Altium Designer, in conjunction with the Altium Vault, offers the ability to release Altium Designer's current Preferences to the Altium Vault as a version-controlled and lifecycle-managed reusable Item.
The released Managed Preferences, stored as a Revision of that Item, can be reloaded from the Vault into Altium Designer at any time, or loaded by other Altium Designer users to adopt a standardized configuration. In addition, the Vault based Managed Preferences can be added to an Environment Configuration, which will assign those preferences to Altium Designer User groups (Roles) to constrain their design environment to the specified Preference settings.
The range of preference settings that are included when the Preferences are released to the Vault is determined by the options selected during the release process, which allows the creation of a tightly defined, reusable Managed Preferences revision. When that revision is subsequently loaded into Altium Designer from the Vault, only the specified options (or section of options) will be replaced, leaving all other Preference options intact.
The current Altium Designer Preferences (DXP » Preferences) can be released to a target Item in the Vault via the Release To Vault option in the Preferences dialog’s Save drop down menu. Select the Choose option in the following Link Preferences to Vault Item dialog to navigate to and select an Altium Designer Preferences target Item in the Vault.
In the subsequent Choose Item dialog, select a target folder for the release or create a new folder (as outlined below). Within the folder choose an existing preferences Item as the target, or use the Add an Item link or the right-click context menu to create a new
Altium Designer Preferences Item as the target – the release must target an Item in its initial
If an appropriate target folder for the release Item does not already exist in the Vault, right-click in a suitable location in the dialog's Vault Folders area and then select the Add Subfolder » Other Folder Type option from the context menu. In the following Edit Folder dialog, select the
Altium Designer Preferences Folder Type, set the Folder Name, Description and optionally, the applied Item Naming Scheme.
The selected Item Naming Scheme will define the default naming arrangement applied to new Items created in that folder. Accept the default offered by the Edit Folder dialog or choose from one of the predefined naming schemes available in the Item Naming Scheme drop down menu – or create your own custom naming scheme.
– See A Word About the Item ID for more information.
When creating a new Item as a target for the released Preferences (from the Add an Item link or right click options), the Create Item dialog will offer all property settings for the new Item, most of which will be preset to suitable defaults – note that the new Item ID will follow the scheme defined by the host folder. Use the Comment and Description fields to enter information that will help with quick identification of the Managed Preferences Item when searching the Vault.
The accessibility of the Item to Vault Users and user groups (Roles) can be defined at this point through the dialog's Sharing options, or configured later after the Item and its revisions have been created. Select the Item Sharing link to open the Permissions for New Item dialog, and Revision Sharing link to open the Premissions for New Item Revision dialog – by default, the Sharing settings applied to the Item will also apply to its Revisions.
– See Item Sharing below for information on defining Sharing through the Vault browser interface.
The default settings for the Item Revision Naming Scheme and Lifecycle Definition in the Create Item dialog should suit most situations, but can be changed through their respective drop down menu () options (when options are available), or the scheme/definition itself edited via the browse button ().
– See Item Revision Naming Schemes for information on selecting and editing Revision Naming schemes.
– See Item Lifecycle Management for more information on choosing and editing Lifecycle Definitions.
The newly created Altium Designer Preferences Item, which exists in a
Planned Lifecycle State, is established as the target for the released preferences. It consequently populates the Link Preferences to Vault Item dialog when the Choose Item dialog is closed (OK).
The way in which the range of Altium Designer Preferences are released to the Vault Item is managed through the following Release preferences dialog, which offers three applicable modes for how preferences option groups (pages in the Preferences dialog) will be applied to Altium Designer when the Managed Preferences revision is loaded from the Vault:
The preferences modes can be set for individual option groups (pages) or entire preferences sections (for example, the PCB Editor section). The Apply options will set all preference groups to a nominated mode.
The released Preferences are subsequently available, as an Item revision in a
Released state, in the Altium Vault as reusable Managed Preferences.
Along with the standard set of Preference options, the release process will also include a useful range of Altium Designer settings that will be reinstated when the released Managed Preferences revision is (re)loaded in Altium Designer. The additional options and settings are added to the release under their own option headings, and can therefore be disabled or set to Lock/FirstTime modes as required.
The additional option settings include, but are not limited to:
Altium Designer Preferences that have been released to the Vault as Managed Preferences can be reused in two distinct ways:
1. By simply loading a Managed Preferences revision into Altium Designer to define the current state of the Preferences options – note that Vault administrator credentials are required.
2. By including a Managed Preferences revision as part of an Environment Configuration that is automatically applied to Altium Designer by the Vault-based Team Configuration Center.
To load a Managed Preferences revision from the Vault to Altium Designer, select the Load From Vault option from the Load drop down menu in the Preferences dialog, and then choose the desired Preferences Revision in the Vault Choose Item dialog. Note that only those preference options that were included in the Release Preferences dialog options (those set to Apply and Lock or Apply First Time) when the Managed Preferences revision was created will be applied to Altium Designer.
Preference options and/or sections that were set to Apply and Lock during the release, in the Release Preferences dialog, will be set to read only when the Managed Preferences are subsequently loaded in Altium Designer. This is indicated by the preferences symbol () displayed at the top of the referenced Preferences page – they will remain locked while the user is signed in to the Vault, for only that session.
In a suitably licensed Altium Vault, the Vault-based Team Configuration Center allows Managed Preferences to be included as part of an Environment Configuration profile, which when applied to Altium Designer on a User Role basis, will constrain Altium Designer’s environment to those Preferences.
Applied Managed Preferences that include a set of New Document Defaults for example, will automatically load those preference options when an Altium Designer User signs in to the Vault as a member of the assigned Configuration Role. Ultimately, the User’s New Document Defaults are centrally determined by an Administrator of the Altium Vault, through an Environment Configuration defined in the Team Configuration Center.
To add a Managed Preferences revision to an Environment Configuration, first open the Vault browser interface and navigate to the Team Configuration Center page (ADMIN » CONFIGURATIONS). Select a Configuration Name to edit that profile, or use the button to create a new Configuration.
In the selected Environment Configuration page (see above), configuration Items are added to the available categories through their associated button, which for the Preferences category will open a Vault Explorer dialog for choosing a suitable Managed Preferences revision. Navigate to and select the desired Preferences revision by activating its checkbox.
The selected Preferences revision will be added to the Configuration. You can view its included Preferences options groups by selecting the Show details info link, and delete the entry with the Remove link. Finally, save the Configuration to confirm the new addition.
When an Altium Designer User, who is a member of a Role assigned to the Environment Configuration, signs in to the Vault, the Managed Preferences will be loaded in to Altium Designer.
Altium Designer’s existing Preferences settings will be replaced by those enabled in the Managed Preferences, as determined by the Preferences release options – those that were set Apply First Time or the read-only Apply and Lock option. Preferences that were set to Do Not Apply during release are unaltered in Altium Designer when the configuration is loaded.
When Altium Designer’s Preferences are currently defined by Managed Preferences loaded through an Environment Configuration, the Preferences dialog (DXP » Preferences) will indicate this with a configuration icon () and a reference to the loaded Configuration Name. Note that the Preferences management menus (at the bottom of the dialog) are disabled, with the exception of the Save commands.