Frequent tipster Danny Korem explains how he uses Autodesk Cloud and the company's mobile and browser-based CAD program, AutoCAD WS, to manage his file history.
"As design development of architectural work is rather dynamic, one might cause the whole design team to move forward and backward more than once in a project's design lifecycle simply by undoing and redoing things.
"I was an early adopter of AutoCAD WS and Autodesk Cloud. All I do is click on the Upload icon in the online panel in AutoCAD 2012. Each save within my AutoCAD session uploads a version of the drawing as it is being saved. Since the WS technology 'knows' the previous version of the drawing, it only transfers the 'delta' and does not slow the session at all. When major modifications are to be performed, sometimes you'll find parts of your task within older versions of the AutoCAD WS file.
"The best part is that the drawing has its history in the Timeline feature within AutoCAD WS. Browsing to different points along the timeline lets you see the drawing's documented history. The Timeline technology can be used to co-edit a drawing file, and then go back to different points of time showing specific iterations. It's like saving each drawing in a different location with the same name. Both Autodesk Cloud and AutoCAD WS are offered for Autodesk subscribers free of charge.
"Note that activating the upload feature should be carefully considered. I upload files once or twice a day, and not anytime I save the file. Still, WS has saved me in more than one case."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: AutoCAD WS is a great tool — especially since it is free. AutoCAD 2012 has built-in integration, allowing you to work with AutoCAD WS from within AutoCAD. For AutoCAD 2011 and 2010, there is a plug-in available for download.
AutoCAD WS is a browser-based CAD program (there are also mobile versions for iOS and Android). All versions access the same file stored in your cloud account. AutoCAD WS is about collaboration: multiple users can simultaneously access the same file in real time. This allows discussions to take place with a visual aid. Another feature is the Timeline: Every time the file is saved, a historical archive (or versions) is saved and stored. These cloud files can be linked to your files on your computer or server. While working with the file in AutoCAD, click the Upload button in the Mobile panel of the ribbon. This creates a copy in the cloud that can be accessed or shared by you.
Autodesk also provides Autodesk Cloud, another cloud-based free service; anyone that signs up can get 1 GB of free cloud storage (if you are on Autodesk’s subscription service, you get 3 GB).