I'm going through the process of starting a bunch of new design work in Altium at the moment at my company, and am trying to decide whether it's worth going through the effort of setting up the Altium Vault infrastructure, vs. just using traditional version control. Here are the pro's and con's as I see them:
- Very good design release and versioning process.
- Easy way to create validated, trusted, versioned components.
- Allows for concept of "items" and design reuse of validated blocks larger than the component level.
- Makes it easy to share design data with vendors and verify that they're looking at the correct version of design data.
- Makes it very difficult for the individual designer to quickly make changes to schematic symbols and footprints for components, without going through vault release process.
- Process to release components and "items" into the vaults is very complex and time-consuming.
In my brief research, it seems like it would take a full-time Altium librarian to keep the wheels greased on a vault and keep the release process of components and designs flowing smoothly. Do any of you out there have any thoughts and experience on the issue? Are there any other small companies or design teams (5-10 engineers working with Altium across design, manufacturing, procurement, etc.) who have found Vaults worth implementing?