Ability to Enforce Required Output Jobs through Environment Configurations

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When using environment configurations, delivered through the Team Configuration Center, a designer's working environment can be constrained in accordance with company requirements. Part of an environment configuration is the ability to define a set of output job configuration files that can validly be used by a designer, associated to the role assigned to the configuration. But while a set of OutJobs are made available to the designer using that particular environment configuration, there's nothing to say that they will actually be used. And while a validation-based Configuration Compliance check could be added into an OutJob, it's only effective if that OutJob is used!

To remedy this situation, this release of the Altium Vault sees a beneficial feature addition to the Team Configuration Center, by way of the ability to mark OutJobs as required. Simply put, if an OutJob defined as part of an environment configuration is marked as required, then release will not be possible until that OutJob is present and enabled for inclusion in the relevant project configuration being released. When trying to release an existing project configuration, and required OutJob(s) are not present in the project, these will be added to both the project and all of its configurations. When creating a new project configuration, the required OutJob(s) will automatically be added to that configuration. For each project configuration, the required OutJob(s) are enabled for inclusion, without the possibility to exclude.

With this done, the conditional requirement for release is met, and the release can proceed.

Specifying that an OutJob is Required

To make use of this feature when defining an environment configuration, add the necessary OutJob file(s) to that configuration, and enable the associated Req'd option, for each file that must be used.

For example, you could setup a validation OutJob, which has only validation checks defined - including a Configuration Compliance check. By marking this OutJob in the environment configuration as required, it must be used, otherwise release will not be possible. And by virtue of it's necessity, the included Configuration Compliance check (defined therein) can ensure all other necessary environment configuration-based requirements for release, have been met.
Environment configurations are defined on the Configurations page of the Altium Vault's browser-based interface.

Mark a defined OutJob - added to an environment configuration - as being Req'd, thus ensuring that it will be used by the designer, in order to perform a release of the relevant PCB Project Configuration.

Automatic Addition of Required OutJobs to Project Configurations

Typically, the relevant managed OutJobs are added to a project ahead of configuration and release. This is done through the Managed OutputJobs tab of the Project Options dialog, with only those OutJobs permitted by the active environment configuration, made available. With this done, accessing the Configuration Manager dialog (Project » Configuration Manager) will present all OutJobs available for each project configuration. Any required OutJob(s) will be enabled for inclusion, and cannot be excluded.

By adding the managed OutJobs to the project first, they will be present for the configurations defined for that project, and any marked as Req'd in the active environment configuration will automatically be enabled for inclusion in all configurations (and grayed-out to prevent exclusion).

Automatic Addition of Required OutJobs to Project and Configurations During Release

It is good practice to have the OutJob files added to a project ahead of releasing any of its defined configurations. But if this has not been done, a check is included as part of the release process. Attempting to generate any output through a release will pop a dialog alerting you to the fact that there are one or more OutJobs that are required by the current configuration. These will be added to the project, and all of its configurations automatically. The relevant OutJobs are listed by their full Item-Revision ID.

The process is seamless, with the following performed:

  • The required OutJob(s) are added to the project and all of its currently defined configurations.
  • The project is saved.
  • The release process resumes.
If your project is under version control, you will need to synchronize the changed local files with the master copy in the relevant repository.

Example showing how a managed OutJob, marked as required in the active environment configuration, is added to the project and its configurations.

Automatic Addition of Required OutJobs to a New Project Configuration

Provided the relevant, and required, managed OutJob has been added to the project, adding a new configuration for that project - by clicking the Add New Configuration control, in the Configuration Manager dialog - will result in that OutJob automatically being added to that configuration, enabled for inclusion, with no possibility to exclude it. This takes the worry out of having to remember which OutJobs are required, and eliminates any manual processes.

Inclusion of a required OutJob is automatically enforced when adding a new configuration.


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