Parent page: Managed Projects
The Altium NEXUS Server provides an elegant solution to the need for a historical overview of project activity in the form of a dedicated, interactive History view. Accessible through the Altium NEXUS Server's browser interface or from within the Altium NEXUS design client, the project History view provides a progressive timeline of major events relating to the project. The events include the project's creation, commits, releases, clones and MCAD exchanges, which in turn will offer event action commands where applicable.
Accessing the Project History
Access to the History view for a project is gained from the detailed CAD-centric management page for that project – the Projects Management page. Click the History option in the left-hand pane.
Access the history for a project from that project's detailed management page.
The project History view generated by the NEXUS Server is also available in the NEXUS design client. To load the view in the NEXUS client, select the History & Version Control » Show Project History option from the project name right-click context menu in the Projects panel.
► See Project History for more information.
The view also may be opened from the History menu option in the Explorer panel's open project view.
History Timeline – Overview
The History view presents a timeline of basic events that have occurred during the project's evolution. It can essentially be broken down into three key elements, as shown in the following image and information.
Identifying the three key components of the History view.
- 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. Subsequent events appear above, with the latest (the most current event) appearing at the top of the timeline.
- Events. Each time a supported event (see below) occurs in association with the project, it 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 an association icon next to it (as is the case for MCAD Exchange events; ).
- 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. For more information, see Filtered Searching.
The timeline shows a progression of events that happen during the life of a project. Each of these events appears along the timeline as a dedicated 'event tile'. The following sections take a look at the range of events currently supported and presentable as part of a project's historical timeline.
Related pages: Creating a New Workspace Project (browser interface / NEXUS design client), Making an Existing Project Available Online, Cloning a Project (browser interface / NEXUS design client)
When a project is created, the Project Created event tile will be added to the timeline. This event marks the beginning of the historical timeline for the project. As such, it can always be found as the entry at the bottom of the timeline. The tile for this event can appear in two distinct variations:
- When the project is newly created within the server. The creator of the project is presented by name (and picture/symbol), along with the time of the project's creation. The description for the project, if one was entered at the time of creation, is also displayed within the tile.
- When the project is a clone of an existing project. The person who created the cloned project is presented by name (and picture/symbol), along with the time of the project's creation. The description for the project,i f one was entered at the time of cloning, is also displayed within the tile. A link is provided to the original source project – clicking this will access the detailed management page for that project, which opens on a separate tab of the browser.
Each time you perform a Commit & Push of the project to the NEXUS Server (where the project is managed under the server's internal Versioned Storage Git repository), a Project Committed event tile will be added to the timeline. The person who performed the commit and push is presented by name (and picture), along with the date and time. If a comment was added at the time of the commit and push – through the Commit to Version Control dialog – then that will also be displayed within the tile.
Example initial Project Committed event tile.
The tile also supports and presents design diffing information, showing more detailed information on what has changed between the current and previous commits. Elements supported include files, components, nets, variants, and PCB structure. The diffing section of the tile summarizes the various elements affected by the commit event, grouped by the following states:
– element added.
– element removed.
– element modified.
Clicking on the control in the tile will expand this diffing section to present the affected elements by name.
Click the control at the tile's top-right corner to access a menu with the following commands:
- Clone – use this command to create a clone from that specific revision of the project. The Clone Project window will appear with which to determine the project Name, Description, and under the Advanced options, the target Server Folder and Repository. Note that the window's banner text reflects from which revision of the project the clone is being created. With the information defined as required, click the button. The project will be created and a Project Cloned event tile will be added to the timeline.
You can make a clone from any specific revision of the active project – directly from the corresponding Project Committed event tile for that revision.
- Download Snapshot – use this command to download the project source for that specific revision of the project, in a Zip archive. The name of the Zip file and the PCB project file will include the date and time (in UTC time) at which that revision of the project was committed and pushed to the server.
Related page: Board Design Release
Each time you perform a release of the project – using the NEXUS design client's Project Releaser – a Project Released event tile will be added to the timeline. The person who performed the release is presented by name (and picture), along with the date and time. If a release note was added at the time of releasing the generated data to the NEXUS Server – through the Confirm Release dialog – then that will also be displayed within the tile. Each of the data sets included in the release will also be listed.
Example Project Released event tile.
Click the control at the tile's top-right corner to access a menu with the following commands:
- View – opens a dedicated manufacturing portal (on a separate browser tab) with which to more closely inspect the released data. 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. You'll also have access to controls for downloading manufacturing data at various levels of granularity (from full data set(s) to individual generated output file(s)). A chosen release can also be sent – as a Manufacturing Package – directly to your manufacturer. For more information, see browsing a Release Package in the Manufacturing Portal.
Accessing the dedicated Manufacturing Portal tab, with which to more closely inspect the release of the project.
- BOM To – allows you to compare the Bill of Materials (BoM) data in this release against that of another release. Use the associated sub-menu to compare against the previous release's BOM data, or select from all releases that have been made for the project. The data comparison feature detects differences in raw BOM data between specified project releases, and is also accessible from the server's project Releases view. The comparison results are provided through a CSV file download that details BOM data that has changed – added, removed, or updated – between the specified project releases.
- Download – allows you to choose, through a subsequent window, which of the data sets in the release package to download. With choices made, click the button. A single Zip archive will be downloaded, containing folders for each of the chosen data sets.
- Download Snapshot – allows you to download the snapshot of the version of the design that was used to create that release package, as a Zip archive.
Related page: Cloning a Project (browser interface / NEXUS design client)
Each time you clone the project – either through the NEXUS server's browser interface, or from within the NEXUS design client – a Project Cloned event tile will be added to the timeline. The person who performed the clone is presented by name (and picture), along with the date and time. A generated description is added to the tile at the time of cloning, which can be overridden by entering a new description A link is provided to the cloned project – clicking this will access the detailed management page for that project, which opens on a separate tab of the browser.
Example Project Cloned event tile.
Related page: More about ECAD-MCAD CoDesign
When working between the electronic and mechanical design domains, the NEXUS Server acts as the bridge between the two – facilitating direct ECAD-MCAD codesign. Whenever changes are made to the project's PCB design and those changes are pushed to the server through the relevant CoDesigner panel, an MCAD Changes Suggested event tile will be added to the timeline. The person who performed the push is presented by name (and picture), along with the date and time. If a message was posted at the time of pushing – through the MCAD CoDesigner panel (NEXUS design client), or Altium CoDesigner panel (in the supported MCAD software) – then that will also be displayed within the tile.
When the MCAD engineer makes changes to the PCB in their supported MCAD software and pushes them back to the NEXUS Server, the corresponding push event will be available on the project's history timeline only after pulling the changes from the server into the NEXUS design client.
Example showing two MCAD-related events. The lower event in the timeline's trunk represents a push event from the ECAD side, while the upper event is the push back from the MCAD side.
Click the control at the top-right of the view to access a search field with which to quickly find events of interest along the timeline. The search facility supports basic searching of the project history, with dynamic filtering applied as you type your search string – leaving only the events relevant to that search displayed on the page. The matching text within an event tile is highlighted.
Example search of a project's history. The timeline is dynamically filtered as you type your (case insensitive) search term, with matching entries highlighted within each relevant event tile.
The search facility works with the following information:
- Event tile title.
- Person's name who performed the event.
- Descriptive text (the text sourced from a comment/note/description when the relevant event occurred).
- Diffing data text – in a Project Committed event tile.
- Data set name – in a Project Released event tile.
- Project name – in a Project Cloned event tile and Project Created event tile (when created through cloning).
Updating with New Events
Whenever a supported event happens in relation to the project, that event will be detected and made available to the History view automatically. Notification will appear at the bottom of the view shortly after the event takes place – click the control to update the timeline with the new event.