Browsing the History of a Project in Altium Designer

Altium Designer, in conjunction with a connected Workspace, allows you to view and interact with an advanced graphically orientated Project History timeline. The dedicated History view provides a progressive timeline of major events relating to the PCB, Multi-board or Harness project – its creation, commits, releases, clones, and MCAD exchanges – with various actions supported where applicable.

Getting the most out of this feature requires your project to be fully managed by ensuring the project is under the Workspace's own built-in VCS (Git).

If your project is under external version control, you can convert it to a fully managed project hosted in the Altium 365 Workspace by migrating the project to the Workspace's native VCS. For detailed information on how to do this, see Moving from External VCS to Workspace Native VCS.

For information on working with the History view for a project through the Workspace's browser interface, see Project History.

Accessing the Project History

To access the History view for a Workspace project from within Altium Designer, right-click on its entry in the Projects panel and choose the History & Version Contol » Show Project History command from the context menu. Alternatively, select the History & Version Control » Show Project History command from the Projects main menu to open the History view for the active Workspace project. The History view presents as a distinct tabbed document (<ProjectName>.PrjPcb History).

For a project in your Workspace that already existed prior to the arrival of the Project History feature, its history will initially not be complete. Reindexing of the event data for that project will be performed automatically when the History view is first accessed for that project. Notification will appear at the bottom of the view once the reindexing has completed – click the control to update the timeline with the full historical event data.
To access the History view for a file of a Workspace project, i.e. the timeline of the project's major events relating to the file, right-click on the file in the Projects panel, then choose the History & Version Control » Show File History command from the context menu.

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 sections as shown in the following image and detailed thereafter.

Identifying the three key components of the History view.Identifying the three key components of the History view.

  1. 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.
  2. Events. Each time a supported event (see below) happens in association with the project, that event 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 some additional icon next to it (as is the case for MCAD Exchange events).
  3. 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.

Supported Events

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 expandable sections take a look at the range of events currently supported and presentable as part of a project's historical timeline.

Filtered Search

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.

The search facility is not case-sensitive.

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.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.

A box is provided above the filtered selection that summarizes how many events are currently being shown, along with controls to quickly remove the filter/search string.

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).
To clear the current filtering and return to the full timeline, clear the search field – either by selecting the current text and pressing the Backspace key or by clicking the control at the far right of the field. Alternatively, click on either the Clear Filter control in the box summarizing how many events are being shown (at the top of the view).

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.

A manual refresh is also provided, performed by clicking the control at the top right of the view.

Creating a Project History Report

A Project History report in PDF format can be created for a Workspace project. The report displays all information about the history of the project including creation, commits, and releases, as well as a description of changes from the previous event. You can also set the time period for the report (described below), so you will get the definitive report you need.

From an OutJob

To create the report, in the OutputJob file (*.OutJob), right-click on the [Add New Report Output] associated with the Report Outputs entry then choose Project History, as shown below.

Connect the newly-created report to a PDF output container. Set the time period for the report by right-clicking on the created output then select Configure. Enable the desired time Period: For all time (from the creation of the project to the present), or Specific releases (use the From/To field drop-downs to set the desired releases. The exported report will contain the information for the time period you selected.

After your report has been created, linked to a PDF output container, and configured, in the PDF container region, click Generate content, or if desired, you can generate the project history report as part of the project release process.

From the Reports Menu

The Project History can be exported to a PDF by choosing Reports » Project History from the main menus. The Project History Report Configuration dialog opens where you can set the Period for which the report should be exported: either the entire project history or from/to a specific (or the latest) project release. Click Export then enter a name for the exported PDF in the Explorer window that opens then click Save. The PDF report opens in a browser.
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