Embarking on Your Next Design Project

This document is no longer available beyond version 21. Information can now be found here: Working with Projects for version 22

File Drawer

Beyond the core design process of conceiving and creating the electronic definitions of a PCB design in Altium Designer – essentially captured in Schematic and PCB design documents – the high-level structure and concept that unifies the documents, data and processes together is an Altium Designer Project.

By providing the foundation and centralized management point for all designs, an Altium Designer project acts as a design data interface for advanced project-level functions that process multiple design documents and their encompassing data.

The system intelligence built into Altium Designer projects helps to remove the complication and risk associated with handling (and processing) collections of design document data, which in turn allows you to focus on the key task of bringing innovative designs to market.

AD PanelsWorkspace-based Project Data

Along with a host of data, user collaboration, design reuse, and configuration management features, an Altium-connected Workspace provides a fully-managed data storage and access platform that directly integrates with Altium Designer. This allows designs to be saved and retrieved in Altium Designer as workspace-based projects that transparently benefit from the workspace's built-in version control, lifecycle management, and robust data storage technology.

When it comes to releasing a PCB design to the board fabrication and assembly production world, a connected Workspace also provides a high-integrity target for the Altium Designer design release process. Board designs released to the Workspace are verified, tracked, version-controlled, and fully lifecycle-managed and can be shared on a secure permissions basis.

  Read about projects and releasing a design.

AD PanelsAdvanced Project Management

An Altium Designer project is the collective structure for all designs created in Altium Designer. It defines the storage, relationships, and navigation of the full set of design documents that make up an Altium Designer project. Each design process, from schematic capture to the board production output, is completed within the context of its Project.

Within that project structure, Altium Designer provides functional access to the design content and documents through a range of dedicated interface panels.

The dockable panels provide sophisticated access to and control of the central aspects of a design project, such as project file structure, document navigation, object properties, and version control management.

Secure Design Data

Version ControlAltium Designer provides a comprehensive suite of integrated functions that allow you to easily track, store and access design files both during the product design process and through its post-production lifespan.

Workflow design data management includes local change history and autosave systems for design documents, and a choice of version control systems to suit you according to company network-based requirements.

Industry-standard Subversion (SVN) is built into Altium Designer, along with intelligent VCS interface systems that simplify the task of accessing, comparing, and managing design documents under version control. Further options include the ability to interface with Git version control systems and design data repositories located on local or remote network systems.

  Read about Version Control and Design Repositories.

Design Variations

Image of a PCB boardAn electronic product design that needs to be produced in a number of styles or variations of that product would normally require that individual designs be created for each of those variations – one design for the basic version of the product, another for an enhanced model, and so on.

The Design Variants functionality available in Altium Designer vastly simplifies and streamlines this process by allowing the components in a single, base design to be concurrently varied as required.

This capability is tightly integrated with the Altium Designer schematic/PCB editors and the production of output data. It is, therefore, a straightforward task to create any number of different sub-products at design time – based on component variations – then produce the individual sets of output data required for the manufacturing and production stages.

  Read about Design Variations in Altium Designer.

If you find an issue, select the text/image and pressCtrl + Enterto send us your feedback.

The features available depend on your Altium product access level. Compare features included in the various levels of Altium Designer Software Subscription and functionality delivered through applications provided by the Altium 365 platform.

If you don’t see a discussed feature in your software, contact Altium Sales to find out more.