Altium Designer Documentation

Part Search

Modified by Susan Riege on Mar 26, 2018

The Part Search panel showing the results of a 'coin cell holder' search.

Summary

The Part Search panel provides the interface to the live supplier data. It is a direct portal to parts databases provided through supplier web services.

Panel Access

The Part Search panel is accessible by clicking Panels on the bottom right-hand side of the editor then selecting Part Search or by clicking View » Panels » Part Search from the main menus.

Searching for a Part

Enter one or more keywords of the part you want to search for in the Keywords field. Click  to the right of the Keywords field to access the Search Filters pop-up in which you can specify how many results per supplier are displayed on each page of results within the panel. You can filter parts further based on whether they are in stock, lead free, or RoHS compliant.

After defining the search criteria, click Search. The upper region of the panel will populate with all items matching the search criteria.

Items captured by the search will be listed in the results region of the panel.

Only the databases for those suppliers that are enabled will be searched for matching items. Enable/disable suppliers as required from the Supplier region on the Data Management – Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog. You can quickly access this page by clicking  at the top right of the panel.

While connected to a server, the list of suppliers on the Data Management – Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog are a read-only because the server centrally dictates which suppliers are to be used in an organization. The Available Suppliers are defined through the Server's browser-based interface. 

Navigating Search Results

Depending on the scope of the search and the number of suppliers enabled, multiple pages of results may be returned. For example, entering Resistor will return far more results due to its generic nature than 1K Res 1/4W, which is a narrower search and will return fewer results. Arrows on the bottom-left of the results region enable you to move back and forth through pages of results.

Changing Displayed Information

Once the results from a search are loaded into the results region of the panel, you have the ability to change the way the information is presented. The following is a summary of possible changes.

  • By default, three columns of information are displayed in the results region: Supplier, Description and Unit Price depending on how your system is configured. Right-click on a column header to access a pop-up listing of all available attributes that can be enabled for display in the panel. Clicking on an entry will add a column for that data into the results region.

The following attributes are static and can be displayed for any searched part – Supplier, Supplier Part NumberDescription, Category, RoHS, Stock, and Unit Price. All other attributes that can be displayed will change depending on the parameters associated with the returned Part results.
  • You can change the order in which columns are displayed. To move a column, click on its header and drag it horizontally to the desired position. A valid position is indicated by the appearance of two green positional arrows.
  • Data may be sorted by any column by clicking on the header for that column. Click once to sort in ascending order; click again to sort in descending order.

You can create a Supplier Link by clicking on an item in the results region of the panel then drag and drop it onto the target component. The sections below describe where to "drop" for each type of component.

If you want parameters added to the component as well as the supplier details, use the Add Supplier Link And Parameters To menu command detailed below instead.

Schematic Library Component (SchLib)

Use one of the following methods for dragging and dropping a schematic library component.

  • Drag and drop anywhere within the main editing area of the schematic library editor, ensuring the source schematic library document is the active document in the main design window and the recipient component is focused.
  • Drag and drop onto the component's name in the Components region of the SCH Library panel.
  • Drag and drop into the Supplier region of the SCH Library panel.

Database/SVN Database Library Component

Drag and drop onto the required component record on the Table Browser tab of the relevant database library file or SVN database library file, ensuring the DbLib or SVNDbLib file is the active document in the main design window.

Placed Component on a Schematic Sheet

Drag and drop onto the schematic symbol of a placed component, ensuring the source schematic document is the active document in the main design window.

Placing Parameter Information From the Panel

The information in the Parameters region of the panel can be imported into the current, active library document by selecting the information in the Parameters region you want to import into the document, then drag and drop the data onto the component's name.

Quantity and Pricing

Quantity or bulk pricing is a common concept with suppliers and distributors of electronic components. Suppliers will typically have different pricing based on the quantity of an item you want to purchase. The quantity levels required to access increasingly reduced unit price points differs not only between different suppliers, but also from item to item for the same supplier.

This 'quantity pricing' is readily found in the detailed information region of the panel (see Detailed Item Information below) – specifically the detailed Pricing section for the item currently selected.

By changing the entry in the Order Quantity field at the bottom-right of the results region, the displayed pricing in the Unit Price column will change in accordance with supplier-specified quantity pricing levels for the displayed items.

   Example of displayed Unit Price change based on the specified Order Quantity. In this example, changing the quantity to 99 attracts the supplier's quantity pricing level for that item.

To quickly display all Unit Price information within the results region of the panel in a single currency, choose the currency from the drop-down field available to the left of the Order Quantity field. 

Enabling RUB (Ruble) price conversion, for example, is immediately reflected in the item's unit price.

Detailed Item Information

The lower region of the panel provides detailed information for the item selected in the results region above.

Example of the detailed information available for an item.

Depending on availability, the region contains:

  • An image of the item.
  • Parameters section - lists the parametric data for the item by name and value.
  • Documents section - lists any documents for the item, (e.g., data sheets).
  • Pricing section - provides a list of the quantity pricing levels applicable to that item. Prices are displayed in the currency specified by the supplier and cannot be changed as part of the panel's currency conversion feature.
  • Stock section - displays how many units of the item are currently in stock and their current availability.

Any or all Part information (except the image) can be imported as parameters to an Altium Designer component. This can be achieved in a number of ways:

  • By manually importing Part information to a target component.
  • When adding a Supplier Link and parameters simultaneously to a target component in a single step.
  • When creating a new component directly from a Part.

Right-click Menu

The Part Search panel has various right-click menus. A menu is accessible for the results region and for each section in the detailed information region. The content of a menu will change in accordance with the focused document (SchDoc, SchLib, DbLib, SVNDbLib).

In Results Region

The following commands are available when accessing the menu from the results region of the panel:

  • Add Supplier Link To – use to add a Supplier Link to the selected Part. If a schematic, database or SVN database library is active, the Supplier Link will be added to the focused component/component record. If a Schematic document is active, you will be able to click on each part to which you want the Supplier Link added.
  • Add Supplier Link And Parameters To – use to add parameters, data sheet links, pricing and stock information for the selected Part, along with a Supplier Link to that item, all in one step. The parameters added are those enabled in the Parameter Import Options region of the Data Management – Parts Providers page of the Preferences dialog. If a Schematic, Database or SVN Database Library is active, the parameters and Supplier Link will be added to the focused component/component record. If a schematic document is active, you will be able to click on each part to which you want the parameters and Supplier Link added. For parameters, pricing and stock information, the import will proceed in accordance with any defined parameter import options.
  • Import Into - use to import the selected item (i.e. the component stated in the command) into the active library document. This command is available only when the active document is a schematic library document (*.SchLib), a database library document (*.DbLib), or an SVN database library document (*.SVNDbLib).

In Detailed Information Region

The following right-click command is available from the Parameters, Pricing and Stock sections.

  • Add Parameter To – use to add the respective parameter(s). If a schematic, database or SVN database library is active, the parameter(s) will be added to the focused component/component record. If a schematic document is active, you can click on each part to which you want the parameter(s) added.

Prior to accessing the command from the Parameters section, ensure that the required parameters are selected. For the Pricing and Stock sections, a single parameter is involved and no prior selection is necessary.

The following right-click commands are available from the Documents section:

  • Open Document – use to open the selected document for viewing.
  • Add Document Link To – use to add a ComponentLink parameter pair targeting the data sheet. If a schematic, database, or SVN database library is active, the parameters will be added to the focused component/component record. If a schematic document is active, you can click on each part to which you want the parameters added. By default, the same value will be entered for both the ComponentLinknDescription and ComponentLinknURL parameters – the URL for the data sheet.
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