Altium NEXUS Server

New in Altium NEXUS Server

Created: April 5, 2022 | Updated: July 8, 2022
This documentation page references NEXUS Server (part of the deployed NEXUS solution), which has been discontinued. All your PCB design, data management and collaboration needs can now be delivered by Altium Designer (with Altium Designer Enterprise Subscription) and a connected Altium 365 Workspace. Check out the FAQs page for more information.

Altium NEXUS Server 5.0

Released: 8 July 2022 - Version: 5.0.2 (build 3)
Released: 21 April 2022 - Version: 5.0.1 (build 15)

Release Notes for Altium NEXUS Server 5.0

This release delivers new features and a significant upgrade to the Altium NEXUS Server Workspace interface. 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 Altium 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 Workspace browser interface, delete the existing Server/CAL licenses 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 5.0 is possible from earlier versions of the Altium NEXUS design client, users are encouraged to update to the latest version – especially where Workspace enhancements relate to changes to the user interface within the NEXUS design client.

Layer Stackup View

A graphical representation of the current design's PCB Layer Stack – the board's physical stack of layers – is available when viewing a design project. The Layer Stackup View presents the board's internal structure along with associated data such as layer types, materials and dimensions.

Open the Layer Stack view by selecting the Stackup View command from the Board Info pane in the project design viewer, or from the Layers menu when a PCB is being viewed. The Layer Stack view is accessed in the same way when viewing the Design Snapshot of a project Release.

As with other views available in the Web Viewer, Comments can be placed on the Layer Stack view. In this case Comments can be applied to any Layer Stack element (Layer, Via, etc) by selecting its graphical object, and then entering your comment with any user mentions and assignments in the contextual commenting window. Note that Freehand Drawing and Area selection are not available in Layer Stack Commenting.

You need to commit your design to the server in order to regenerate the Stackup view.

At this stage, advanced stackup features such as multiple stacks (rigid-flex), impedance profile and backdrill are not supported.


BOM Data Comparison

This server release introduces a convenient way to quickly determine Bill of Materials (BoM) changes that have occurred between project releases. The data comparison feature detects differences in raw BOM data between specified project releases, and is accessible from both the server's project Releases view (previously the Manufacture view) and its History view. The comparison results are provided through a CSV file download.


Expanded Component Details

The information available in the Details pane of the Components view, which is populated with data for the currently selected component entry, now includes a larger range of parameter data. Along with a general UI update, the pane also now provides Schematic and PCB Model previews, and all available component Part Choices entries.

Currently, the Models preview images are available only after the component models have been regenerated (edited and saved) or newly created.


Web Viewer UI Updates

The NEXUS Server's Web Viewer – its interface for viewing and navigating through a project's design documents and data – has undergone a general user interface refresh along with the addition of several usability enhancements. These include Comments and Sharing interface updates, improved access to Nets, and new options and data in the viewer's information/details pane on the right.

Nets Navigation Tree

The design Web Viewer now provides an interactive Nets navigation list derived from the project source data. A selected net in the list is also selected in the Schematic and 2D/3D PCB views – and conversely, selecting a net in the Schematic/PCB view will select that net in the Nets list.

Downloads

The design output Downloads pane () on the right of the design view offers a new series of derived file download options suitable for manufacturing and review purposes. These are in pre-configured formats unless otherwise determined by included design files such as BOM, Draftsman and OutJobs documents. Along with the Project Source Files option to download the design's documents, the Derived Files list includes the following downloads derived and generated from the source data:

  • Gerber (ZIP) – Unless otherwise specified in an OutJob file, a generated Geber X2 data collection that includes used layers and no mechanical layers. NC Drill data is also included.
  • Assembly Docs (PDF) – Generated Assembly and Fabrication graphics printouts in a default format or as specified in an included OutJob. Draftsman documents will be used instead if included in the project.
  • PDF Schematic (PDF) – Printouts of all Schematic documents in the project, including an interactive list of Nets for each document.
  • STEP (step) – The overall 3D board design generated in the industry-standard STEP data exchange format.
  • BOM (CSV) – The derived Bill of Materials list in a default column format, or as determined by an ActiveBOM document included in the project.

PCB View

Along with general user interface updates, the design PCB View now shows the associated Net Name on Pads and correctly displays any unrouted layout nets as ratsnest lines. Additional net data and associated crossprobe links are also included in the Info and Details panes as follows:

  • The number of unrouted nets as a percentage of the total board nets.
  • A list of the unrouted Nets as links, which select and highlight the net in the Schematic and 2D/3D PCB views.
  • The length of a selected trace (Details pane), with an associated link to the parent net in the PCB views.

Comments

The Web Viewer's Comments system has been updated to improve usability in the following areas:

  • 3D View – Comments are now available for viewing and placement in objects in the PCB 3D View.

  • User Assignment – Comments may be reassigned to another Workspace member using the assignment drop-down menu, either during comment placement or when editing a comment. Note that the previously assigned user is retained in the comment as a mention. The currently assigned user is indicated by their user icon ( in the example shown here) appearing at the upper left of the Comment window and the Comments pane entry.

  • Comment Project Sharing – The process of sharing the current project with a mentioned user that does not have access has been simplified to a single step. Use the Share window to set View/Edit permissions and/or share the project add further Workspace members.

  • Comment Filtering – The Comment visibility options have been revised into separate user and status menus.

  • Comment Delete – NEXUS Server Workspace administrators now can delete Comments created by any user. Previously, only the owner/creator of a Comment was able to delete it.
  • Copy Comment Link – Access to the Copy Link option of a Comment window (from the menu) is now available to all users with access to that project, rather than only the Comment creator and Administrators.

Project View Data Updates

The Web Viewer's response to newly committed project data has been improved:

  • You can now access and work with existing data while the new view data is being generated.
  • The speed of data regeneration has been improved.
  • New viewer notifications report the current view data update status.

Sharing

Project sharing between Workspace members has been improved with additional features and permission options. Sharing control is accessed from the button on the Projects page and Web Viewer. The following features provide both tighter control over project sharing and downloads, and also more flexibility in how projects can be accessed by others:

  • Advanced permissions – Additional share and download permission control is now available through Advanced Settings in the Share window. The settings can be used to specify the permissions required to share and download project data:
    • Editors – When this option is checked, Edit rights are required to share the project and those with View rights cannot share it. When unchecked, both viewers and editors can share the project.
    • Viewers – When this option is checked, View-only rights are accepted for downloading project data. Those with Edit rights can always download. When unchecked, only editors can download project data.

Regardless of the above settings, both administrators and the owner of the project have full sharing/download rights.

  • Copy share link – Select the Copy Link option in the Share dialog to obtain a direct URL link to the project, which can be distributed to other Workspace members. If the member receiving the link has access rights (View or Edit) to the target project, the link will open that project in the Web Viewer browser interface.


Additional Enhancements

Improved PLM Support

Siemens Teamcenter® PLM integration has been updated for synchronization via the Teamcenter EDA Gateway, and support for Teamcenter version 12.4 onwards. Note that the existing Teamcenter interface will remain functional until BETA testing is completed for the new Teamcenter interface.

See PLM Integration for information about the NEXUS PLM integration capabilities, configuration and management.

Pin Mapping Control

Along with the ability to define the default folders for Workspace components, the Components entry under Admin » Settings now includes an option to enable custom pin-mapping. The advanced pin mapping feature, available through the NEXUS design client's Single Component Editor, allows component symbol pins to be mapped to any component footprint pad, or any number of footprint pads.

The pin mapping option is included in the Workspace administrator settings because custom pin mapping is not supported by the NEXUS design client prior to version 4, and is not backward compatible. If this feature is used for your components, the mapping will not be interpreted correctly when performing an ECO in a version of the software earlier than version 4 of the NEXUS client.

Found an issue with this document? Highlight the area, then use Ctrl+Enter to report it.

Contact Us

Contact our corporate or local offices directly.

We're sorry to hear the article wasn't helpful to you.
Could you take a moment to tell us why?
200 characters remaining
You are reporting an issue with the following selected text
and/or image within the active document: