Reusing a Managed Altium Designer Preferences Item

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Parent article: Releasing Altium Designer Preferences to an Altium Vault

Once an Altium Designer Preferences set has been released to an Altium Vault, and its lifecycle state set to a level that the organization views as ready for use at the design level, that preferences set can be reused across installations of the software.

A released Altium Designer Preferences Item can be reused as part of the centralized enforcement of a designer's working environment. This sees the preferences set used as a configuration data item in one or more defined Environment Configurations. Under a concept referred to as Environment Configuration Management, Altium Designer uses the configuration data items specified in an applied environment configuration to configure the relevant areas of the application environment – resulting in the designer only being able to use those environmental elements they are entitled to use, in relation to their assigned role(s) within the organization.

This article takes a look at reuse of a released (managed) Altium Designer Preferences Item, as part of an applied environment configuration.

Application at Startup

Once you have signed in to the Altium Vault, and chosen (if applicable) from the selection of environment configurations available to you, the Altium Designer Preferences Item – if defined as part of that configuration – will be applied. A dialog will appear showing the progress of the update to your preference settings.

Depending on the Windows setting for User Access Control on your computer, you may need to authorize the Altium Designer Elevator to perform the changes. Simply click Yes to do this.

If the environment configuration has a defined Altium Designer Preferences Item, the corresponding released preferences set will be applied automatically.

Released data stored in the applied Altium Designer Preferences Item Revision will override (and overwrite) applicable local preference settings, found in the location: \Users\<ProfileName>\AppData\Roaming\Altium\Altium Designer <GUID>. This includes updating the _Profile.DXPPrf file, with the settings stored in each of the released preferences pages .ini files.

Preferences Dialog

The Preferences dialog will change to reflect the revision of the vault-based Altium Designer Preferences Item – now managing the preferences – as well as the parent environment configuration in which that Item Revision is defined. This information is contained within its own conveniently collapsible region.

The Preferences dialog will reflect its management as part of an environment configuration.

Since an Altium Designer Preferences Item may only contain a subset of all preferences available - determined at the time of release to the vault - each individual page of preferences carries indication of whether those preferences are being managed by that Item or not. A page that is being managed by the vault Item is stamped with the configuration icon at the top-right.

'Stamping' a page whose preferences are being managed by the active Altium Designer Preferences Item.

Since the preferences are being managed through an environment configuration, any controls that would otherwise effect their modification in some way, are disabled. So the following abilities ARE NOT available:

  • Setting preferences to their defaults.
  • Loading preferences from a file or from the cloud.
  • Importing preferences from a previous version of the software.

You can, however, still save your preferences to file, or to the cloud.

Any other controls located elsewhere in the Altium Designer GUI, that would otherwise result in a change to preferences, will also be disabled or made read-only in the software. For example changing the installed libraries list from the Installed tab of the Available Libraries dialog, or changing Desktop Layouts from the View menu. Note that this will only be the case for preferences under configuration management.

Under environment configuration management, the Preferences dialog essentially becomes Read-Only. This applies only to preferences included as part of the Altium Designer Preferences Item Revision being administered by the active environment configuration. If a page of preferences was not included in the release of that Item Revision, then that page, its preferences, and any other controls affecting those preferences throughout the Altium Designer GUI, will be freely accessible for change locally.

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