Extracting AutoCAD data with Vault

As Autodesk has developed new document focused lifecycle and revision control with the 2010 products, it is now much easier to manage documents like 2D AutoCAD drawings. With that said, it is still up to us to determine what information we would like to capture when using Vault to manage those AutoCAD files. Here is the core of extracting specific data out of your files: "Block Attribute Extraction". This dialog box is part of the Autodesk Data Management Server console, and allows us to define block names that we want to extract attributes for:

Once the block names are defined and a drawing is checked into Vault, the attribute tags (or prompts) will show up in the "Property Definition" dialog box as shown below. This can be found in the Administration settings on the Tools pull-down menu.
But just because a block's attributes are indexed doesn't mean that they are in use or searchable yet. In the image above, I had to change from "Not in Use" to "In Use" and then re-index the vault properties before they would become useful in the Vault client interface.
Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks