Circuit Board Electronic Pcb
ODB++ is a proprietary format controlled by Valor and now Mentor, and so, like all proprietary standards, it comes with the risk of vendor lock-in. CAD companies had some concerns about this when ODB++ was controlled by Valor, a CAM company, but these concerns were magnified when a rival CAD company, Mentor, acquired Valor. Although Mentor claims that it "...openly supports inclusion of ODB++ and updates for other EDA tool vendors," it used to restrict access to the specification and required a non-disclosure agreement. The application form used to include a requirement to: "...Demonstrate a customer need for this integration through references from mutual customers. Provide a recommendation from a Mentor Graphics product division or demonstrate the incremental value of this integration to both Mentor Graphics and the partner company." Some direct competitors inferred this meant restricted access. This was a source of frustration not only for competitors but also for the Mentor user community.
In 2012, Julian Coates, director of business development at Mentor's Valor division claimed that, so far, all ODB++ partners, including competitors to Mentor, who have applied for assistance to build and maintain ODB++ interfaces via the ODB++ Solutions Alliance have been accepted without reservation or cost. In addition, the format specification is now openly available via the ODB++ Solutions Alliance without the need for NDA. Membership of the ODB++ Solutions Alliance is free of charge and open to anybody who registers. A no-charge ODB++ Viewer and other software utilities are available to registrants.