AutoCAD Electrical .DAT file cannot be checked into Vault 2022 or earlier

September 30, 2022 Heath White


Some companies want to manage not only their CAD drawings for their electrical control designs, but also the support data for AutoCAD Electrical as well. The main reason for doing so is that this workflow has the benefit of allowing users to have local copies of the support data. I won’t get into the pros and cons of the various methods for setting up AutoCAD Electrical in this article, maybe in another article though.

The issue that brought this topic up is the fact that in Vault 2022 and earlier versions, the file type that is used by AutoCAD Electrical for Icon Menus (.DAT) cannot be checked back into Vault once it has been checked out.


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This issue is due to the fact that Autodesk Civil 3D uses the “.DAT” format as well and in Vault 2022 and earlier versions, this file format is recognized as a “Design File”.  By default, Design Files are restricted from being checked into Vault without using a CAD application to do so.

This setting helps to prevent file relationships from being broken by adding data to the Vault incorrectly and should be left on in most circumstances.

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The solution to this issue will depend on your version of Vault. For versions of Vault 2022 and earlier, to check in a “.DAT” file you will need to deselect the check box for “Disable Check In of Design Files”, as shown below. I would recommend only turning off that check box for the duration of the check in process for the “.DAT” file and then immediately turn the restriction back on. This will help avoid any issues that can occur when checking in design files without the use of the proper CAD application.


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If you are using Vault 2023 or later, the following option will allow you control which file types Vault recognizes as “Design Files”, giving you more granular control over the way data is handled by your Vault.

The “File Type Restriction” button allows you to select which file types the Vault will treat as “Design Files.”

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In the Manage File Type Restriction dialog you will be able to select which file types Vault will treat as a “Design File” based on the file associations. To allow the check in of AutoCAD Electrical “.DAT” files, deselect the check box for “.DAT” files under the Civil 3D group. This will allow the check in/out of “.DAT” files without the use of a CAD application.

Please Note: If you also use Civil 3D in your Vault alongside AutoCAD Electrical, you my want to consider toggling this setting on an as needed basis to help maintain the integrity of your Civil 3D files.

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For further information on these settings, please see this AKN post:

About the Author

Heath White

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing

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