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Software tool for parts and BOM Management

Thread starter #1
Hello, I am wondering what tools are used by all the people out there for BOM and parts management.

I am trying to setup some software that will help a team of about 5 to 8 engineers that will be developing boards. It would be nice if the libraries for the parts can be created once and referenced by everyone. This means that everyone is using a common name for the parts in the library. While excel is a good enough starting point, the file gets corrupted very easily just with 5 people. There is also no way to do good BOM management in excel.

What other tools are in use for this application?
 

Cicero

Active Member
#2
It sounds like you need something like TortoiseSVN http://tortoisesvn.net/ , or MS Sourcesafe. Can be used for any file, be it Excel or a library file, source code....

They're source/version control programs which control things like that and prevent corruption/overwriting/loss of work etc. Very powerful for source code where multiple users are on the same project and need controlled access to the source files.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#4
I recommend using a shared workbook in Excel. When a user tries to save their data it will show them what other changes have been made in the meantime, and I believe gives them the option to update first before saving their own.

From Office tech support:

If you have a workbook in which you want to allow more than one other person to add or modify data simultaneously, you can set up and save the workbook as "shared" and then make it available on a network share (not a Web server).

As the owner of the workbook, you can prepare it to be shared by entering and formatting the data that needs to be present. When you are finished, click Share Workbook in the Changes group on the Review tab, select your options, and then save the workbook on a network share (not a Web server) that is available to the intended users. Alternatively, you can click Protect and Share Workbook in the Changes group on the Review tab to prevent other users from turning off Change Tracking in the workbook.

Each time that you save the shared workbook, you are prompted with the changes that other users have saved since the last time that you saved the shared workbook. If you want to keep the shared workbook open to monitor progress, Excel can update you with the changes automatically, at timed intervals that you specify, with or without saving the workbook yourself.

When you save changes to a shared workbook, another person who is editing the workbook might have saved changes to the same cells. In this case, the changes conflict, and you are prompted with a conflict resolution dialog box so that you can choose which changes to keep.
And from the help documentation:

To Resolve conflicting changes in a shared workbook:

A conflict happens when two users are both editing the same shared workbook and try to save changes that affect the same cell. Excel can keep only one of the changes in that cell. When the second user saves the workbook, Excel displays the Resolve Conflicts dialog box to that user.

  1. In the Resolve Conflicts dialog box, read the information about each change and the conflicting changes made by the other user.
  2. To keep your change or the other user's change and to advance to the next conflicting change, clickAccept Mine or Accept Other.
    To keep all of your remaining changes or all of the other user's changes, click Accept All Mine or Accept All Others.
  3. To have your changes override all other changes without displaying the Resolve Conflicts dialog box again, do the following:
    1. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Share Workbook.
    2. On the Advanced tab, under Conflicting changes between users, click The changes being saved win, and then click OK.
  4. To view how you or others resolved past conflicts, do the following:
    1. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, click Track Changes, and then click Highlight Changes.
    2. In the When list, select All.
    3. Clear the Who and Where check boxes.
    4. Select the List changes on a new sheet check box, and then click OK.
    5. On the History worksheet (History worksheet: A separate worksheet that lists changes being tracked in a shared workbook, including the name of the person who made the change, when and where it was made, what data was deleted or replaced, and how conflicts were resolved.), scroll to the right to view the Action Type and Losing Action columns.
Conflicting changes that were kept have the Won value for Action Type. The row numbers in the Losing Actioncolumn identify the rows with information about the conflicting changes that were not kept, including any deleted data.

Tip To save a copy of the workbook with all your changes, click Cancel in the Resolve Conflicts dialog box. Then, save a new copy of the file, which requires that you type a new name for the file.
Hope this helps :)

Matt
 
#5
For Schematic and PCB design, our team uses Altium.
We use SVN and Tortoise to share our created components.
When our proj is done, we can easily extract the BOM and gerber files!
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
#7
Altium is like $7000. US, unless your using a pirated version. NI Multisim Blue premium is more affordable, it directly ties your schematic and BOM. If you use Mouser then many of the components are already in the database so when you schematic is complete, you can place your order directly to Mouser via a simple upload of the BOM. The Eval version of Multisim blue is free but is limited to 65 parts and a single schematic page even though the advertisement says different. The eval is only good for very small designs.
 

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