Altium Designer Documentation

Configuration Manager for PCB Project

Created: September 19, 2016 | Updated: June 16, 2017

The Configuration Manager for PCB Project dialog

Summary

This dialog provides controls that allow the user to map each configuration of a PCB project on the design side to a specific Item on the manufacturing side. The designer can use this dialog to add new configurations, or edit and delete existing configurations.

Essentially, the formal set of elements used to define a configuration for a PCB project are its name, which variant it uses (if any), and the specific item it is targeting. For a successful release, the configuration must point to a revision of that Item that is in the Planned state. The Output Job file(s) will drive the generation of its outputs – the instructions from which the targeted Item will be produced. A particular Output Job file can also include validation outputs to constrain the release process, ensuring the design source used in the release is of the highest integrity.

In this dialog, for each configuration, the user specifies a particular variant to be used (if applicable) then assigns which Output Job file(s) is to be used. The desired Altium Vault is searched in order to choose the item to which to target (or map) the configuration. 

Access

The Configuration Manager for PCB Project dialog is accessed by clicking Project » Configuration Manager.

Options/Controls

This dialog is divided into two regions: configurations on the left that map to target items that are on the right. 

Each configuration you define is unique and, in turn, must map to a unique Item in the target Altium Vault. As such, each configuration is represented by its own dedicated region on the left side of this dialog, mapping to a target item defined in a dedicated region on the right side. This 'pairing' is visually indicative of the board design release concept – a configuration of the project on the design side released into a 'planned' revision of a targeted item in the vault.

Left Side (Configurations)

  • Add New Configuration - click to add a new configuration. A new configuration-target Item pair will be added to the dialog. Each new configuration will be given a default name in the format New ConfigurationNew Configuration 1, and so on. See Configuration for changing the default name.
  • Configuration region:
    • ​Configuration - this is the unique identifier (name) of the configuration. To change the name of a configuration, click within the text box and enter the new name as required.
    • Delete - click to delete the Configuration. A dialog will appear asking for confirmation of the deletion. When OK is clicked in the confirmation dialog, the Configuration, along with its 'paired' Target Item, will be removed.
    • Ignore Variants - Include all components - select if no variant is to be used to drive output generation. When targeting an assembled board Item, this means that the full base design will be used, i.e., all components that are included (fitted) on the board.
    • Link to Variant - select to link to a variant to drive output generation with respect to any assigned Output Job files for the configuration. Use the drop-down to choose from a list of all currently defined variants for the project.
    • Include Output Jobs - the final part of defining a configuration is Output Job file assignment. Any Output Job files that are currently added to the PCB project are listed here. Each Output Job file has an associated checkbox. Enable a checkbox to assign the associated Output Job file to the configuration, i.e., to specify that the Output Job file should drive the outputs of that configuration.
Variant settings made in an Output Job file are overridden by the variant specified in this dialog.

Right Side (Target Items)

  • Target Vault - use the drop down to select the vault to be used. The drop down lists all currently connected Altium vaults enabled for use by the system. 
  • Target Item region:
    • Target Item - click in the textbox or  to open the Choose Item From Altium Vault dialog to choose the desired vault item.
    • Clear - click to clear the current target item.
    • Release Information – the bottom region presents information regarding the last release of the Item, including the Item Revision ID, the release date, and the lifecycle state of that revision. If the Item has never been released, this region will simply display Unreleased
    • Target Planned Revision for Next Release – this field is used to specify a planned revision of the target item to be used when next releasing the corresponding configuration of the design project. Remember that in order to release a configuration, the revision of the Item into which the release data is to be stored must be in the Planned state. That is, it must be ready to accommodate that release data. Use the associated drop-down list to choose from all existing planned revisions of the specified Target Item.
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