Civil 3D File Dependency Management

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Civil 3D 2020 and the new Autodesk Civil 3D 2021 set forth on a much-publicized march to better forms of Design Collaboration for Civil 3D in the Cloud. Design Collaboration for Civil 3D sounds good. It Is supposed to sound good. By in large, it is good. Yet, this positive Cloud Collaboration effort makes us a little itchy in the back of our hindbrains.

A new more often means more work.

Certainly, more competency is required of Civil 3D users and Managers.

The good news for all of us in Civil 3D Land is that Design Collaboration for Civil 3D also forces Autodesk to address some longstanding Civil 3D Project file dependency issues that affect on-going Project Movement, Maintenance, Upgrade, and Update issues.

There is a current Autodesk list of Civil 3D current file dependency known issues buried somewhere in the Civil 3D help.
Honestly, if you find the list, we discover that only represents what issues Autodesk is currently attempting to fix.
The list is far from a complete list of all the potential file dependency issues we must cope with and manage in Civil 3D Projects.

What gives?

Civil 3D File Dependencies Management

We manage these file dependencies, or they manage us.
I like to say that all Dependencies in Civil 3D are good news until they aren’t.

There is an entire series of posts on this important and complex topic.
You might want to see the Manage Civil 3D Dependencies post that contains links to many of them.

Most, if not all, production Civil 3D workflows are dependency based. Civil 3D Features that talk to other Features is a major part of the powerful magic that makes Civil 3D work better and faster.

The State of the Problem

We learn the corporate and personal Civil 3D skills and workflows to manage that drawing level set of dependencies. When to use and/or end a dependency or not, is an important Civil 3D user skill. It is also a corporate skill which may get lost in the shuffle. Many Civil 3D Features include special dependency (reference) related properties to help us manage dependency behavior in detail.

Almost all of that critical path interaction happens in the context of a Civil 3D Project.

Civil 3D doesn’t require a project…Civil 3D is the Project

I’ve championed the Wish List idea of an External File Dependency Tool for Civil 3D to reduce the significant man-hour issues that relate to all on-going Civil 3D Project Movement, Maintenance, Upgrade, and Update issues.
We have a Civil 3D Data Short Cut Editor, the AutoCAD Reference Manager, and the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility.
Civil 3D file dependencies require the same level of reporting and repair support.

While we all hold our breath, there are proactive actions we can ritually perform to reduce the work and chaos.

The Managed Civil 3D Project Matters

The Civil 3D Project Template with a known and dependency conscious folder and file structure is the best place to start.
Civil 3D is only one tool in a host of tools we need to get a civil engineering or survey project delivered.
Civil 3D can and will play well with others, but only if we proactively meet the Civil 3D Diva’s needs.

Find the Project Startup Series linked posts and videos.

The more challenging trick in to never stop working on improving your Civil 3D Project Templates.
This is the cheapest and best form of Civil 3D customization you can do to produce truly productive results.
Ritualized project assessment and adjustment loops help a lot. They are not hard to do just easy to skip.

Is it far too easy to manage to repeat what we did last time?

Register. Login and visit the Members Documentation and Help and Projects in Civil 3D section for related in-depth and detail Civil 3D Project posts and videos.

Collaboration applications notably explode the potential interoperability and dependency interactions. Sorting out these Separations of Powers requires more adaptability, flexibility, and attention to detail.

Hence our Collaboration for Civil 3D hindbrain tickles warn us something significant about ourselves and our work. Accountability and Suitability are as vital to civil engineering and survey work as Accuracy and Precision.

The Liberty we desire and need resides in the demonstrated capability to self-govern.

The Freedom to Make Civil 3D Work
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