OpticStudio Online FAQ

This article answers common questions about the OpticStudio Online edition.
 
Thomas Pickering
05/23/2017
OpticStudio
OpticStudio Online

  1. Frame Explorer
  2. Uploading files
  3. P drive for Zemax data
    1. What is the security of the P drive?
    2. What data is stored or persisted in the OpticStudio Online session?
    3. Will the personal online storage also be backed up regularly?
    4. Where is the Zemax User Data located?
    5. Does Zemax delete the data when the OpticStudio Online subscription ends?
    6. Does Zemax have privileges to the P drive storage?
  4. Sharing a session
    1. Does the Sharing Session feature require both users to have a license?
  5. Autosaving files vs. UNDO
  6. Can I start a session, disconnect and reconnect on a different location, time or device?
  7. Session duration and inactivity timers
    1. Can the idle time and session time limits be set by the user?
    2. Are there any additional charges for computing hours?
  8. Extremely slow UI / Windows response in Chrome
  9. I see a border around my Frame session even when full screen. Why?
  10. Keys stop responding
  11. Clipboard support
  12. Exiting full screen mode
  13. Is it “dedicated” access to a virtual machine for each user?
  14. Where can I find the OpticStudio Online Services Agreement?
  15. How long does it take for the system to find an available session upon startup? 
    1. How will you ensure that an online machine is always available? Will a large number of users at one time limit either the availability or the performance of the software?
  16. Hotkeys
    1. OpticStudio hotkeys
  17. Files included in a ZAR archive
 

Frame Explorer

When you double-click in the white space next to a folder or file it will go up a level in the folder tree. For example, if you are in P:\zemax and do this, it will take you to P:\.  This is done so you don’t have to move the mouse to the "up" button in the toolbar. You can also use the backspace key on the keyboard.

Uploading files

You can upload multiple files by holding the “Ctrl” key then selecting each file you want. You can also drag files into the upload window. Note that if you drag a folder into the upload window, it will only copy the files within the folder, not the folder name itself. As a workaround, you can right-click a folder, select "send to" then "compressed folder" to create a ZIP file with everything included.

P drive for Zemax data

You get 10GB of space on the P: drive. OpticStudio copies data from ZAR files to the P:\Zemax folder when opening them. Therefore, make sure there is at least as much free space as the ZAR file available on the P drive before opening it. The P drive is backed up on the server nightly. If you need files restored, email Zemax Support for assistance right away. The contents of the P: drive is deleted if the subscription ends or is cancelled.  Therefore, we recommend backing up anything on the P: drive to your computer regularly. 

What is the security of the P drive?

It’s an Amazon AWS drive. It’s only accessible to the end-user who is logged in. OpticStudio Online is hosted using Amazon’s servers (AWS). So, we’re getting the same security that Amazon provides to anyone using their servers. We know the general AWS servers won’t be a viable option for companies that have to restrict internet access and that cannot use onlinestorage. However, Amazon also has a special set of servers called AWS GovCloud that comply with ITAR restrictions. We don’t currently have an OpticStudio Online option set up that utilizes these servers, but please let us know if you’re interested.
https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/

What data is stored or persisted in the OpticStudio Online Session?

Just the contents of the P drive. All documents in the Frame’s C drive are removed after logout. Note that this includes the Download and Upload folders.

Will the personal online storage (P drive) also be backed up regularly?

The personal online storage (P drive) is backed up nightly, so users won’t need to worry about saving the files elsewhere.

Where is the Zemax User Data located?

The user data folder in the OpticStudio Online Edition is located on your personal online storage drive. We provide personal online storage drive for you, called the P drive, which can only be accessed through your OpticStudio Online account.

Does Zemax delete the data when the OpticStudio Online subscription ends?

Yes, The P drive is deleted if the subscription ends or is cancelled. 

Does Zemax have privileges to the P drive storage?

Zemax cannot access any user account.

Sharing a session

Session sharing is NOT compatible across all browser combinations. For more information see https://docs.fra.me/docs/share-your-session. Please note that the session sharing feature currently only supports connections between Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers on Macs and PCs (Android, iPad and Chromebook session sharing is currently not supported). If you are using Internet Explorer 11 or Edge, then you cannot share sessions with other users running on the browsers listed above. You can share sessions, however, with other IE or Edge users.

Does the Sharing Session feature require both users to have a license?

No, it does not. Please look here for more details https://docs.fra.me/docs/share-your-session. You and your colleague both share control of the screen. You’re both essentially viewing and using the same session. As soon as the account holder ends the session, the other colleague loses access.  

Autosaving files vs. UNDO

OpticStudio Online automatically saves the open lens file every 15 minutes, which will avoid losing local files if the session crashes or you step away and the session times out. If you prefer to save only when you want to, Autosave can be disabled in Setup / Project Preferences / General. The P drive is the default location for your user data files, where the auto-saved files will be stored. The only files which are stored locally (and thus will not persist between sessions) on the server are the undo files, because these are created each time you change something in your system, and it is much faster to write to a local drive (versus an online drive).

Can I start a session, disconnect and then reconnect on a different location, time or device?

Yes, this is one of the really nice things about the OpticStudio Online platform! If you disconnect, you need to reconnect within 10 minutes to continue the same session (as that is when the session will automatically disconnect if idle. Or leave the session open, rather than disconnect, and you will be able to resume on another computer within 30 minutes (see https://docs.fra.me/docs/disconnect-and-resume for more details).

Session duration and inactivity timers

  Account Available Max session duration User inactivity timeout Idle timeout
Trial 2 weeks 6 hours 30 mins 10 mins
OpticStudio 1 year 16 hours 30 mins 10 mins

Can the idle time and session time limits be set by the user?

The idle time limit can be adjusted; however, you shouldn’t need to change this because it will automatically be overridden if OpticStudio is still calculating something. If you’re running an optimization, or updating an analysis window, then this will be detected and the idle timer will restart. We also have the auto-save functionality hooked up so that your file will automatically be saved (including any calculated data and tolerancing output) before your session ends. We don’t want you to lose any information! The maximum session time limit is not customizable right now. It is set to 16 hours, but we can change this based on customer demand.

Are there any additional charges for computing hours?

It is unlimited total hours. Since Zemax does get charged for the usage, we do restrict the continuous number of hours the session can be active in a session to 16, so users don’t accidentally remain logged in unnecessarily. You may start a new session immediately if you reach the session limit.

Extremely slow UI / Windows response in Chrome

  1. Close and restart the browser 
  2. Clear temporary files
  3. Make sure the hardware acceleration option in the Chrome settings “system” section is checked.
  4. Check if Chrome requires an update and run the websocket test again. 
  5. Reset Chrome back to default (make sure to save any favorites) 
  6. Uninstall and reinstall the newest version of Chrome as it may resolve this issue.

I see a border around my Frame session even when full screen. Why? 

OpticStudio Online has a maximum resolution of 2560x1440 (This is a limitation of Amazon's AWS service). If you have a higher resolution display, AND the text scaling setting in Windows is set to 100%, the OpticStudio Online "window" in your browser will have a border around it. Raise the scaling to 125% or more to allow Windows to stretch it to fill the screen.

Keys stop responding

This may be caused by the “LastPass” browser add-in. Try disabling it. See this article for information on disabling add-ins in all popular browsers 

Clipboard support

Copy and pasting files between the Frame session and local computer is not available. However, you can use the Frame "start menu" to copy and paste. See the OpticStudio Online End User Manual on the OpticStudio Online References page for details.

Exiting full screen mode

  1. If using the Frame Maximize button at the bottom right, tap ESC to exit full screen mode. 
  2. If using the browsers Full screen option instead, use the browser’s designated hotkey instead. 
  3. Internet Explorer: It has to be enabled and disabled from the “gear” menu, then select File, Full Screen. 
  4. Edge: No full screen mode in this browser 
  5. Firefox: If you maximize while in frame, you need to move the mouse to the top of the browser, then open the menu, and click the Full Screen button to turn it off. 

Is it “dedicated” access to a virtual machine for each user?

Yes, it is equivalent to installing OpticStudio on a standalone workstation. 

Where can I find the OpticStudio Online Services Agreement?

There is one for the full version and one for the trial version. It’s also located on the Frame launchpad at the bottom of the page.

How long does it take for the system to find an available session upon startup? 

The longest you would ever have to wait is three minutes, and this will only be during the initial launch of the product. 

How will you ensure that an online machine is always available? If there are a large number of users at one time, will that limit either the availability or the performance of the software?

Once we know about how many people are typically using OpticStudio at a time, we can ensure that we always have this number of instances ready to go. We are also discussing allowing users to purchase a higher priced subscription which ensures that an instance is always ready to go. Right now, we aren’t sure if it will even be needed, or if it is something that our customers will want to pay more for. 

Hotkeys

Using the back button on your mouse will attempt to back you out of the whole frame session, although it will give a warning popup first. Use backspace or Alt-Left-arrow instead.

OpticStudio hotkeys 

The following shortcuts do not open the intended OpticStudio feature in all browsers:

OpticStudio Feature Shortcut Keys Chrome Microsoft Edge Firefox Safari IE11
About F10 X
Cross-Section Ctrl + L X
Dispersion Diagram Ctrl + Shift + P X
Geometric Ctrl + Shift + N X
Help System F1 O
Lens Data Editor Shift + F1 X O
Multiple Configuration Editor F7 X
New Ctrl + N X X X
NSC 3D Layout Ctrl + L X
Open Ctrl + O X O
Print Ctrl + P X O O
Quick Focus Ctrl + Shift + Q X X
Ray Aberration Ctrl + R X
Refresh List F11 X
Tolerancing Ctrl + T X X X
Wavelength Data Ctrl + W X X X
 
Key  
Shortcut opens OpticStudio feature
Browser takes precedence (shortcut does not open OpticStudio feature) X
Shortcut opens OpticStudio feature and browser action O


The following shortcuts open the intended OpticStudio feature in all browsers tested:

OpticStudio Feature Shortcut Keys Chrome Microsoft Edge Firefox Safari IE11
3D Viewer Ctrl + Shift + L
Add Fold Mirror Ctrl + Shift + F
Detector Viewer Ctrl + Shift + D
Edit/Run F9
Exit Ctrl + Q
FFT MTF Ctrl + M
Field Data Ctrl + F
Geometric Image Analysis Ctrl + J
Global Search Ctrl + Shift + G
Hammer Current Ctrl + Shift + H
Interferogram Ctrl + I
ISO Element Drawing Ctrl + Shift + E
Lens Catalog F5
Materials Catalog F4
Merit Function Editor F6
Next Configuration Ctrl + A
Next NSC Group Ctrl + Shift + D
Non-Sequential Component Editor Shift + F3
NSC Shaded Model Ctrl + Shift + L
Optical Path Ctrl + Shift + R
Optimize! Ctrl + Shift + O
Paraxial Gaussian Beam Ctrl + B
Partially Coherent Image Analysis Ctrl + Shift + J
Prescription Data Ctrl + H
Previous Configuration Ctrl + Shift + A
Ray Trace Ctrl + D
Redo Ctrl + F3
Reverse Elements Ctrl + Shift + B
Save Ctrl + S
Single Ray Trace Ctrl + Y
Standard Spot Diagram Ctrl + Shift + S
System Data Ctrl + Shift + X
System Explorer Ctrl + G
Toggle Variable Solve Ctrl + Z
Tolerance Data Editor Shift + F2
Undo F3
Update Ctrl + U
Update All Ctrl + Shift + U
Visual Optimizer Ctrl + Shift + V
Zemax Element Drawing Ctrl + E
Zernike Fringe Coefficient Ctrl + Shift + Z

 

Files included in a ZAR archive

Here is a comprehensive chart of files included in a Zemax Archive File (*.ZAR). Note that if you include large CAD, ZRD, ZBF files, OpticStudio will ask if you want to include them.

Category Surface/Object/Analysis/etc. File Type Included in ZAR
LDE Grid Sag DAT X
  Grid Phase DAT X
  Grid Gradient GGD
  Black Box Lens ZBB
  GRADIUM GRD
  Optically Fabricated Hologram _1.ZMX, _2.ZMX
  Slide Surface BMP/JPG/PNG
  User Defined DLL
MFE ZPLM ZPL
  TOLR TOP, CFG
  UDOC EXE
  UDOP EXE
Solve Macro ZPL
Coating Encrypted Coating ZEC
  Coating file DAT
Material Catalog AGF
  Tableglass ZTG
NSCE CAD Assembly: Autodesk Inventor IAM
  CAD Assembly: Creo Parametric ASM
  CAD Assembly: SolidWorks SLDASM
  CAD Part: Autodesk Inventor IPT
  CAD Part: Creo Parametric PRT
  CAD Part: SolidWorks SLDPRT
  CAD Part: STEP/IGES/SAT STEP
    STP
    IGS
    SAT
    ZOF
    ZEN
  CAD Part: STL STL
  CAD Part: Zemax Part Designer ZPO
  Grid Sag Lens GRD
  Grid Sag Lens 2 GRD
  Grid Sag Surface GRD
  Polygon Object POB
  Slide BMP/JPG/PNG
  Tabulated Object TOB
  User Defined Object DLL
Scattering ABg DAT
  ABg File ABGF
  BSDF BSDF
  IS Scatter Catalog ISX
  User Defined DLL
  Bulk DLL
  Phosphor Absorption ZAS
  Phosphor Emission ZES
  Phosphor Excitation ZEX
  Phosphor Quantum Yield ZQE
Sources Source DLL DLL
  Source EULUMDAT File LDT
  Source File DAT
    CRS
  Source Imported STEP
    STP
    IGS
    SAT
    ZOF
  Source IESNA IES
  Source Spectrum SPCD
Misc Macro Editor ZPL X
  Tolerance Script TSC X
  Tolerance Files TOL X
  Merit Functions MF X
POP POP Multi Mode ZMM
  POP File ZBF
  POP DLL DLL
  Beam File Viewer DLL
Aperture User Aperture UDA
Analysis Image Simulation BMP/JPG/PNG
  Geometric Image Analysis IMA
  Geometric Bitmap Image Analysis BMP/JPG/PNG
  Light Source Analysis DAT
  Partially Coherent Image Analysis IMA
  Extended Diffraction Image Analysis IMA
  IMA/BIM File Viewer IMA
  Bitmap File Viewer BMP/JPG/PNG
Ray Database Ray Database Viewer ZRD
  Path Analysis ZRD
  Flux vs. Wavelength ZRD
  Detector Viewer ZRD