So I was sitting back enjoying my (Canadian) Thanksgiving long weekend when I read a tweet from Scott about the new just-off-the-presses Subscription-only bonus pack for Autodesk Vault. The headline on Brian Schanen’s Under the Hood blog was “Christmas comes early for the Vault faithful!”… which was almost appropriate since it was Thanksgiving. So as I rubbed the turkey gravy off my face and with pumpkin pie in hand off I was to my computer.
Autodesk Vault 2014 Subscription Release 1
The key here is that this is ONLY available to subscription customers. You’ll need to access the subscription site to download. If you are not on subscription contact your Autodesk Reseller about getting your software onto subscription.
Before applying this update make sure to read through and follow the readme, especially in multi-site installations. Although applying Vault updates are all very similar in procedure, each one always seems to have their own little differences. With this update, for example, Autodesk has bundled both the server and client updates into one installer.
- I have not had the opportunity yet to try adding this to a deployment image. When I do I’ll make sure I update this article.
- Vault 2014 Service Pack 1 must be installed prior to the Subscription Release.
- All future Autodesk Vault 2014 hotfixes will depend on this Subscription Release being installed.
While I was working for an Autodesk reseller one of the key things about presentations was to always answer the question “So What?”… So what Autodesk has released some new functionality for Vault, what’s in it for you? The updates contained within this update fall into one of three categories:
- Updated (redesigned) Vault Thin Web Client
- Inventor “Edited out of Turn” Workflow Improvements
- Revit-Vault Integration Enhancements
For those of you not using Vault in any of these scenarios, sorry, there is nothing new here for you.
- You can now map Revit Project information to Vault UDPs meaning this information will now flow into Vault and can be searched on.
- New Revit features Import from Vault and Load Group allow you to import .RVT, .DWG, .DWF, Model groups, Detail groups, and Attached Detail groups directly from Vault into your active project.
- Within Revit you now can change the lifecycle state, bump the revision, and change categories.
- If you check out a file that has a DWF link that DWF is now automatically checked out as well.
A long standing complaint about the Inventor and Vault integration is dealing with “dirty files”, the ones that inventor felt the need to update but you had no intention to change. These “dirty” files could lead to scenarios where you could not check in your models. Here is the pre-update workflow where I purposely make changes to a non-checked out file. Notice the yellow “I” icon with limited tooltip information. Also take note that none of the browser filters finds that file I’ve made changes to:
There are plenty of workarounds to the dirty files issue but now it would seem that it is a thing of the past…
- Inventor shall not include non-checked out files when doing a Check-in
- Inventor shall not allow you to check out files not of the latest Revision (or latest version)
- Vault shall not allow you to download a file where the local copy has been overridden or updated
The browser icons are now different, for the files Edited Out of Turn instead of the yellow “i” icon we’ve all grown to love you’ll now see a + at the end of the file identifying your local version has saved changes that are not in the Vault. The tooltip shows more information about the file Edited Out of Turn. A Green Circle is now shown for a file that is available for Check Out. As it was difficult at times with larger assemblies to hunt down the files with changes the browser filters have been expanded and includes new options for Without Edits, with Saved Edits, and With Unsaved edits.
Vault Web (Thin) Client
Here is what the web client looked like before the Subscription Update. It has been for the most part unchanged from when it was first introduced.
With this update Autodesk has completely “overhauled” the Web (Thin) client, although it shares some similarities with Autodesk 360
From the readme…
The new Autodesk Vault Thin Client 2014 has been completely redesigned to provide a superior experience when accessing a Vault through a web browser. The redesign includes Enhanced user interfaces, Customizable view functionalities, New BOM interface, and Enhanced report printing. See Autodesk Vault Thin Client 2014 for more information.
One thing I missed when I read the readme was that the address to the web client has changed. What this means is that you can access the legacy (old) web client or the new revamped version. This is great as a CAD Administrator I can gradually roll out the new version at my own pace. I will admit that its going to take me a while to remember the new address as the old one is ingrained in my head. The old address was http://<servername>/autodeskdm/webclient, the new address is http://<servername>/AutodeskTC
Also take note that there are issues with Google Chrome and not being able to view the Visualization (DWF) file. I experienced it myself; Autodesk is aware of the issue and is working on it. For now its best to use (gasp) Internet Explorer. From Irvin Hayes Jr (Product Manager – Autodesk) “Currently the ability to see the DWF in Chrome is not available. Try using the Home Button and selecting Save As then opening the file.” Other than the “completely redesigned to provide a superior experience” UI overhaul there are a couple new things
- Individual view customization. The administrator sets the default properties to be shown, each user can customize it to their liking
- Improved Bill of Materials (BOM) view when looking at items
- Better reports
Still no Change Order viewing though
If you are using Revit or Inventor this is a must-get, must-apply, update… stop everything you are doing and get it now. The updates to the web-client fall more under the “nice-to-have” opposed to the must-have. As this is labeled as Subscription Release 1 maybe we’ll see a second Subscription Release before Vault 2015, although we’re getting very close to beta season so it’s probably unlikely. [subscribe2]