There are a couple of situations that can cause the ISM commands to be grayed out and not usable.
If the Structural Synchronizer is not installed, the following things will happen.
Note, for models that are not already synchronized with a specific ISM repository, you should not be able to use the "Update Repository" or "Update From Repository" actions, even when Synchronizer is installed. Only the "Create Repository" and "New from Repository" actions are active in that case.
Install the latest Structural Synchronizer from the Software Fulfillment Center searching "Synchronizer" or the link for non-SELECT users is here.
In some cases, rebooting the computer is also required.
In STAAD.Pro the ISM buttons can be grayed out even if Structural Synchronizer is installed.
Integrated Structural Modeling Home