Tekla Portal Frame Designer 23 & Tekla Connection Designer 23 Release Notes

Tekla Portal Frame Designer
Tekla Connection Designer
Tekla Portal Frame Designer
Tekla Connection Designer

Installation & licensing

This release will upgrade your Tekla Portal Frame Designer & Tekla Connection Designer installation to version number and should be installed to ensure optimum function of the program. It will remove any previous version.

Subscription Licenses

If you have Subscription Licenses they will use the Tekla Online License Method and the 2023 license(s) should already have been added to your Tekla Online Organization.  Select the “Tekla Online” license method option when installing as shown in the picture below:

Tekla online licence selection


  • In order to use a Tekla Online license you will need: a verified Trimble Identity & Tekla Online Account; to be a member of your company's Tekla Online Organization; have an Online License assigned to you by your Organization’s Administrator; to Sign In to your Tekla Online account when you run the program.

On-premises (Perpetual) Licenses


For perpetual licenses using Sentinel RMS (both local and server), Tekla Portal Frame Designer 23 & Tekla Connection Designer 23 will require the activation of a new 2023 version license. You should already have received your 2023 Product Activation Key (PAK) as these are distributed prior to the software release. Please contact your local Service Department now if you do not have your PAK. To minimize any down time, we recommend you activate your PAK BEFORE installing this release.


License Server Version - if you are using Sentinel RMS Server Licenses,  we strongly recommend the Tekla Structural License Service on your license server is updated now to version 4.3.x or later which incorporates Sentinel RMS 10.0 (which adds support for Windows 11). The installation for this can be obtained from Tekla Downloads.

  • For any type of On-premises (Perpetual) Licenses, select the “On-premises'' License Method option when installing, then the appropriate option on the next page as follows:

    • For a mix of pooled Subscription and Sentinel RMS server licenses, select the “Automatic” option as described in this TUA Article.

    • Otherwise, select the “Server Sentinel RMS”, “Local Sentinel RMS” or “Local Hardware Key” option appropriate to your license type*.

      • *If you have a mix of license methods per product, you can edit the license method used by each product after the installation as described in this TUA Article.
        Tekla on premises licence method choices


Tekla Structural Designer - if you wish to integrate Tekla Portal Frame Designer 23 and/or Tekla Connection Designer 23 with Tekla Structural Designer you MUST install Tekla Structural Designer 2023 available from the Tekla Download Service.

Fixes & Enhancements

EC and BS Portal Frame Design

“Plate Girder” Plated Sections and new Advance Sections 

When running Tekla Portal Frame Designer using a Subscription license, "Plate Girder" plated sections are now available, for both EC and BS design codes.


These sections can be selected from the new section datalist as shown below.

Datalist 1.PNG


A new order file “PGOrder.Eur” is available. This contains all of the plate girder sections that are available in the new Plate Girder group in the section datalist. This order file can be set in the Design Wizard.

Design wizard 1.PNG


When set, it can be used as desired for autodesign. It can be set separately for External Columns, Rafters, and Internal Columns.


For a new model, Plate Girder sections can easily be selected either by running autodesign with the appropriate order file selected, or, in Check mode, by selecting the section for the first time from the sections datalist.


For an existing model where sections are already selected, Plate Girder sections can be selected by running autodesign using the Plate Girder order file. If this is not done, the Plate Girder sections will not appear in the datalist because the existing sections that are selected will have been chosen from the non-Plate Girder datalist. Therefore, attempting to simply edit the sections will open the non-Plate Girder datalist from which the existing selections were selected.


Design checks will be run for Plate Girder plated sections in the same way as for rolled sections, for both EC and BS design codes.



Note: for BS and EC, the default haunch is a ‘section cutting the same as rafter’. For normal frames using rolled sections this infers a rolled section haunch. Despite the rafter being a plated section the program behaves as if the section is rolled. Consequently, items such as classification, shear web buckling, shear area would not be correct. We advise that users set the haunch to ‘built up’ as indeed that is what it will be. Design check results are then correct.

As part of this enhancement of the section database, the new British Steel Advance sections have also been added - for more about these see the "General and modeling" section in the Tekla Structural Designer 2023 release notes. Note that as for plate girder plated sections, these are available when running Tekla Portal Frame Designer using a Subscription license.

Improved Portal Solver robustness

A new version of the Portal Solver is now included. When running Tekla Portal Frame Designer with the subscription license, up to 10 spans can now be designed. It was identified that in some circumstances, designing more than 7 spans would result in a crash (which became more likely with 9 or 10 spans). This was because the Portal Solver could not correctly deal with the amount of data required for this many spans.


The upgraded version of the Portal Solver has been included to improve robustness when designing portal frames with up to 10 spans.


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