What's New in Altium 365

Learn about the new features, enhancements, and important
changes introduced to the Altium 365 platform.

December 2021

Interactive Commenting in Layer Stackup Copy link

December 29, 2021
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You can add comments in the layer stackup of your board on Altium 365's web interface.

Comment
 

Our interactive commenting function has been expanded to the layer stackup. You can leave comments on specific layers or vias and keep all the communication in one place (please note that, at the moment, you can only leave comments in the web browser and not within Altium Designer).

RECOMMENDED CONTENT

You can find more information on how to use the Layer Stackup in Altium 365 by visiting the Getting Started Guide - Layer Stackup.

Layer Stackup in Altium 365’s Web Viewer Copy link

December 27, 2021
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You can now access the layer stackup of your board on Altium 365's web interface.

 

Developing a layer stackup is a critical element of printed circuit board design. The ability to access and share stackup information via the web browser makes it easier to collaborate with different project stakeholders and manufacturers without the need for them to install and license Altium Designer.

RECOMMENDED CONTENT

You can find more information on how to use the Layer Stackup in Altium 365 by visiting the Getting Started Guide - Layer Stackup.

Removed Connectivity and Footprint Changes in Schematic Compare Copy link

December 26, 2021
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Previously, when connectivity was removed from a schematic, this change was not visually reflected when comparing two versions of the document in Altium 365.

Now, with this update, the removed connectivity is displayed as a red dashed line between components or existing wires. To avoid visual clutter, the red dashed line is drawn as the shortest path between the previously connected objects.

Line

The feature’s second update relates to the footprint changes of a component. The differences panel shows when such changes are detected by comparison.

SSO MCAD
RECOMMENDED CONTENT

You can find more information on using Schematic Compare in Altium 365 by visiting the Getting Started User Guide - Schematic Compare.

Export Comments in Altium 365 Copy link

December 7, 2021
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Downloading the entire comment history in detail is sometimes necessary for historical, legal, or auditing purposes. Altium 365 enables the quick and easy export of the entire project's comment history as a single PDF file.

This file can be created as an ad-hoc report using Reports -> Export Comments from the top menu in Altium Designer or included in the release package as part of the output job configuration.

RECOMMENDED CONTENT

Please access our online documentation for detailed information on this feature: Export Comments in Altium 365. If you want to learn more about commenting in Altium 365, please visit Commenting in your Design.

November 2021

SSO support for MCAD CoDesigner in Altium 365 Copy link

November 15, 2021
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Altium ECAD solutions support Single Sign-On (SSO), now you can log into MCAD CoDesigner from the MCAD side using SSO as well:

Altium ECAD solutions support Single Sign-On (SSO), now you can log into MCAD CoDesigner from the MCAD side using SSO as well:

SSO MCAD

A single sign-on solution simplifies username and password management. You no longer have to keep track of various credentials—simply remember a single, more complex password. SSO allows you to access MCAD CoDesigner much faster.

For more updates on MCAD CoDesigner, please visit: New in CoDesigner

The Altium 365 Trust Center and Knowledge Base Are Now Live Copy link

November 10, 2021
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The Altium 365 Trust Center provides detailed information on the steps we take to ensure the security and reliability of the Altium 365 cloud platform, as well as the measures we take to comply with regulatory requirements.

The Trust Center Knowledge Base

The Altium Trust Center Knowledge Base is a self-service library of our users’ most frequently asked questions about security, reliability, and compliance. If you can’t find the information you are looking for, please send your question to us, and we will add it to the knowledge base.

Trust Center

Gerber Compare in Altium 365 Beta Copy link

November 5, 2021
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The Gerber Compare utility is beneficial when PCB designers need to confirm changes in Gerber files before fabrication (e.g., unintentional changes). The recent Altium 365 update includes an intuitive and easy-to-use Gerber comparison feature, allowing designers to reduce time to market while keeping everyone informed during the process and making changes to Gerber files visible before sending them to the manufacturer.

Note: This is an Open Beta feature, and we'd love to hear from our users on how it could be improved further and about any issues encountered.

Fig. 1 - Gerber Compare
Fig. 1 - Gerber Compare

How can you see the differences between two Gerber files?

1. Differences in a macro-level view

Changes are organized into groups with explicit identification on the screen that corresponds to areas of the board that were changed. Changes are displayed per layer.

A. Clicking on a group will display a compare view that highlights any differences between the two revisions. As you can see, each group has a number, which is the number of differences.

B. You can switch quickly between layers on the side panel (see Fig. 3 - Quick view of changes).

C. When you switch between different layers and revisions, the location and zoom settings are preserved.

Fig. 1 - Groups of changes
Fig. 2 - Groups of changes

2. Easy navigation between revisions

You can quickly switch between the old revision, the new revision (that features a full Gerber viewer), and the comparison screen, which shows the difference between the two Gerber files.

Fig. 2 - Easy navigation Quick view of layers that have changed
Fig. 3 - Easy navigation

3. Quick view of layers that have changed

You don’t need to know which specific layer was modified beforehand—the software will check and display it on the screen with the number of changed areas.

All layers that are not modified appear in gray.

Fig. 4 - Quick view of changes
Fig. 4 - Quick view of changes

4. Color Coding of Changes

Gerber Compare has the ability to perform a graphical comparison; areas that have not been modified are gray. Red indicates the changes in the previous revision of the Gerber file.

Fig. 4 - Graphical comparison: Gerber Compare, old revision, and new revision
Fig. 5 - Graphical comparison: Gerber Compare, old revision, and new revision

5. Cross-probing capability

This feature also includes bi-directional cross-probing capability between the change on the side panel and the detail. Once you identify a specific change of interest, you can highlight relevant information about it.

Fig. 6 - Cross probing
Fig. 6 - Cross-probing

6. Distance Measurement

The Distance Measurement tool reports the point-to-point distance, the X (horizontal) distance, and the Y (vertical) distance in both metric (mm) and imperial (mil) units. The Measurements panel provides quick access to these measurements. Its primary function is to help you compute the exact measurements to use in the PCB manufacturing process. 

Fig. 7 - Measurements panel
Fig. 7 - Measurements panel

How can you access Gerber Compare?

  • The Releases tab in Altium 365: compare Gerber data between releases or against a locally generated file set.
  • Project Releaser in Altium Designer: compare with previous releases as part of output preview steps.

How can you provide feedback?

Since the tool is in beta, your feedback is valuable to us. Feel free to share your ideas, comments, and suggestions about Gerber Compare through the following channels:

  • Click the Feedback button located at the right-hand side of the view. A window will be presented with which to rate your experience (star rating), and then to elaborate, with the option to select an element of the interface to include with your feedback. Please supply your email address if you are willing to be contacted by Altium about your feedback.
  • Through our forum: Altium 365 feature introduction: Gerber Compare (Beta).
RECOMMENDED CONTENT

You can find more information on using Gerber Compare in Altium 365 by visiting Getting Started Guide - Gerber Compare.

Managing Access Requests in Altium 365 Copy link

November 5, 2021
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Sharing access to projects in an Altium 365 workspace can be restricted to preserve data privacy. In the past, users without sharing permissions needed to contact someone with sharing permissions and request access to others. To make this process more manageable but still preserve security properties, we've implemented “Requesting access to a project for someone else”.

If you are not familiar with the sharing controls in Altium 365, we suggest you check the guide: Allowing Access to Your Project: Design Collaboration.

Requesting Access for Others

You will know that you don’t have access to share projects because a sharing dialog box will display this information when you click the share button: “You do not have permissions to share this project. Supply the emails of people requiring access below. An administrator for the project will act on this request.”

Select “Add a Note” if you want to add a message explaining why this request is needed (optional).

Requesting Project Access

If you receive a link to an Altium 365 project and don't have access to it, the message “You need access to the project” will show up, and you can request access with an optional message for the owner of the project:

Access Request Notification

Once access is requested, anyone who can share the project receives a notification email.

In the email, “Open sharing settings” is a clickable link so that the admin can go directly to the sharing and access controls. All your pending requests will be visible there.

After accepting the request, an email notification is sent automatically to the accepted user.

RECOMMENDED CONTENT

For more information on the subject, you can read the Altium 365 User Guide: Sharing a Design in Altium 365

Schematic Compare in Altium 365 Beta Copy link

November 5, 2021
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The purpose of Schematic Compare is to provide a domain-aware comparison—that is, show essential modifications (like component, net, and connectivity changes or removal) and disregard secondary events (like moving a component that does not affect connectivity).

Note: This is an Open Beta feature, and we’d love to hear from our users on how it could be improved further and about any issues encountered.

Schematic Compare 1

How can you see the differences between the schematics?

1. Compact overview of the differences

With built-in Schematic Compare, you can easily visually compare changes between schematics. This automated process allows you to quickly and accurately analyze the differences and review each change individually. This representation refers to the latest version of the schematic data but with the color code of changes compared to the chosen older schematic.

Schematic Compare 2

Schematic Compare only shows logical differences; the graphical changes are not displayed (such as moving a symbol on a sheet or changing a text string).

2. Easy navigation

The Differences panel on the left-hand side shows the differences in the Components or the Nets between the two selected commits or releases. The differences detected in the board design are listed in the Differences Panel. You can cross probe to the latest version of the schematic/layout, where these differences are color coded and highlighted:

Differences Panel

You can select a component in the Differences panel to view its properties. The component’s properties shown refer to the latest schematic.

3. Elements can be found by name in the search bar

If you are looking for a specific element, you can type its name in the search bar (shown below):

4. Detailed change track

The list on the left displays all parameters of the selected element, comparing the old and new parts. In this way, you do not need to search for the data inside the schematics to see which parameters have changed or which nets have been added or removed; do this quickly in an overview in Schematics Compare to save time.

How can you provide feedback?

Since the tool is in beta, your feedback is valuable to us. Feel free to share your ideas, comments, and suggestions about Schematic Compare through the following channels:

  • Click the Feedback button located at the right-hand side of the view. A window will be presented to rate your experience (star rating) and then elaborate, with the option to select an element of the interface to include with your feedback. Please supply your email address if you are willing to be contacted by Altium about your feedback.
  • Through our forum: Altium 365 feature introduction: Schematic Compare (Beta).
RECOMMENDED CONTENT

You can find more information on using Schematic Compare in Altium 365 by visiting the Getting Started Guide - Schematic Compare.

October 2021

MCAD CoDesigner - Rejection Comments Copy link

October 4, 2021
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MCAD CoDesigner now displays the complete history of accepted and rejected changes, along with any comments the engineer has entered if a change is rejected. 

The history of changes is shown in MCAD CoDesigner's panel, making the interaction between the electrical and mechanical engineers more transparent. As soon as changes are applied/rejected on one side, the engineer on the other side is notified, and any rejection comments are displayed.

MCAD CoDesigner - Rejection Comments
RECOMMENDED CONTENT

Please access our online documentation for detailed information on the feature: Support for Change History and Rejection Comments.