Sharing Released Data through Publishing Destinations

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Parent article: Board Design Release

Publishing Destinations offer you the ability to publish release data for an Item Revision (Blank Board and Assembled Board Items only) directly from an Altium Vault or Output Job to a storage space, such as Box.com, Amazon S3, an FTP server, or a simple folder location on a shared network. This enables you to host generated release data securely, while providing access to it on a global scale. From the manufacturing plant in Mumbai, to the design teams in Stuttgart and San Diego, and to the project director holidaying in the Greek islands, the geographically-dispersed 'Product Team' – collectively responsible for getting the product from idea to physical reality – have shared (and controlled) access to view, discuss and utilize the data to build the Item.

An alternative approach is to allow users to have direct access to data in the Altium Vault, while controlling the portion of data they are allowed to see. This effectively by-passes the need for additional publishing. This is made possible through sharing at the individual Item Revision level, and the propagation of sharing permissions through to a revision's data folders (Released Documents and Design Snapshot). In this way, a standard set of sharing permissions can be defined at the Item level and passed through to its revisions, while having independent control over how the data for those revisions is shared. For more information, see Managing Access Rights for Revision Data.

Defining Publishing Destinations

Before looking at how the release data for an Item Revision is actually published, options must first be defined, to set up where that data is to be stored. This is performed from the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog (DXP » Preferences).


Publishing Destinations are specified as part of the Altium Designer preferences.

For each defined publishing destination, the following information is presented:

  • Name – a meaningful name for the destination. This could, for example, reflect the data to be published to that destination.
  • Type – the type of publishing destination. The following destination types can be defined:
    • Amazon S3 – Simple Storage Services hosted by Amazon AWS.
    • Box.com – a publishing destination hosted by Box.com.
    • Folder – a simple folder structure on, for example, a shared network.
    • FTP – for uploading to an FTP storage server or a location on your web site.
  • Status – whether the connection between Altium Designer and the publishing destination is successful () or not (). If connection is unsuccessful a comment will be displayed, indicating the problem.

Adding a new Amazon S3 Publishing Destination

To add a new publishing destination hosted by Amazon Simple Storage Services (S3), select Amazon S3 from the Add Destination drop-down menu – the Add Amazon S3 Publishing Destination dialog will appear.


Define the connection to a Amazon S3 publishing destination.

Define the destination as follows:

  1. Give the destination a meaningful Name.
  2. Enter your Amazon Web Services Account credentials. You will need an existing Amazon Web Services Account. If you don't already have one, sign up at aws.amazon.com. During your account setup process, you would have created a 20-character Access Key ID (or public key) and a corresponding 40-character Secret Access Key (or private key). You may have more than one of such key pairs. As indicated by the name, your Secret Access Key should be kept secure and only known by you and Amazon Web Services.
  3. Specify the name of the bucket which will store the published files. Buckets can be created by tools such as the AWS Management Console. You can optionally specify a sub-folder within the bucket to store your files. Type in the path in the Key Prefix field or click the  button to browse and select a folder.
  4. Define additional publishing options as required.
  5. Click OK.

A connection from Altium Designer is made, and an entry will appear for it in the listing of publishing destinations back on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.

Adding a new Box.com Publishing Destination

To add a new publishing destination whose folder structure will reside within your cloud-based Box – hosted by Box.com – select Box.com from the Add Destination drop-down menu – the Add Box.com Publishing Destination dialog will appear.


Define the location for the new Box.com publishing destination.

Define the destination as follows:

  1. Give the destination a meaningful Name.
  2. Activate your Box.com account. This process allows Altium Designer to access your Box. To activate your Box.com account for the first time:
    1. click the Activate button in the Box.com Account region of the dialog. The Activate Box.com Account dialog will appear, prompting you to login to your account.
    2. Enter your Box.com account credentials, then click Authorize.
    3. Once you are successfully logged in to your Box, click the Grant access to Box button to allow the AltiumBoxApplication to have Read/Write access to the Box.
    4. Click the Close button at the top-right of the dialog to return to the Add Box.com Publishing Destination dialog. The dialog will now reflect your account as activated.
If the Box.com account has been previously activated, you can simply enter the activation key (if you copied it when you first activated the account). To do this, click the Edit Activation Key button and enter the activation code into the Box.com Activation Key dialog that appears. If you have lost the original activation key, don't know it, or wish to obtain a new key, you can simply activate again. The account will be activated with a new key and the old key will be invalidated.
If you need to access your Box account from multiple computers, or require to connect to multiple publishing folders within the same Box account, you can do so by copying and using your Box.com activation key. To do this, simply click on the Edit Activation Key button and copy the key from the dialog that appears.
  1. Specify the location for storing published data by specifying an existing, or creating a new, folder within your Box. Specify this folder using the Folder field in the Location region of the dialog. Use the  button to access the Choose the Destination Root Folder dialog, from where you can browse all currently defined folders in your Box, or click New Folder... to create a new one. Choose the required folder and click OK.
  2. Define additional publishing options as required.
  3. Click OK.

A connection to the nominated folder from Altium Designer is made, and an entry will appear for it in the listing of publishing destinations back on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.

Example addition of a new Box.com hosted publishing destination. The destination will be connected to Altium Designer ready for immediate use

To use the same Box.com hosted publishing destination for collaboration purposes, it is recommended that you create separate Box.com accounts for each individual user, then add them as a collaborator for the destination's top-level folder. For more information on the types of account available, working with an account, and to sign up for an account, go to www.box.com

Adding a new Folder Publishing Destination

To add a new local folder-based publishing destination, select Folder from the Add Destination drop-down menu – the Add Folder Publishing Destination dialog will appear.


Define the connection to a folder publishing destination.

Define the destination as follows:

  1. Give the destination a meaningful Name.
  2. Specify the location of the root folder. Either enter the location for the folder directly into the Folder field, or click the folder icon to access the Browse For Folder dialog, from where you can browse for an existing local or network folder, or create a new one, as required.
  3. Define additional publishing options as required.
  4. Click OK.

A connection to the nominated folder from Altium Designer is made, and an entry will appear for it in the listing of publishing destinations back on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.

Adding a new FTP Publishing Destination

To add a new publishing destination hosted by an FTP server, select FTP from the Add Destination drop-down menu – the Add FTP Publishing Destination dialog will appear.


Define the connection to an FTP server.

Define the destination as follows:

  1. Give the destination a meaningful Name.
  2. Enter your FTP Account credentials.
    1. Enter the Server Name - this may be an IP address (such as 123.45.1.1), a domain name (such as myserver.com), or a hostname if located on your local area network (such as myserver).
    2. Enter your User Name and Password to log into your FTP server.
  3. Optionally specify a directory on your FTP server to store the published data. Type the path directly in the Directory field, or click the  button to browse and select a folder.
  4. Define additional publishing options as required.
  5. Click OK.

A connection to the nominated folder from Altium Designer is made, and an entry will appear for it in the listing of publishing destinations back on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.

Editing the Connection to a Publishing Destination

You can edit the connection to a Publishing Destination at any time, for example if the location of the publishing destination changes. To do this, simply select the entry for the destination in the listing of destinations, then click on the Edit Connection button. A dialog will appear, from where you can modify the connection properties.

Removing a Publishing Destination

To remove a publishing destination, simply select the entry for the destination in the listing of destinations, then click on the Remove button.

Additional Publishing Options

The following additional publishing options are provided (where applicable) when defining a publishing destination:

  • Zip Contents - enable this option to have data compressed into a zip archive before being published. The zip archive can also be password protected if required. This option is available for all publishing destination types.
  • Present Contents in a HTML page - enable this option to generate a HTML index page to list the contents of the published data and aid navigation of the files in a web browser. This option is available for Amazon S3, Folder and FTP publishing destination types.


Example HTML page listing the contents of published data.

Publishing the Data

With Publishing Destinations defined as required, you are able to publish release data for a board design either from the Item view, the Vaults panel, or from an OutputJob file:

  • From the Item view, simply select the specific revision of the Item you wish to publish documents for. Publishing commands are available from the right-click menus for the Released Documents and Design Snapshot regions respectively. While you can publish just the Released Documents, or just the Design Snapshot, from these respective regions, both menus contain a command for publishing all documents in a single hit.

The publishing sub-menu lists all available Publishing Destinations, by name, as defined on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.


Access publishing-related commands for a particular revision of an Item from within the detailed Item view.

  • From the Vaults panel, simply select the specific revision of the Blank Board or Assembled Board Item you wish to publish documents for, and switch to the Preview aspect view. Publishing commands are available from the right-click menus for the Released Documents and Design Snapshot regions respectively. Again, while you can publish just the Released Documents, or just the Design Snapshot, from these respective regions, both menus contain a command for publishing all documents in a single hit.

The publishing sub-menu lists all available Publishing Destinations, by name, as defined on the Data Management – Publishing Destinations page of the Preferences dialog.


Access publishing-related commands for a particular revision of an Item from within the Vaults panel.

  • From an Output Job file, click on the Generate and publish control for the required Output Container to access publishing commands.
While publishing to a defined Publishing Destination is possible directly from within an Output Job Configuration file, it is advised to publish data only after it has been released to a vault, thereby using data that is guaranteed in its integrity, having passed through the rigorous verification and security of the design release process.

Access publishing commands from within an OutJob file.

In each case, use the subsequent Publish to dialog to define the required destination sub-folder in which to store the data.

Once published, set access rights for the folder, FTP site or Amazon S3 area as required (and if not already), then communicate availability of data to the required people. With a Box publishing destination, determine – through email – who to share the published data with, at the time of publishing (in the Publish to dialog).

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