Vault General Discussion

Posts: 255
Registered: ‎08-21-2007
Message 1 of 17 (7,784 Views)

New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

7784 Views, 16 Replies
10-24-2013 10:27 AM

Don't get me wrong. The old web client was a dated looking design and needed to be updated for a more modern look and feel. I'm all for Autodesk allowing for more properties and files to be seen but it just seems like the new thin web client was designed by Ray Charles and that Mr. Charles has never been in a shop floor environment.


First I'll discuss my positives:


  • It looks more modern. Gone is the Win98 UI and feel.


  •  More properties and data can be found. This is only a positive for what I call "Power Users" or people that actually are proficient in database software.


  • Finally we have a "Keep me Signed In" button!!



Now I'll discuss my gripes which far outweigh my positives:


  • The efficiency has DECREASED with the new web client. It takes more time and steps to get to a drawing than it did on the old web client. Take simple searching for example. In the old client after you logged in you were greeted with a search window right off the bat on the top left. In the new web client you have to firs ttime log in, then click to the project explorer and THEN you are able to search using the search panel on the right side. More clicking = more time. Time = money.


  • On a related note on efficiency, it also takes more time and steps to actually get to viewing a drawing. On the old version you would search for your file, then be greeted with a list of files it find based off your search, you click said file and it would bring you to a detailed window of that file allowing you to view the DWF quickly. The new version you do the same search, get to the desired file, then I'm greeted with thumbnails (more on that in a second) then I have to....wait for on this stupid little magnifying glass icon inside of the thumbnail. Why can't I just click the big thumbnail instead? But wait that's not all. It then opens up yet another "viewer" that shows me two things, one being yet another thumbnail of what I already clicked on but now I have to click on the DWF icon to actually view the drawing now. i mean why increase all these steps and hurdles thus INCREASING time? What year are we in? Doesn't Autodesk constantly goat about increasing productivity and efficiency? I don't see how with their approach to this new web client. 


  • Now I want to vent about the new "viewer". It sucks to be honest. For one thing it's not even working when trying to view a DWF on several machines. But the main reason why I say it sucks is that there is no way to have a maximized view easily. I have to right click (or press N for the browser shortcut) to go full screen. Guess what happens when you go full screen? lose all mark-up capability. So now if I want to view a drawing in full screen I have to click N to view it and then when I'm ready to mark it up have to click N again and then spend like 10 minutes panning, zooming and scrolling all around the **** drawing to mark it up. Would be nice if I could have my mark-up tools WITH my maximized view (think Design Review).


  • The Download button. Why would I want to have my shop floor download an IDW or DWG when clearly they don't have Inventor or AutoCAD installed? Why can't I lock that option out as admin or better yet, replaced it with "download DWF" instead? I don't know about you guys but we NEVER, EVER EVEr send out native Inventor or AutoCAD files. EVER. It's always a DWF or PDF to protect our designs. So if the shop floor doesn't need a DWG and I certainly don't want to send out a native file, then why on earth can I not turn this option off or replace it with a DWF option instead?


  • The thumbnails. It's overkill. It's like a used car salesman saying "Sunday!! Sunday!!! Sunday!!". I mean why is there an overkill with thumbnails? They are EVERYWHERE. It is too busy of a web design layout. The key to success with web design is to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). The normal shop floor worker is not generally a computer-savvy user. By throwing all these thumbnails in their face it is very confusing to decipher what they should and shouldn't be paying attention to.


  • The Show All Versions button. It doesn't work plain and simple. When searching for a file and clicking on any file with history it shows ALL the file versions from Vault. Even after I tell it to show only latest released file. So yea again, thumbnails thumbnails thumbnails thumbnails thumbnails thumbnails. Well you get the idea...


  •  Administration Panel. I was hoping that with the new web client that surely some much needed attention would of been given to the admin control panel. Doesn't look like anything has been added, only a refreshed look. Yay. As an admin I should be able to completely control how I want my web client to look and feel. Yet the only real controls you have are what properties get displayed. Oh and I can add a banner. Awesome control there.


  • Display views. Do were really need planks, tiles and grid views? I mean who is actually going to sift through an entire Vault directory looking for files that way? Serious question. The answer is nobody. Shop floor folks want to easily plug in their part number, find the file and then view or print said file(s). Nobody in their right mind if going to thumb and scroll through hundreds or thousands of files when they easily could of just searched for it. Think about that and let it soak in. 

I could go on and on as I find these types of annoyances throughout the new web client. To be honest we upgraded our Vault yesterday mainly for this new highly touted thin web client upgrade, only to be completely disappointed with it's lack of thoughtful layout design and drawing view quirky workflow. Yea the older design looked like a 80's Caddy Seville but it was efficient and to-the-point at displaying exactly what the shop floor needed to be focused on.


Sorry for the long-winded rant/vent session. I feel other subscription members should know up front what they will be upgrading to IF they decide to use the new thin web client. Maybe you will like it. Maybe it will fit your company and their chaotic workflow. But for every user that I've shown it to here that is familiar with the old crusty web client, none of them like it. They all agree that it has potential but it just seems like ZERO thought was put in actually creating a pleasant experience to quickly find what you're looking for. For this, we have decided to keep ole crusty and no use this new thin client until Autodesk actually spends real thoughtful time on it in the future.


As a long time Subscription user who spends thousands upon thousands of dollars each year to Autodesk in licensing, maintenance, services, etc I'm pretty disappointed. It s good thing I didn't go to AU this year. I would of been that guy in the room blowing real world holes in all the marketing hype.




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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-12-2007
Message 2 of 17 (7,691 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

10-25-2013 10:00 AM in reply to: kwilsonamerex



Bravo!!!  Well put!  I can only picture what the meeting this was pitched at was like...


I continue to be amazed at the sheer stupidty of their solutions as of lately.  Well at least you know someone else shares your setiments.  


Again great rant, I thourghly enjoyed it.


Todd P.

Board Manager
Posts: 558
Registered: ‎02-01-2006
Message 3 of 17 (7,629 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

10-29-2013 11:09 AM in reply to: kwilsonamerex

I would like to discuss your comments on the Thin Client.

Please send me a private message with your contact information.

Irvin Hayes Jr
Product Manager
Autodesk, Inc.

Posts: 32
Registered: ‎04-17-2012
Message 4 of 17 (7,560 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

11-14-2013 09:58 PM in reply to: ihayesjr

Hi, Experts


Today I upgraded my Vault to this new "version". I totally agree with kwilsonamerex.

Honestly I expected more, because this feature didn't have modifications for many years.


I am not sure if in AU2013 this class (I am going to attend): PL1721 - The Ugly Project Data Management Duckling Takes Flight, will talk about this and if it will pay off

The support (visualization) of LINKS inside the web client, would be great!.


We would like to know what is the position of Autodesk about this and if these issues will be attended soon or not.





Posts: 391
Registered: ‎11-06-2008
Message 5 of 17 (7,530 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

11-15-2013 11:53 AM in reply to: jeamy.baena

How does one get (or avoid getting) this new web client?  We upgraded our server from Vault Professional 2013 to Vault Professional 2014.  Other than different background graphics at the top of the screen, I'm not seeing much difference.

Bill Schmid
AutoCAD Mechanical 2011
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎04-17-2012
Message 6 of 17 (7,521 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

11-15-2013 01:06 PM in reply to: Bill.Schmid

Hi, Bill Schmid


The old web client will still be available here


The new Thin Client URL is as follows


*Expert Elite*
Posts: 7,192
Registered: ‎09-13-2007
Message 7 of 17 (7,517 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

11-15-2013 01:50 PM in reply to: Bill.Schmid

Bill.Schmid wrote:

How does one get (or avoid getting) this new web client?  We upgraded our server from Vault Professional 2013 to Vault Professional 2014.  Other than different background graphics at the top of the screen, I'm not seeing much difference.

this is a separate download/installation from the subscription center

Posts: 19
Registered: ‎09-25-2012
Message 8 of 17 (6,662 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

01-07-2014 01:46 AM in reply to: kwilsonamerex

Any luck with getting the thin client to display Links?


We engineer and manufacture ROVs for many different clients. Our base ROV system uses the same drawings, then as we modify for each role we add and change only certain drawings. So we link back to a main drawing pool for 90% of the drawings as they are common across all platforms.


So when other users go to use the web client they CAN'T see the Linked drawings, so they have to go to the drawing pool and wade through 100s of drawings to find what they're after.


AUTODESK: Why does your thin client not show Links. This is not a smart move.

Posts: 113
Registered: ‎06-10-2010
Message 9 of 17 (6,600 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

01-07-2014 07:16 PM in reply to: SeanMacOz

Hi SeanMacOz,


Would quoting the URL of the vaulted file meet your requirement?

Meanwhile, i will bring this 'Display Link' request back to feature team.




Chear Huat.

Chear Huat
SQA Analyst
DLS- Data Management
Autodesk, Inc.

Be sure to check out the Vault Help Wiki!
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎09-25-2012
Message 10 of 17 (6,597 Views)

Re: New thin web client (Subscription Release 1) sucks!!!

01-07-2014 07:19 PM in reply to: chearhuat

"Would quoting the URL of the vaulted file meets your requirement?"


How does this make the linked files visible in the thin client?


Please explain.

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