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    By Chris Turner

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    A much requested enhancement to Vault 2018, is the ability to automatically produce PDF files as visualisations for drawings files (2D only). The PDF creation is triggered via a lifecycle state change. The Job Server (Job Processor) is used to generate the file. The setup is not specifically difficult, but PDFs should typically be categorized accordingly to have a revision scheme, lifecycle scheme and properties applied to them.

    Here are a few configuration and setup tips: 

    • REVISION SCHEME: To keep the PDF and DWG in sync, it makes sense to set the PDF category with the same revision scheme as the source file. This way your PDFs can take the DWG file’s Revision.

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    • LIFECYCLE SCHEME: The generated PDF can have the same as the source file, but you may want to consider a different more simple lifecycle scheme, with a default state of Released. That way your PDF’s are immediately put in to a released state.image015.jpg

     

    • PROPERTIES: During the PDF publishing, the PDF’s can inherit the CAD property values (including user defined properties), like "Title", "Part Number" or any other. It maps and adds these to the PDF itself. This is ideal for consumers who can use Vault search capabilities (based on these properties) to find the PDFs. It is not uncommon then to restrict the consumers so they do not have access to the CAD files themselves.image016.jpg

     

    • JOB SERVER: In order to help the Job Processor along and in particular sync the properties to the file, don’t forget to give the Job Processor user (Admin) the rights to the released state. This will ensure that the properties assigned to the PDF remain in sync with the CAD document. This is highly necessary! 

      This first release, supporting 2D PDF only, certainly does the job quite nicely when you release your files. What I would really like to see next, is the option to use PDF's with the same functionality as the DWF visualisation file. 

      Next time I will look at creating the PDF with a specific name.