Parent page: More about Outputs
Once a design is considered ready for flight into the wider world, it needs to be released - a process that can often be underestimated.
Without a regimented and fundamentally-sound release process, tracking an ever-maturing product over time can be fraught with any number of pitfalls. Just imagine needing to go back and release a previous revision of your product, only to find that all required source design files were never included, as a snapshot, with that particular release! That's OK, just get the generated output files from the relevant folder(s) for that release - trusty Gerbers and any additional fabrication and assembly information, that's all that's really needed anyway. But imagine those 'trusty' outputs have been overwritten, or become corrupt somehow. If only the release process were more robust.
Altium Designer answers this call by providing powerful, high-integrity board design release management. The board design release process is automated, enabling you to release your board design projects without the risks associated with manual release procedures. When a particular project is released, a snapshot of the design source is taken and archived along with any generated output - which represents a tangible product that is made from that design project and sold by the company. Release data is stored in revisions of the relevant project-related Item in the target managed content server:
The overall result is the highest-integrity board design release management possible. Not only is your actual design project tightly monitored, backed-up, and managed in a version-controlled Design Repository, but also too, the releases of its data in a similar manner within the target server - robust, safe, secure.
Related page: Working with the Project Releaser
The release process itself is performed using Altium Designer's Project Releaser, the user-interface to which is provided courtesy of a dedicated view - the Release view.
The Project Releaser caters for all types of PCB project - unmanaged/non-version-controlled, under external VCS control, or managed through a managed content server - by offering two modes of operation:
With the Release view in
Online Mode, the release process is a staged flow, with the entries on the left-hand side of the view showing you at-a-glance, which stage you are currently at:
With the Project Releaser, you'll be able to generate your manufacturing data with simplified ease, and with the highest integrity. And you'll also be able to survey the fruits of that generation before you commit to finalizing the release (viewing Gerbers/ODB++ data in the CAM Editor for example), ensuring that the data you have generated is exactly the data required to get your board manufactured on time, first time.
Related page: Working with Publishing Destinations
For released data generated from a board design project (PCB Fabrication Data, PCB Assembly Data, and PCB Project Design Items only), you have the ability to directly publish that data from your managed content server, or Output Job, to a storage space, such as Box.com, Amazon S3, an FTP server, or a simple folder location on a shared network. In terms of distribution and collaboration, this provides an unparalleled advantage in a world where the collective members of the overall 'product team' - the design team, the manufacturing team and all others involved in the process of getting a product from thought to reality - are often dispersed around the globe.
Publishing is a matter of defining a Publishing Destination and then uploading the released data for the required Item Revision to that destination. From the manufacturing plant in China, to the design teams in Kiev, Stanstead Abbotts, and San Diego, and to the Project Director in-flight somewhere across the Pacific, everyone that needs to know about the new release can be invited with a link to the published folder - shared (and controlled) access to view, discuss, and utilize the data with which to build the Item.
Main page: Web Review
Altium Designer provides for web-based markup and commenting capabilities through the concept of Web Review.
The Altium Web Review feature provides universal access to PCB project documents through a standard web browser. Much more than just a web-based viewer, Web Review's advanced browser technology allows users to navigate through the project structure, interact with design documents, extract information about elements in the design and highlight areas or objects for commenting notes.
When viewing documents the visual quality of schematics and PCBs are not compromised by its web format, which also provides full pan and zoom capabilities, and in the case of PCB documents, a high-quality interactive 3D view of the board.
As an independent browser based view platform, the Web Review feature offers interactive read-only access to design documents without the need to open the project in the design editing environment. Others that are working on the design, such as the engineer who 'owns' it, will not be affected by actions in the Web Review space – except for any related comment notifications.
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