SVN Version Control in SOLIDWORKS PCB

Article by Joseph Lyon updated January 30, 2018


Managing PCB design files is easy with the built in Subversion (SVN) Version Control System in SOLIDWORKS PCB. The SVN Version Control System works in collaboration with the SOLIDWORKS PCB Services. An SVN Version Control System works by managing project changes through unique revisions. As files are Commit (checked in) to the repository, a new design revision is created. Multiple users can interact with the latest design revisions, make necessary modifications and communicate changes through the Storage Manager, the built in SVN compliant interface. Incorporating SVN Version Control into your PCB design workflow allows for seamless multi-user collaboration, reduces PCB development time and generates a reliable product development trail.

Enable Version Control

Version Control must be enabled in System Preferences before a project can be commit to a repository.

  • System Preferences > Data Management > Version Control > Enable SVN – Subversion and Use Built-in Subversion
Enable SVN Version Control

Enable SVN Version Control

Creating a Repository

A repository can be created and modified in the PCB Services web interface. User permissions can be configured from the Share button.

Creating a Repository from the PCB Services Web Interface

Creating a Repository from the PCB Services Web Interface

When creating a new project, the repository can be specified.

Creating a Folder for Project Specific Documents

Creating a Folder for Project Specific Documents

Committing to the Repository

Simply adding a project to a repository or saving the project locally does not create a revision in the repository. To create a new revision in the repository, the project must be Commit.

  • Right-click on the Project > Version Control > Commit Whole Project

    Commit Whole Project

If using an existing project, simply Add to Version Control before committing the project to the design repository.

Select Files to Commit

A timeline of revision history can be found in the VCS Revisions window of the Storage Manager.


Version Control Actions

Version control actions are made through the Storage Manager. The Storage Manager acts as the SVN compliant interface for communicating with the repository. The Storage Manager offers complete access to the project structure and revisions. A project must be open with a document active for the Storage Manager to be populated. To open the Storage Manager:

  • View > System > Storage Manager

Open the Storage Manager

When a project is added to version control, the local project is linked to its location in the design repository. The version control system works by monitoring differences between the local files and the files in the design repository.

Showing Differences

A useful feature when dealing with multiple revisions is the ability to compare differences in documents. Changes in both schematic and PCB documents can be compared using the Compare tool.

The locations of the GND port and Capacitor C2 were moved from Revision 2 to Revision 3

By opening the Storage Manager, highlighting the two revisions and selecting Compare, a detailed message list appears outlining any differences between the two schematics.

Compare Revisions

Compare Revisions

Difference Log

Difference Log

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS PCB

Visit our SOLIDWORKS PCB product page, check out our other PCB blog articles, follow us on YouTube or give us a call at 1-877-219-6757 to speak with an electrical expert.

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Joseph Lyon

Joseph is on a twelve month internship with Javelin Technologies and studies mechanical engineering with a mechatronics specialization at Ryerson University.