I guess if I refer to AutoCAD 2008 as "DWF Creator," to be fair, I guess I should call Autodesk Vault "DWF On-Demand Publisher." Yes Autodesk Vault is more than that, but this is the DWF blog.
Autodesk Vault is a data management tool that manages and stores design data. As a software developer, I have used many source code control systems: RCS, CVS, ClearCase, Visual SourceSafe, and Perforce. Regardless of which one we've used, I know we couldn't have lived with out one. Software projects consist of thousands of source code files that are constantly changing. A source code control system helps with that. To me, Autodesk Vault is like a source code control system, but specific for design data.
From our web site: Autodesk Vault allows users to organize all engineering data in a centralized location and reduces the time needed to find, reference, and re-use design data. As product designs evolve, version management in Autodesk Vault provides protection from unintentional overwriting of good designs. In addition, users can save hours of valuable design time with the powerful copy and re-use capabilities that reduce the time required to start a new design.
One of the features of Vault is that it automatically publishes a DWF file as a user updates his original design data. The DWF file is then used by people who don't have the design authoring software. As a DWF guy, I like that. I recently attended an Autodesk Vault 2008 presentation by Director of Software Development, Mike Robertson, and Product Designer, Todd Nicol. One of their slides contained:
For Autodesk Vault 2008, one of the enhancements is that Autodesk Vault can be configured to automatically publish DWF files using design data from model space, layouts, or both. This is welcome news to the DWF world. Thanks guys!
A question I sometimes get asked is "How do I check my marked up DWF file into Vault?" The answer is that you shouldn't.
- Autodesk Vault recognizes and manages the relationships among source files such as DWG files and their XREFs.
- Autodesk Vault publishes DWF files from a set of source files, such as DWG files, and keeps track of which source files have DWF files currently published and which do not.
- Once a DWF file has been published and leaves Vault, it is atypical to bring it back into Autodesk Vault. Tracking which markup comments are associated with what source files is more suited to Productstream, Streamline, or Buzzsaw.
Autodesk Vault is available to Autodesk customers who purchase one or more of a list of Autodesk applications. For more information, see the Autodesk web site.