I know this is the Inventor forum, which is primarily what I use - but I couldn't find a more suitable forum, so here goes:
We are looking for suggestions regarding hosted project sites - such as Sharefile and Basecamp. However, both of these are extemely clunky for large projects - they are basically fancy ftp servers.
Surely there are either cloud based or server based hosted web sites that cater to the specific needs of the AEC/Mechanical community?
I have,unfortunately looked into 360 and apprently it is not quite ready for prime time, so any suggestions might exclude that..
Vault Collaboration or Vault Professional? All the others (including those you mention, and things like Dropbox Teams, Egnyte etc) are good and they work, but... (and it's a big "BUT"): None of them understand file relationships like Vault.
If you know Inventor, you know how interrelated all the files are. If you edit a part file name in a management system that does not understand relationships, you break the files it's related to. Vault magically fixes all the related files.
Other than that critical difference, Vault Collaboration (and Professional) support multi-site replication and include a web client that's pretty good. There's loads of other really cool stuff - but you asked about "hosted projects" - which this isn't really, but it's the closest I've found. Autodesk Buzzsaw is for hosted projects - but it does nothing for file management, it's just a 'store and notification' type tool. PLM360 may be worth a look for the downstream management of data (and it integrates nicely with Vault Professional) - but again it's not quite "hosted projects".
I havn't found anything that offers the simplicity of say Dropbox (for remote workers) AND the relationship management complexity of Vault because none of those sunc'ing tools support replicated file-locking. It's a real shame - but "it is what it is" and we just have to work with it. Vault works great for remote users providing they have a VPN back to base when they need to check-in or check-out files. Apart from that, they don't need to be connected at all.
Sorry - I've rambled a bit here! Maybe you could be a little more specific about what you are trying to achieve and I can narrow my answer!
I knew this was going to require some refinement in terms of ultimate goals - but I thank you for continuing the thread.
I face two major "challenges."
1. How do I convince project managers not to manage projects out of their Outlook in-box/outbox? This may work well for them, but for the rest of the team it is a nightmare. The major objection to using a hosted site is that the fees for storage over an extended period of time are "too high" (ROI management doublespeak)
2. How do I bring our partners, the Designers and Owners, on board if they are primarily Mac based? (Vectorworks)
"vectorworks" - "convince project managers" - I think you should give up now and take up farming or something ;-)
PLM360? Certainly a tool you can use for management of "data" - workflow management, basic project management etc - it's all in there, plus its a web-based hosted service and not that expensive considering what it does.
Sounds like the managmenet issue is not really about management of Inventor data at all so forgive the Vault ramblings.
My thoughts exactly. I did manage to grow a petunia once.The problem/reward is that we do, cobble together style, rewarding and significant projects of which we as a team are very proud, and for which we have been globally premiated. I am waging, apparently, a one-man (or one department) war to nudge the rest of the company into the twenty first century. Any specifc advice on next step for project collaboration tools much appreciated.
We do use Vault, but exposing Vault downstream is not an issue - we just need to figure out how to not manage projects out of the Outlook in-box/outbox paradigm. We have adopted DWF in-house as our method of markup and review; however, of course, there is no way to port this to Mac except the stupid McDWIFF.
I'm leaning more towards PLM360. It's perfect for lifecycle stuff and project management without exposing your model data to the outside world.
Your first thought regarding Autodesk 360 might not be so bad. Run Google Chrome web browser on the mac's and you get full 3d support for DWF's in your Autodesk 360 account. (The built-in Safari web browser on the mac's does not support 3d content in DWF format.)