Autodesk Vault and Civil 3D – Part 1

Autodesk Vault was introduced for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2007 as a project and data management solution.  We had several clients hop on board the Vault train, since at that time it was the only method available for sharing data like alignments, profiles, surfaces, and pipe networks.  Once Civil 3D Data Shortcuts became available as a viable data sharing solution, several clients then got off of the Vault train.  They weren’t necessarily looking for a project and data management solution as much as they were simply looking for a method to share data.

Now that Civil 3D adoption in your organization has grown, it maybe time to revisit Vault for use with AutoCAD Civil 3D.  Accordingly to this table, there are five flavors of Vault.  Note that Collaboration and Collaboration AEC are essentially the same product.  For Civil 3D, we most likely will be interested in the Collaboration version as it will allow us to share Civil 3D data.

At CAD Masters, we’re excited about Vault.  The product has continued to get better and better.  It’s been further integrated into Civil 3D.  We’re especially interested in multisite scalability and it’s feasibility as a WAN solution.

This series of articles will walk through CAD Master’s experience getting Vault setup with Civil 3D 2012.

Vault Environment

  • Windows 2008 R2 64 bit server
  • SQL Server Standard 2008 R2
    • SQL Server Express Edition does not support a multisite environment.
  • Vault Collaboration 2012 Server software

Installation of Vault is fairly easy.  The first step involves a series of pre-checks.  During these pre-checks, there was a notification that User Account Control must be set to “Never notify”.  After changing this, there was a warning that the connection timeout value for IIS was too small.  After this was increased, the pre-checks validated successfully.

During installation, Vault will create a SQL Server instance called AUTODESKVAULT if it does not already exist.  If you look under the hood at the AUTODESKVAULT database in SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the AUTODESKVAULT instance, you can connect with the default sa username and password as noted in the Vault documentation.

What you may now find different from your original foray into Vault is that Vault now supports Windows Authentication.  This is very cool.  There’s no need for users to try to remember another username and password – they just use their Windows Authentication.

If you want to use Windows Authentication so that you can login with your own credentials, then add your Windows username to the list of logins.  You may also decide that you want to be sysadmin and can do so at this time.  Finally, you may also wish to change the password for the default system administrator account.

The next step was to launch the Autodesk Data Management Server Console 2012 and create a couple of vaults – one called Vault and another called C3D.  Once these vaults were created, then we were able to begin using Vault in Civil 3D.

In the next article in the series, we will install the client version and start populating Vault from Civil 3D.

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