So, you've got Autodesk Vault, and you're asking yourself, "how do I import my data", or "what's the best method to import my data into the Vault?" It doesn't matter which version of Vault you have, whether it is Basic, Workgroup, or Pro, the best practice for importing is the same; Autoloader.
Autoloader is the "best practice-based tool" developed and recommended by Autodesk to use to perform your initial data load into the Vault. The Autoloader helps to ensure that your data links are valid and that your files are clean for more efficient use in the Vault. When adding data, Autodesk recommends the following order to bring the highest level of efficiency and success:
- Load Libraries First - Subsequent data uploads will likely be more easily accomplished
- Add the first project - Try several test imports before doing the final import to ensure a complete and proper import.
- Add subsequent projects - This is the "rinse-and-repeat" process, until you have uploaded all of your project data files.
The main benefit to using Autoloader is that it helps you to identify problems with broken links, thereby guaranteeing that your files resolve properly once they are placed in the Vault. Below is a summary of the steps you will need, to use the Autoloader, which is taken from the Autodesk Manufacturing White Paper, "Best Practices for Loading Autodesk Inventor Data into Autodesk Vault."
Step 1 - Prepare Your Data
A. Ensure all work is suspended
B. Copy project data to a local drive on your fastest workstation.
C. Clean files by removing unnecessary links, and disconnect network drives to ensure that files don't get resolved to their original network drives.
Step 2 - Set Autoloader Preferences
A. Edit settings for duplicate file search. Determine criteria for finding duplicate files, such as file attributes, or Date/Time Stamp.
B. Set scan options. You can set a file threshold, especially if you are creating DWF visualization files during this process.
C. Specify folder locations for reports. Be sure to use these reports to validate successful data upload.
Step 3 - Autoload Your Data
A. Select data folder. You can select a top-level workspace, or a single subfolder of an existing project.
B. Scan files and resolve issues. Highlight duplicate files and have them archived.
C. Map folders. It is advised to use the default folder structure in the Vault. This will produce the most reliable Vault experience.
D. Upload the data. Once completed, you can remove the local copy on the machine. It is advised to keep the original data on the network for a period of time, but to keep it inaccessible to the design team. You will be able to access data files that you may have missed during the upload process.
E. View results. Any failed files should be uploaded independently using the Vault client or Application Client.
I hope this overview helps you to tackle that first big step in using the Vault. Remember, practice makes perfect. If you would like more detailed information, please view or download the entire White Paper from: http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/best_practices_for_using_autoloader1.pdf