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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


While recently assisting a client with a vault upgrade, we came across an issue that caused a problem when backing up the vault, and I thought it was important enough to write about in order to save you the time and frustration of trying to discover the issue. We had completed the upgrade process from Vault Professional 2015 SP2 to Vault Professional 2017 without any hitches. Our next step was to perform a backup of the vault prior to installing the Vault 2017 Hotfix 1.  We received the following error when attempting the backup: Figure 1: Vault Backup error Access to the path is denied. The path that was being denied was the path listed in the Shared Path location in the Advanced Settings dialog box. We spent time checking the path and verifying that we had proper read/write access to the path in question.  Figure 2: The Share Path is found in Tools > Administration > Advanced Settings. This path was set in the 2015 vault, because it is necessary to configure a shared network folder as a transition area between a ...

Vault 2017 Hotfix Installation Fatal Error
I've come across this error twice in the last week while helping clients update their 2017 vaults to the 2017 Hotfix 1.  The error displays during the installation process, and prevents you from completing the install.  This is a permissions issue, and it can still come up regardless of your Admin rights. Autodesk has posted a workaround to enable a successful installation.  See the original article here: Error - Installation Ended Prematurely.

In this post, we will explore the steps to creating a custom Revision Scheme and applying it to an existing Revision Scheme Definition.  Make note, we are not going to define a new Revision Scheme, but are creating a new Scheme Format only, and applying that to an existing definition.  To start, click on the Tools tab > Administration > Vault Settings. In the Vault Settings dialog box, select the Behaviors tab > Revisions...  button.  In the Revision Scheme Definitions dialog box, first select the Standard Numeric Format (or whichever definition Scheme Format you want to change). Next, select the Edit… button at the top of the dialog box.  In the next dialog box, you can make modifications to Standard Numeric Format, such as the Definition Name, Description, Category assignment, and Scheme Values.  Select the Scheme Format button on the right, and be sure to highlight Numeric. For this example, Click Copy… In the List Scheme Format dialog box, rename the scheme (ex: Tooling).  The list of Scheme Values is listed on the left. In this example, we are going to ...

  For those user’s that are currently using Vault Pro 2017/Vault Workgroup 2017 I would like to share with you an add-in that is called “Autodesk Place from Vault 2017” which is a free download from the Autodesk App Store. This app allows users to directly insert a selected file from the Vault Explorer into the current open and active Inventor document. This is a great tool for those who prefer to search and identify files directly from Vault rather than using the CAD application dialogs.        Autodesk Place from Vault 2017-Additional Info

  Before adding AutoCAD files to Autodesk Vault, you might want to change a setting.  One of the default settings for creating visualization files in Vault is to NOT include Model Space views.  This setting can help keep the amount of visualization files generated down to a minimum, and is especially nice if you rely solely on your Layouts for previewing documents.  However, if you need to be able to see the Model Space content as well, then you will want to change the setting.  Let's take a look at how to change it.  Before we begin changing the setting, let's take a look at the Preview tab of a file and take notice there is not a Model Space Preview (there are only 2 Previews, and they are layouts). To change the setting, first, go to Tools, then Administration, then Vault Settings In the Vault Settings dialog, select the Visualization tab, then the Options... button in the Publish Options section. In the Publish Options dialog box, from the drop-down list, ...

This post is part 2 on my 2-part series on Installing, enabling, and configuring Vault Project Sync.  In part 1, I outlined how to install and enable Project Sync inside of Vault Professional.  In this post, I will be detailing how to configure Project Sync to work with Autodesk Buzzsaw.  (I mentioned Vault Administrator permissions are needed during Step 2 - Enable Project Sync, in the part 1 post, but I need to emphasize that all the steps outlined in both blog posts need to be performed by a Vault Administrator). In order for Project Sync to communicate with your Buzzsaw site, there are two elements that need to be configured.  As outlined in part 1, free access to Buzzsaw is one of the benefits to purchasing Vault Professional on maintenance, so the first step is to create a Buzzsaw site for your organization.  The steps below outline the process to verifying your access, creating your site, and user credentials. First, log in to your Autodesk Account, and click on the Management link at the top of ...

Project Sync is a functionality that is available in Vault Professional, and allows a company to easily share and synchronize specific data to project team members who reside outside of the network firewall of the hosted Vault.  When you subscribe to Vault Professional or if you already own it with a maintenance plan, one of the benefits is free access to Autodesk Buzzsaw.  Within Vault, Project Sync is used to configure which data is shared, and when synchronization occurs with your Buzzsaw site.  Users can access project data from local workstations, the cloud, and mobile devices. "Ok, so how do I get this cool functionality?", you ask.  Well, that's what this post is all about, so let's get started. Step 1 - Installation Project Sync is not installed by default when installing the Vault Professional (Client), so it must specifically be enabled during the install.  In the setup dialog, select Project Sync in the configuration window to have it installed.  If you've already installed Vault without also selecting Project Sync, you can modify the installation through the Windows Control Panel. ...

You have created your project(s) and have been working for months or years in Plant 3D.  The IT director comes in and says, "We are going to Vault Professional!"  As a designer, you may be thinking sarcastically, "Oh great, something else to learn..." or you may be thinking, "We need something like this to help secure our projects and make horizontal workshare a real possibility!"  You would be right on both thoughts.  There are many advantages to making the move to Vault Professional in regards to AutoCAD Plant 3D, and we can help you explore those benefits.  But you more than likely will have several projects you are already working on that will need to be moved to this new Vault.  It is really an easy task and here are the steps.   In Plant 3D, open the project you want to convert.  Do not open any of the drawings.  From the command line, type in PLANTPROJECTTOVAULT.  You will see the following dialog box asking you to enter in Vault and SQL information.      After selecting "Start" you will see the following dialog ...

The Vault Administrator is responsible for maintaining the health of the Vault.  The Vault's health is a crucial element to proper data management and happy, stress free, vault use.  Having said that, the Vault Administrator is usually being hammered from all sides doing many other functions and helping many people with their IT and design needs.  The best way to maintain the health of your vault is to automate those administrative tasks with batch file routines that are run on a scheduled basis using your windows task scheduler. The Connectivity.ADMSConsole.exe command can be used in conjunction with command line options to back up or restore a vault.  It can also Migrate data after installing a Hot Fix or an Update, Purge file versions, and Re-index File Properties (just to name a few).  The list of scripts for the Command Line Server Console can be found here. Once you familiarize yourself with the Command Line options, you need to create batch files for the routines that you want to run on a scheduled basis.  Finally, establish your Vault Zen by automating the ...

Stop using Bentley's ProjectWise or any other data management solution for managing AutoCAD Plant 3D projects.  They do not work!  There is little to no integration at all. "What will work?"  Autodesk Vault Professional! Applied Software is well-versed in the integration of Vault and AutoCAD Plant 3D and you need to make the switch today! "How does this benefit me?" ◾Check in and out drawings ◾Utilize a horizontal workshare environment with multiple locations utilizing Vault Professional and AVFS (Autodesk Vault File Server) ◾Work locally from your Vault Workspace so you do not have to rely on poor network speeds when saving large models ◾Revision control ◾Permission control The benefits are there so take advantage of them now!

With the new Copy Design within Vault Pro 2017 iLogic rules are NOT COPIED by default. This can be resolved by setting up a new Action Rule. Below I have listed the steps on how to make sure your iLogic rules get copied with your parts and assemblies. Step 1: Within the Copy Design dialogue click on the Master Menu and select Action Rules.     Step 2: Within the Action Rules dialogue you will notice that we have a Default Rule Set. Select the Default Rule Set and then select Copy. You can either keep the Rule Name given or you can give the rule a more meaningful name. Click OK.     Step 3: You will now notice that within the Action Rules Dialogue we have a Copy of Default Rule Set. Select this new rule and select edit.   Step 4: Within the Define Rule Set dialogue select iLogicRuleStatus underneath Property Behavior and then click on Remove. Click OK.   Step 5:  Click Apply and OK within the Action Rules dialogue.   Step 6: Within the Copy Design Dialogue click on Selected Rule Set and choose the newly created rule. This will allow your iLogic ...

Recently, I had a customer contact our support team in regards to a behavior after installing release 2017. He was having issues with his mouse lagging while panning and zooming and using Inventor generally.  He had been using 2016 without any issues. A quick search yielded a result on the Autodesk Inventor Troubleshooting site. I figured I would write about this, since it has the potential to be a common problem for users who also have Vault installed. In short, the fix (until Autodesk is able to produce a patch) is to disable the My Home tab in inventor. From the Tools tab, select Application Options.   In the General tab, the My Home option has been moved to the bottom right of the dialog.  Un-check the box as displayed below.  Click OK to dismiss the dialog box. The My Home tab is the cause, as it periodically checks the vault server to ensure that the vault status for each thumbnail preview is correct.  According to the article, this is the designed behavior but it is supposed to take place on ...

Every company, whether manufacturing a product, designing a building or providing a service (IT, consulting, etc.) has a concept, a plan, process or design reviews, and procedures related to the startup, production, management and pass-off or completion of their product, building or service. And all aspects of that lifecycle ideally should be documented and accessible (at various permission levels) throughout the entire organization.Some of the traditional objections to implementing PLM have been the massive infrastructure and investment in costly programming needed to link disparate and non-communicative technologies. Try connecting Vaulted Inventor assembly data to an ERP system based on a "home grown" AS400 platform for example...it works about as well as Monty Python's Hungarian at the Tobacconist using an English phrase book. And if you don't know how that sketch ended, look it up on YouTube - not pretty!This is where Autodesk 360 Nexus appears to have an ingenious way of clearing the hurdle mentioned above - by keeping the data inside the firewall and providing a Cloud based, zero infrastructure investment model whereby anyone collaborating or doing business ...

While en route to the first of 4 Innovation Forums at Autodesk University this year, there were 2 buzzwords that I knew I'd hear many times during the conference: "Cloud", and "PLM". And while the former certainly has multiple definitions, the latter has traditionally been defined as Product Lifecycle Management. However, with the launch of Autodesk 360 Nexus, PLM may soon be democratized and more accessible to SMB (small to medium sized businesses) than ever.First, let's distinguish the differences between PDM and PLM. At it's core, PDM focuses on the data involved in the design and manufacture of a product, and therefore, is most important to those divisions of an organization. In more progressive firms, the data is shared with sales, marketing and ERP, though frequently as a non-collaborative, one way push. Many clients of ours have a PDM system courtesy of the Autodesk Vault, which is an engineering centric tool for data management. But PDM, through Vault, DBWorks or even Windows Explorer (yikes) is merely one component of PLM, which focuses on the lifecycle of a product, from ...