Picking up from where we left off in the previous post, let’s look at some more new and interesting changes made in Hotfix 019. As you might already know, Allegro® System Capture is available both for designers who work alone, in small teams, and even those who work in large or distributed teams in enterprises. While most of the logic capture features work the same way for designers, some enhancements come into play in larger setups. For example, designers who work in smaller setups usually manage libraries, designs, procurements, and so on. Whereas, in enterprises, there are dedicated teams to manage components in libraries, parts procurement, design servers, user permissions, access to design resources, and so on.
The administration side of Allegro System Capture and the key differentiators for an enterprise setup is what we will explore in this Part 2 post. A small inside piece of trivia; many of the features covered in this post are from Allegro® Pulse, the design and data management application that can be considered the central nervous system of Allegro System Capture and all its related applications. These applications work together so seamlessly that at most times you won’t realize which one’s doing what. But, you’ll need to have specific rights and permissions for accessing all aspects of what we are now getting into.
Unified Search is the window from where designers access and retrieve parts that they want to add to their designs. User accounts with administrator privileges can fine-tune the default search filters. They can lock each filter breadcrumb. In the case of shared designs, the project owners can define the default search filter. Once they lock filter breadcrumbs, for example, set the RoHS property to YES, and lifecycle not equal to Obsolete, no other design team member can remove or change these settings. This is available to projects that are created from templates. (Just a recap, we talked about template-based project creation earlier.)
An administrator can configure part attribute-based rules to control component selection by designers. The rules the administrator sets control what is visible to designers in Unified Search and Live BOM.
In standalone setups, there are rarely any dedicated administrators and lone wolf designers don’t really require this level of filters. Consequently, the way information is displayed to them is different. You’ll notice that some fields, such as LIFECYCLESTATUS and RoHS compliance, are not displayed in the following image.
Version management has been extended to connect schematic and layout versions. You can easily add metatags to schematic files and layout files to document what version they are made for. In-tool notifications of available updates for linked designs ensure that layout engineers can open the exact version of the Allegro System Capture design, and schematic engineers can easily find the corresponding version of the Allegro® PCB Editor layout file. It just makes things easier to track and locate when needed.
Live BOM now includes charts that pictorially summarize BOM details. Manufacturer part details are also displayed in the Part Details window.
When working in enterprises or connected to a central Pulse server, project and library data can be accessed from a browser-based dashboard. There are direct and easy-to-recall URLs to project lists, Unified Search, part requests, and specific designs. Information for all projects can be made available anywhere using a web browser. This comes in handy when creating seed projects. All the project details, such as description, status, BOM, schematic history, and a PDF of the schematic design, can be accessed from this dashboard. You can even add parts to the project BOM from the Search tab of the dashboard.
After the design is complete, one of the most critical tasks is to ensure the right data, in the right structure, is published to the PLM system for manufacturing. You can now use multiple configuration templates. This allows different groups to publish data per their unique requirements. Transitioning from one PLM system to another or supporting multiple PLM systems is now easier. We’ve added role- and user-specific access. This enables administrators to control who can publish to PLM and even the structure of the published data.
That brings me to the end of what’s new in this hotfix release for Allegro System Capture. We’ll soon be back with more in-depth overviews of features. Stay with us as we continue to explore what’s new in the world of Allegro System Capture, Allegro Pulse, and other Allegro applications.
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