As more users begin unwrapping their C3D 2009 boxes and make the jump, we’re seeing more and more questions about Vault and Data Shortcuts in the groups and in our mailboxes. I’ve been a huge advocate of Vault the past two releases, basically as a matter of riding the horse ya got. Vault wasn’t perfect (and it fact, downright sucked sometimes,) but it was better than using data shortcuts in my opinion.
Jump back to last fall, when I first got a look at Data Shortcuts for 2009. My first question was, “So who needs Vault?” The answer is after the jump.
When looking at the decision between Data Shortcuts and Vault in Civil 3D 2009, there are three major questions to ask:
- Do you need good backup plans that offer some level of versioning? Nightly backups are typically enough to cover this, but systems like Windows ShadowCopy or Executive UnDelete will allow you to browse all the files created and deleted on a given day, giving true versioning access.
- Do you have a need for an enterprise document management system? Vault gives you the ability to version and access control entire file systems, and can be integrated with MS Office. If you’re looking to manage stacks and stacks of spreadsheets, a DMS might be a good fit. If you’re looking for a starter DMS, Vault might be a good fit, you’ve already paid for it!
- Do you need user/team level security controls? This usually boils down to what does the relationship between Surveying and Engineering look like to be honest. If you don’t have a conflict there, then you probably don’t need the user management within Vault.
If you’ve answered yes to all three, then Vault is probably a good fit. If you have these systems in place, we would lean towards using the simpler Data Shortcuts in your environment. There are always considerations like IT support, hardware, etc, but to me, these are the overarching questions that truly should drive your decision.