Accessing an Altium Vault from Altium Designer

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Parent article: Altium Vault

The Altium Vault provides an ideal platform on which to build a well-managed design data storage and management environment.

The Altium Vault is a separate product from Altium Designer. It is installed and licensed separately, once that is done you can access your Altium Vault from within Altium Designer, via the Vaults panel, or through your preferred web browser. You can learn more about installing on the Installing the Altium Vault page.

To access your Altium Vault from within Altium Designer, you must be signed into that vault.

Why do you Need to Sign In to the Altium Vault?

As well as providing a secure storage environment for your design Items, such as components and released designs, the Altium Vault can also be used for design collaboration, document management and team configuration management.

The integrity of this valuable data is maintained by requiring each user to log in with a username and password.

The storage features that are available to you depends on which version of the Altium Vault you have licensed. The different options available with each license type are detailed on the Altium Vault Licensing page. For example, you must have an Enterprise license to use the Managed Projects feature, where the design source files are stored in a repository within the Altium Vault.

How to Sign In to an Altium Vault

Connecting and signing in to the Altium Vault can be done in the following ways:

  • DXP menu - select Sign in Altium Vault from the DXP menu. Note that the menu entry changes to reflect if you are signed in or not; if not signed it is states Sign in Altium Vault, if already signed in it states Sign Out from Altium Vault.
  • Add a connection to the vault from the Data Management - Vaults page of the Preferences dialog.
  • System — Altium Vault page of the Preferences dialog.
  • Selecting the Managed Project option when attempting to create a new project through New Project dialog, and you are not currently signed in to an Altium Vault.

The Altium Vault relies on a number of Microsoft runtime components for successful operation and access, in some situations these may not be present on the target machine. If you receive an error message about a missing library (DLL) when you attempt to sign into an Altium Vault, it indicates that there are missing Microsoft runtime components. To-date, this is only known to occur on Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Datacenter.

Use this link to download and install these missing components: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=29

Signing In via the DXP Menu

Typically, you sign in and out of the Vault using the command in the DXP menu, as shown below.

Sign in and out of the Vault via the DXP menu.

When you select the command, the Connecting to Altium Vault dialog will open, as shown below. 

Enter the required details to sign in to your Altium Vault.

Am I Connecting, or Signing In?

There are actually 2 steps involved in signing into a Vault - connecting to the Vault, then signing into the Vault. That is why the sign in dialog shown above includes both a Server address field, as well as Usename and Password fields - the Server address is used to establish the connection to the Vault, then the Username/Password combination is used to sign into that Vault.

Altium Vault connections are created and managed in the Data Management — Vaults page of the Preferences dialog. When you click the Add Vault button in this dialog page the Connect to Vault dialog appears (shown below), where you define both connection information, in the Vault Server Address field, and log in information, in the Username/Password fields.

Connect and sign in to the Altium Vault.

The default behavior is to perform both steps, that is connect and sign in. And since the Data Management — Vaults page of the Preferences dialog does not include sign in/sign out buttons, once you are signed in, you must sign out via the DXP menu before you can disconnect from that Vault. The image below shows the Data Management — Vaults page of the Preferences dialog when you are connected to a Vault, but not signed in.

It is possible to be connected to a Vault, but not signed in, note that you must be signed out to be able to disconnect.

The current sign in state is reflected in the Data Management — Vaults page of the Preferences dialog (check in the Status column), and the DXP menu.

Signing In when Altium Designer Starts

Altium Designer can be configured to automatically sign you in whenever it is started. This is configured in the System — Altium Vault page of the Preferences dialog, as shown below.

Configure automatic sign in, in the System — Altium Vault page of the Preferences.

Working in the Vault

Main article: Working with the Vaults Panel

Once the Vault connection and sign in have been established, you can access and create Vault content. The primary interface to the Vault from Altium Designer is the Vaults panel.

To display the Vaults panel:

  • Click the System button down the bottom right of Altium Designer, and select Vaults from the menu that appears.
  • Select Vault Explorer from the DXP menu

The panel will open. Click the the text at top left of panel to display the Vaults panel management menu, where you can: select the required Vault from the currently connected Vaults; refresh all Vaults; or open the Preferences dialog at the Vaults page.

When you are working in Altium Designer, you access Vault content via the Vaults panel.

To learn more about the panel, read the article Working with the Vaults Panel.

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