Taking Vaults forward together

April 12, 2016 Marc Depret

Following the recent initial release of Altium Vaults our efforts are now concentrated on fostering large scale adoption. Enhancements will focus on technology maturity, efficiency improvements, and adaptability to a wider range of organization profiles. The next update initiates this second phase by delivering key improvements in the domains of supply chain management, design reuse and enterprise systems integration. Community contribution is actively sought to help drive this phase further.

The Altium Vault Server and Personal Vault have been released about a month ago, in line with the Vault delivery roadmap first phase objectives: receiving the effective endorsement of the Vault technology by innovators and trendsetters, by providing workable and clear data migration paths, effective ways to produce vault-based designs  while offering the basic benefits of re-usability, disciplined revision control and supply chain management.

 

Efforts are now concentrated on fostering large scale adoption: the technology needs to mature, gain in efficiency and become increasingly adaptable to a wider range of organization needs, setups and processes. In addition to improving the features delivered during the first phase, issues such as linking to other enterprise data management systems, enhancing display and navigation to suit a variety of uses, or supporting a wider range of component models are to be addressed.

 

This second phase is expected to span over 6 months, and will start with the concurrent release of Altium Designer 13.2, Personal Vault 1.1 and Altium Vault Server 1.1, which are soon to enter Beta. This release will include a number of enhancements which will make this technology more widely accessible.

Enhanced searching capabilities, based on faceted search techniques will help to refine keyword search results according to relevant parameter value. This should increase the efficiency of locating the right data in increasingly growing data sets.

 

Analog simulation models will be supported. This will extend the benefits of robust revision control and lifecycle management to wider electronic engineering domains, as well as help with the normalization of data management systems within electronic design teams.

Internal enterprise systems will be able to provide supply chain information for Vault managed items, through ODBC data sources. This will facilitate the integration of  the Vault within the organization’s wider data management systems landscape.

 

A new tool (code named internally ‘LiveBOM’), capitalising on these new data management services, will provide design level real time costs and availability management capabilities. Supply chain intelligence, available at the earliest stage of the project will inform crucial design decisions further upstream.

 

Further down the track, focus will be directed at delivering more enhancements and realising the vault full potential.  All aspects of electronic design processes will be affected by the vault-driven design methodology. Numerous innovative features (reporting tools, advanced access control, ...) and content types (outputjobs, rich text documents, harnesses, templates...) affecting design, management and production processes will be regularly delivered in subsequent updates.

 

Throughout the entire process, your feedback is expected, carefully analysed and taken into account to influence both tactical and strategical decisions. Some early adopters have already vigorously engaged in this process, and their contribution is yielding tremendous results. I invite anyone who is interested in this aspect of data management to voice their thoughts and share their ideas.

 

For instance, a few topics are emerging to be of particular significance for the near future: the ability to acquire vault based data from a variety of sources (and possibly make it available for acquisition by others), advanced life cycle control (multiple signatures for instance), support for general pin mapping, support for signal integrity models, …

 

Describing your needs, what you see as the most important, and how you see the vault tend to them during the next development phase, will be very helpful in guiding the content and prioritization of this list of future projects.

 

I will be looking forward to your comments in the section below.

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