With the release of Vault Workgroup 2010, there are several key areas of the product that focus on Release Management at the file level. These include:
- Lifecycles and Security
- Revision Management
- User Defined Properties
Now, it’s important to note that while these all go hand-in-hand, a company can ‘opt-in’ to this functionality at their leisure. In other words, you can utilize a phased deployment of these features, perhaps over several weeks. The first one we’ll cover is Lifecycles and Security, since this is an immediate benefit of Vault Workgroup. Lifecycle states make sure the right user gets access to the right files at the right time, protecting your data integrity.
Autodesk Vault Workgroup comes with four Lifecycle Definitions out- of-the-box:
- Basic Release Process
- Flexible Release Process
- Simple Release Process
- Long Lead Time Release Process
Each Lifecycle Definition is a collection of Lifecycle states and rules built around them. These definitions ensure that files will go through the appropriate steps before getting Released. In addition,the provided lifecycle definitions can be copied and edited. In addition, customer lifecycle definitions can be created. They range from simple Work In Progress/Released up to multi-stage processes. For example, the Flexible Release Process is a manufacturing type workflow and is similar to Basic, with an additional state. This process uses:
- Work In Progress
- For Review
- Quick Change
States declare the stage of work a particular file is in. Note that custom lifecycle states can be added to a Lifecycle definition for additional control over a product's lifecycle.
Vault comes with a configurable transition from one lifecycle to another. Using groups and permissions, administrators can define what the next available state from a given Lifecycle is.
Each state to state Transition includes the ability to define Criteria, Actions, and Security control over which users or groups can perform the Transition. In addition, changes made by the Vault Administrator are immediately recognized by the users. This provides a flexible data management workflow tool that can work with a company's needs, not against it.
The Security model of a lifecycle definition can be configured to meet the existing process within a company. Each Vault user or group can be allowed or denied the ability to read, modify, or delete a file. This provides a granular level of security for access to files. In the example below, the Engineering group has full control over all files in this particular state (Work In Progress).
Purge Control over Revisions
The Control tab sets the purge expectation for each Lifecycle state. In the image below, this tab contains the option to declare the state a 'Release' state, which has implications during the Purge command.