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Practical Session 3: Connect an EASAP to Software

Estimated completion time→20 minutes.

In this practical session, we will create a process to run the software application, manipulate user inputs into a form suitable for the batch file, and edit a batch input file into a template with 'delimited' object references or DORs.

  • Start EASA, log in, and Set Mode→Author.
  • Click on our EASAP under EASA→Author→Applications→My EASAPs
  • Click on EASAP Builder link on the new page.

The first task is to upload a few files required by the EASAP.

  • Select the Files tab just above the Tree in EASAP Builder.
  • Click on the Browse button
  • Select the folder on the local computer with the unzipped tutorial file archive.
  • Double-click input.txt
  • Click the Upload button.

The input.txt file will be added to the list of current files shown below the Browse and Upload buttons.

input.txt contains text responses that would otherwise be typed at the command prompt

  • Upload the following files as well:
    • femrctpl.exe is the executable
    • plate.txt contains input data
    • report.html forms the basis of the output report

Now we create the PROCESS for running the plate analysis software.

  • Click on the Tree.
  • Right-click the PROCESSES branch
    • Select Child→Add PROCESS
    • Rename it runplate
    • Set:
Parameter Name Parameter Value
Run Using:cmd.exe /C "femrctpl.exe < input.txt"

Now we set up the objects needed to manipulate the user input data into a form appropriate for replacement within the batch input file, in this case, plate.txt.

Now we create a MAP to map a particular plate material into the modulus of elasticity which is required by the plate analysis software.

  • Right-click SCALAR under the new DATA PROCESSING
    • Select Child→Add MAP
    • Rename it modulus
    • Set the parameters in the table below:
    • Tip:
      • Highlight and CTRL-c to Copy the contents of parameter:
        • TABBED PANE LIST→input→mat→Choices:
      • Then CTRL-v to Paste into:
        • modulus→Inputs:
Parameter Name Parameter Value
Inputs:Steel, Aluminum, Titanium
Outputs:27600, 10600, 15000

Create a similar MAP for the material’s Poisson ratio.

  • Right-click modulus
    • Copy and right-click Paste (Sibling)
    • Rename the new MAP poisson
    • Set:
Parameter Name Parameter Value
Outputs:0.305, 0.33, 0.34
  • Click Save.

Now we translate the plate’s dimensions into the expected uniform element size in the input file. The plate is divided into 20 elements along its length. Create a COMPUTE:

  • Right-click poisson
    • Select Sibling→Add COMPUTE
    • Rename it dx
    • Set:
Parameter Name Parameter Value
Unit Group:Length

Now we add a REPLACEMENT object for runplate's input file, plate.txt.

Our EASAP will replace the values in plate.txt with new values directly prior to each run of the batch program.

  • Right-click runplate
    • Select Child→Add REPLACEMENT
    • Set the following parameter from the dropdown list:
      • File: plate.txt

The PROCESSES branch of the EASAP Tree should look like this:

  • Note: The order of execution within a PROCESS object is always:
    1. DATA PROCESSING objects,
    2. REPLACEMENT objects,
    3. Commands specified in the Run Using: parameter of the PROCESS object,
    4. The CLEAR FILESPACE object.

Therefore the order of objects on the Tree within a PROCESS is not important. However, the order of execution of multiple PROCESS objects is based on their order on the Tree, occurring from top to bottom.

  • Save the EASAP.
  • Select replacement1
    • Click on the Open Template Editor button () in the toolbar.

The Template Editor will start in a new window.

We now replace fixed input values such as text strings and numbers with object references.

  • On the third line of the file,
    • Highlight 0.5
    • Double-click dx in the list to designate it as an object reference (or DOR)
      • '0.5' will be replaced by a highlighted 'dx'
      • Set its Units: to ft above via the toolbar.

Tip: If there is a problem setting the units of a 'delimited' object reference, or DOR, ensure that the Unit Group: parameter has been set properly for the dx COMPUTE. To go back and make a change in EASAP Builder, keep Template Editor open and just select File→Reload after saving a new change in the Builder.

  • Again on the third line,
    • Highlight 1.5,
    • Double-click on t to designate it as an object reference
      • Set its Units to in
  • Highlight 3500,
  • Double-click modulus to designate it as an object reference
  • Highlight 0.2
  • Double-click poisson
  • Move to the sixth line, below the word ‘LOADS’,
    • Highlight 2.5
    • Double-click Lu to designate it as an object reference
      • Set its Units to kip/ft.
  • Save the file by clicking on the Save button ().

At this point the file will appear in the Template Editor like the figure on the next page:

Once the file looks correct,

  • Exit the Template Editor, select File→Exit.

At this point, our EASAP will be ready for its first test run. Even though the OUTPUT branch is empty and nothing will be displayed on the results pages, we may still submit a test run and take a look at what is produced at this point.

  • In the Builder click on the Test Web Browser button () at the far left of the 2nd toolbar.
  • After the EASAP window appears, click on the Submit EASAP button ().

After a second or two, a pop-up window will appear when the EASAP has been submitted successfully.

  • Click OK on this pop-up window.
  • Close the EASAP window and focus back on the EASA→Authoring→Testing page.

This page should look like the figure on the following page:

  • Locate the application that we just submitted in the testing table.

It will probably be the only entry in the table. If there are not any rows in the table, click the refresh button on the browser. Now, look at the Status column for the run we just submitted. It may show a variety of messages.

  • ‘Queued’ means then the job is waiting for another job to finish before starting to run.
  • A numerical percentage number means the job is currently running.
  • ‘Completed’ means the job is done.

Once the job has completed, look at the files produced by the test run.

  • Click on the Browse Files button () in the Files column for the run.

A pop-up window will appear that will look like the following page:

Let’s look at the input file, plate.txt, and see the result of the object reference replacements.

  • Click on the link and the window’s display should look like the following figure:

If the above file content is not visible there may be an error in the EASAP settings or in the template input file. We can attempt to fix these problems at this time or wait until Practical Session 5, where we test and debug the completed EASAP.

  • Click on the Back button after reviewing the file.

Now let’s look at the output file, PLATE.OUT, produced by the underlying software application.

  • Click on the link and the window’s display should look like the following figure:

If the PLATE.OUT link or the above file content is missing, there is an error in the EASAP settings or in the template input file.

After reviewing the file, close the window.

Now, review the data values produced by the EASAP. In the 'delimited' object references or DORs column for the recent EASAP run,

  • Click on the View DOR Information button ()

A new table will appear in the browser window that will look like the following figure:

We are now finished with Practical Session 3.

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