Altium Designer Documentation

Accessing Your Server from within Altium Designer

Modified by Jason Howie on May 4, 2021
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Parent page: Altium 365 Workspace

Interaction with your Workspace can be made from various areas, but there are two main places:

From a purely component management perspective, much of the day-to-day interaction with your Workspace will be performed from within Altium Designer, through the Components panel.

This page takes a look at accessing your Workspace from within Altium Designer.

It is assumed that you have been added to the team for at least one Workspace - either your own organizations' Workspace, or that of another organization. If you do not yet have a Workspace in your own organization, Altium Designer will guide you through its activation, when you attempt to connect.

Connecting to Your Workspace

First, ensure that you are signed in to your Altium account through Altium Designer. To do so, click on the  control at the top-right of the main application window, then click the  entry on the associated menu. Use the subsequent Sign In dialog that appears to enter your AltiumLive account credentials, then click . Alternatively, sign in using your Google® or Facebook® account and, in doing so, link/associate that account with your AltiumLive account. If you don't have an AltiumLive account, you can click the control to register for one.

If you have a Pro Subscription Plan and your organization is set up for SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) with an Identity Provider (e.g. Okta®), then you can sign in to your Altium account in this way by clicking the  control.

How you are permitted to sign in to your organization's Altium account is determined by an Administrator for that account on the Authentication page of the Altium Dashboard. An Administrator can configure and enable SSO to AltiumLive (the service) through from this page. This entails providing the SAML configuration for your Identity Provider (IDP) - either through upload of a Metadata XML file acquired from that provider, or by configuring the SSO connection manually.
Linked accounts (Google® or Facebook®) will be listed on your AltiumLive profile page. Controls are provided there to unlink accounts if required.

Ensure you are signed in to your Altium account, using your AltiumLive credentials.

The control will change to reflect your having signed into your Altium account by displaying your AltiumLive profile picture, or avatar (e.g. ). The menu will display this also, with full name and with a link to quickly access your AltiumLive account (profile) through your default Web browser.

You can now connect to your Workspace. To do so, click on the  control at the top-right of the main application window. In the subsequent menu, all Workspaces that are available to you will be listed across two sections:

  • My Workspaces - the Workspace activated for your own organization and to which you have been added as a team member. Note that each organization can activate a single Workspace.
  • Shared With Me - those Workspaces of other organizations to which you have been invited to, and subsequently added as, a team member.

Click the entry for the specific Workspace you wish to connect to.

All Workspaces are presented automatically by having signed in to your AltiumLive account.

Click to access a Workspace from all those available to you.

If your organization does not yet have a Workspace, a link will be provided to an area with which to do so. The Manage link takes you to your AltiumLive account profile page from where you can activate, and then manage, Workspaces available to you. Click the My Altium 365 link to access the Altium 365 Platform Interface. In either case clicking a link will open your default web browser (if not already) and open the relevant target in a new tab.

You can also connect to your Workspace from the Open Project and Create Project dialogs, when wanting to open an existing managed project, or create a new managed project, respectively. In either case, select the  entry in the Locations region of the dialog, then click on the button for the required Workspace.

Connect to a Workspace through the Open Project and Create Project dialogs.

You will be connected to the Workspace, with the dialog updated to present the Workspace's name in the Locations region. For the Open Project dialog, the main area will populate with managed projects currently in the Workspace and that are shared with you. The Create Project dialog will present the controls and options for defining a new managed project within the Workspace.

Once connected, the location will update with the name of the Workspace, and the relevant dialog content presented.

If you are a member of the team for one or more Workspaces and have nominated one of these to be the default Workspace, then you will connect directly to that Workspace when initially signing in to your Altium account (through Altium Designer) using your AltiumLive credentials. After that, each time you sign in to your account within Altium Designer the last connected Workspace will be automatically connected - all set ready to continue designing where you left off.

Setting the default Workspace is performed from your AltiumLive profile page ( by clicking the  button associated to the required Workspace (the button will change to show ).

Checking Connection Status

You can check whether you are currently connected to a Workspace from the following places:

  • The menu associated to the Active Server control, at the top-right of the main application window. When actively connected to a Workspace, the control will reflect the name of that Workspace (e.g. ). The currently connected Workspace will also be highlighted in the associated menu (and is distinguished by the  icon). Clicking the entry provides access to the Workspace through the Altium 365 Platform Interface (through your default web browser).

Verification of being connected to your Workspace.

You can only be actively connected to one server through the software at a time and this could be a Workspace, or a self-managed server. If you have previously connected to other servers from that instance of Altium Designer, they will be listed as Known Servers. While actively signed in to one server, you could also be connected to another (it will not be the active server).

Once connected to the Workspace, it will become the Active Server, as can be seen here.

  • The Explorer panel. When connected, the Workspace will be available from the menu associated with clicking on the name of the server currently being browsed.
Note that all connected servers will be listed, but only one will be active and is distinguished by the inclusion of the  icon and its name in bold.

Browsing the Active Server through the Explorer panel in Altium Designer.

Read-only Workspace

If there is no active Altium Subscription across any of the Altium Designer licensing for a company's account with Altium (to which that company's Workspace is associated), then that Workspace will switch over to being Read-only. All team members will still be able to view/work with existing content in the Workspace, but will not be able to modify that existing content in any way, nor create any new content.

When connecting to a Read-only Workspace, a warning dialog will be presented and the icon for the connected Workspace will present as .

Connecting to a Workspace that has been switched to Read-only mode.

If you were enjoying the pro level of access, where your Workspace benefited from having the feature set associated to having a Pro Subscription Plan, note that upon expiration the Workspace view will be limited to that of of the Standard Subscription Plan, and for Read-only data extraction.

Switching Workspaces

You can quickly switch between any of the Workspaces available to you. To do so, click the Active Server control, at the top-right of the main application window (e.g. ). In the subsequent menu choose the entry for the Workspace you wish to switch to. You will be disconnected from the current Workspace, then momentarily connected to the chosen Workspace.

When you are a team member of multiple Workspaces, you can quickly switch between them.

Managing Your Workspace from Altium Designer

From within Altium Designer, you have the ability to manage certain aspects of your connected Workspace. This is performed from the Data Management - Servers page of the Preferences dialog. Click the Properties control associated with the Workspace - in the Active Server region of the page - to access the commands, illustrated in the following image and detailed thereafter.

Accessing commands to manage various properties of the actively connected Workspace.

  • Server configuration - use this command to access the Workspace's browser interface (through the Altium 365 Platform Interface) in your default web browser. If you are an Administrator for the Workspace you will be taken to the Admin - Settings page of the interface.
  • Lifecycles - use this command to access the Edit Lifecycle Definitions dialog, with which to manage the defined lifecycles for the Workspace.
  • Naming schemes - use this command to access the Edit Revision Naming Schemes dialog, with which to manage the defined revision naming schemes for the Workspace.
  • Operations - use this command to access the Edit Operation Permissions dialog, with which to define and manage global operation permissions for the Workspace.
Lifecycle management, revision naming management and definition of operational permissions are not available with the Standard Subscription Plan. The Lifecycles, Naming schemes and Operations commands are therefore not presented on the menu.

Disconnecting from Your Workspace

You can disconnect from your Workspace - from within Altium Designer - in the following ways:

  • By clicking the Active Server control, at the top-right of the main application window (e.g. ). In the subsequent menu, click the disconnect control () at the far-right of the entry for the currently connected Workspace.

Your access to the Workspace will also be terminated when you exit Altium Designer. In addition, and for an Administrator of your Workspace, there is the provision to kill a session from the Admin - Sessions page of the Workspace's browser interface. This would then allow the administrator to remove that user from the Workspace team (something that could not otherwise be done if the user were actively using the Workspace).

Working in the Workspace

Related page: Working with the Explorer Panel - Feature How-Tos

Once you are connected to your Workspace, you can access and create content. The primary interface to the Workspace from Altium Designer is the Explorer panel.

From a purely component management perspective, much of the day-to-day interaction with your Workspace will be performed from within Altium Designer through the Components panel.

When you are working in Altium Designer, you access full Workspace content through the Explorer panel. For component management only, you'll tend to use the Components panel.

To display a panel:

  • Click the  button at the bottom-right of Altium Designer and select the required panel from the menu that appears.
  • Choose the required panel entry from the View » Panels main menu.


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