Vault-based Domain Models_AD

Created: July 31, 2017 | Updated: July 31, 2017

Parent page: Working with Vault Components

From a designer's perspective, a vault component gathers together all information needed to represent that component across all design domains, within a single entity. It could therefore be thought of as a container in this respect. A 'bucket' into which all domain models and parametric information is stored.

In terms of its representation in the various domains, a vault component doesn't contain the domain models themselves, but rather links to the relevant model Items that are also in a vault. These links - to Symbol, Footprint and Simulation Model Items - are specified as part of the source component definition, from which the released Component Item is generated. As such, before you can delve into the process of defining and releasing vault components, you must first ensure that all the domain models themselves have been created and released.

3D models can also be managed in an Altium Vault. A 3D Model Item is referenced through a 3D Body object placed as part of the definition of the 2D footprint. As such, it is not a model link specified as part of a component definition, when creating a Component Item.

Use the following links to take a look at how to create the various domain models in an Altium Vault:

Migrating Existing Model Libraries

Main page: Streamlined Migration of Existing Libraries to an Altium Vault

Models can also be created in the vault as part of migration of existing libraries of components. Altium Designer, in conjunction with Altium Vault (3.0 or later) provides a streamlined, simple process to quickly migrate your existing libraries to an Altium Vault. The GUI to this process - the Library Migrator view - presents an intuitive flow that takes initial selected libraries, and migrates them to a target Altium Vault. Catering for all types of libraries, relating to older component management methodologies - SCHLIB, PCBLIB, INTLIB, DBLIB, SVNDBLIB - the Library Migrator is the perfect solution to quickly building your company's set of vault components, and the many benefits that such components enjoy (high-integrity, lifecycle management, centralized storage and management, where-used functionality, ease of design resuse). And while the migration process can be configured - giving you enhanced control over how that migration is performed - at its most simplistic, you can simply accept the default settings and set the migration in motion within a matter of clicks.

All information that is present in an original source library is migrated, in order to arrive at a folder of unified components (vault components that have assigned part choices), with all referenced domain models (schematic symbols, PCB footprints, 3D Models, Simulation Models), and parametric information. Component templates can even be created, and used to create those vault components. And if your original components have multiple PCB footprints defined, you can rest assured that the Library Migrator will bring those models across, and keep the current default footprint too.

Accessing the Library Migrator view - the user interface to the component migration process.
Accessing the Library Migrator view - the user interface to the component migration process.

While migration may seem daunting, the defaults have been defined to enable you to get your collection of vault components without having to change a thing - start the process and design with the fruits of the Migrator's labor. The system conducts and handles a number of validations, for example to ensure no duplicate IDs for the resulting vault components, or to ensure no duplicate models or component templates are created, and that such entities are reused across (linked to) components where needed. And if issues do arise, the system flags them, with suggestions on how to resolve those issues, aiming to get the migration back on track as quickly, and as smoothly as possible.

Batch Releasing File-Based Domain Models

If you have a set of file-based models (*.SchLib, *.PcbLib, *.SimModel, *.stp, *.step, *.x_t, *.x_b, *.sldprt) that you need to release to a target Altium Vault quickly, and simultaneously, then you can use Altium Designer's Release Manager. Use it to batch-release models stored across multiple source documents, in a nominated source folder location.

The Release Manager is considered to be a legacy tool. It is highly recommended to use the Library Migrator when migrating your existing component libraries into an Altium Vault.

Accessed the Release Manager dialog by running the File » Release Manager command.

Release domain models, stored in one or more source documents, using the Release Manager.
Release domain models, stored in one or more source documents, using the Release Manager.

Setting up for release couldn't be simpler:

  • Set the Document Type to the type of document you want to release (SCHLIB, PCBLIB, 3DModel, SIMMODEL).
  • Point to a top-level folder containing the libraries/files you want to release. Libraries/files can be stored in sub-folders within this folder.
  • Choose the target vault.
  • Choose to create a top-level folder in the vault based on the nominated top-level Windows folder, or choose an existing vault folder. You can optionally create sub-folders in the nominated vault folder, for each Windows sub-folder. Additionally, you can opt to create a vault folder for each source document.
  • Determine the Item naming, revision naming and lifecycle definition schemes to be applied/adhered to for newly-created Items in the target vault.
  • Hit the Analyze Folders button.

Analysis of source document folders and target vault folders (and Items) based on your chosen options will be performed and the source libraries/files detected will be listed, in terms of their content symbols or models. For each entry, the target Item will be displayed, its current and/or next revision (as applicable) and the action that will be performed by the release process.

Enable the symbols or models that you want to release and then click the Prepare Items and Documents button to effectively commit the link information to the source documents involved in the release. Once saved, proceed with the release by clicking the Release Items button.

The Release Manager can also be used to quickly generate Simulation Model files, en-masse, from a nominated folder of Schematic Library documents. With the Schematic Libraries loaded, simply use the Generate SimModel Files command from the Migration Tools drop-down menu.


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