AutoCAD Electrical is a great enhancement to AutoCAD. It enables you to quickly and effectively create 2D schematic drawings in less than half the time that it would take you to create them in AutoCAD. Coupled with the fact that you can insert information and are able to extract that information is a bonus which once again helps in the downstream use of this information.
One of those downstream or in fact side by side uses is the one AutoCAD Electrical has with Inventor. Autodesk has built in the functionality to share information between the software packages so that if a change is made to either AutoCAD Electrical or Inventor, the information will sync across both.
This is great for workflow as it drives down the design time to get the product out as both the Electrical and Mechanical Engineer can essentially work at the same time. One does not have to wait for the other for information because there is an automatic syncing of data between the two.
How is this achieved? An EMX (Electrical-Mechanical Link) file is created in either Inventor or AutoCAD Electrical. This file needs to be saved in a folder that is accessible to both users, preferably on a server. The AutoCAD Electrical files and the Inventor files do not have to be in the saved location of the EMX file. These files will in the normal folder location on a local drive or stored in the Autodesk Vault.