As customers upgrade from release to release of their Inventor platform this typically also involves migration of CAD files and increasingly CAD data stored in Autodesk Vault document management solutions.
"Migration" from an Autodesk Vault perspective is twofold, often times the change of database versions is referred to as migration and indeed during the installation process the Autodesk Data Management Console will report that it is "migrating" databases.
This migration however refers only to the metadata component of the Vault system where new tables and property definitions are added to the database set, during this process no managed CAD files are modified, created or touched in any way.
As Autodesk Vault allows support for the latest plus 2 previous versions of Inventor with Vault, permitting users to work with legacy Inventor formats, it is important that there is no assumption made about the customers need to migrate CAD data.
Migrating CAD data to the latest version of your CAD system means that the latest version only of each CAD file in the Vault will have a new version created - in essence every unique CAD record will have a new version, increasing the filestore size by degrees.
In a design environment where Item or file lifecycle schemes are utilised by either Vault Workgroup, Vault Collaboration or Vault Professional there are a number of additional file access and security considerations which will need to be addressed in order to successfully migrate the vaulted data, we cover these .
Traditionally for optimum performance, CAD data should be migrated to the current release, however this is not always practical due to the sheer size of Vaulted data, where many thousands of unique CAD records would require weeks of ongoing effort disrupting production work or perhaps days of focused effort stopping productive work.
The good news is that in most cases migration is not essential, Inventor does allow for on demand migration meaning users are able to open, view and consume Inventor part and assembly files from Vault without a requirement to migrate the data and with little impact on the model performance.
When a file is modified and saved you will be prompted to migrate the affected files, these will be migrated at that point and added to Vault as a new version, which by virtue of the fact that the file is modified is a necessary version increment.
It is worth noting that users may also expect to be prompted to migrate derived parts or assemblies (iparts or iassemblies) when changes are made to linked files, which becomes apparent when those files are restricted or "locked" in Vault Workgroup, Vault Collaboration or Vault Professional. Special attention may be needed to address this workflow and users should refer to the section on locked file migration of this affects them.
The final decision as to whether your company will carry out a bulk migration or "on demand" file migration will come down to the size of the dataset and the resources available to complete migration. If you do choose to migrate all Vault data en masse, please read on to see details on migration best practices designed to streamline this process.