Just throwing it out there and I think I know the answer, but here it goes:
Client is using straight up AutoCAD.
Wants to bring ESRI information into a DWG (actual data not just linework).
I know MAP and C3D does this with no problems and you can go open the file in AutoCAD. Problem is the data is not visible when you open it in AutoCAD. Switch back to C3D or MAP and you can see it again.
Anyone know of a program or way to do this?
Just want to make sure I cover all resources before I tell them it can't be done without scripting something for AutoCAD.
If importing the ESRI files and creating Object Data there.s no free app (that I know of) to view the OD info. However if you use DBConnect to link to a database after you import and use Map3D to create the links Vanilla AutoCAd can still have the links to the tables linked by Map3D. (at least a few version ago it worked fine) You need to watch the 64/32 bit odbc bugs.
Supportting the troops daily.
Take a look at MapWorks Base, it will import many ESRI formats (including Shapefiles) into stock AutoCAD (2007 or higher). The attribute data is stored on the objects as XData and can be edited and exported back. The behavior is very similar to Map Object Data except it's accessable to any AutoCAD user. As one example, one MapWorks user provides imported DWG files to a client that uses a custom lisp to read the data, etc.
Just spit-balling here...
-add a CAD field to the file in ArcGIS (ArcToolbox - Conversion Tools - Add CAD Fields)
-edit that field to equal something unique in the dataset (Attribute Table - Field Calculator - i.e.. LayerName=FID)
-export the file to CAD (ArcToolbox - Conversion Tools - Export to CAD)
You will have to find a way to connect the Layer value back to the shp database (dbf?mdb), i.e.. Link Template.
-maybe annotation with Value=Layer (gives you annotation with the FID at the object's point location) - this will only work with points feature though.