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Thread: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

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    Active Member gisdude's Avatar
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    Default Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    Good morning all,

    I have been tasked with setting up a process for document management or drawing management software for the department. We have roughly 4,000 autocad files that date all the way to 1992 up to the present. Does anyone care to share some of their experiences or pitfalls with getting this started? To me, this might be a big job (maybe just restricting permissions on the drives) or something more sophisticated than that. I've been told Sharepoint is pretty good with documents, but that might be a little out of the budget.

    Thanks,

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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    My understanding is that Sharepoint and CAD are not best buddies....

    If the priority is CAD files, the look into Adept software from Synergis
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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    Or Vault, if you want an Autodesk product (Subscription still comes with Vault Basic, I think). But a good start is somebody in charge of organization who is somewhat obsessive/compulsive and doesn't take "no" for answer. A reasonable manual system will be easier to migrate to an automated one.
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
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    Active Member gisdude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    thanks dgorsman. I've wondered about Vault for a while now. How much are they charging for this stuff? i looked at the Adept software, but this looks unwieldy and pricey.

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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    basically, ALL EDM systems are going to look unwieldy and pricey. They are trying to address non-trivial issues with the flexibility to adapt to innumerable situations and customer workflows, with the rigidity required by software to organize, catalog, and search a hodgepodge of engineering documents, drawings, calculations, correspondence, etc etc etc.

    I think dgorsman hit the nail on the head with " somebody in charge of organization who is somewhat obsessive/compulsive and doesn't take "no" for answer. A reasonable manual system will be easier to migrate to an automated one."

    Really, if you can't set up a workable manual system that describes your needs, processes, and workflows, it's going to be _extremely_ difficult to do an automated one. Software is not a magic bullet, despite what management seems to believe. there is no 'easy button'.
    Real pirates wear silk suits & ties, and write EULAs
    The only thing more dangerous to the liberty of a free people than big government, is big business.

    Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050 http://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784412077

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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    Quote Originally Posted by dgorsman View Post
    But a good start is somebody in charge of organization who is somewhat obsessive/compulsive and doesn't take "no" for answer. A reasonable manual system will be easier to migrate to an automated one.
    Hey, I resemble that remark.

    I started overseeing document management at my old job long before Vault came out. And, as you start, so you go on.
    I had the server (and the archive room) both locked down access-wise.
    Myself and two engineers had access.

    The other 200+ members of our department had read only access to the CAD files (and later, the scans of the blueprints from the archives). So, they could open/view/distribute as necessary. If they needed to do a markup, they'd have to copy to their PC and then send to me later to add to the archives (ensuring it was done correctly).

    I kept an index in MS Access, though anything would work, like SQL through a simple web form. I had a simple start screen on the DB with search fields so anyone could find the name and location of specific files based on any possible data (year of projection, building, floor, discipline, type of info on the sheet... um, yeah, o/c. but, trust me, it saved me time to have all of the information in there, because then I got fewer calls).

    I'm sure that wouldn't work for people on the design side, but, post-occupancy, with over 100 years of scans, drawings and models, it worked just fine.

    Oh, I forgot, toward the end, our in-design projects (between 60-125 ongoing at any one time) had an open access folder, so that anyone who needed to review and mark up plan sets for current projects could do so. They'd get the drawings from whomever, mark them up and drop them into a single folder, so the project manager would collect all of the comments. I also kept copies, just so we could complain later when issues were ignored after we brought them up. Occasionally, some folders or files would get drug around or deleted by someone not paying attention, so, I wouldn't allow it with the record drawings.

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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    Just as an FYI. I have solicited at least four different AutoDesk re-sellers for information regarding Vault. More than what is simply on the website. It should also be noted that I need someone who is well versed in order to present Vault to our client as a good document management system. Not one of them has shown any interest. I suspect re-sellers with Vault specialists are few and far between. That makes me nervous about the product in regards to future support.

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    Default Re: Document Management/Drawing Management Software or Process

    Resellers get far more questions on AutoCAD, Revit, and other "front line software" than Vault, so very few resellers will have dedicated Vault experts as a matter of being where the money is.

    Have a look at the Vault board over at the Autodesk forums. Somebody there may be able to provide what you are looking for.
    If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
    Some say beauty is in the eye of the Beholder... perhaps so, but I've only seen the disintegration beam.
    Everyone else being wrong is not the same thing as being right.

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