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Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

Autodesk Vault 2021 continues to deliver on your feedback from live events, Autodesk Ideas, and the Vault Beta community with new customer-driven enhancements and features

Whether you’re just getting started with Vault, or you’ve relied on the product data management (PDM) software for years, this post will help you understand what’s new in Vault 2021.

Also, we hope you’ll join us for a what’s new in Vault 2021 webinar on May 6th at 2:00 p.m. ET to learn more and get your questions answered by our Vault experts. Sign up for the webinar here.

Here’s a summary of the productivity-boosting functionality you can expect: 

  • Smart Duplicate Reduction 
  • Productivity for CAD Users 
  • More Efficiency for Administrators 

Read on to learn more and be sure to watch the quick video at the end to see Vault 2021 in action. 

Smart Duplicate Reduction in Vault 2021 

First seen in Vault 2020.2, the new Duplicate Search feature enables you to easily run a 3D geometric search for parts, so you don’t waste time and effort documenting, releasing, and managing duplicatesThis feature is a huge new benefit for usersUnlike other PDM systems in the market, you don’t have to pay hidden fees or anything extra for 3rd party add-on for geometric search.  Autodesk has included its powerful geometric search feature within Vault Professional to add more value for users through increased productivity and cost savings.   

Save thousands of dollars each year with new Duplicate Search feature 

For example, if you’re an Inventor user and frustrated with data duplication issues in your companyimagine the value of running a search on a part that doesn’t rely on a part number or part name. Duplicate Search uses geometry to show you all the duplicate parts in your Vault. Reuse the correct part – delete duplicates – save thousands of dollars in wasted time and effort.  

This feature alone is a business case for using Vault Professional. It more than pays for itself, giving you a quick return on investment as well as new capabilitiesOne of the many reasons you get more when subscribing to Autodesk software.  

Vault 2021 also includes a Duplicates Dashboard that gives you the ability to create and export a report on duplicate part files. The dashboard can show you a ratio of duplicate parts in your Vault and help you identify and reduce duplicates. Again, Duplicate Search and Duplicates Dashboard are features that will save you a lot of time and money and worth exploring in Vault Professional.  

Vault 2021 Productivity for CAD Users  

When using Vault 2021 as part of your Inventor design workflows, you will notice several improvements that provide better overall design experience and increase productivity. Here are some of them: 

Out-of-date files filter 

Vault 2021 has a new out-of-date filter in the Inventor’s Vault browser. When enabled, the browser filters out all out-of-date files from the tree view. 

Inventor and Revit interoperability  

Vault 2021 supports the Inventor and Revit interoperability introduced in Inventor 2021. When collaborating on Civil, and AEC projects, Vault 2021 can now work with Revit files that have been linked into your Inventor models from your local network drive, or via BIM360 docs. 

Unused document detection  

Vault 2021 can help you detect and clean up unused files that are no longer required and prevent unused files from being released. A new property has been added to help identify orphaned files. The ‘Has Parent Relationship’ property is TRUE for files that are being used and FALSE for files that are no longer being used. 

You can use this new property as a filter, or in a saved search, or during a state change to automatically archive orphaned components.  

Copy Design  

For Copy Design in Vault 2021 Workgroup and Professional, rulesets are now stored on the server. This makes it possible for administrators to manage Copy Design rulesets globally and provide standard settings for Copy Design behavior.  

Additionally, new functionality in Copy Design makes it possible to copy property values from the original file to any user-defined property in the new file. For example, the original part number, or source drawing file. 

Communications for Engineering Change Orders 

To improve communications when progressing through an Engineering Change Order, support has been added to edit the automatically generated email template for ECOs. 

More Efficiency for Administrators in Autodesk Vault 2021 

For Vault administrators, a new option helps you to distinguish when you are logged in as an admin, by allowing you to set the color of the status bar inside the Vault client. 

New data purge control for lifecycle states 

In prior releases, changes to the purge control for lifecycle states would only apply to new file versions. There is now a new option to apply purge control changes to historical data as well. 

Higher job queue maximum display number  

You can now set the number of jobs displayed in the Job Queue using a new option in the Integrations tab of the Global Settings dialog box. When jobs are submitted to the Job Processor’s Job Queue, previously only the first 1000 jobs were displayed. In Vault 2021, an administrator can configure the Job Queue’ maximum display number from 1000 to 100000. 

More granularity for user settings to increase collaboration  

One of the most valuable new capabilities in Vault 2021 is more granularity for user settings to improve internal and external collaboration. Object-based and lifecycle state-based security and Custom Roles now include download permission.  

Previously, any user or group with the Read permission could download the file. Now, it is possible to grant users access to read folder content, file properties, and where used, while preventing them to download the actual files. This capability opens new channels of collaboration workflows with other departments, sites, and external partners.  

For example, in the diagram belowTeam 1 has access to read and download all the filesTeam 2 has access to read files in ‘Folder A, but no access to download them, and the Shopfloor Worker has access to read files in ‘Folder A’ and ‘Folder B’, but no access to download them. 

Additionally, new functionality for User Management enables you to hide or show disabled users using the option in the View drop-down.

For more information about all of these features as well as additional enhancements, visit the Autodesk Knowledge Network. 

Join us for a what’s new in Vault 2021 webinar on May 6th at 2:00 p.m. ET to learn more and get your questions answered by our Vault experts. Sign up for the webinar here.

Take a moment to watch Vault 2021 in action: 


Need help with working remotely using Vault? Here are tips and resources to help you.


Christa Prokos

Christa is a product marketing manager at Autodesk. She researches and writes about product development strategies and technologies, including data management and product lifecycle management. Outside work, you can find Christa gravitating toward engineers at social gatherings.