Data Sharing in 2012


No, I’m not talking about some future technology. Although that would certainly be cool….

(Image courtesy of Popular Science)

The topic is Civil 3D and data sharing. Our choices in the past and continue to be either data shortcuts or vault. The difference in the new 2012 versions is best explained here:

Vault 2012 (the free version found on the Autodesk Subscription site) will no longer include integration with AutoCAD Civil 3D data shortcuts and AutoCAD Civil 3D projects. The Project node will not be exposed on the AutoCAD Civil 3D Prospector tab. This additional functionality as well as further enhanced project interoperability is now provided with Vault Collaboration.

Check here and here for further information.

And let’s just burst the bubble now. Vault Collaboration is not free.

So, for those firms currently using Vault as we are, you have a few options to evaluate.

  1. Do nothing – maintain your current version of Civil 3D / ADMS Vault. This option continues what you are already used to using. However, you certainly aren’t getting the benefits of the current and or any release you may not have upgraded. If you’re on subscription, I and presume many of you are, you should at least be using the 2010 versions. Lots of improvements in stability and performance in Civil 3D since the 2009 days.
  2. Migrate to Civil 3D 2012 and Vault Collaboration 2012. This option requires the purchase of the Vault Collaboration flavor.  While not free, it’s cost can easily be found online (at CDW).  Mirgrating to the 2012 flavors get you all the new toys. For our money, the 2 most important improvements with 2012 are the ability to manage styles (organizational standards) and to define catchments (think drainage areas) having an area, time of concentration and ground cover mapped to an inlet which then gets passed to our new friend, Storm and Sanitary Analysis (SSA). Also keep in mind that Vault Collaboration adds integration with Revit and Navisworks for those full service AEC firms.
  3. Migrate to Civil 3D 2012 and move active projects out of Vault and into a Data Shortcut project. This allows you to have the current civil improvements without having to purchase a new tool.  The not so obvious part is that migrating a project from Vault to Data shortcuts is not free. It will require time and effort (detailed here).
  4. I’m hoping there will be a fourth option, and that would be the ability to maintain vault 2011 while upgrading to civil 3d 2012. Currently, this is not an option, but something was done in a previous release to ease a similar transition.

There, that’s the scenario facing us vault users.  How you value each option can be as different as sand is to silt.  OK, that was a bad civil engineering reference, I digress. We’re going thru this valuation process now and am not sure how it will turn out. Keep in mind, any option that removes Vault from the picture will strip away the versioning/archiving aspects you may have grown accustomed to using frequently.

I’m hoping we can get a trial version of Vault Collaboration to see if the “enhanced” civil 3d functionality/integration will help clarify this discussion.

I’ll keep you posted.

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About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

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