Create a Recycle Bin for Vault

If you’re familiar with Autodesk Vault you know it’s great at retaining versions of your design files. These versions can accumulate quickly through your design process and Vault allows you to purge unnecessary versions as you see fit.  Sometimes though, you just need to delete a file or folder. Either it was created in error or it is just plain clutter that needs to be removed for whatever reason.

Any good CAD manager will probably tell you that giving your employees the power to delete files from the Vault at will can be a dangerous thing. Most Vault instances are setup where normal users only have read, write and modify permissions on a folder. Normal users do not have the ability to delete files or folders.

When a file is not yet controlled by a lifecycle state, promoted to an item or some other means by which Vault prevents deletion the folder permissions are the only means by which deletion of files is prevented.

So the question is, how do you handle cases where a file or folder really needs to be deleted? You could setup some separate process where users can request a file or folder be deleted and then a Vault administrator would perform the deletion. This can become quite burdensome quickly.

A possible solution to this problem is to create a Vault recycle bin folder.

Set the permissions for the “Recycle Bin” folder to allow deletions of files by everyone.

Now that you have created this folder, here’s how it will work. If a normal user has a file or folder in their working design folders they would like to delete, they simply move the file or folder into the recycle bin folder.

They can now delete the file or folder from the recycle bin since permissions allow them to do so. If the file is still used elsewhere in your project folders, Vault will not allow the file to be deleted since permissions prevent them from doing so.

This method provides the means for users to delete files or folders on their own while also providing a secondary step before deletion in order to reduce accidental deletions.

Ideally, it would be great if Vault provided a system wide recycle bin that saved a deleted file for a set duration before the file is purged permanently. This is definitely something that I’ll be adding to the Vault wishlist.

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