Vault components offer a 'next-generation' model, that effectively maps the concept of a design component – in the traditional electronics design arena – to the component as seen by the rest of the organization in the bigger 'product arena'. A truly 'Unified Component' model that not only represents the component in the different design domains (Schematic Capture, 2D/3D PCB Layout) but also facilitates choices of the desired physical components – real-world manufactured parts – at design-time, offering a significant improvement in terms of procurement cost and time, when manufacturing the assembled product.
Under this modeling paradigm, the design component, as seen by the designer, is separated from the Manufacturer and/or Vendor parts. This information is not defined as part of the component. Instead, a separate vault Item – a Part Choice List Item – is used to map the design component to one or more Manufacturer Parts, listed in a Part Catalog, which in turn can be mapped to one or more Vendor parts, allowing the designer to state up-front, what real parts can be used for any given design component used in a design.
These components, along with their part choices, are stored in a target Altium Vault.
And a significant advantage of using Altium's own Vault-based components - in the Altium Content Vault - is that they are managed for you, so you can be confident that they are up-to-date, available and correctly implemented. Making use of Altium's vault components also avoids the need to create and manage large collections of local component libraries.