SysCAD Files

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Latest SysCAD Version: 19 March 2024 - SysCAD 9.3 Build 139.35102

Related Links: Project Structure


When SysCAD is installed a number of folders and files are created and for SysCAD to function correctly, it is necessary to keep certain files at the correct locations. The default name for the main SysCAD folder given during install is 'SysCADxxx'.

Please note that SysCAD is not a 'lean' client, and as such it must be installed on the computer that is to run SysCAD. A user may not install the software on another computer, or server, and then run SysCAD on their PC. (Of course, SysCAD can be installed on a remote computer and SysCAD can be run on the remote computer from another computer using Remote Desktop or similar software)

To illustrate the function and necessity of these folders and files, an example install is used and the sample file location tree is as follows:

SysCADFiles138 1.png
  • The two folders that must be located in the main SysCAD folder on a PC for SysCAD to run on that PC are:
    1. \BaseFiles
    2. \bin
  • All of the other folders may be moved to different locations, or deleted. (The user must be able to locate a valid SysCAD license elsewhere if the License folder is deleted)

The folders are explained in the following sections.

Base Files Folder

SysCADFiles138 2.png

This folder Button Small 1.png MUST always be present and must not be renamed. Full user access permissions are required in this folder.

When SysCAD is installed, it places all the distributed data files in the Basefiles folder. These include:

  • Fonts folder - The Fonts folder contains font shape(.shp) files that define the appearance of text in the Graphics commands Insert Text and Change Text. These files are only compatible with SysCAD versions starting from Build 139.34893. Older versions of SysCAD do not use these files.
  • Symbols folder - contains all the standard drawing symbols available in SysCAD.
  • TemplateReports folder - contains the report templates. These templates are used to auto create "02GeneralReport.xlsx" and "04DetailedReport.xlsx" for each project. User can modify these templates to their reporting standards. (If these are modified, please keep a backup in the BaseFilesUser Folder so they do not get overridden in the event of re-installing SysCAD at the same location.)
  • Default.93.db3 - The default species database containing a species table that is available to all users.
  • IonList.txt - This file is a backup file for TCE projects that need an ion list file. When the ion list.txt file is not in the TCE project group, this file will be added to the project automatically.
  • SysCADSymbolsList.pdf - This file contains a list of the drawing symbols available in SysCAD (i.e.: Basefiles\Symbols folder). The purpose of this file is for user to view the available symbols without having to scroll down the list one at a time. (NOTE: New Symbols maybe added to SysCAD from time to time, this file may not contain all the symbols.)
  • QuickViewDefaults.2.ini - a file used to define default tag lists for Quickview for each model type.
  • In addition it contains a number of templates for the text based (controller and reaction) files.

All files stored in this folder should be treated as global data files, that is, any projects can access these reference files. No user specific files should be placed in this folder, they should go in BaseFilesUser.

These files are supplied by SysCAD and can be overwritten or updated at any time (a new install, SysCAD update, etc.). A recommended practice before installing a major update is to delete the contents of the BaseFiles folder so that no "old" or "obsolete" files are unintentionally retained.

If this folder is deleted, SysCAD will not run.

Base Files User Folder

This folder Button Small 2.png is used to store user preferences, settings, custom conversions and user defined symbols. If SysCAD is re-installed, it will NOT overwrite any files stored in this folder.

This folder is used to store users defined Graphics Symbols. These symbols will be available for use in SysCAD in the same list as the standard symbols. When moving to a new computer, you can copy your Symbols between PCs.

Bin Folder

This folder Button Small 3.png MUST always be present and must not be removed - SysCAD will not run if this folder is missing.

When SysCAD is installed, it places all the program files in the bin folder. These include:

  • SysCAD93.exe
  • Dynamic Link Libraries (dlls)
  • DLLs for users with custom add-ons
  • COM Type Libraries (tlb) files

Please see SysCAD Files for a more detailed list of the files present in this folder.

If the user wishes to upgrade to the latest SysCAD version, but not run a full install, then they can unzip the upgraded SysCAD bin files into this folder.

Examples Folder

SysCADFiles138 3.png

When SysCAD is installed a number of Example projects are stored in this folder Button Small 4.png.

These projects have been setup to demonstrate features and functionalities in SysCAD, or to show some common circuits used by specific industries.

For example:

  • The 02 Features sub-folder contains projects on how to set up or use solubility, makeup, or demand.
  • The 03 UnitModels sub-folder contain projects on how to set up flash trains, solvent extraction circuits, counter current circuits, etc.
  • The 10 Alumina sub-folder will show some common circuits used by the alumina industry.
  • The 40 Nickel sub-folder has a demonstration project for a simplified Ni-Cu plant.

These projects may provide users with a basic starting point for new projects.

For example, if a user wishes to create a SysCAD model of an Ammonia plant, then they could create a copy of the Example Ammonia plant and use that as the basis for a more complex model.

This folder may be deleted or moved. A recommended practice before installing a major update is to delete the contents of the Examples folder so that no "old" or "obsolete" projects and files are unintentionally retained.

Please NOTE that some projects would require additional add-on (and license option) to run. See Example Projects and Project Structure for more information.

License Folder

This folder Button Small 6.png contains files required for the SysCAD license.

  • Full user access permissions are required in this folder.
  • This is the default license location and contains all of the licensing files.
  • User may move this folder to another location or rename it before the license is issued and then browse to the new location the first time that SysCAD is opened (thereafter the software will remember the location).
  • The license does NOT normally need to be upgraded when SysCAD is upgraded.

Note: This folder may be deleted, moved or renamed, only if the license is NOT stored in this folder or it has not yet been issued. Once a license has been issued to this location, the folder must not be moved or renamed. If either of these steps is carried out the SysCAD license will be lost.

Setup Folder

SysCADFiles138 7.png

This folder Button Small 7.png contains files used during SysCAD set up or for future use.

The setup folder has a number of sub-folders containing software that is used in tandem with SysCAD. Most of this software is installed when SysCAD is installed, but it is also available here if the user wishes to re-install it.

  • The LicenseUtility folder can be used to test/authorise the SysCAD license. Please see License Authorisation using Licensing Utility for more information.
  • Network license Client/Server folders are for users with network licenses, please see Network License for instructions on how to use these files.
  • We recommend that users install Notepad++ as it has a number of advantages over the standard text editor installed with Windows. This can then be set as the default text editor used for editing the control files, or PGM files.
  • OPC setup folder is for user with dynamic license and SysCAD Marshal (OPC) Add-on. See Getting Started with OPC Server and Client for more information.

This folder may be deleted or moved.

Tutorial Folder

SysCADFiles138 8.png

This folder Button Small 8.png contains files used as part of the standard SysCAD steady state training courses.

  • Various training and reference documents can be found in this folder, including the Introductory Tutorial, Getting Started and Quick Reference documents. See Steady State Introductory Tutorial for more information.
  • All the tutorial projects are using the same "CfgFiles" folder.
  • Each project in this folder corresponds to a section of the tutorial documentation.
  • These projects can be used as starting points during training if required.

This folder may be deleted or moved.

For more information on the Tutorial documentation, please see Tutorial Overview

CfgFiles Folder

Each "Project Group" should contain a Cfgfiles folder (An example of a project group is give above: Tutorial Folder)

The CfgFiles Folder should contain:

  1. SysCAD.93.db3 - The project Species database containing species data used by the project group.
  2. One or more configuration files with extension cfg. For example: Basic.cfg or NickelCopper.cfg

The project group Species data base file and the project configuration file used by the project must be stored in the same folder.


Other files that maybe stored in the cfgfiles folder are:

  • CnvDefaults.ini - to stored user selected conversion units (for access window display)
  • Options.CopyBlockData.ini - for Data transfer
  • QuickViewFormats.2.ini - to store user defined Quick View entries.

SysCAD Project Folder

  • SysCAD project folder has the extension .spf (syscad project folder). This extension should not be deleted.
  • The SysCAD project folder contain a number of documents, these may include:
    1. Model files - ModelData.db3, stores the project model data.
    2. Graphics files - xxxx.DXF and xxxx.scg file. These are always in pairs, the .scg file is used to load the .dxf into SysCAD. From Build 139, these are stored in sub folder \DocsGraphics.
    3. Trend and Trend with Controls files - xxxx.trn or xxxx.trc file. From Build 139, these are stored in sub folder \DocsTrend.
    4. TagList files - xxxx.lst file. Available from Build 139. These are stored in sub folder \DocsTagList.
    5. Control files - stored in sub folder \Controls. This is optional, used to store .pgm and .mp files used by general controller and model procedure files.
    6. Reaction files - stored in sub folder \Reactions. This is optional, used to store .rct files
    7. Report Files - stored in sub folder \Reports. This is optional, used to store SysCAD reports.
    8. Print Files - stored in sub folder \Print. This is optional, created when Print Multiple PDF command is used.
    9. Exported Symbols Files - stored in sub folder \Symbols. This is optional, created when Export All Symbols command is used.
    10. Backup files - and Used to store a copy of the cfgfiles and any remote files used by the project.
    11. Historian files - Used to store data when historian is switched on.
    12. Various Project ini files
    13. Controls.Data (This was called Other.dat in Build 138.) In Build 139 this file exclusively contains PGM & MP data.
    14. Project.spj file. This file must NOT be renamed, SysCAD requires this file to load the project.

SysCAD Files

Most of the SysCAD created files are essential and care should be taken to keep these files in the correct location.

The following files are required to run SysCAD or are used for related functionality:



Main SysCAD Files (Dynamic Link Libraries)

SysCADxxx\bin\xxx.dll (Model libraries e.g. Basic1.dll Control1.dll, Piping1.dll...)

Command to register SysCAD files (COM_Automation and SysCAD Marshal)

NOTE: This group of files are added during full SysCAD installation, they are not supplied with Bin update files.

SysCAD Files for COM Automation (COM Automation)


SysCAD Marshal files (SysCAD Marshal)


OPC Server Test files


SysCAD data files


SysCAD License Files (Licensing)

SysCADxxx\License\CKS.exe (Used by SetupEx.exe)
SysCADxxx\License\SetupEx.exe (The CrypKey License Service Setup Install program)
SysCADxxx\License\SetupEx_Force.cmd (Force install, see Re-installing Crypkey)
SysCADxxx\License\SysCAD.exe (required)
SysCADxxx\License\crp32002.ngn (required)
SysCADxxx\License\SysCAD.CIHS (created)
SysCADxxx\License\SysCAD.ckn (created)