If you have had your ear to the cloud lately, you probably have heard about Autodesk Cloud (http://documents.cloud.autodesk.com) This new service from Autodesk offers 1GB of free storage space for all your design files which allows you to access them anywhere at anytime. You also get an additional 2GB for being an Autodesk Subscription customer. Autodesk Cloud also works with Autodesk Design Review mobile for the iPhone or iPad.
This is a great free service from Autodesk that I’m sure they plan on expanding on in the future. So, how would I change Autodesk Cloud? Well… wouldn’t it be great to use it as the back-end to update design files on your companies website? Let’s say your new widget design has changed, how do you go about updating the specification drawing and related documents on your website now? PDF them out, open your FTP client and upload to the right folder and hope all the links get updated, right? Maybe you have a more advanced system in place, but they probably all involve some sort of “out of the native CAD application type workflow”.
It would be a great scenario if you could publish your design file directly to Autodesk Cloud documents as you can do now but with the added ability to tag which files need to get updated to the right FTP path every time they change. Yes, workflow approval would be nice… and maybe this is more Autodesk 360 Nexus than base Autodesk Cloud. It has been always a cumbersome process from my experience of getting the engineering data in the right hands in marketing and getting your website product information updated in a timely manner.
I do believe this could be another whole product offering for the first company to do it right. A website back-end that is cloud powered for design files, with a skin in your company colors, logos, and look. If your anything like me when you are designing something and are moving along, the last thing you want to do is have to pause for a meandering mess of information on a supplier’s website. It’s usually a mess because nobody understands how to update a website and if they do it take s way too much time to upload and update dozens of files and links at a time.
Speaking of a meandering mess, this blog post may be categorized as that. However, I wanted to write this thought down before it got lost… just like the missing rev 2 drawing for your new widget design you emailed to your IT guy to get uploaded to your website last month.