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I have been asked to look into the possibility of indexing DWG files within a hosted SASS-like environment using 'Off the Shelf' products.

I have found a plugin for Sharepoint called DWG I-Filter that looks like it would do the job, however I'm in-experienced with using such things (including Sharepoint). Before trying to implement it myself I wondered if anyone else had experience with such things.

Would something like the above work with the Office 365 version of Sharepoint?

If not, can anyone provide alternatives?

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I agree with James, here. Unless your hosting provider decides to implement this ability, you wont get direct indexing of the content of the files them selves, and adding the MetaData client side is your best bet.

Cadnection used to provide some automation to this from the AutoCAD client, but they no longer are in business. It's not "off the shelf" but you may be able to get some usage from this:

It covers creating a plugin for AutoCAD, utilizing SharePoint web services for document management. By leveraging the client, you can use this with dedicated or hosted environments.

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Great, thanks for the info. I suspected as much (regarding installing on third-party services). I will look into that Cadnection option, cheers for the heads up. – phindmarsh Oct 31 '11 at 20:33

I doubt you would be able to implement an iFilter on Office 365/SharePoint Online as it requires changes to the Server File system.

As an alternative I would suggest you could use tagging and other metadata fields on the libraries where you store the DWG files. This might be inconvenient if you have many fields, but without an indexed search, and the inability to indexed autodesk files, you might have to resort to this.

Also, for instructions of implementing IFilters, Google around for installing PDF IFilters, as the process is pretty much the same.

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Ok cool, thanks for the info. I tend to agree about tagging and using meta-data, and failing all else that will be my recommendation. Thanks for your time! – phindmarsh Oct 31 '11 at 20:34

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