Proper setup of Autodesk Vault structure is critical to a successful and flexible vault. Using the Autoloader to populate a new Vault is the first recommendation I make to get Vault setup. In fact, it uses the Single Project approach and saves you the following steps. But if you want to set up an Inventor Vault-style Project for yourself, read on. The Single Project Method is the most simple and most robust way to set up your vault environment for use with Inventor while continuing to offer a high level of freedom and flexibility.
With the single project file configuration you gain:
Reduced Resolution Failures - Inventor can automatically search for any missing files throughout your entire data set. This greatly reduces the number of times you need to manually locate missing files.
Increased Design Reuse - Greatly simplify the reuse of other data from your vault. Using this method, any data in the vault can be reused in any assembly by using the Place from Vault command. This method prevents you from having to ever worry about adding a library path or copying a file from another project.
Step 1: Set Up the Environment
Typically with Inventor, you create a new Inventor Project File (*.ipj) that is unique for each job you are working on. With Autodesk Vault and Inventor, you create a new folder for each design, not a new project file. In the example, we use sample data and a test vault. After you are comfortable with your configuration, you can apply this same practice to your actual design data.
Open ADMS Console from the Vault server (This may also be on your machine if you're setting up a test environment). On the left side of the window, right-click Vaults. Create a vault called Test. Click OK.
Open Windows Explorer. Create a folder under C:\ called Work. This is where all work on Inventor parts will be performed. In addition, create two new folders underneath Work called Content Center Files and Designs. These folders will store all of your design data.
Open Autodesk Inventor and the Project Editor. Click the New button at the bottom and step through the wizard to create a new Vault Project.
Enter a name for the ipj. This should be the same name as the Workspace folder you will use. For the project name and set the Project (Workspace) Folder to C:\Work, as an example.
Click Finish to create the Project file. Double-click Designs.ipj to make it the active project. In the Project Editor window, click and expand the chevron button to display the Workspace.
Expand the Workspace entry. Right click and select Edit. Click the Browse button and navigate to C:\Work\Designs. Click OK. Next, expand Folder options. Right Click Content Center Files and select Edit. Navigate to C:\Work\Content Center Files. Finally, add a Libray path to C:\Work\Libraries. Close the Inventor Project Editor.
Open Vault Explorer and log into the Vault created earlier. Note that the Vault is empty and there are no folders. The first step here is to estalbish the Working location of the Vault in Windows Explorer. Right-click on the Vault Explroer root ($) and select Properties. Select the Working Folder button and browse to C:\Work. Click OK to set the Working folder, then OK again to exit this dialog.
Next, you'll begin to create the Vault structure, and this starts with three top level subfolders under the root. Right click on the Vault Explorer ($) folder and select New Folder. Create one called Designs. Right-click again and this time select New Library Folder. Make a Content Center Files folder, and repeat this step to create a Libraries folder.
Switch back to Inventor. Now that the Vault folders and the Inventor Project file have been configured, you'll need to map the Inventor Project locations to Vault folders. This step needs to only be performed once for this Vault. First, log into your Vault from Inventor created earlier from File>Autodesk Data Management Server>Vault Login.
Next, from the File pull down menu, select Vault>Map Folders. For each folder entry in the Project file, you'll set the equivalent Vault folder location. Highlight each, and click the Edit buton. the Project root = $, Content Center Files = Content Center Files, and Libraries = Libraries. Click OK and exit.
Note: remember earlier in this post when I mentioned Autoloader? The Autoloader does all of the above for you, saving you the
fun steps of setting up Vault structure manually.
You are now ready to create data in your Working Folder location or move files there for upload to Vault. Stay tuned for the next step - Adding Inventor Data to the Vault...