Should I use Vault Basic or Vault Professional?

August 19, 2022 Caleb Funk

Having trouble deciding which of the Autodesk Vault tools are right for your data management needs?  There is quite a bit of overlapping functionality between the two products, so it can be difficult to understand what Vault Professional offers that Vault Basic does not.  For example, both tools offer:

  • A central location for storing CAD data files, libraries and other documents
  • Integration with Inventor, AutoCAD, and other Autodesk Products
  • Fast file searching
  • Concurrent design
  • Ease of design re-use
  • Leveraging software to manage file relationships

The answer to this question is always another question: what are you trying to accomplish with your data management tool?  If your wish list ends with the last bullet points listed above then Vault Basic is an excellent choice.  But what if you need:

Enhanced Security

Vault Basic requires a user name and a password for access, and security is based on the roles that users have been assigned.  Vault Professional allows integration into Active Directory for user access and has a more flexible security model. Users are still assigned roles, but folders and files can be assigned security controls that limit who can edit, read, delete or download files.

File Lifecycles and Revision Control

Every file in Vault Basic is a work in progress file.  Vault Professional allows users to use lifecycle states to indicate if a file is work in progress, under review, released, or obsolete.  File revisions work in conjunction with the lifecycle states.  For example, if a file is moved from a released state to a work in progress state, the revision can automatically bump from revision A to revision B.  Old revisions are automatically saved and can be recalled if necessary

Engineering Change Orders

Vault Professional has a built-in change management tool that allows change requests to be tracked and keeps users informed via email notifications. 

Vault Access in multiple locations

While Vault Basic is limited to a single server, Vault Professional can be configured to replicate files and related data to multiple locations.  This replication can happen on a regular schedule and on-demand replication is also possible.

Vault use outside of the engineering department

Vault Professional can be accessed from tablets and smartphones.  In additional, Vault Professional offers a web-based viewer.  These additional access point allow users out side of the engineering department a view inside the Vault.

Each company’s data management requirements are unique. Understanding what you require from a data management tool is the first step to making sure you get exactly what you need.

About the Author

Caleb Funk

Manufacturing Team Manager<br><br>Caleb began his career as a professional CAD instructor after a short stint as a production draftsman, and has 10+ yrs CAD experience starting with AutoCAD R12. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of drafting and solid modeling best practices, and is well known for his versatility and extensive knowledge of CAD software. He is a Solid Modeling Expert; MicroStation Certified Instructor, and has Authored MicroStation courseware for the Florida Department of Transportation. Caleb is PSE and ATC Certified in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, and Autodesk Inventor.

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