We have seen a couple of questions come up on the Inventor newsgroup around the new Update mechanism that the Inventor team has initiated and whether Updates replace Service packs going forward.
Let it be clear that Inventor will still have Service Packs going forward.
As its name implies, Updates are intended to deliver critical updates (formerly hotfixes) on a more predictable schedule. Think of it as a bundle of hotfixes.
Service Packs allow us to deliver more complex changes but require more time to produce and verify than Updates.
Like Hotfixes, Updates only affect targeted areas of the product associated with particular issues.
There are a couple of other differences between Service Packs and Updates.
Service packs can be included in deployment images, Updates can't.
Service Packs increment the build number, Updates don't.
After applying an update you will neither see a difference in the build number nor a change to the release name in the About dialog.
For example, if you apply Update1 to Inventor 2013, you will still see in the About dialog a build number 138 and a Release: 2013 RTM.
In order to verify if you have Update1 installed, you need to go to the Windows Control Panel and use Programs and Features and View installed updates.
Fig 1: Location of the View installed updates choice in Programs and Features
Update1 can be found under the Autodesk Inventor * 2013 section.
Fig 2: Location of Update1 under the Inventor 2013 product name
You will see periodic Updates in between Service Packs. Both Service Packs and Updates are now cumulative, meaning you only have to install the most recent Service Pack and Update to obtain all previously released hotfixes.
Please note that the Update mechanism is only for 2012, 2013 and future releases. It will not be used for the 2010 and 2011 releases.