Good morning all!
Sorry for my lack of productivity lately. Busy, busy, busy!
I’ve been working on this post for a while, and have had every intention of releasing it with an accompanying video. This would be my first video with sound! Of course, I have run into every form of technical difficulties imaginable in attempting to make the recording. So, I am going to at least get the write up out, and will hopefully add the video soon!
This tutorial makes the assumption that you have already run the integration for SharePoint and Vault, using the instructions on the Autodesk website. For more information about how to go about this, see my earlier articles on the subject, published by my friends over at Design & Motion in June of 2014. It also assumes that you have editing rights on your SharePoint site, so check with your IT department to make sure you have the correct permissions.
In SharePoint, a list is a container for information and can be though of as similar to a spreadsheet with rowns and columns for sorting the data within. A Vault list can contain Files, Items or Change Orders. by default a Vault list will contain the entire contents of whichever form you choose, and will need to be filtered to show only those Files or Items you wish to see. I will cover this filtering later, first let’s set up the SharePoint page for the list.
Adding the App.
To get started, log in to your SharePoint site and navigate to the page you would like to add the list to. In the upper right near the “Help” question mark, notice a gear shaped icon for Settings. Select this, and then Add an App.
Vault lists will be brought in as a link, so you want to add a Link App.
SharePoint will ask you for a name for the new app, name it something related to your Vault list and make a note of the name for later. Create the app and return to the page you were editing.
Now you need to add the app to the page itself. On the top menu bar select Page, and then Edit. SharePoint (much like Vault) will prompt you to check out the page for editing, say yes. Your page will go into edit mode, with frames appearing around any apps or document libraries or images that may already exist on the page. On the top menu, select Insert, App Part. A list will come up that should include the new Link app you just created. Select the app. Now, decide where on the page you want the new app to show, remember this is where your Vault list will live. Place your mouse inside the border of the section where you will place the new app, and click to select the location. Then, from the Insert menu above, click the Add button to place the app in that location.
The app is now ready to use, but first we need to create a list to add to it.
Creating the list.
When you ran the Vault/SharePoint integration, the documentation included the URL for creating lists in SharePoint. http://server/_layouts/15/autodesk.vault.bcsconnect/addvaultlist.aspx In this URL, “server” is replaced with the name of your SharePoint server. Type this into your browser bar, and you will be taken to a new page prompting you for a name for the list. Again, make a note of this name. Select whether this will be a File, Item or Change Order list and then click Create List.
Return to the page you are editing, and select the Settings gear again. This time go to Site Settings, and select Site Libraries and Lists. Find the list you just created and select “Customize”. The main reason for doing this is to copy the Web Address for this list into your clipboard, or at least write it down. Highlight the Web Address and use Ctrl-C to copy. There are other settings you can customize here, but I’m not going to go into those in this post.
Return again to the SharePoint page, and in the new App you added earlier, select New Link.
Paste or type the Web Address of the new list into the URL box in the form below. Add a description. The description is what will show up in the link app on the page you are adding it to, so I would name it something that your users will recognize such as Project ### Drawings. Add any other information you wish to add to distinguish this list, and hit Save.
The new list will now be added to the Link app on your SharePoint page, and ready to be accessed by users. But wait, there’s more! At this point, the list contains everything in the Vault under the category you selected. So, if you made this a files list, it contains all files in your Vault. If your Vault is anything like mine or worse, it should take about 2 days for the list to load. You need to add filters to get the list to show only the files that are pertinent to this project.
Adding Filters to your List.
First, open the new list you have just added to your page. This may take a while depending on network speed and the size of the unfiltered list. Once the list has loaded, select List form the top menu bar and Modify View or Create View. Create View allows you to create multiple filtered views for this list, Modify View will change the currently set view.
These will take you to a site that allows you to set columns, sort these columns and select filtering criteria to narrow the list down to what you want to see. In the first section, you give the view a name, and decide which of the available columns you wish to see. These columns would have been set up when the integration was first run. To change this list of columns, refer back to the Vault-SharePoint Integration documentation found on the Autodesk Website.
The next section allows you to determine a sort order based on the columns chosen above, and also to restrict the view by selecting a Vault Category, File or Item State, and even narrowing the selection to a specific folder in your vault. This section does the most for reducing the size of the list and getting only the results that you want to see.
The next section allows you ta further narrow the results by including or excluding specific properties of the list contents. In the example shown below the list is reduced to only showing files that are either DWG or IDW files.
The sections below offer further refinements, though many of them ore of a more cosmetic nature. I’m not going to go into those here, since what we’ve covered will get you the results you need. Play around with the other settings to see if there is anything in there that works for your site.
The refinements we’ve made in these sections will give you a list that contains a group of Files or Items, sorted by a specific column and narrowed to a select group in a particular location. For a specific project or quote you can easily show only those AutoCAD or Inventor drawings related to that project, and even narrow the list to only those files in a Released state… whatever you wish to show. Once you are satisfied with the results, save and check in the SharePoint page, and the results will be ready for your users.
Whenever I can sort out my technical problems I will follow this post up with a good video demonstration of these steps. Until then, make sure you try this on a test page first! Stay tuned and as always….