After using vault for a while I think we are ready to start publishing some of out drawings rather than looking them up each time the shop needs them. I would like to go through the drawings in the Vault and select the files I want published. This would not be all the drawings available. I would also like to be able to select files to publish or not as I check them in. I am able to set the folder to publish too, But I do not see how to publish the files. Can someone tell me where to find the settings to control this function?
Vault :- Tools/Administration/Vault Settings/Visualization tab/Define button. This is the place to set up where and how the visualization (dwf) files are made/located. By default as you check in files the dwf's are created. You can turn this on/off for individual check in by using the Inventor Vault/Options/Check In Dialog/Settings button and turning off the Create Visualization Attachment check box. A bit tedious on a per assy/part basis. I have the create visualization on by default. There can be a slight performance lag when creating the dwf file on large complex assemblies.
Using the 'web client' would be a better practice. The 'published' folder is not managed by Vault, but rather is a 'dumping' area to publish DWF's.
But the OP says they have Vault vanilla which I take to mean Vault Basic. The web client does not come with Basic in 2011, 12 or 13?
As somebody who has used Vault from the very beginning and went along with the "Autodesk" way of doing things when it comes to dwf files, publishing, dwf attachments (in the early days) etc. I will give you some advice.
Do not publish dwfs and do not turn it on in the vault. (I still use Vault to this day.) Simply publish pdfs of your finished drawing and save it somewhere that is accessible by all who need it. (I persoanlly use a sharepoint server for this). As revisions are created, I simply rename the older files with something like "_REVA".
Now Autodesk has made things a little better and may continue to do so but I would say good luck to you if you want to follow the dwf method. (There have been bugs, dwf file visualization problems, problems when sending files to others outside your organization etc. Although 3D dwf files are nice, most shop personnel I know could care less about spinning your 3D dwf around and looking at the 3D model - they want the 2D drawing.)
Yes, there are some problems with DWF's themselves and in the publishing of them. Personally I have only had 2 issues and these were with very large assemblies (5000+ discreet parts).There are also many problems with Inventor and Vault but we all continue to use them.
We tried the PDF method but it ended up too much of an overhead doing all the manual work (we used task scheduler to print the IDW's to PDF). At least when check-in is issued the DWF is done automatically. And yes all of the 3D part and assy files are also published to DWF. It makes the file window a bit confusing because every file has a .dwf added to it. Our users just ignore these and stick to the 1234.idw.dwf files.
You've got to find and answer that suits your situation and needs best. DWF fits ours.
I would strongly recommend to you looking into upgrading Vault to take advantage of the web client. But if you can't, then the 'publish' option would be your best bet. You'll just have to create some procedures on managing the folder when files are renamed, moved or deleted inside the Vault.
Very interesting discussion.
Upgrading is out of the question. I had to work hard to spend the money to implament vault as it is and when it cost another $1400 in support time when we upgraded from 2011 to 2012 we almost pulled the plug. If it gets tedious to only publish certain files that are ready, we may look at the PDF method. We have a few years of legacy files that were saved in a set of files with redundent files in several different folders and a multitude of redundent names. Suprisingly even though we have a part numbering system for completed top level product and salable replacement parts, not one of the files use these part numbers.
At this point I would like to be able to publish the ocasional drawing that has been cleaned up.