Projects or Project files, which is it….?


Project files; engineering vs. Inventor…

As inventor users are aware of Inventor project files (File.ipj) are necessary for productive work. It has always been a critical part of a proper Autodesk Inventor configuration, and several years ago we had 4 different types of project files, Shared, Semi-Isolated, Single, and Vault. With the introduction of Inventor 2008, 2009 and now 2010, two have disappeared from general user view, Shared and Semi-Isolated, that in my opinion is a very good thing.

It seems that every time I visit a client we have project file issues, and it seems to develop from older materials and suggestions from the help and getting started guides provided with the applications. Something like, and I take some writers license here, “Make a project file for each design…” well this can be made to work but is usually not the best plan. Engineering firms look at “Projects” as a job or a task for a client or potential client, whereas Inventor looks at the Project as a “Vault/Inventor” Configuration file, thus the problems that seem to appear with project files vs. engineering projects. Inventor expects to see one project file that is used by all design team members that is configured to point to a replicated workspace on each designers system.  The Inventor Project file sets the relationship between the individual system workspaces and the Mapping to the Vault database and filestore, In short it places all the designers’ files in a common master location, allowing all design team members to be looking at or working with the same design data. When an individual users elects to work on a file they access it via the vault client while using the universal Inventor project (File.ipj) regardless of the actual engineering project, be it something for Texaco or something for Bob’s machine shop, and when a user checks out a file the Inventor project file (File.ipj) will correctly place a working copy of the file on the users workspace on their individual system. Checking out a file with the vault client application will mark the master file as contained in a file store managed by the Autodesk Data Management Server application as checked out, which the vault client will access via the configured Inventor project file (File.ipj)

So here’s how I see it; I.T. teams and Inventor Vault/ADMS administrators might want to highlight the difference between user projects and Inventor projects, we should define a new Inventor project file naming scheme. I know I’m going to start defining Vault project files with a naming convention that looks something like this;  Adesk_Inventor_config.ipj just to make it perfectly clear that they (Eng project vs. Inventor Projects) are something different than Bob’s or Texaco’s project work…

Just some thoughts I wanted to put down for your consumption and or planning, purely a suggestion and not set in stone.

If you have any thoughts or additions please feel free to respond and let me know…



And of course, Happy Holiday Season…!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: