Altium Designer Documentation

Release Manager

Modified by Phil Loughhead on Jun 19, 2017
This documentation page references Altium Vault, which is no longer a supported product. Altium Vault and its component management features have migrated to Altium Concord Pro.


The Release Manager dialog.

Summary

The Release Manager provides a centralized release 'console' with which to release schematic symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions, stored within one or more Schematic, PCB, or Component Libraries respectively – facilitating a batch-style release of libraries to a target vault.

Access

From any editor, select File » Release Manager from the main menu to access the Release Manager.

Options/Controls

Library Location - Design Side

  • Document Type - Use the drop-down menu associated to the Document Type button – in the Library Location - Design Side region of the dialog – to choose the type of source document to release. Either CMPLIB, OUTJOB, PCBLIB, SCHDOC, SCHDOT, SCHLIB, or SIMMODEL.
  • Top-Level Windows Folder - Use this field to specify the parent folder under which all libraries to be considered for release are stored. Either type the path to the folder directly or click the  icon to access a standard dialog from which to browse for the required folder. A valid folder will be reflected, in green, in the status area above the region. If the folder path entered manually is incorrect, the status will display, in red, "Folder Not Found."
  • Explore - Click to open the nominated top-level folder in Windows Explorer.
  • Include sub-folders - Check this option if your source libraries are stored in sub-folders of the nominated parent folder.
  • Create vault folders for Windows sub-folders – When checked, this option mimics the source library storage structure, creating a corresponding folder in the vault for each new sub-folder found on the design side.
  • Create vault folder for each library file – When checked, this option creates a distinct folder in the vault for each new distinct source library document involved in a release.
  • Migration Tools - These tools can be used to quickly migrate your existing library components across to an Altium Vault, so that you can get into the world of vault-based components and the benefit they offer as part of the wider Design Data Management System.
    • Clear Vault Links in Documents - Choose this to clear an existing link between a source document (and symbol(s)/model(s)/component definition(s) therein) and a target vault folder (and mapped Items therein)
    • Generate Component Libraries - Use the Generate Component Libraries command on the Migration Tools drop-down menu to quickly create Component Libraries from selected Schematic Libraries. Each component definition is created based on a schematic component, with links to relevant Schematic Symbol and PCB Component Items, as well as parametric data.

The corresponding source schematic component from which a component definition is to be created, must have been released to a target vault, as well as its referenced PCB 2D/3D component model in the applicable PCB library. This is necessary, in order for the the links to those released Items – Schematic Symbol and PCB Component Item – to be properly added and referenced by the generated component definition.

    • Split Component Libraries - Use the Split Libraries command available on the Migration Tools drop-down menu to quickly split selected Schematic or PCB Libraries into separate library files, with one component per file. In the Split Libraries dialog that appears, nominate a destination directory for the new libraries. For schematic libraries, you have the option to remove models and parameters – essentially creating libraries with symbol information only.

If you plan to create Component Libraries from source schematic libraries, and have not yet done so, the model and parameter information should not be stripped from the schematic components as part of the splitting process. In this case, it is safer to split the libraries with these options enabled AFTER creating the Component Libraries. At the end of day, it really doesn't matter if the schematic source components have model and parameter information left in, since release to the vault strips this information (or rather ignores it). This enables you to use the same source components with other component management methodologies should you need to.

    • Generate SimModel Files - Choose this to create SimModel files from selected Schematic Libraries.

Default Options for New Released Symbols

  • Default Vault for New items - Use the Default Vault for New Items field to nominate the vault in which you want to store release data for the symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions being released. The drop-down associated to the field displays all vaults that you currently have an active connection to. If you have not connected to a vault, click the  button to access the Data Management – Vaults page of the Preferences dialog, from where you can make a connection to the required vault as necessary.
  • Target Vault Folder - Use the field to the right of the nominated vault to determine the folder into which the corresponding Items for the symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions being released will be created. Choose from:
    • Top-Level Folder - a top-level folder will be created in the vault, named as per the top-level folder holding the design-side source libraries.
    • Existing Folder - click the  button to access the Choose Folder dialog. This dialog essentially provides you with a folder-specific view into the target vault. Either browse to and select an existing folder in the vault, or add a new folder.
  • Lifecycle Definition - Use the Lifecycle Definition field to choose the type of lifecycle management to be used for the created Items.
  • Revision Scheme - Use the Revision Scheme fields to choose the type of naming scheme employed for the created Items. The fields are set to use a suitable default scheme in each case. Use the drop-down associated with each field to choose a different scheme from any of the currently defined schemes available for the targeted vault.
  • Item Naming - Use the Item Naming field to define a naming scheme for Items created when releasing schematic symbols in a SCHLIB, PCB 2D/3D component models in a PCBLIB, or component definitions in a CMPLIB.
  • First Index - Use the associated First Index field to specify the base level Item – the starting point of the assigned Item ID range. If existing Items in the target vault already use the chosen Item Naming scheme, you can leave this index as 0, as the next available index in the scheme will automatically be used.

For SCHLIBs and PCBLIBs, you can also opt to create Items named using the component names specified in the source Schematic and PCB libraries. To do this, ensure the Item Naming field is set to $COMPONENT_NAME.

Previewing Link Information and Release Actions

The grid itself presents all information relating to the link between a source symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition and its vault-based Item, as well as the actions that will be taken if the source entity is included in the release process. Considering a source symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition entry in the grid, the following information is presented:

  • Target – this region of the entry provides information regarding the link to the Item, that is either already established (if released already) or will be established (if awaiting initial release). It consists of the target vault, the folder within that vault, and the ID of the Item itself.
  • Current Revision – if the source symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition has been released previously, this region of the entry provides information about the latest released revision, in terms of revision ID and lifecycle state.
  • Next Revision – this region of the entry provides information about the next revision of the Item that will be created to receive data from a subsequent release of the source symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition. It reflects the revision ID and the lifecycle state of that revision which, for a new release, will always be in the Planned state.
  • Action – this region of the entry shows the action that will be taken by the Release Manager, for this particular symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition, as part of the release process. For an entity that has not yet been released, this entry will display Create New Item. The associated Status field is used to indicate the next step to be taken in the process (e.g. Requires Release Preparation) and, once the release process is complete, reflects the result.
  • Notes - this region displays any comments and descriptions associated with the item.
  • Enable – this checkbox controls whether the symbol, PCB 2D/3D component model, or component definition is included as part of the release process (checked) or excluded from the process (unchecked).
  • Group by Document/Group by Folder - Use the Group by Document and Group by Folder options below the grid to control how the data is presented in the grid as follows:
    • Document=DisabledFolder=Disabled – flattened listing of all constituent symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions in the detected source libraries.
    • Document=EnabledFolder=Disabled – all constituent symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions in the detected source libraries, grouped according to the parent document in which they reside.
    • Document=DisabledFolder=Enabled – all constituent symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions in the detected source libraries, listed by the folder in which their parent libraries reside.
    • Document=EnabledFolder=Enabled – all constituent symbols, PCB 2D/3D component models, or component definitions in the detected source libraries, listed both in terms of the folder in which their parent libraries reside, and further grouped according to the parent document in which they themselves reside.

Analyze Folders - press the Analyze Folders button, at the bottom-left of the dialog to scan, or analyze both the source library folder(s) and the target folder(s) in the vault – to see how it needs to handle that content with respect to releasing and in accordance with the specified options (for example whether to create new Items and/or to re-release to new revisions of existing linked Items)

If you make any changes to the source library and/or target Item options in the regions above the grid, you will need to reanalyze to ensure the correct library source, link and action information is calculated and presented. You will be alerted to this fact at the bottom-left of the dialog. Simply click again on the Analyze Folders button.

Prepare Items and Documents -  click the Prepare Items and Documents button to prepare for release for the documents and corresponding Items for entities being released

Release Items - With the documents prepared for release, the Release Items button becomes available – inviting you to proceed with the release. If you realize there are some symbols/models that you'd rather not release, you can still uncheck the associated Enable checkbox at this time.

After preparing the documents, should you attempt to close the Component Release Manager before releasing, a warning dialog will appear. You are warned that the links to new target item revisions – written to the source library document as part of the preparation phase – will become invalid. It is strongly recommended that you proceed with the release at this stage.

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