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Sharepoint as a secure Checkin, Checkout vault?

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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I work for an engineering firm. Our CAD data is in several locations. And multiple departments use any number of Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, etc. And data is all over the place - servers, folders. Our department is evaluating database/vault tools to use to manage versions, approval and workflows for our CAD files. We presently have Master Control in another department
(http://www.mastercontrol.com/index.html) so I am looking at it as a possible solution. But before we invest thousands on enhancing Master Control, training admin users and additional $eat$, I want to fully understand the capability of Sharepoint. Each employee has access to Sharepoint on our Intranet.

My questions:
1) Can Sharepoint perform as a searchable database and vault for our files (AutoCAD files) ?
     AutoCAD does not have parent/child relationships, so I'm thinking it may be just fine for handling AutoCAD (.dwg) and associated files (.jpg).

2) Can Sharepoint perform as a database WITH the items attached?

3) Can it generate a (custom) auto numbering field other than the system version field?
     I need to have an auto numbering field. I'd like to be able to specify the starting number. Possible? If so, how (in general)?

4) Once fields are created and records populated, can a user run queries (for example: to determine a latest version (by date) ? Can it handle conditional searches?

5) How would I customize some actions (custom queries, triggers)? For ex:, In MS Access, it's VBA code. Does Sharepoint use java or some other coding/scripting/triggers/notifications?

I'm asking for general advice as well. Is it powerful enough to perform as our single location for our consolidating our processes into one?

Here's my scope:
1) Create a Request for change
2) Collaboration and Approval of that change
3) Document creation and workflow for approval
4) Generate a PDF and send to a department
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