How you can manage your AutoCAD DWG drawings in SharePoint?
SharePoint for Engineering and Architectural companies:
In general, SharePoint is a great platform to organize team collaboration, file storing and sharing. SharePoint relieves a lot of the system administrator’s headache regarding file management, access control, data security and it is a good solution for engineering and architectural companies to organize their repository.
Starting with the free SharePoint Foundation even a small company can get all the benefits from files version control, project and team collaboration; everything that allows users to concentrate on their direct targets without paying too much attention to the organization of their repository.
Working with DWG drawings in SharePoint
However, SharePoint benefits can cause serious problems while working with drawings.
When trying to access drawings from SharePoint, the following message pops up:
With SharePoint settings you can force the browser to download the file to a temporary folder and then open it with a local application — AutoCAD, BricsCAD, ZWCAD, for example. CAD application opens the file from the temp folder. This way would work for the simple AutoCAD files, but may cause some slight problems when users try to save modified files back to SharePoint. However, the real disaster happens when the DWG drawing has XREFs. External references do not load into the local folder and they cannot be found and opened by local applications. You will receive CAD warnings that Xrefs could not be located or read — here is an example of an AutoCAD warning.
VitroCAD can be an effective solution as it fully integrates Microsoft SharePoint with AutoCAD and manages DWG files including their Xrefs. DWG files can be easily opened from SharePoint by any local CAD application. Please watch this short video showing how VitroCAD saves DWG file with two external references from the SharePoint repository to a local folder on the workstation. As you can see users even have two options — to save the existing folder structure or copy all the files together.
Saving DWG drawing containing Xref’s from SharePoint to a local folder.
Lastly, for users who do not even have a CAD application installed, they can still view, print and export to PDF all drawings through the VitroCAD integrated properties viewer — VitroCAD DWG iFilter.