed, running and that you are signed in. Also check that your feature level is set to one that includes AutoCAD.

Bitness Considerations

The OpenFlows products can be installed as either 32-bit, 64-bit, or both, depending on your operating system. Most modern operating systems are 64-bit, in which case both the 32-bit and 64-bit version of the OpenFlows product are installed. In more recent versions (V8i SELECTseries 4 and greater), there is no conflict with Microsoft Office, and 64-bit AutoCAD should correctly integrate with the 64-bit OpenFlows product.

For older versions, conflicts with Microsoft Office can cause a conflict with the 64-bit version of AutoCAD, preventing integration. For example, if you have a 64-bit workstation running the 32-bit version of Microsoft Office, the SELECTseries 3 versions of our software will install as a 32-bit application. However, AutoCAD will be installed as a 64-bit application. Because of this, the integration cannot go through.

You can upgrade to the SELECTseries 4 (or later) versions of the software. The new database format used with SELECTseries 4 and later will allow the program to be installed as a 64-bit application regardless of the version of Microsoft Office. If you cannot upgrade, some other possible workarounds:

1) Uninstall 32-bit Office and reinstall the Hydraulic and Hydrology product.

2) Upgrade to 64-bit Office and reinstall the Hydraulic and Hydrology product.

3) Install the 64-bit version on a Virtual Machine (such as Windows 7's "XP Mode")

4) Try uninstalling Microsoft Office completely (including the 32-bit Access DB engine), then reinstall the Hydraulic and Hydrology product, then reinstall Office. The conflict happens when the 64-bit MS Access database engine is installed second, so this may work. IMPORTANT: this workaround is not tested so we cannot guarantee it will work.

Try Running as Administrator or run in Compatibility Mode

Locate the "...for AutoCAD..," shortcut in the Start menu, right click on it and try choosing More > Run as Administrator". If this does not working, try right clicking on the shortcut, choose to "open file location", right click on the file shortcut, choose "Properties", choose the "Compatibility" tab, click the check box to "run in compatibility mode" and try Windows 8 for example.

Temporarily Disable Security Software

Try temporarily disabling any antivirus/antimalware/security software (or try the integration in Safe Mode) to make sure it is not interfering with the integration process, then repeat option 2. Check any antivirus/antimalware logs to see if any false positives occurs and quarantined files needed for integration.

Starting with CONNECT Edition Update 3 (10.03.XX.XX+) if the integration step (during installation) fails due to the script being blocked, it will skip that part and you will not see new integrated-version icons on your desktop/start menu (Ex: "StormCAD for AutoCAD...")

Reset the AutoCAD Environment

1) Go to Start > AutoCAD 20## >”Reset Settings to Default” > ”Backup and Reset Customer Settings”
2) Once the AutoCAD environment is reset, close the application.
3) Run the product's Integrator shortcut (start menu) to re-integrate the product with the AutoCAD.
4) Run the product's "...for AutoCAD" shortcut.

See more: 

Reinstall .NET Framework and/or C++ Runtime Redistributables

Try an uninstall and reinstall of the .NET Framework and C++ runtime redistributable prerequisites:

  1. Uninstall and reinstall all the Microsoft .NET framework versions on your computer. Uninstall can be done from Windows Programs and Features. Re-installation can be done by first downloading from Microsoft's website, or by reinstalling the OpenFlows product, as the correct versions are included as prerequisites.
  2. Uninstall and reinstall all the C++ Re-distributables. Uninstall can be done from Windows Programs and Features. To reinstall, extract the component from the installation file for the OpenFlows product as explained here: Extracting Setup contents and prerequisites

Reinstallation and config file

If all of the above does not help, there may be a corruption of conflict involved. Try the following:

1) Uninstall the product

2) Uninstall AutoCAD

3) Delete the installation folder for the OpenFlows product and for AutoCAD, if they are still present (check C:\Program Files\AutoDesk\ for AutoCAD and C:\Program Files(x86)\Bentley\ for the OpenFlows product.)

4) Reinstall AutoCAD

5) Reinstall StormCAD (which should detect and integrate with AutoCAD

If the issue still occurs, locate the file named acad.exe.config within your AutoCAD installation folder (C:\Program Files\AutoDesk\AutoCAD 2017\ for AutoCAD 2017 or C:\Program Files\AutoDesk\AutoCAD 2017\C3D\ for Civil 3D 2017 for example) and send this file to technical support for review.

The OpenFlows product's menu or ribbon is missing in AutoCAD integrated mode

Problem: When opening a Bentley OpenFlows product for AutoCAD, using the appropriate icon (eg. WaterGEMS for AutoCAD), the Bentley product's toolbar/menu/ribbon does not appear.

First, make sure the AutoCAD Lock Docked Dialogs is not active, and if it is, just turn it off (deselect the checkbox).

Solution 1: For more recent versions using a ribbon, enter "ribbon" in the command line (without the quotation marks), and press Enter.

Solution 2: For versions using a menu, enter "menubar" in the command line (without the quotation marks), and press Enter.

If this does not work and you also see an "unrecognized function" error when attempting to use OpenFlows product tools, try the steps further above to reintegrate. If this does not help and you have ProjectWise installed, try these steps:

1) Make sure AutoCAD and the OpenFlows product are closed.
2) Open your Windows control panel and go into the programs and features or add remove programs area.
3) Locate the Projectwise Explorer V8i entry and click the option on top to Change the software setup.
4) Click the Next button when the Setup Wizard pops up and choose the Modify option. Click the Next button. 5) Expand the iDesktop Integration dropdown and click the drop down arrow next to the AutoCAD entry.
6) Set "This Feature will not be available" or whichever option that is similarly worded and has the Red "X" next to it.
7) Click Next and then install. Click Finish if necessary.
8 ) Now, open the OpenFlows product "...for AutoCAD" shortcut and try again.

Make sure license is activated

  1. Open the Bentley Hydraulics and Hydrology product in standalone mode.
  2. Go to File > Help > About [Product]
  3. Make sure License Status is set to Activated.
  4. If the license status is something other than activated, then activate the product using this article.

NoteAutoCAD Civil 3D 2019 is having issues integrating with WaterCAD 10.03.03.XX  versions, workaround is to roll back WaterCAD version or upgrade AutoCAD Civil 3D to 2020 or later. If you cannot upgrade AutoCAD Civil 3D 2019, then version is found to be integrated with no issues. 

Random / Crossing Lines appear when opening model in AutoCAD integrated mode

Problem: When opening a hydraulic model in AutoCAD integrated mode random / crossing lines appear. The lines are not visible if the same model is opened in the standalone platform of the product.

Solution 1: Disable the hardware acceleration in AutoCAD. Generally, turning on hardware acceleration improves graphics performance and productivity. However, it can sometimes interfere in rendering objects or give unexpected results when used with specific video card drivers. See the article (from AutoDesk Support) for this here: How to enable or disable hardware acceleration in AutoCAD

Solution 2: Disable smooth line display. If Line Smoothing is enabled it can give such unexpected results such as random / crossing lines. See the support solution (from Autodesk Support) here: Random lines appear in AutoCAD drawings

Exception Error when opening a file Integrated with AutoCAD Civil 3D 2022

Autodesk support has confirmed the crash we are seeing when the Autodesk Grading Optimization plug-in is configured with SewerCAD, StormCAD and WaterCAD and opened Defect - CIVIL-43013.  The fix will be included with next new release of Civil 3D 2023, which is tentatively slated for release in late March 2022 or early April 2022.  You will need to file a support case with Autodesk and make reference to the Autodesk Internal Case CIVIL-43013 which should help with you being provided the fix for Civil 3D 2022/Grading Optimization. 

You could also still temporarily uninstall the Autodesk Grading Optimization plug-in from the affected user's workstations or run our OpenFlows products in Standalone mode.

See Also

FATAL ERROR or Unhandled Exception when opening AutoCAD

Activate (license) OpenFlows Products

Element selection in the AutoCAD environment (OSNAP)