For the past two weeks, I have been writing about some recent experiences of a client using Autodesk Vault Professional. Specifically, I discussed project archival and user defined properties on project folders. All of this is driven by a central Vault concept called categories. To complete the topic, I thought I would spend a few minutes talking about revisions.
In the civil engineering world, we don’t tend to think about revisions the way that Vault does out of the box. Most of us don’t produce rev 1, 2, or 3 or A, B, or C of drawings. Sure, we definitely produce drawings and then modify them; however, we typically don’t numerically or alphabetically sequence them like other industries do. Things start to change a little bit when we think about Vault revisions as project milestones. Furthermore, think about “released” documents. Now it starts to align with our world because most of us have 30/60/90/100/As-built (or some variation) submittals. Its not immediately obvious, but Vault can track these for us using the revisions feature.
Using this mechanism, we can define a custom revision scheme containing the necessary milestones.
Furthermore, if we tie revisions to lifecycles, we can automatically increment the revision when the file(s) go through the appropriate lifecycle change.
To bring this full circle to where I began a few weeks ago, this is also an great archival mechanism. Just about every firm I have worked with over the past 18+ years of being at IMAGINiT has some form of project archival at submittal milestones. This usually involves zipping up the entire project, naming the file some variation of the project number/name with milestone (30/60/90 etc.) appended on. This file is then stored inside of the project. When the next milestone submittal occurs, this practice is repeated. Again, when used in conjunction with lifecycles, Vault can automatically do this for us. All that is necessary is to set the “approved” state (the one that is triggering the revision change) to be a “released” state and keep all the versions.
This means that regardless of how many times the Vault goes through the purge routine, those files will always be kept. This means that they will always be available to restore if the situation warrants.
To make all of this work seemlessly, make sure the newly defined revision scheme gets assigned when the file assigned a category.
Similar to lifecycles and user defined properties, once the file is given the category (or automatically is assigned a category based on rules), it will automatically inherit the custom revision scheme.
Another popular practice is creating PDF files for the submittals. Did you know that Vault can automatically do that for you too? Its configured in the same location (lifecycle definition transitions) as the toggle to bump the revision upon a state change. That will be the topic for next time…
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