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Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

PDFiconVault 2018 introduces the #1 requested feature, the ability to create PDF files during the release process. Many firms use the PDF format of a 2D Drawing file to facilitate internal communications among engineering, purchasing, manufacturing and other departments. Further, PDF files are the de facto standard for external communication of new designs with customers as well as suppliers.

Let’s take a deep dive into this feature.

When a new Vault gets created a new Category, Category Rule, Lifecycle, and a Lifecycle Action are available. To start creating 2D PDF files, an Administrator must turn on the Job Server and configure the system to start the using the capability.

The Category

The PDFs are automatically assigned to the Design Representation category and lifecycle definition which allows the administrators to manage their security access and properties independent of the associated design files. As a result, e.g. non-engineering staff like shop-floor users can access released PDFs within the Vault Thin Client w/o necessary need to have access to the native CAD files for printing and other follow workflows.


The Category Assignment Rule

A Design Representation Assignment Rule is used to assign the Design Representation category. Design Representation is also a special classification set on the PDF files created by the Job Processor, so Vault’s logic identifies them. This classification can be assigned, through the API, for other files by developing custom solutions. All files with the File Classification of Design Representation can be attached to a CAD file w/o creating a new CAD file iteration.


The Lifecycle

A Design Representation Process lifecycle exists with three states; Released, Work in Progress and Obsolete. When the PDF file gets created after the design file is released, it uses the Design Representation Process lifecycle.  The administrator needs to configure the security of the Released state so that future versions of the PDF can be created.


Also, What You Wanted!

The Vault Beta program is very important to the Vault development team as it provides great feedback during the development process. The PDF feature was discussed in the Vault Beta portal, and users from all over the world tested the feature and provided much feedback.

One significant feedback request involved the name of the PDF file. When a PDF file gets created, the name of the file is the same name with the file extension as the parent file. Users in the beta requested the ability to customize the name, and the development team responded to the request.  Here is how you do it.

Navigate to the Autodesk Vault Professional 2018 install folder. Open the Explorer subfolder and copy the JobProcessor.exe.config file. Open the original config file and add any of keys below to the appSettings section to get the desired PDF file name.

Key Result Name
    <add key=”DesignRepresentation.Naming” value=”.(idw)$/Prefix&lt;_name_&gt;Postfix”/> PrefixFlowerPostfix.pdf
    <add key=”DesignRepresentation.Naming” value=”.(idw)$/Prefix&lt;_name_&gt;”/> PrefixFlower.pdf
    <add key=”DesignRepresentation.Naming” value=”.(idw)$/&lt;_name_&gt;”/> Flower.pdf
    <add key=”DesignRepresentation.Naming” value=”.(idw)$/&lt;_name_&gt;Postfix”/> FlowerPostfix.pdf
Invalid Key Flower.idw.pdf or Error


Join the Beta Program!

We are starting new discussions in the Vault Beta program, and we need your input. It is your opportunity to drive the direction of new and existing features. Sign Up now! Join the Vault Beta Program

Irvin Hayes Jr.
Product Manager

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Irvin Hayes Jr.

Irvin is a Product Manager on the Autodesk Vault team based in Novi, Michigan. He helps partners, consulting and sales develop Vault deployment plans in enterprise environments and system requirements. You can find multiple classes Irvin has presented at Autodesk University, ( on a wide range of Vault topics. Irvin is a technology geek and loves sharing with the community on Twitter (@ihayesjr) and Flipboard Magazine. Disclaimer If you need an official Autodesk company response or a contact for press-related activities please contact Autodesk Public Relations. The posts on this blog are the authors' own personal opinions and do not represent their employer's view in any way. In addition, their thoughts and opinions often change, and as a weblog is intended to provide a semi-permanent point-in-time snapshot you should not consider out-of-date posts to reflect their current thoughts and opinions.