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Modern electronic designs have many stakeholders involved in the process. It is not uncommon for schematic drawing and pre-design simulation to be done in-house while the layout is handled by a third-party design partner.
Allegro® Pulse not only provides a platform for managing and sharing data between engineers within an organization but also for sharing that data outside of the platform. For example, users may want to leverage Version Control for their layouts, even when shared outside of Allegro Pulse environment for editing. This functionality is available for both Allegro® PCB Designer board files as well as Allegro® Package Designer files.
The version control process is split into two simple operations, enabled by Allegro Pulse assigning a unique ID to each project it manages:
The first step is to lock a layout for editing, sometimes referred to as checking out the file.
When working with an Allegro Pulse-managed design, simply right-click the green eye status icon at the bottom-right of the layout editor window and select Lock. An icon instantly appears to signify to other Allegro Pulse users that the design is locked for editing.
After it is locked, a .brd or .mcm file can be shared by email, FTP, or by other means with a third-party layout group. Even while outside of the Allegro Pulse environment, the file retains its unique Pulse ID. The third-party layout group can use Save As to rename the layout as needed. Suffixes such as _v1, _v2, etc. are common to internally keep track of the layout process. When the layout is shared back for committing into Allegro Pulse, the Pulse ID flags it as a new version of the original shared file and allows it to be committed to Allegro Pulse.
The second step is to commit, or check in, the changes received. After the third-party layout group is done with their changes, they can simply transfer the file back to the original Allegro Pulse user. When the layout file is opened, Allegro Pulse recognizes it as the same design, and it will still have the lock on the bottom-right of the Allegro layout editor.
The only thing left to do is to commit the layout back into the Allegro Pulse environment. It is recommended to have a clearly defined standard for adding tags and comments when committing to improve traceability of the whole process.
The third-party layout partner cannot use their own Allegro Pulse Version Control with the layout. That would overwrite the unique Pulse ID. Aside from this limitation, you can use this method to seamlessly share layout data outside of the Allegro Pulse platform when required.
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The BoardSurfers series provides solutions to the various tasks related to the creation and management of PCB design using the Allegro platform products. The name and logo of this series are designed to resonate with the vision of making the design and manufacturing tasks enjoyable, just like surfing the waves. Regular, new blog posts by experts cover every aspect of the PCB design process, such as library management, schematic design, constraint management, stackup design, placement, routing, artwork, verification, and much more.