Computer Software for Steel Professionals

64-Bit Operation Notes

Introduction: Version 14.0 of Structural Material Manager was the first 64-bit platform in the software's history. The information at this support page thus pertains only to Versions 14.0 and higher.

Dual Architecture: Every Structural Material Manager package includes both 32- and 64-bit editions. A convenient aspect of this dual-architecture strategy is that neither the end-users nor I.T. personnel have to do anything to decide which version to install or run. Both 32- and 64-bit versions are always installed, and the appropriate version is automatically chosen at runtime.

Even in a network scenario in which some machines have 32-bit Windows and others have 64-bit Windows, the correct Structural Material Manager edition for each particular user is automatically launched. You can verify this at the application's title screen, as it displays either "32-bit Version" or "64-bit Version".

Both 32- and 64-bit versions access the exact same data format. Jobs created with one edition can be used seamlessly by the other.

Forcing use of the 32-Bit Version: The 64-bit edition of Structural Material Manager is of course larger than the 32-bit edition in terms of the executable file's size. It thus may take longer to load across slow network connections than its 32-bit counterpart. If the load time is unacceptable, you can force the 32-bit edition - which runs well under either Win32 or Win64 - to be loaded.

Another reason you might want to force the 32-bit version to be used is if your software security key is an extremely old parallel-port unit. Such keys are off-white in color and have a white label with blue print. Those keys are too old to be recognized under Win64, but they will be supported indefinitely under Win32.

Note that the newest of the off-white parallel-port security keys - the ones that are so small that they cannot be labeled but instead have black print applied directly to their cases - are completely compatible with Win64 (as are all USB keys). E.J.E. Industries provides free trade-ins of the older parallel-port keys for the newer, smaller parallel-port units upon request.

If you do find that you have some reason to run 32-bit Structural Material Manager under Win64, you can force this to happen by adding a program parameter of 32 to SMM.Exe in the shortcut. Simply edit the properties of the shortcut that is used to launch the program, find SMM.Exe in the Target section, and add a space and the number 32 after SMM.Exe. The new target would appear as X:\EJE\SMM.Exe 32 where X: represents the drive letter. From then on the 32-bit version will loaded regardless of which Windows version is used. In a network environment, only that particular PC will be affected; any other workstation that has not had its Structural Material Manager shortcut edited in this way will still auto-detect whether the 32- or 64-bit main application should load.

Eliminating the Splash Screen: Structural Material Manager’s splash screen that appears before the application's actual title is the SMM.Exe program. It is a relatively small executable, and it is always in a 32-bit format. The SMM.Exe splash screen queries the operating system to see whether Win32 or Win64 is detected, and it then launches the appropriate main application: either SMM32.Exe or SMM64.Exe.

It is suggested that you leave the SMM.Exe splash screen in place. However, it is safe to eliminate that splash screen if you wish to launch a certain Structural Material Manager version directly. Do this by invoking SMM32.Exe or SMM64.Exe directly instead of running SMM.Exe. So, if you know that a particular workstation has Win32, it is safe to replace SMM.Exe in the program’s shortcut with SMM32.Exe. Likewise, under Win64, you can replace SMM.Exe with SMM32.Exe if that is your preference or - in most cases - SMM64.Exe.

The directions in the preceding paragraph can be followed as-is for Structural Material Manager Versions 14.0 through 15.2: simply replace SMM.Exe with SMM32.Exe or SMM64.Exe in the program's shortcut.

For Versions 15.3 and higher, you must replace SMM.Exe with \SMM32\SMM32.Exe or \SMM64\SMM64.Exe. That is necessary because newer versions place the 32- and 64-bit executables in separate folders. Thus, X:\EJE\SMM.Exe will get changed to either X:\EJE\SMM32\SMM32.Exe or X:\EJE\SMM64\SMM64.Exe depending on which version you intend to run.