Altium Designer Documentation

Edit Lifecycle Definitions

Created: November 17, 2018 | Updated: March 7, 2019

The Design Lifecycle tab of the Edit Lifecycle Definitions dialog


The Edit Lifecycle Definitions dialog allows you to view and edit the lifecycle of server items.

For more information about lifecycle management, see Managing Lifecycles for Items.


From the Data Management - Servers page of the Preferences dialog, click the Properties button in the Servers region, then select Lifecycles from the drop-down menu.


Lifecycle Definition

  • Content Types - click to open the Content Types dialog in which you can select and enable the desired content type(s).
  • Apply Changes - click to save and apply any changes made in the active lifecycle definition. The active lifecycle definition is the lifecycle definition tab you are currently on. 
  • Reset - click to reset all fields in the active revision naming scheme to their defaults. The active lifecycle definition is the lifecycle definition tab you are currently on. 
  • Clone - click to copy the current lifecycle definition.
  • Export - click to open a dialog to determine where and under what name the file is to be saved.
  • Definition Name - the name assigned to the definition.
  • Lifecycle Management  
    • Simple - only States and State Transitions are involved.
    • Advanced - allows definition of Stages into which the states are clustered. If the Advanced style of lifecycle management is chosen:
      • Controls for adding and defining the required stages become available.
      • A single stage, named Design, provided by default, with the possibility to add a further two stages. To add an additional stage, click the Add Stage link.

States and Transitions 

  • Initial State of Revisions - use to determine the starting state for an Item Revision, i.e. the state for the revision in which it contains no released data – the 'pre-release state'. By default, this state is named Planned. To change it, click the link to open the State Properties dialog to determine its name and a description, as well as text and background colors.
  • Stage Name - lists the current state. Use the  to delete the listed stage. A dialog appears asking for confirmation before the deletion occurs.
  • State Before and Transitions - use to the paths between the different states. Click to select a state, then use the  controls to add, edit or delete a state.
  • State After - the state after the listed state.
Click on a state in the Stage Name region then use the  controls at the bottom of the region to add, move up, move down, push to the stage on the left, or push to the stage on the right.

Additional Controls 

Lifecycle definitions are stored in your server. When you create a new server, the default definitions are written into it and any edits you perform on the default lifecycles or any new lifecycle definitions you create, are stored in that server as well.

  • Add New Definition - to create a new Lifecycle Definition, click the Add New Definition button at the bottom of the dialog. A New Lifecycle Definition tab will appear in the dialog, ready to be configured.
  • Import Definition - click the Import Definition button at the bottom of the dialog to open a dialog in which you can browse to and open the required Lifecycle Definition file. The lifecycle definition will be added to the list of existing lifecycle definitions available to the server.
  • Linking Stages to Levels of the Revision Naming Scheme - to create a relationship between the Lifecycle State and the Revision level, click on the option at the bottom of the dialog. When an item Revision's Lifecycle is incremented to move from a state in one stage to a state in another stage, the available Revision modification type commands - on the right-click menu - will also change. 


Pre-Defined Lifecycle Definition

A server provides seven default lifecycle definitions (as well as the ability to define your own). Click on the tabs to view/edit information for each lifecycle: 

  • Component Lifecycle
  • Design Lifecycle
  • Extension Lifecycle
  • Generic Lifecycle
  • Sample - Basic Lifecycle
  • Sample - Simple Lifecycle
  • Sample - Simple Lifecycle With Approvals
  • Sample - Structured Lifecycle with Approvals
The lifecycle definition applied is chosen at the individual item level when creating an Item. Different Items can therefore have different lifecycle definitions employed for them.
Once a defined lifecycle definition is in use by an Item in the server, that definition can not be deleted. You can, however, modify the definition to some extent, including renaming it, modifying its state attributes (color, transitions, applicability, visibility), adding new states to the definition, removing any unused states, and linking stages to revision levels (where applicable). Once an Item is created and an initial release into a planned revision of that Item is made, that Item can not have its lifecycle definition changed to a different one.
The default definitions can be used 'as is' or modified to suit your requirements. New, custom definitions can also be added and configured, as required.
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