Altium NEXUS Server

New in Altium NEXUS Server

Created: November 18, 2021 | Updated: December 23, 2021

Altium NEXUS Server 4.1

Released: 21 December 2021 - Version: 4.1.2 (build 4)
Released: 22 November 2021 - Version: 4.1.1 (build 6)

Release Notes for Altium NEXUS Server 4.1

This release is a minor stabilization update that sees further beneficial enhancements to Altium NEXUS Server and its related technologies. In addition, numerous fixes have been made to resolve issues raised by customers through the AltiumLive Community.

While the Altium NEXUS Server installer includes automated backup of your existing installation, it is always a good idea to make a pre-update backup of your data yourself – taking a redundancy copy off to one side as it were. This provides additional safety, should any unforeseen technical difficulties arise (see Backing up and Restoring Your Installation). It is advised to test out a new release of the NEXUS Server on a different machine, before updating your production instance. Use of Virtual Machines can be invaluable in this respect.

In addition, please ensure that you refresh your NEXUS Server licensing. From the Admin – Licenses page of the NEXUS Server Workspace's browser interface, delete the existing licenses (Altium NEXUS Server and Altium NEXUS Server CAL) and then add fresh instances back in. This will ensure you have the latest licensing, incorporating any licensing-related feature changes.

While connection to Altium NEXUS Server 4.1 is possible from earlier versions of the Altium NEXUS design client, users are encouraged to update to the latest version of the NEXUS design client – especially where Workspace enhancements relate to changes to the user interface within the design client.

Support for Aras PLM

This Altium NEXUS Server release sees the introduction of component synchronization and workflow processes support for the popular Aras Innovator® PLM system. As with other PLM systems supported by the NEXUS Server, the Aras connectivity integration enables bidirectional component data synchronization and support for workflow processes such as Part Requests, Project Publishing, and Project Creation.

The Aras PLM integration is set up and validated by adding a new PLM Instance through the Admin – PLM Integration page of the NEXUS Server's browser interface. Commented base configuration and publishing XML files for the Aras PLM are provided in the downloadable Configuration and Publishing Template samples. These are available when creating the new PLM instance, and can be edited and then uploaded to configure PLM connectivity with the NEXUS Server.

► See Connecting to Your PLM Instance for more information.

A connectivity instance for data exchange with the Aras PLM system is configured from the server's PLM Integration page.A connectivity instance for data exchange with the Aras PLM system is configured from the server's PLM Integration page.


Support for Change Order when Publishing Project to a PLM

The (Engineering) Change Order functionality available in Arena PLM and Teamcenter PLM systems is now supported by the Altium NEXUS Server. Created change orders provide a formalized workflow process when publishing an Altium design project to PLM systems.

The capability on the NEXUS side for a PLM instance is enabled in the XML Publishing Template through a ProjectChangeOrder Declaration entry, while a set of publishing rules in a PublishRules entry are used to define how the data will be processed when pushed to the PLM side.

Within the XML Configuration file, the Change Order is configured in an Enitity of the type ProjectChangeOrder (and plmType: Engineering Change Order), which also allows you to define if a change order is created, an existing one is reused, or no change order is used. See example.


New Task Management Global Operation Permission Entity

The new Task management entry has been added to the Edit Operation Permissions dialog accessed from the Data Management – Servers page of the  Preferences dialog in Altium NEXUS. By setting permissions for this operation, an administrator user of the NEXUS Workspace can define what non-admin users and roles can see all tasks on the Workspace from the Tasks page of the Workspace's browser interface without giving them administration privileges.

Set access level to the tasks by defining permissions for the Task management operation in the Edit Operations Permissions dialog from Altium NEXUS.
Set access level to the tasks by defining permissions for the Task management operation in the Edit Operations Permissions dialog from Altium NEXUS.

► Learn more about Setting Global Operation Permissions for a Workspace


Support for Windchill SSO

The ability to use Single Sign On (SSO) authorization when connecting to a Windchill PLM system has been added in this Altium NEXUS Server release. This provides a simplified and secure connection authorization method when performing NEXUS PLM processes such as Project Creation and Publish to PLM. In practice, the arrangement allows Windchill access to be granted using the OAuth delegation standard via an identity provider service such as PingFederate.

Access to the SSO setup is available under a new OAuth tab in the NEXUS Server's PLM Management page (Admin - PLM Integration), where multiple OAuth provider instances can be added.

Use the OAuth tab on the PLM Management page to access the OAuth provider setup.Use the OAuth tab on the PLM Management page to access the OAuth provider setup.

The OAuth provider authorization setup is completed from data available from your configured identity provider. Enter the information required by NEXUS – IDs, tokens, URLs, etc – in the page fields and then save the completed configuration.

The information required to set up a new SSO OAuth instance is sourced from the existing OAuth provider configuration.The information required to set up a new SSO OAuth instance is sourced from the existing OAuth provider configuration.

To finish the setup, enable the new OAuth provider instance in the Windchill XML configuration file – see comments in the Windchill sample configuration file for more information.


<Instance>
  <Driver>Windchill</Driver>
  <Url>https://MyWindchill.company.com</Url>
  <OAuthProvider>Windchill-PingFederate</OAuthProvider>
</Instance>
The first time you use the new setup during a NEXUS process such as Publish to PLM, your nominated OAuth provider will open to authorize the connection. Once this validation has been completed, subsequent PLM publishing will not require this step.

Support for Bidirectional Part Choices Data Synchronization

The exchange of component Part Choices data between the Altium NEXUS Server and a connected enterprise system (such as a PLM installation) can now be configured for either direction. While the enterprise system was set as the source of part choice data in previous releases, this NEXUS Server update also allows Part Choices to propagate (be pushed) to the connected PLM system. This is a directionally exclusive arrangement, where the part choice data can be configured to transfer in either direction, but not both.

Part Choices data transfer is specified in the configuration schema applied to the server's PLM instance (Admin – PLM Integration) as an XML configuration file, which can be based on the provided sample files. The schema allows for specific Part Choices attribute parameter mapping for most supported PLM systems, and Approved Manufacturing List (AML) relationships for Aras and Arena PLM systems.

In the XML configuration file, part choices parameter attribute mapping for propagation to the enterprise (PLM) side is added as a component ToPLM entry is the following format:


<PartChoices>
  <ToPlm sync="true">
    <MfrMappings>
      <MfrMapping>
        <MfrName>PartChoiceManufacturer1</MfrName>
        <MfrPartNumber>PartChoiceNumber1</MfrPartNumber>
      </MfrMapping>
    </MfrMappings>
  </ToPlm>
</PartChoices>

When supporting part choice data that is native to the target PLM system it is sufficient to add a global ToPLM entry definition, which will enable the transfer of all part choice data:


<PartChoices>
  <ToPlm sync="true" />
</PartChoices>

Support for Change History and Rejection Comments

CoDesigner, in conjunction with your NEXUS Server Workspace, now displays the full history of accepted and rejected changes, along with any comments the engineer has entered if a change is rejected. The history of changes is shown in CoDesigner's panel, making the interaction between the electrical and mechanical engineers more transparent. As soon as changes are applied/rejected on one side the engineer on the other side is notified, and any rejection comments are displayed.

Change history makes it easy for the engineers on both sides to be aware of each other's responses to the changes being made.
Change history makes it easy for the engineers on both sides to be aware of each other's responses to the changes being made.

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