Component Status Validation

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Vault-based components offer the designer a formal collection of high-quality, high-integrity, design building-blocks. Revision-controlled and lifecycle-managed, a company can authorize the 'set' of components that can be formally used by their designers, in each new design project embarked upon within that company. However, while Component Items may be authorized for design reuse, there has not been any automated checking at the release validation stage, to verify that they are indeed in the right state to be used. Rather the onus has been on the designer to visually check the lifecycle states of the components in their designs, alerted only by status text and color.

Altium Vault 2.1, in conjunction with Altium Designer 15.0, provides an elegant solution to this, in the form of Component State Checking. A new validation-based outputter is available for addition to an Output Job file - Components states. This can be configured to check for components that are in restricted states. As part of configuration, you determine the action to be taken for each currently defined state, of each currently defined Lifecycle Definition in the target vault - no action, a warning, or generate an error. The latter will prevent release of the design. In addition, running the check will generate a handy HTML-based report, allowing you to see at-a-glance which design components are not in valid states.

Issues with using design items in restricted states can also be detected much earlier in the design cycle, by the Compiler. This concerns an Item Revision's applicability based on its current state, and whether it is allowed to be used in designs while in that state. This is controlled through use of a dedicated attribute at the individual state level. A project compiler violation can be configured to detect and flag any vault items being used in a design, whose revisions are in non-applicable states - catching and averting issues prior to release. For more detail, see Lifecycle Definition Enhancements.
When enforcing the working environments of your designers through the use of environment configurations, you can ensure the use of the OutJob file in which component state checking has been defined. To do so, simply make sure the OutJob file permitted for use through the applicable environment configuration is marked as required - by enabling its Req'd attribute. For more information, see Ability to Enforce Required Output Jobs through Environment Configurations.

Add an output generator of this type from the Validation Outputs section of the OutJob file. Configuration is performed in the Vault Objects State Validation dialog.

Add and configure a component state check as part of your overall validation regime during board design release.

The dialog presents all lifecycle definitions defined for the target vault. For each definition, each uniquely-defined state is listed, along with its description. For each state associated with a lifecycle definition you employ for components in your designs, simply specify the checking action to be taken. Click within a state's Check Action field, and select the required action from the associated drop-down menu. Available checking options are None, Warning, and Error.

Revisions of Component Items used in the design that are in a restricted state (one whose Check Action has been set to Error) will prevent the release of the board from happening. The generated report file (<Item-Revision ID> <ProjectName>.html) will list all warnings and errors.

Example generated report after running the Component state validation check. Here, the design is found to contain a single component revision in a restricted lifecycle state, and the release process is terminated in failure.

Click the Update from Vault button to refresh the dialog with the latest lifecycle definition information, directly from the vault.
Ensure the component state check is added to the source Output Job file and configured BEFORE releasing it to the target vault. Once managed, the OutJob file – specifically the configuration of an output generator – can not be changed. You would need to make changes to the source file and re-release into the next planned revision of the target Item.


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