I know it and you know it. Electronic design cycles are a challenge. All that back and forth between designers, board engineers, CAD librarians, mechanical designers, suppliers, manufacturers, and component engineers can be difficult to manage.
Typically, designers and board engineers are assigned a specific area of the design to work on, based on their physical location or functional area of the PCB. But, real collaboration involves working in parallel across separate areas of a design, or concurrently by comparing and merging parts of the design to complete a single product.
Collaboration is so much easier however, when you are aware of what other team members are doing – a bird’s eye view of the whole design so to say. This is particularly important when many people work in parallel, such as simultaneously editing a schematic. In Allegro® System Capture, you can easily use the Version Control user interface to view changes made by other team members before updating your own design.
But simply being able to see what others are doing isn’t quite enough. Using Allegro System Capture, you can also easily check the design with its own previous versions to see how the design has developed. Allegro System Capture also facilitates locking access to parts of your design while you edit them to prevents two users’ overlapping and conflicting changes. There. See? Simple. No need to worry about other team members making changes to a section you’re already working on. Better yet, Allegro System Capture allows for a degree of granularity by enabling object locking at the block or page level.
Finally, in Allegro System Capture, you’ll need to merge the changes (by running an update) made by other designers then commit your own changes so that they are visible to the other users of the team. You can update changes in a single page from another user or update all the pending changes from the whole team (by running the update at the top level of the design hierarchy). You can also choose to abandon the changes you’ve made or overwrite changes made by others with your own.
To simplify team collaboration and save time, you can manage roles, permissions, and groups too. You can organize design team members into customizable roles and groups and share designs with an entire group or a specific role without editing permissions individually.
So, visibility into others’ work and being able to update your design with others’ changes doesn’t mean it’s all hunky dory, but really, with the right tools, you can ease some of the more tedious aspects of the design collaboration process.
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