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    By Kim Hyde

    Often known by Application Engineers as `The Silly Season’, this time of year witnesses a plethora of the latest (2016) releases from Autodesk.  This year’s application releases are packed with new features and technologies, and there is certainly no exception regarding Vault Professional 2016 which sees the introduction of configurable lifecycles which up till now have been limited to controlling files only. 

    It is worth noting that historically the original releases of Vault `Productstream’, which was primarily designed to support manufacturing disciplines only had Item-centric controls for data management release controls.  Lifecycles for Items (up to and including Vault Professional 2015) were limited to four un-editable states, namely Work in Progress, In Review, Released and Obsolete.  Last year’s Subscription Release of Vault Professional 2015 R2 (a technology release) saw the pre-2016 introduction of totally editable Lifecycles for Items, although the `R2’ had some key functionality removed.  Since those early days, Autodesk have expanded Vault from a manufacturing support application to interface many other disciplines (refer to the following link for a full list of compatible applications:

    http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/vault-products/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2014/ENU/Vault/files/GUID-334CC890-1F12-429C-9D6A-B964327CA590-htm.html

    Anyway enough of Kim’s history lesson! VP 2016 is now here with all of its functions, with editable Lifecycles for Items and a fantastic brand-new interface for Copy Design … and yes, Copy Design that includes renaming to numbering schemes.  (Look out for further Blogs for this one!).  Read on to take a quick overview of the new Item Lifecycles …

    Looking at the standard Lifecycle dialogs, VP 2016 includes a new `out-of-the-box’ example named Item Release Process, it is always best-practice to make a copy when creating custom settings.  The following image shows my copy as Cadline Release Process:

    Note there are some extra choices for controlling associated files, namely a tick-box for applying `Security for associated items, and a Configure button to access some choices via a drop-down list:

     

    The action list choices relate to the settings applied to the associated files, i.e. whether there is existing (incumbent) Lifecycle settings applied to the files.  (Remember that the `Base’ Category is set to `None’ i.e. files have no Lifecycle applied).

     For more information regarding this setting, refer to the following link:

    http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2016/ENU/?guid=GUID-754FC786-F2BC-4234-AF52-F55DAC2D0667

    If you find this a bit confusing, our best advice is always to contact Cadline.  Whether you are contemplating the introduction of Data Management to your company’s operation, or whether you are an existing user of Autodesk Vault be aware as an Autodesk Platinum Partner Cadline continues to offer Best-in-Class solutions.

    The image seen at the top of this article is a sample Visio file that we use when assisting customers configure Vault to their company’s workflows (note that I have deliberately used the plural for workflows as there may be several deployed based on different disciplines or needs).  The new configurable Item-Centric Lifecycles available now in Vault Professional 2016 offer the best solution for controlling release management, Engineering Change, and ERP / MRP integration.

    Use the link below to download the PDF of the example Visio workflow and open a conversation with your colleagues about all the processes currently deployed in your company just to get work out of the door! … You may be surprised just how much of it can be simplified and automated by installing a Data Management solution.

    Happy Vaulting!