Over the last several years, I have found myself implementing Autodesk Vault Professional for a growing number of Civil clients. As our industry continues to acquire and consolidate, more and more people are turning to Vault to help connect geographically diverse project teams.
A few months ago, I was working with a client that was a new IMAGINiT customer. They had an existing, replicated Vault setup containing about 1500 projects. The purpose of my visit was to take a look at how they were doing things and make recommendations. One item that struck me was that this firm had a process that when a project was completed, they would remove it from the Vault system and archive it on a different file server. In my opinion, most of the benefit Vault brings (historical records, versions, milestones, attributes, quick searching, etc.) was being lost at the end of a project. Furthermore, the only reason this was being done was for the users. They didn’t want the completed projects cluttering their project lists!
Thankfully, Vault has a much more elegant way to handle this dilemma and all of the project data can stay inside of the Vault where it belongs.
Take this quick example:
We have a series of project folders contained inside of a Vault folder.
In this case, 3 projects are active and one is archived. To make this work, I created a quick lifecycle definition and assigned it to the project folders. This projects lifecycle definition contains only two states: active and archived (although this could certainly be expanded to things like cancelled, on hold, etc.).
The magic happens in the security tab for the “archived” state. In my case below, I am explicitly stating that only the administrator user should be able to see the folder. This also implicitly says that no one else should be able to see it.
The result is that when the administrator logs into the system, all project folders will be displayed. This is great if a project needs to be brought back to life and used again. It also solves the user problem in that they will not see the folder if it is tagged archived.
Obviously, this is a simple example but the situation wasn’t the first time I have heard of people pulling data out of Vault for archival purposes. I think everyone will agree that given all the benefits of utilizing the Vault system, the data is best left there.
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