Introduction to Simantics

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Revision as of 17:45, 30 January 2011 by Juha Kortelainen (talk | contribs) (Simantics Development and Open Source)
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This page contains some information about the Simantics platform and its principles and concepts. For more information about the platform and how to join us, visit the simantics platform website

About Simantics Platform

Simantics is a software platform especially for modelling and numerical simulation. It is a grounding to build a modelling and simulation software or to integrate different software tools. Simantics package does not include any "Simantics solver", but all the solvers are third party components. System Dynamics modelling and simulation tool is currently the only Simantics-based open source modelling tool available. To install System Dynamics tool, see installation instructions.

The platform contains graphical client software built on Eclipse software framework and a database server for holding all the data. The innovation under the hood in Simantics is its semantic data model used for practically everything from 2D graphics to modelling data and model domain mappings - the database server. The really nice feature of the semantic data model is the built-in ability to easily map somehow related data in the data base.

In addition to the database, Simantics platform contains many user interface elements and features that are common to most modelling and simulation tools like diagram, symbol library and experiment management. By utilizing the common components, new modelling, simulation and integration solutions don't have to developed from scratch. Common components also make it easier for users to start using new products.

Some examples of what Simantics can be used for:

  • Graphical modelling environment for system simulation: For example plant modelling or electric circuit design using 2D diagram style graphical tools.
  • Solver communication and integration solution: A solution for connecting existing numerical solvers for co-simulation.
  • Solution for complex modelling data management: Data model for complex, large model base management, large model database that is developed by several modellers around the internet.
  • Platform and a set of tools for distributed model development and simulation: Large, worldwide organisations need tools that support their distributed organisation.

Simantics Development and Open Source

Simantics platform is licensed under Eclipse Public license (EPL). The EPL license is relatively flexible open source license and allows the products built on Simantics to have different licensing schema. Our intention is to do, obviously in smaller scale, the same that Linux has done to computer user's community. We try to introduce the same openness and sharing attitude to the modelling and simulation community. There are huge number of excellent simulation software available as open source, but often they lack easy-to-use interface and interoperability. Simantics tries to solve this problem by offering an open, vendor independent platform for pre- and post-processing tools and solver integration. In fact, the powerful data model and rich graphical user interface features enable much more to be built on the platform. With Simantics, we promote open source software, but that does not mean we would not support also proprietary software. All kind of software are welcome to utilise Simantics as long as their licensing does not conflict with the EPL license.

Simantics Concepts and Conventions

Simantics user interface is built on top of Eclipse and thus the user interface logic follows closely the one introduced in Eclipse. Simantics workbench is a desktop development environment, the window of the application. Workbench window contains one or more perspectives. Perspectives contain views and editors and control what appears in certain menus and tool bars. More than one Workbench window can exist on the desktop at any given time. There are usually separate workbench windows for different products.

In Simantics views are used to represent data in different ways and editors are for the actual modelling. The structure of the perspectives with views, editors, menus and toolbars is adopted from Eclipse and is familiar to users that have used Eclipse before for example programming. For users that are not familiar with the Eclipse concepts, more information can be found from the Eclipse Workbench User Guide.

Simantics | System Dynamics Modelling