After setting it up Project Sync, in a test environment, I was pleased with how easy it was to use. I ran through a couple scenarios, and saw some minor issues, but nothing that was a show stopper. Project Sync may be a possible solution for your collaboration problems. So I want to take this opportunity to explain how it works.
So how does this work? Vault Professional uses the Job Processor to sync files to a Fusion 360 Team Hub. Vault Professional folders will need to be mapped to Project Folders on a Fusion 360 Team Hub. If a user installs the Autodesk Desktop Connector, it will sync the files in Fusion 360 Team down to their local desktop. Then they can create an Inventor Project that uses the local folder as their workspace. When the files have been edited, they will be synchronized back to the cloud. Vault then can be scheduled to sync to the cloud, or users can do it on demand, again using the Job Processor.
To set this up you will need a few pieces of software: Vault Professional, access to a Fusion 360 Team Hub, Vault Job Processor, and the Autodesk Desktop Connector.
In Vault Professional, a user with Administrator access will have to enable the Job Server.
Then the Job Processor will have to be started on a local PC. There is some options here, some companies like to have a spare PC set up to run the Job Processor, some just allow several machines to run the Job Processor in the background. If all that is being done is some syncing of files, it should not consume a lot of resources. The Job Processor also needs to have a Vault Account that it will use to carry out the process. This can be any user or you can create a specific Job Processor Vault Account to carry out this process.
Once the Job Processor is started, it will be time to create the mapping between a Vault folder and a Fusion 360 Team Project Folder. You will want to have the folder already created on Fusion 360 Team because there is not a way to create the cloud folder while you are mapping the folder. The process is pretty straight forward. You will create a new mapping and give it a name, I just typically name it after the folder. You will identify the local folder and the cloud folder. You can then enable manual syncing, allowing pushing, pulling, or bidirectional syncing, and/or set up a synchronization schedule. For the synchronization schedule, you are not able to pick a frequency less then 8 hours.
Once the mapping is done, and the files are synchronized. The next step is how to access them. You do have the ability to log into the Fusion 360 Team web site and download, or upload, files manually. However, to add another layer of ease to the process, you can install the Autodesk Desktop Connector. This will sync files from the cloud to your local machine. It will even create a phantom drive on your system to make it easier to find the files.
The actual location of these files is inside your User Documents folder. I haven't found a way to change that location. I did find a registry key that sets that location, but every time I changed it, the software changed it back. Being able to customize that location is something I have heard a lot of users ask for. You will notice that you actually get 3 phantom drives, because the desktop connector can work with BIM 360 Team, Fusion 360 Team, and A360 Drive.
Since I am a pretty heavy Inventor user, I also created an Inventor Project that uses the one Fusion 360 directory as the workspace. This will allow me to work directly in that sync folder and as I save files, they will be sent to the cloud storage.
Here is a video I created that shows how to setup Project Sync
Here is a video that shows the Project Sync in Action
The process works great, except for a few minor issues. In my testing, I ran through functions that I would normally do during a Vault class. Everything worked as expected, except for renaming and moving files. I tried renaming files in Vault and Fusion 360 Team. In both scenarios, they saw the renamed file as a new file and kept the old files. Not a huge issue, users just need to be aware that they need to clean up the files with the old names. Moving files had a similar issue, where it sees the file in the new location as a new file and leaves the original behind.
If you are not familiar with Vault Professional, it allows you to create file Lifecycles that control who can edit files while it is a specific state. I was not sure how syncing would work if the file was in a Released, read-only, state when I tried to manually sync an updated file from the cloud. The file remained unchanged because it was Released and I was not permitted to change the file. However, if I changed the file to a Work In Progress state, which allows editing, the file could be updated from the cloud. The only issue is that I was expecting to see some error about not being able to update because the file was released, or read-only. The software simply didn't do anything at all. So that might cause a little confusion in an end user.
I really think that Project Sync can be used to solve some collaboration problems. So if you are looking for a solution, perhaps this was able to open your eyes to a possible solution. At the very least, keep this in mind for the next time your company could be starting a collaborative project with individuals outside of your company.