The Altium NEXUS Server provides an advanced, manufacturing orientated CAD-centric view of a project when opened in the browser interface. This interface offers Design, Supply, Manufacture, Activities, and History view options, available in the left-hand navigation pane:
Design – Display and navigate source project design documents, view design object properties and place review comments. This view uses the Web Viewer interface to present your design across four distinct data sub-views, to show the source schematic(s), board in 2D and 3D, and the Bill of Materials (BOM) respectively. The Design view is for the latest version of the source project data, rather than a specified release from that project, and so could be considered to be a work-in-progress (WIP) view. You can review both the base design and that of any defined Variant.
Supply – Interactively examine work-in-progress (WIP) BOM data extracted from the design documents, including entries for Manufacturer and Supplier parts data derived from a project's populated ActiveBOM document.
Manufacturing – View the releases for the project. Access is provided for opening a specific Release for detailed inspection in a Manufacturing Portal page. From this portal you can view and navigate the released file data, inspect the BOM, and view and comment on the snapshot of the design itself; the source for that released data. From either the Manufacture view, or through the Manufacturing Portal for a specific release, you'll have access to controls for downloading manufacturing data at various levels of granularity (from full data sets to individual generated output files).
History – Browse a progressive timeline of major events relating to the project, including its creation, commits, releases, and clones. Each time a supported event happens in association with the project, that event is added to the timeline as a dedicated tile with various actions supported where applicable.
A project is opened from the NEXUS server's Projects page by double-clicking on the project entry, by a single click on its title, or by selecting the project and choosing the Open option from the menu. The page will open in a new browser tab.
Accessing the CAD-centric Projects Management page for a project.
A project also can be opened in the server's browser interface from within the NEXUS design client. For the active managed project, use the Project » Show in Web Browser command from the main menus. Alternatively, right-click on the entry for the project in the Projects panel and choose the Show in Web Browser command from the context menu. When browsing the project through the NEXUS Explorer panel – configured in its default Project View rather than Classic View – use the button to open the project in the server's browser interface.
The following sections take a closer look at the four views into the project design and its data, as presented in the page for an opened project.
The Design view provides interactive visual access to the project's design documents, property data for objects within those documents, and the ability to collaboratively comment on definable document locations. This view is for the latest version of the source project data, rather than a specified release from that project, and so could be considered to be a work-in-progress (WIP) view. You can review both the base design and any available variant of that design.
The Design view also allows you to search, select, cross-probe, and inspect components and nets throughout the design and across the various sub-views as applicable. And when viewing the board in 2D, you can even take measurements.
>The Design view utilizes Altium's Web Viewer functionality to provide an immersive and interactive experience for reviewing the source schematic and PCB documents in your design project. Shown here is a schematic with a component selected – hover over the image to see the PCB.
Based on an advanced web graphics engine and interface – Altium's Web Viewer – you are provided with all the features needed to locate and visually inspect the design and its objects. The view also includes fully rendered 2D and 3D PCB layout views, object search and select capabilities, and tree-based design document navigation. Its additional information pane provides an interface to the active Comments system – which dynamically interacts with the design space – and a comprehensive properties listing for any selected design object. Support is also provided for downloading a Zip archive containing a snapshot of the WIP design project, and for generating and downloading Zip archives of a PDF of the schematic prints and the PCB in STEP format.
See the Web Viewer page for more information on the Design view functions.
The Supply view allows you to interactively examine work-in-progress (WIP) BOM data extracted from the design documents. The main grid lists all unique BOM parts () and their main parameters. Select a BOM part entry to view its symbol, footprint and associated properties in the right-hand pane.
The Supply view enables you to examine the BOM data for the latest version of the source (WIP) project data.
When an ActiveBOM document is part of the design project, each BOM part entry () will include the primary Manufacturer part () and Supplier part () information in a hierarchical view – select an entry to see further details in the side pane.
Shown here is the associated information for the selected manufacturer part. Hover over the image to see the information for the selected supplier part.
Use the Search field at the top-left to quickly find an entry of interest. You can search by any of the data columns for the BOM parts, as well as by Manufacturer Name/Part Number and Supplier Name/Part Number. Search is dynamic, with the listing filtered as you type.
When your design uses managed components, the icon associated with a component entry's Designator indicates the revision status of that component:
– Current (the latest revision of the component is being used).
– Historical (a previous revision of the component, and not the latest, is being used).
Note that the BOM in this view is for the latest version of the source project data, rather than a specified release from that project.
Projects that do not include part Manufacturer and Supply data (such as when an ActiveBOM document is not available) show BOM entries and data only.
The Manufacture view presents all project release packages that have been generated from the design space (see Releasing a Project), where each package incorporates the released Source, Fabrication and Assembly data. Download all of the data sets in a release from the button, or select individual packages/files for download from the Show Files drop-down list hierarchy. Set the Lifecycle state of packages within the release via the associated menu.
Released packages can beopened for detailed inspection through a dedicated Manufacturing Portal browser tab. Open the full release package using the button, or that for a specific Assembly variant via the menu options. The sections below outline the manufacturing portal features.
The Manufacture view gives you access to the released data packages, and the ability to open a package for closer inspection through a dedicated Manufacturing Portal.
Use the Show hidden releases control to toggle the display of releases that contain one or more data sets in an inapplicable revision state (e.g. Deprecated, Obsolete, Abandoned states, and where such a state has its Allowed to be used in designs property disabled).
An opened project release, or a specified variation of it, is presented in a new Manufacturing Portal browser tab and incorporates further sub-views:
Files – presents an overview of the release package in terms of data sets it contains, its server-side parameters, and a preview of the board in 2D and 3D. The full release package can be downloaded from this page in a single Zip archive (a manufacturing build package), or accessed from the expanding the Files tree, as the data sets involved in this release and the data each contains. The hierarchy includes a snapshot of all source files for the release, and Fabrication/Assembly manufacturing data generated as part of the release.
Download is supported at all levels of granularity – from the whole data set, to a particular folder/type of output, down to the individual file level. Hover over an entry and click the button to start the download, or select an entry and click the button within the main viewing area. For a data set or specific folder of output, a Zip archive will be downloaded to your Web browser's default downloads folder. For an individual file, that file (not zipped) will be downloaded.
Design Snapshot – this view applies the Web Viewer interface to provide interactive visual access to the design documents, property data for objects within those documents, and the ability to collaboratively comment on definable document locations. Standard review features include PCB layer visibility selection, comment markup, as well as the ability to search, select, and inspect components and nets. You can take measurements in the 2D PCB view.
Note that you are not viewing the latest version of the source design data, but rather the snapshot of it created at the time when the design was released to generate this specific release package.
Supply – this view provides a listing of parts included in the design snapshot used to generate this release package, which when selected populate the side information pane with property data for that part. BOM data is extracted from the design source data or an ActiveBOM document if included in the project. In the latter case, each BOM part entry () will include the primary Manufacturer part () and Supplier part () information in a hierarchical view, as available from the ActiveBOM document – select an entry to see details in the side pane.
Use the Search field at the top-left of the grid to quickly find an entry of interest. You can search by any of the data columns for the BOM parts, as well as by Manufacturer Name/Part Number and Supplier Name/Part Number. Search is dynamic, with the listing filtered as you type.
The Activities view provides a detailed overview of the Processes associated with the project, and the current state of their progress – represented as a user-highlighted task step in their workflow diagrams. Use the Open/Closed menu options in the page header to list current or completed project activities, the upper Search field to filter the listing by an expression contained in any column field (except dates), and the button to invoke a new process activity from a list of enabled processes.
Along with an annotated graphic representing the flow and state of an activity (Diagram mode), the view also includes a Data view mode that lists parametric data relating to the activity (associated users, project information, etc), and a History mode showing the sequence of workflow events (start, preparation, task completion, etc).
Project activities are typically invoked in the NEXUS design client by selecting an available process from the Project » Activities menu. The activity is then assigned to an available project and data, a user for review, and if required, a nominated user as a review coordinator. Tasks are automatically created for those users, and will appear in their NEXUS client Tasklist panel and on the server's Tasks page.
Project activities, such as Ad-hoc, Milestone and Handoff Reviews, are enabled and configured by a server administrator on the Processes Management page (Admin – Processes). In the above Activities view, administrators also may cancel (Terminate) an active process, or download a CSV file that includes the information on all listed activities ().
The History view provides a progressive timeline of major events relating to the project – its creation, commits, releases, clones and MCAD exchanges – with various actions supported where applicable.
The History view presents a timeline of basic events that have occurred during the project's evolution.
The view can essentially be broken down into three key sections:
Main trunk of the timeline. Direction of event chronology is from the bottom up. The first event – the creation of the project – will appear at the bottom of the timeline, with subsequent events appear above and the latest (the most current event) appearing at the top.
Events. Each time a supported event happens in association with the project, that event is added to the timeline as a dedicated tile. Each type of event will have a different colored tile and will either be linked directly to the main trunk of the timeline, or have some additional icon next to it (as is the case for MCAD Exchange events). For Commit events design diffing is supported, showing basic information on what has changed between the current and previous commits (including files, components, nets, PCB structure, variants) – use the button to expand the tile view.
For the following two event types, additional operations are accessible from the event tile:
Commit event – ability to create a clone of the project using that version of the design, and also the ability to download a snapshot of that version of the design.
Release event – the ability to open that release package for viewing through a manufacturing portal, and the ability to download either the full release package or the snapshot of the version of the design that was used to create that release package.
Search. Click the control at the top-right of the view to access a search field that facilitates basic searching of the project history. As you type your search string, filtering will be applied to the timeline to present only the events relevant to that search.