Alot of companys are asking about vault in Civil 3D, but don't want to go through the process of setting it up. But not to worry, because there is a way around it!
Data shortcuts are used to share AutoCAD Civil 3D objects outside of project management utilities (Vault). You are able to create a reference, export objects, and access them within a reference file. Data shortcuts are limited to surfaces, alignments, profiles, pipe networks, and view frame groups.
Below I have included a instructional video on Data Shortcuts.