Author Topic: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols  (Read 1520 times)

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Offline Analog

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I use Altium Symbol libraries to store my component parameters. I’m am considering using Access database to better manage my components and enter/store parameters. This would give me extra flexibility and hopefully result in cleaner libraries.

I sometimes use alternative symbols and often use different footprints for the same component. Sometimes the footprints are just L-N-M variants and sometimes special silk designs.

If I use a database to manage the parameters, do I make a field for each symbol and footprint?
 

Offline ajb

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 09:45:46 pm »
There's a set of field format for multiple PCB footprints:
Footprint Ref → [Footprint Ref]
Footprint Path → [Footprint Path]
Footprint Ref n → [Footprint Ref n]
Footprint Path n → [Footprint Path n]

The documentation says "Unlimited footprint model references (and paths)", but I haven't pushed my luck.  Having a lot of database fields gets cumbersome anyways.

I don't think you can do the same thing for schematic symbols.  I think the only way to get different symbols for the same library part is to use the alternate graphical modes, which have to be defined in the schematic lib, and are kind of hidden in the component properties.
 

Offline Analog

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2018, 01:38:15 am »
Thanks for the reply. I don't know why I thought there was some other way of dealing with multiple footprint and symbols. I think I'll just stick to 3 footprints and try out the alt view to see if it still works OK with external references.
 

Offline Tabs

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2018, 02:10:42 am »
not sure if its too late or what version of AD you're on but AD18 will office 64bit if you want to use DBLibs. AD < 18 needs 32bit office.
Microsoft don't recommend have both versions installed, but Altium advises a work around for those that cant install 64bit.
if you have a subscription office365 then you can uninstall the 32bit version and install 64bit.
Not sure what that will do to your existing 32bit access database library. This is what stopped me upgrading to AD18 because office 64bit wont work with some of the legacy tools our IT use.
One to watch out for.
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 11:11:55 am »
not sure if its too late or what version of AD you're on but AD18 will office 64bit if you want to use DBLibs. AD < 18 needs 32bit office.
Microsoft don't recommend have both versions installed, but Altium advises a work around for those that cant install 64bit.
if you have a subscription office365 then you can uninstall the 32bit version and install 64bit.
Not sure what that will do to your existing 32bit access database library. This is what stopped me upgrading to AD18 because office 64bit wont work with some of the legacy tools our IT use.
One to watch out for.

You can if you have that sort of issues use Microsoft SQL server express (it's free) and move the access database over with a wizard microsoft provide provides.
If you access it only from you machine there is i think almost no configuration.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 12:14:25 pm by ddavidebor »
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LABS srl
 

Offline warpco

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2019, 11:00:15 am »
So... How can I assign multiple footprints to a component in a database library? What does this mean?
Quote
Footprint Ref → [Footprint Ref]
Footprint Path → [Footprint Path]
Footprint Ref n → [Footprint Ref n]
Footprint Path n → [Footprint Path n]

Do I need to create multiple columns in a DB table and name them "Footprint Ref 1", "Footprint Ref 2", etc? What if one component has five footprint variants, and others only one? Leave these additional cells blank for all the components except one?

People say that database libraries in Altium Designer are superior to integrated, but with all their quirks, I doubt it is true.
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Database fields for components with multiple footprints and symbols
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2019, 11:13:24 am »

Do I need to create multiple columns in a DB table and name them "Footprint Ref 1", "Footprint Ref 2", etc?

Yes

What if one component has five footprint variants, and others only one? Leave these additional cells blank for all the components except one?

Yes, you need to leave those cell NULL, which is different from a cell with an empty string.

People say that database libraries in Altium Designer are superior to integrated, but with all their quirks, I doubt it is true.

The Intlibs are also pretty quirky and harder to manage.
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LABS srl
 
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