Open the Floodgates

Seems like much of the country is now getting C3D 2008 in their hot little hands. The flurry of activity in the discussion groups the last few days is higher than normal. Here’s a few changes to be aware of that might help get you through the transition:

  • Points are back to being entities, not point groups. This will make point control a bit more interesting. I hope we’ll have a post on it soon.
  • You need to Control-Click to access many labels. Talk to San Rafael, this is their “contribution” to the interface. I’m not a fan to be honest.
  • Corridor information is available through an XREF, not through Vault. Too much stuff in a corridor to make Vaulting the data the full way to go. Sections outside the Corridor dwg will be handy though.
  • Vault isn’t going anywhere. Dance with the girl that brung ya. If your reseller tells you it is, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Call us. Call anyone. Get better help.
  • Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 will be published and on the shelves in about September. Yeah, I know, but things happen, and dates slip. Amazing what happens when you try to write instructional material against beta code.
  • The first round of bugs is coming. There are bugs in the software. There will always be bugs in the software. But you can help find them by participating in the myfeedback program. I said it in the groups, I will say it again here, software development is a relationship. If you don’t work on that relationship, why would the programming team?

For those that don’t know, Mark’s had some surgery this week, getting his hip doctored up. He’s doing well, but keep him in your thoughts. See you tomorrow!


  1. MAnderson says:

    Glad to hear Mark is doing well! Keep up the good work.

  2. JG Gerth says:

    The fundamental key to the ‘relationship’ between Autodesk developers and the user population is that the users are customers. E.G. the people who pay for the salaries and perks the developers and corporate VPs in Autodesk enjoy.

    Frequently that does not seem to be recognized by Autodesk the corporation. Occasionally, as in the return of 3dsOut, it is. But, as a user of Autodesk software, and a paying customer of Autodesk, I do not often see that the customer/user really counts. Judging from your comments it’s a point you do not see as relevant. I would hope that you consider your own customer’s interests a priority in your business even if the mega-corporations do not.

    MyFeedback is marginally useful in helping the developers locate specific issues, but the design decisions and architectural flaws in the software are predicated on decisions made within Autodesk’s ivory towers with little apparent regard for the customer.
    Many seem driven by internal corporate politics rather than being customer driven.

    Just call me a curmudgeon, but I really do expect a better product and better service for my hard earned dollars.

  3. BTW, there was another comment here from a user named cadtag. I searched and could not tie a person to the username. Tell me who you are, and we’ll publish your post.

    Anonymity doesn’t fly at Own your opinion, or keep it to yourself.

  4. mike shick says:

    Can you elaborate on “Vault isn’t going anywhere?” Thanks.

  5. Vault isn’t going anywhere means that it’s the project management tool of choice for at least a couple of versions. I don’t think they’ve built this tool, refined it for 5 years in the Mechie game, ported it to C3D and Core, to let it go away.

    I’ve spoken to sources inside Adesk and Vault is on the product roadmap for C3D for every version that’s been penciled in.

  6. JG Gerth says:

    As a former Workcenter user, I could point out that Autodesk spending significant amounts of money, time, effort, and marketing into a drawing manager only to abandon it later is not unheard of…..

    Vault is interesting, and to someone who has not invested any time or money into enterprise EDMS packages, it may look interesting. But, if an individual has, then exercising due diligence on Vault will point out a huge number of issues, from security, to migration, to infrastructure. Conceptually Vault has potential, but the implementation is of great concern. As an exercise to a vault proponent, explain ‘superman’ and why that would be an item of concern.

  7. Fair enough. In this case, though, you have at least two years of Vault in front of you. Isn’t that enough to learn something new and better? In terms of superman, I’d guess he should pick a better password?

    But other than that, I don’t have much to share. Enlighten us instead of throwing out challenges. The idea is to share knowledge.

  8. JG Gerth says:

    Please correct me if i’m wrong, but ‘superman’ the password cannot be changed in vault. From my reading in the literature, that is hardwired. see TS1058133

    As is the sa password of AutodeskVault. both are pretty risky data security /integrity issues, along with voiding the domain password policy (See same TS#). AFAIK – given physical network access, not even login, any Vault installation can be corrupted/ hacked/ edited with impunity. Vault does not respect or understand domain security or privileges. Yet, it is completely dependent on MS SQL Server….. which does have a built-in understanding of domain security. somehow that makes little sense.

    Speaking of SQL Server…. The Autodesk DataManagement Server, ADMS, is middleware. There’s no logical reason that it should be totally dependent on MS SQL Server. The whole point of any data manament server layer is to communicate with the database server! Good programming practice would entail designing your Data Management Server to work with multiple SQL-based DB Servers, cleanly separating the DataManagement from the DataStore. Failing to do so indicates problems with either the requirements for, or the implementation of, the DMS. I could understand a small developer with a two man shop cutting corners that way, coding DB-specific calls, and not doing a quality job of DataManagement, but that’s not who’s developing Vault.

    Presuming my infrastructure is built heavily on either Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or a different enterprise-class scalable DB, Vault still requires that I license, install, support, & maintain the MS DB product, and purchase CALS for every person who will be accessing it. The cost of Vault just became very large, simply to duplicate an already existing PostgreSQL infrastructure. We could discuss the merits and (dis)advantages of various enterprise DB packages all day, but the essential point is that Auodesk has prevented the Vault administrator from using his tool of choice, and locked him into an expensive path. And that was not necessary to accomplish the job of the ADMS.

    Migration — it’s my understanding that Vault 4 does not have a clean or simple migration to Vault 5. I’m hearing that secondhand, never having installed Vault 4, so it’s possible I’m incorrect. The reports i have heard however, describe much conflict, wailinng, and hairpulling.

    There _are_ enterprise level EDMS solutions out there (which work somewhat with AutoCAD, and have no ability at all to handle C3D dependencies). Documentum is one of the largest players in that space. I’ve yet to see any information or planning on how to incorparate a project from Vault to Documentum. Even Projectwise from the Bentley folks has that ability, and a moderate ability to deal with AutoCAD design drawings. Migration between Vault and a real enterprise EDMS is a mandatory requirement. Pretending that Vault is a sufficient answer, or ought to be a black hole that consume data but can’t share it, is not realy a good thing for customers.

    Security — Ok, to be fair securty is something that cannot be judged until the product has been worked on and attacked. But given the issues identified earlier, I cannot be optimistic that Autodesk managers have any basic understanding of database security. The default installation that tags everyone as a single SQL user indicates to me fairly well that auditing, edit history, etc were not on the list of important items, at least not in relation to easier installations. Since ADMS is hardwired to use MS SQL Server, any security flaws in SQL Server will automatically apply to _every_ Vault installation and user. If that doesn’t concern you, it probably should.

    Any and all of these issues can be fixed. Most of them are design flaws rather than bug. But is there any interest in Autodesk’s part to do so?