Most people have a real love-hate relationship with Copy Design… its big, clunky, and very slow…. but its still better to use than manually copying and renaming files. With this Autodesk set out to build a bigger, stronger, and much faster Copy Design and voila we have it now in Vault 2015 R2! [If you want to read about all things new in R2 stroll over to our post Autodesk Vault 2015 R2 Summary]
When you install Vault 2015 R2 the new Copy Design is installed as a standalone application. This means that you do not launch Copy Design from the Vault Client but from the Programs group, just like Vault and the Job Processor. The copying process has been completely restructured which should lead to much greater performance. With the previous version files were copied local to your system (into the temp) for the magic to happen (copying and renaming) and then checked back in as the new files. Although this happened invisibly to the user it was still time consuming, especially the file transfer back-and-forth between your system and the server. The copying now occurs completely on the server leading to greatly reduced copying times (yeah!)
Here’s the list of enhancements courtesy of the Autodesk Help:
- Copy at the Component Level
- Copy Multiple Data Sets
- Support for non-CAD File Types
- Faster Performance
- More Detailed Feedback
- Create Custom Copy Design Rules
- Numbering Schemes
- Customize the Copy Design Interface
- New Drawing View
Part 1 – Getting the files loaded
After launching the standalone application (and logging in) the first step is to add the files you wish to copy. Using the big plus sign you can search for and add multiple datasets, the “multiple” being one of the new features. A mini-version of the Project Explorer will appear in which you can customize the columns (properties) by either dragging-and-dropping or right-click Choose Columns to add and remove various properties. From this window you want to navigate through the folder structure until you locate the file(s) you want to copy.
Say What? No Searching? Yep, you’ll have to wait for Copy Design 3.0+ for searching. For now you’ll have to do your searching in the Vault Client, but without any means to copy the search results over it becomes awkward quickly.
The main UI can also be tweaked by dragging-and-dropping columns to rearrange and using the right-click menu options to add and remove columns (properties). These changes will stick so that you see the same thing each time you use Copy Design. Right-click options on the files allow for quick expand-all | collapse-all so that you can get a better view of the files and their structure. The Expand option includes 2-levels, 3-levels, and 4-levels on top of the All option. The Add Children option in the ribbon is used to quickly add attachments and Library Files.
To remove the drawings from the View disable the (new) Drawing Views option from the Application Menu.
Part 2 – Making it Happen
Before making your copy selections a few options to be aware of contained within the Application Menu…
- Automatically Copy Parents means that the moment you select a component to copy its parents are automatically set to be copied as well
- Select References is disabled when you only want to copy the instance of the component, not all references of it in the assembly.[This is new, it used to be all or nothing]
Right-click on the components you want to set the action on and right-click. The available action will vary on the component level and the file type. The options include:
- Copy: Toggles the component to copy creating a new file in the same location as the original
- Copy To: Similar to Copy but you will be prompted to select the destination folder for the new copy
- Copy Branch: Sets the action to Copy for the selected item as well as all of its children
- Replace: Browse for and select a replacement file
- Reuse: Is the default action and can be used to remove an action like Copy
- Reuse Branch: Sets the action to Reuse for the selected item as well as all of its children
- Exclude: removes the instance from the new copied assembly
The Has Destination column will populate with a folder icon once Copy Design knows where the new copy is going. Hovering your cursor over this icon displays a tooltip with the Path.
The new Actions Panel can be used to quickly filter out the files with the assigned action. For example selecting the “Exclude” tab displays just the files that have been toggled to exclude from the copy operation. The action of the files can be toggled via right-click in these views as well. So far I have found this to be a great check into what I’m actually copying. Also remember that nothing is committed until you click the Create Copy button to accept your changes and initiate the copy process.
Say What? I’ve experienced too many situations where the file hierarchy collapses when you change the action. For example change the action to reuse on a child component and the entire tree collapses and I don’t know why.
The Where Used panel provides a Source and Destination option so that you can quickly see where the files are coming from (Source) and where the copies are going (Destination). Because you can copy individual instances (now) a particular component might have multiple destinations.
Use the Folders Panel to review the source and destination folders of the copied data, a different view of the Where Used Panel but another mechanism to review that the copied files are going to end up in the correct location. As a bonus you can apply operations based on the folder location. You can also drag-and-drop files between folders or from the main view to add to the copy.
Part 3 – Setting the Copied Names
Here’s a big change from the old Copy Design, you do not use the main window you adjust the name of the copied file. The Numbering Panel lists all the files selected to copy, with both the original name and the new name. This Panel will show tabs for each numbering scheme used within Copy Design and organize the files based on the scheme applied. With files with no scheme applied you can manually adjust the destination file name, apply a prefix (before the base name) or postfix (after the base name). You can apply changes to the three (pre, post, and base) on a selection of files.
Part 4 – What Else can I do?
There’s one more area of Copy Design 2.0 which honestly I think could kick ass, well at least when it comes to copying files… Rule Sets… but I need a bit more time of exploration, testing, and putting into action before I can really comment. Rule Sets are rules you define to make things happen automatically as you copy files. This could be to assign a file category, set properties, clear properties, remove iLogic, and things of this nature. Only one Rule Set can be applied during the copy operation but each Rule Set can contain multiple rules..
There are default rules included “out-of-the-box” which are provided to give similar functionality as the old Copy Design. This includes rules to use the part number as a new file name, removing iLogic rules, and resetting the category of the file so that the new file category assignment rules are applied.