Autodesk Vault is a great tool for managing your complex design data that Inventor or any other application generates. Sharing and working on a design project as a team becomes far less cumbersome when using Vault verse any other traditional method. One thing that I would really see become less of a concern for the application in the future is… folders.
Vault still relies on the outdated .ipj project file method for managing your projects folder structure. The project file is still required in order for Inventor to be able to find the files it needs in the various Vault or local sub folders.
For anyone that has started using Windows 7, you know that folders are less important. Your data being found is more important that what subfolder it may be in. Windows 7 utilizes what it refers to as libraries to accomplish this. Folders can become children of a library and data organized centrally if it resides in separate folders or computers.
This is the direction Vault should be heading. Less concern on folder structure and more focus on what project you want to be working on. Here are some random ideas as to how this would work:
· Eliminate the need for .ipj project files. Vault will manage folder structure as needed for any particular project. Folder renames within the Vault can be updated locally without manually user interaction.
· Project based permissions verse folder. Granting a user access to a project would allow them access to all related folders as required.
· Templates can be set on a per project basis.
· Filename schemes can be set on a per project basis.
· Storage locations for files can be set on a per project basis based on rules. (Drawings stored in X folder, Parts stored in Y folder, library components stored in central share folder) All of this can be set by a new project manager role.
· Isolated workspaces with collaboration for the specific project team.
· Vault workspace synch for each project. Switch from project to project and clean up your local folders by removing unnecessary files.
· Automatic iProperty population based on rules for the current project.
Obviously this is not a refined idea. I’m going to post more on this subject and feed it into the AUGI wish list machine soon. Add a comment if you agree and can add some value to this argument (or kill it with a better idea).