There is definitely a lot more than a check box new to Vault 2019! However, I want to tell you about a seemingly small change that could have a large impact to the way your company uses Vault outside the engineering department, by hiding old files. It's interesting that, even if you’ve read the release notes and various – What’s New in 2019 – blog posts for Vault, you probably haven’t seen this discussed. So far, I’ve only seen this feature noted as one sentence in the official help file for what’s new in 2019.
So this post is for those using the Thin Client (web browser) and for those who never adopted the Vault Thin Client. Perhaps because – until now – you could not hide old versions of design files. I’ve completed a lot of Vault implementations where the thin client was not taken advantage of for this lone reason. So what about Vault Professional 2019? You guessed it, you can now hide previous versions or released revisions of vaulted files in the Thin Client.
You might ask why this matters? The issue before was that all the previous versions or released revisions of vaulted files were visible to anyone logged in to the Thin Client. In practice this meant that you had to rely on project managers, manufacturing employees and non-Vault users, using the Thin Client, to view or print the correct file when faced with a large list of historical files. Most design managers want to hide historical drawings so that no possibility of production error could occur by accidentally viewing old or unfinished data.
First, we should define some terms so we are all on the same page:
- A Version is an incremental numbered iteration of a Vaulted file that occurs anytime anything changes to it. For example, a property edit, a check-in, etc.
- A Revision is a design milestone set by the designer to indicate major design iteration. These are most often controlled by Vault lifecycle changes.
For more on the difference between versions and revisions there’s a whitepaper document you can download here that explains in detail.
The Vault Thin Client provides read-only access to Vault Professional using your favorite web browser (from within your corporate network). This allows non-CAD users like a project manager, or CNC operator, etc. to view, print or save files from the Vault. All without consuming any valuable Vault licenses.
Let’s take a look how this option works:
First, login to Vault using the thin client as an administrator. Then go to the settings page by clicking your login name at the top right and selecting Settings from the drop-down.
In the Thin Client options window under File and Item Display Settings there is a new check box for file history called Latest Version alongside the existing option to show only Released file versions. Here’s how they apply.
In the example above I have a drawing that is released at Revision C but it’s currently a Work in Progress at Revision D and there are a total of 15 versions of historical data. This view above is what you’ll see if you leave both check boxes unchecked. There is an additional toggle (indicated by the green arrow) in this configuration that will display all historical versions. A total of 15 tiles would be shown.
If we toggle on the Released file versions option the Thin Client hides all unreleased versions, including the latest versions that are Work in Progress, and shows the latest released file. However, all the previously released revisions are also shown. This still is a concern, especially if we look at Revision C which was released twice due to a Quick-Change operation.
Both of the above options are less than ideal if you need to show current data only. So let’s apply the new Latest version check box to see how it applies.
With Latest version on and Released file versions off the Thin Client displays only the TIP version (latest version) of vaulted files, regardless of revision or state. All previous versions are hidden from view.
Finally, with both the new Latest version and existing Released file versions options selected, only the latest released revision of files is shown. This is likely the best scenario if you are using lifecycles since designs actively being revised aren’t seen. Instead, the existing released revision is displayed until the next revision is finished and set to released.
That’s all there is to it. A simple check box and your non-CAD users are guaranteed to view/print only the very latest version or released revision of a file. This eliminates the potential that incorrect drawings are used in production. At least from the Thin Client.