Altium NEXUS Documentation

Configuration of Altium NEXUS Server

Created: March 17, 2021 | Updated: March 31, 2021

Managing Users & Roles

User Management for the Altium NEXUS Server is performed by an Administrator through various paging in the Admin area of the server's browser interface, accessed from an external browser. This provides the interface to the Identity Service (IDS), with which to define NEXUS Server (and other service) access through specification of Users and Roles.

Controls are spread over the following pages:

  • Users - use this page to create and manage a list of users; people who are to have access to the NEXUS Server and/or the associated technologies installed with it.
  • Roles - use this page to create and manage a list of roles; roles allow you to further organize your users according to, for example, the particular section of the organization in which they are involved, or the design team they are in. Roles also make the sharing of NEXUS Server content, and the configuration of other served technologies, more streamlined.
  • Sessions - use this page to quickly assess which of your users are currently signed into the NEXUS Server. Provision is made for an administrator to terminate a user's access to the NEXUS Server by effectively 'killing' their active session, thereby freeing connections to the server for use by others.
  • LDAP Sync - use this page to configure and run an LDAP Sync task. This allows an administrator of your Altium NEXUS Server installation to leverage the network domain’s existing username and password credentials, so that user credentials do not have to be created manually one at a time on the Users page. When setup correctly, the Users page will automatically populate with user credentials, enabling any user listed to sign into the NEXUS Server using their regular corporate network username and password.
Two administrative users are provided with a new Altium NEXUS Server installation - admin and System. The former, which is visible from the Users page, allows you to quickly get access to the NEXUS Server as an administrator. Once you have added other users, you can keep and edit the admin user (change its name and password for example), or delete it. The System user, which is not visible from the Users page, is used for all background tasks (including LDAP Sync, and Notifications). This user is permanently online. It does not, however, use a connector license.
Only an administrative user has full access to management controls. A non-administrative cannot see the listing of users or roles, but they are able to change the profile of their own user through the Edit User window. Access this window by clicking on the active user area at the top-right of the browser interface and then choosing Profile from the associated menu.
Read about Managing Users.

Content Structure & Access

Content structure and access management for the NEXUS Server can be performed by an Administrator from the Explorer page of the server's browser interface. From here you will be able to browse the folders and Items within the NEXUS Server. And although you can't create or edit Items from within the browser interface (you can remove them), you are able to create and edit folders, and so build the NEXUS Server's structure, without having to be connected to it through Altium NEXUS.

You can also define sharing from this interface - controlling who is able to see what content in the NEXUS Server and, at the folder level, whether other users can simply view a folder and its content, or also edit it (effectively releasing/committing/uploading design data into it). A single NEXUS Server installation can be partitioned into various effective 'zones' of content, but with controlled permissions the content can be made selectively visible, or hidden, as required - giving the right people, the right access, to the right data.

Content can also be downloaded from the NEXUS Server, directly from this interface.

NEXUS Server Administrators will be able to see and manage all server content. For a shared user of the NEXUS Server (non-admin) only those folders that have been shared - i.e. the user has permissions to access - will be accessible when the user signs in to that instance of the NEXUS Server.

Graphical Lifecycle Management

The Altium NEXUS Server provides the ability to define and manage lifecycle definitions through its browser interface, complementing the ability to do this through Altium NEXUS. And providing better visibility of the states and transitions involved each lifecycle is built in a graphical way, showing at-a-glance the flows involved. Many of the management controls you are accustomed to from the Edit Lifecycle Definitions dialog are present, but in a far more intuitive setting, allowing you to quickly build and modify your definitions with streamlined ease.

Access to the NEXUS Server's lifecycle definitions can only be made by an administrator (a member of the Administrators role). Once signed in to your NEXUS Server instance through a Web browser, use the nav tree on the left to navigate to the Admin - Settings page. Then, in the tree that is presented, click on the Lifecycle Definitions entry.

Eight default lifecycle definitions are provided. These default definitions can be used 'as is', or modified to suit company (or personal) requirements. New, custom definitions can also be added and configured, as required.

Defining and managing a lifecycle definition through the NEXUS Server's browser interface is very much a visual affair. A definition is built rather like a flow diagram, using various graphical objects representing the states and state transitions (and stages if using an Advanced style of management).

Currently this functionality works well in Google Chrome only. Functionality for other browsers will be addressed moving forward.
Various documents are available that relate to lifecycle management defined through Altium NEXUS, which equally apply here, with similar controls through the browser interface. For details on lifecycle definitions, see Managing Lifecycles for Items. For more detail on controlling state transitions, see Controlling Transitions between Lifecycle States.

Part Source Configuration

Each Altium NEXUS Server instance has its own dedicated Part Catalog. This is a managed local part catalog database, dedicated to the management and tracking of manufacturer parts and their associated supplier parts. The catalog is installed as a service (Part Catalog Service) provided through the NEXUS Server platform and works only with the NEXUS Server.

The local Part Catalog stores items representative of actual Manufacturer Parts, along with one or more items representative of Supplier Parts - the incarnations of those Manufacturer Parts, as sold by the Suppliers/Vendors. Each Supplier Part is a reference to an item in a parts database - either the aggregate parts database of the Altium Parts Provider (which itself interfaces to, and gathers the parts from, enabled Suppliers), or a linked local parts database (ODBC-based).

Which Supplier Databases are actually used - a list of Approved Suppliers - is managed by the NEXUS Server through the Part Providers page of its browser interface. This facilitates centralized supply chain management, with designers across the entire organization using the same approved list of Suppliers, with which to source supply chain intelligence for parts used in their designs.


Email Notifications

The NEXUS Server can be configured to generate and send email notifications - flagging a variety of events to key stakeholders, relating to Components, Managed Projects, Approval Requests, Part Requests and Tasks.

The feature to send notification emails from your NEXUS Server installation is enabled and configured on the Email Notifications page (Admin - Settings - Email Notifications) of the NEXUS Server's browser interface. This page is an element of the interface that can only be accessed by Administrative users of the NEXUS Server - those who are part of the Administrators role.

The Altium NEXUS Server supports mail notifications using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) only, since the majority of email systems that send mail over the internet use this protocol.

NOTE: The NEXUS Server does not support SMTP mail servers configured as an open relay that allows Anonymous authentication. If you see an authentication error when checking your email settings, or notification emails are not received, you may need to change the SMTP server connector (or add a new one) so that Basic Authentication is offered.

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