My company is currently running AutoCAD 2012 and we have invested heavily in some custom DLL and ARX routines that really automate our design/engineering process. The problem is that these currently resolve on laptop computers and our executive managment doesn't feel that it is very secure.
Their suggestion is to run AutoCAD through a virtual machine, which none of us like, for many reasons.
One option we would like to explore is using Autodesk Vault to store our DLL and ARX files, and require Vault login in order to load/run these files.
Is this something that can be done?
ARX and DLL are code. Vault is best for documents ie. drawings.
You *might* be able to load ARX from a common network location depending on how its built. And you should be able to get the DLL to load from a common network location. But for the most part, the Windows program paradigm is for the program components to reside on the computer running them.
You may want to elaborate on what makes your management unsecure about these files being local. There could be other, more practical, options to explore.
Management doesn't like having these files local because they are proprietary and confidential. All of our engineers are required to travel at some time or another, so they have to use laptop computers and we have had laptops stolen in the past.
Is there any way that these files could not be stored locally and load on demand from a Vault server?
Thats a bit of a paradox - Vault operates by creating a local copy until the file is checked back in.
Just so we are clear on what you want: when a laptop user is in the office and is plugged into your network, they have the appropriate tools loaded. When they unplug and the laptop leaves your office, you don't want any of the support files on the laptop, which would mean they would be unavailable while the user is mobile. Does that sound right?
Yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for.
I'm for Vault to act as a validation server, for lack of a better term. But I want the DLL and ARX files on the Vault server.
Basically, I'm looking for anything that will give me a secure network solution without going to a virtual machine. We've tried them, different versions, and none of them can deliver the performance we need.
I'm still not convinced that Vault is a good solution for this... its really not designed to operate for that purpose.
I've got a much simpler solution which can be implemented by the most basic of IT people: log in scripts. When the user logs in, the required files are downloaded automatically. When they log out, the required files are erased. A bit brute force, but easily tested.
I'd also go back to the creator of your custom files and see if they can be run from a common network location or be modified to work as such. In that case you need to do nothing as long as the users don't mirror them with "Offline files" or the like. If you are particularly paranoid they could be modified to use a variety of licensing schemes to read data from your own internal servers.
Yes, I thought that Vault wasn't the best solution, but I had to ask.
I like the log in script idea. I'll ask around about that and see if someone can put something together.
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it.
One other option, would be to code some form of validation check into the code files, so that they will only run if certain conditions are met. that could be IP address, a passphrase, a loginname, a whitelisted mac address, etc etc etc.
If they won't run, then it really doesn't matter if they get copied.
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