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    by Kim Hyde

    Sometimes arranging data folders can be a juggle, especially where your trying to separate common data from that which is Product / Project specific.

    Although Vault was initially developed as a manufacturing tool, the latest releases of Vault Workgroup, Collaboration and Professional have many features that have been adapted for managing data for a broad scope, including the Construction Industry.  This is particularly true when you consider its interaction with Microsoft Outlook for storing email trails and those who want to extend sharing their data in a controlled way by linking Vault with Buzzsaw.

    But I digress,  I want to bring your attention to the addition of creating folder `Categories’ within Vault.  It’s one of things that seem so logical, it begs the usual question of “why didn’t of this before?”.

    When looking at selecting Categories in the 2012 products you will first notice the option for managing folders, this has two defaults provided as shown below:

    We’ll come onto how to use your new `Project’ folder, but first (as a tip) change the colour by editing the Project folder category, Autodesk just love shades of grey!

    I’ve chosen green here (I like green, … funny when someone offers me a sweet I always choose a green one!).  Its best to leave the default folder as `Folder’.

    When ready simply create folders or sub-folders choosing the folder category that fits your workflow, standard folders for common data and project folders for those containing bespoke (project specific) data.

    When using this (on the principal that you do not duplicate any data) note the following:

    1. Vault data directly to a specified project file for any data (CAD or Non-CAD) that is project / product specific.
    2. Put anything under the `Standard’ folder structure that is data that is common to any project / product.
     

    And here’s the neat bit, simply right-mouse-drag (yes, with the right mouse button NOT the left) anything from the Standard folders into a Project folder to create a link (a shortcut) to the common data.

    And there’s more … ! You can assign your own Vault properties to a folder category, perhaps those for project manager or client / product specific information.  Each project or folder can then be interrogated via a report.

    Via following link, Autodesk’s Vault `Guru’, Brian Schanen explains how can then use reports to gain a quick snap-shot of project progress and content:

    http://underthehood-autodesk.typepad.com/blog/2011/05/vault-2012-project-dashboard.html