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Altium Concord!

JohnsonMiller , 02-25-2020, 08:47 AM
Hi Guys,

I come across Altium Concord Pro, wondering do you have any experiences with this tool? What task of board design it is targeted for?
Is it a standalone and separate tools, or is somehow pluggable tool for AD?

robertferanec , 02-26-2020, 10:53 AM
I have played with Concord Pro for some time. I wanted to make a video about it, but ... I am not planning to use Concord Pro in my own company so in final I didn't make the video. Concord Pro is basically a system where you can manage your projects and libraries - if you do not use Concord Pro, you have to setup everything by yourself e.g. database, libraries, svn / git, file versioning etc. Also Concord Pro integrates everything together and it is well supported directly in Altium (so with Concord you can for example see where components are used - not possible with external libraries).

However - it is an extra cost (you have to pay extra licenses) and what I do not like ... it is a piece of software which you feed up with hours and hours of your work and you do not have control over that software (you do not have full control over the hours and hours of your work). So, simply to say, once you start using it, there is no simple way to go away from it - you will have to keep paying the licenses.

Concord PRO is an independent stand alone piece of software running on your server (or on a PC in your company or in cloud). Simply to say, Altium can connect (everything what you need to set in Altium is address, login & password to your Concord Pro) to this software and once you are connected, you can work with the content you stored in Concord - you can work with projects, libraries, components, templates, etc .... all this will be then easily accessible and manageable from Altium.

Now, even it looks like once you have Concord Pro, you have full setup for perfect Hardware Development department - you still need to come up with some rules how your team is going to use it - e.g naming conventions, structures, etc. - you need to agree on the rules so everybody is using it the same way. So, once you installed Concord Pro and you have it running, there is still some work to do until it can be fully used to it's possibilities.

Some companies may love it - especially the companies with bigger teams or companies what need to follow standards. But then maybe go for NEXUS (Simply to say Altium + Concord with installation and setup tailored to specific company).
JohnsonMiller , 02-28-2020, 01:22 AM
Thank you Robert for the clear explanation.
JohnsonMiller , 01-11-2021, 02:24 AM
I am wondering can Altium Concord replace database component libraries?
robertferanec , 01-11-2021, 03:19 AM
Concord pro is basically the same as Altium 365 (just on your own servers), so if you would like to get an idea how it works, this my video can help: https://youtu.be/7p-VeVCl3QI

It can be actually super useful, just you need to keep in mind, that you would need to pay additional licenses and you would not have full control over the libraries, you would have to use what Concord would provide. However, what Concord provides may be more than what you have now - for example I love component lifecycle integration, I like that it is a complete solution and I like that it makes it easy to collaborate on libraries.

Also, if you use Concord, the components will be under "managed components" and Altium provides some additional features to work with these (e.g. in the ActiveBOM you can directly see livecycle status etc).

Personally, for may small company I would not buy it (it would add extra cost), but if it would be free, I would use it.

mnpebm , 01-11-2021, 03:08 PM
I also wonder of the benefit of Concord Pro on A365 given the cost and given my small size (just me!). Perhaps, being very organized with file-based libraries is the way to go.
JohnsonMiller , 01-11-2021, 11:30 PM
Let's add this comment to @mnpebm 's point; in small companies preferred form is database libraries. Is there any feature that Concord may offer? Can we use them in parallel?
mnpebm , 01-12-2021, 05:05 AM
I have been using Altium a long time and have never been clear on how to setup DB libraries.

I am actually using Concord Pro on A365. I am giving it a "test" so to speak.

There are many nice features: lifecycles for all managed content, component availability information, and templates of various kinds. I also know of some who say it is easier to work with mechanical design packages such as Solid Works than simply importing/exporting .STEP files. Sharing data with customers through the web-interface is supposed to be easier as well.

Using component templates for example, it is easy to create a new component, where I combine common parameters (capacitors for example) with correct symbol and footprint. My work-flow makes this quick and easy. For example, I have a template for an 0402 capacitor which already has the symbol and three different footprints representing density levels.
robertferanec , 01-14-2021, 03:20 AM
I would not say it is about features. Concord and A365 is very comfortable to use. If you do not use Concord, you still can do almost everything also when you use DB libraries, just many times you may need to find some work arounds or it is not a straight forward implementation (e.g. symbol and footprint versioning, it can be done in DB libraries, but much easier in Concord).

In most cases Concord will be definitely easier to use (and setup) than some files or database libraries.

In my opinion, the decision is mostly about:
- if you have money or if you can justify the money spent for licenses e.g. saying Concord will save your engineer's time
- if you are comfortable with giving out control over your libraries to a software

If the answer on both questions is Yes, then have a look at Concord / A365.

PS: yes you can use components from all the kind of different libraries in parallel, just I believe if you would start using Concord, you may also start moving your original libraries there.
mnpebm , 01-14-2021, 12:29 PM
I am also looking at this as an opportunity to improve my libraries as I develop my A365 environment slowly, making things more consistent and reusable. Ways I did things in the past, that I wish I hadn't.
JohnsonMiller , 01-19-2021, 09:23 AM
Sorry for this question may sound stupid, but frankly, I am confused; so what the Nexus does? Is it related to component creation, too?
mnpebm , 01-19-2021, 09:38 AM
Here is a page that explains this:
This page presents a listing of frequently asked questions for Altium Concord Pro. Covers general questions, as well as those regarding licensing, component management, design management, ECAD-MCAD CoDesign, component synchronization and upgrading
robertferanec , 01-19-2021, 11:48 AM
Altium mixed that up, but simply to say, just forget about Nexus. Currently, if I understand right, Nexus is only for very big companies and it is a kind of highly customized solution.
JohnsonMiller , 01-20-2021, 12:27 AM
@robertferanec , thank you for the answer; and the next thing that I really do not get is that fact the component creation, data management, and so on, are a crucial part of the design flow, why Altium put these high-end services in another and separate product? It should be integrated into the main Altium product, Altium + Concord, activating with different licenses.
robertferanec , 01-20-2021, 12:44 AM
why Altium put these high-end services in another and separate product? It should be integrated into the main Altium product, Altium + Concord, activating with different licenses.
- Money?

PS: I am not sure how much time they still keep investing into improving support for file or database libraries. For example, DB library support in Altium could be improved and would be super useful, I am just not sure if they really want to do that.
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