Author Topic: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium  (Read 664 times)

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Offline lluchiari

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Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« on: June 30, 2020, 02:36:18 pm »
Hi Guys...

I'm somehow new to Altium, but I've been studying it a lot. My company has recently bought two Altium Licenses and in the migration process (Proteus --> Altium) I confess I'm a little bit disappointed the way that Altium threat library management. We are having serious problems with shared development and library (we are here in two engineers) and the best solution Altium offers you is to buy Altium 365 and Concord Pro.

Well...I tried all those method (IntLib, DbLib, SVNDblib) and DBLib/SVNDBlib would be amazing if that works correctly. I submitted a lot of cases on Altium for bugfix! And another drawback is that it's not easy to setup and operate. But It's working! (Still buggy, but it's Altium's bug).

My question is....how could I work with more than one person using the same shared library, adding, importing, deleting, updating componets? What's the best way without having to pay for Altium manage that for me?

I talked to a lot of my dev friends and they suggested me to make an SVN repository (could be GIT, it doest matter!) containing an IntLib and all my Footprints and Symbols all integrated and install this lib in Altium an work with commits. But even that I'm very disappointed because Library Management shouldn't be sold separated, this is mandatory in a Electronic development tool!

Is there a better way?

Best Regards,
Lucas.
 

Offline Omicron

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 04:47:51 pm »
Altium 365 standard comes for free with your Altium subscription and does all the things you ask for. Concord pro is not needed, it just adds some enterprise level functionality.
 

Offline lluchiari

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 08:51:51 pm »
Omicron, thanks for reply!
I agree with you, but my point is exactly this: I get tied to a subscription! I don't wanna this!
 

Offline MitjaN

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 05:39:20 am »
I get tied to a subscription!

This is exactly the reason why A365 works as it should and other solutions are not as polished as they could be.
 

Offline olkipukki

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 12:54:50 pm »

Well...I tried all those method (IntLib, DbLib, SVNDblib) and DBLib/SVNDBlib would be amazing if that works correctly.

What exactly wrong with DBLib and what is not working correctly?
 

Offline lluchiari

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 05:17:47 pm »
Quote
What exactly wrong with DBLib and what is not working correctly?

Just to be clear, I'm using SVNDBlib, but the management is the same. I have two kind of problems: Bug Problems and Usability Problems.

Bug Problems

  • As it seems Altium have a bug when linking the directory path in the relative link mode(I use relative link because we work with repository and the database file inside a shared folder in my own server).
  • It, sometimes (and I don't know exactly when), looses the path and add some extra characters. I realize that because, suddenly, the components stop to sync with their Footprints and Symbols. So I open my SVNDblib and check the link with SVN repo (I use file method) and I have to fix the path, remove these extra characters and indicate footprint and symbols fonder again.

Usability Problems (I decide to call usability because I'm supposing this is not a bug and was thought to behave this way.)

  • A critical thing in Altium SVN management is that they created an SVN Cache folder where they use to look for the models. It uses the link to the SVN repo and checkout in background to this cache folder. So when you config the repo, you have to configure (Preferences->Data Management -> SVN Libraries) the Working Folder where you suppose to work with your files. So when I wanted to add a new Symbol or Footprint I add to my Working Folder (where I checked out from my repo). And so...Altium doesnt recognize. So I have to manually add the new component to repo and make a refresh on Storage Manager (with SVNDBlib opened) to Altium recognize a new component on repo. After that I can use normally Altium's SVN interface.
    Sometimes it doesn't recognize the new file, but this bug I guess they have fixed in this new release.
  • SVN itself (on Altium), doesn't detect modifications on Storage Manager. I have to keep refreshing and it sucks!
  • To add a new component I have to manually indicate the Library Ref and The Footprint Ref what is ok, but is easy commit mistakes and not handy. What is completely different when you use IntLib that you add it through an Graphical Interface.
  • Every time I add a component I have to manually feed db with all the configurations. Not handy

Well...as far I remember these are my considerations.
I had to learn that by myself and that was kind of difficult as Altium's docs are very well documented but they are not practical. So I end up reading a lot of things but to use a few of that. The best thing that helped me was an old example that I found showing the folder structure and configuration. That only example saved me a lot of time. My local Altium support does't even know how to do this. So...if maybe there is an easier way please tell me, because we are loosing a considerable time trying to implement this.

You could say..."well why not pay the renew?!". That's because here in my country and specially for my company (a small one) is very expansive due to currency conversion and government taxes. That's why we are struggling to find an alternative, because we paid a lot of money to a great tool and we still have to pay more money to a thing that, in my conception, is not an "complement" or an "add-on" feature, this is a mandatory tool for an Electronic Design.

Sorry for this huge text...
Thanks,
Lucas.
 

Offline conelec

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2020, 12:04:33 pm »
The process of setting up a database library is no trivial undertaking. I started with Protel all those years ago and it eventually became Altium but nothing this company does is very well thought out and their support base is like something from a bad movie. Having said that I bought version AD15 and have had to make it work and pay for itself. I just use .DBLib format to link an Access 2003 back end database. Once the linking is done then the front end of the database does all the rest of the management functions like purchasing and stock control, linking of Schematic symbols, footprints, and keeping track of 3D models. The real unfortunate part of the Altium footprint library inability to link in a different models using a database link. Each different 3D model requires a new footprint even if the pad arrangement is the same. So the idea is not to try and use Altium to manage components. You will fail. I say this with confidence because Altium is not a stock control system and never should be. I have attached some screen shots of my database panels that manage inventory parts some of which are used in schematic PCB design. So if you want to control components that has to be done at the purchasing level. Your database should contain real world parts with real world footprints and real world models. Once a component is added to the database it is ready to use. No version control etc. Yes painful to set up 5000 plus components  initially but it gets easier as time goes on. I did a test run with AD20 and was able to get my 32 bit database to run using I think Access 64bit runtime. But since AD20 added a whole list of more problems I decided against purchasing it until they get those bugs ironed out. I might be waiting another 5 years though.

PS. note that the footprint is incorrect for the part due to a change in the database for that part but should give you the general idea. It's easy to select the correct footprint from the drop down list.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 12:08:28 pm by conelec »
 

Offline olkipukki

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2020, 11:29:44 pm »

So...if maybe there is an easier way please tell me, because we are loosing a considerable time trying to implement this.

Well, you you either pay to a vendor (Altium) or somebody else to get and adapt what they are offering.. or DIY

Just have a look with your dev friends DBLibs that basically text files with some technical information and connection string to your database using Microsoft OLE DB or ODBC driver.
The database literally can be anythiing such as SQL Server or Postgres, learn about table structures, you need a front-end tool to manage parts there, forget Altium - use it for part creating and modification only.
Also, I would not bother with Altium build-in SVN/Git support, external always works.


Hint: If you after a long-term solution, consider some open-source ERP that you can extend and adopt to your needs step by step. The strong benefits -  support a full-cycle part and a final product management...

« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 11:51:14 pm by olkipukki »
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Shared Development and Libraries on Altium
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2020, 06:23:45 pm »
Crie um diretorio na rede e guarde as libraries la , simples assim
 


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