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Estimated completion time → 5 hours.
This tutorial is a more advanced version of the Introductory Batch Application Tutorial. It is aimed at an Author who has already completed one of the introductory tutorials. In it, we develop, document, Test and Publish an EASA Application. The tutorial provides step-by-step instructions to guide you from start to finish. It is designed to be as comprehensive as possible, covering a wide a range of features available to an Author.
Please read this tutorial through completely before getting started.
It may be useful to read the Author's Pages.
The tutorial is broken up into nine separate practical sessions as follows:
Please note that these practical sessions are designed to be completed in sequential order.
Upon completion of the tutorial, you will most likely want to start creating an EASAP around your own software applications. EASA has been employed to drive a wide variety of software applications such as commercial CAD, FEA, CFD and process simulation tools, as well as in-house or legacy codes. The EASA Technical Support Team has experience in creating EASAPs around such software, and therefore we suggest that you contact our support personnel at email@example.com for guidance before embarking on your own EASAPs.
Let’s assume your organization uses various tools, which may include in-house codes and/or models created using commercial applications such as Excel® or MATLAB®. Let’s also assume there is a requirement to deploy some of these tools, with an easy-to-use User Interface, to end-users who may not be expert at using the tools in their “native” form.
This tutorial will guide you through the creation of an “EASAP” (a custom web application), which simplifies and automates the process of using a batch application. In this case, it is a structural analysis tool, but it could be almost any type of application. Our goals include the creation of an intuitive interface which enables error-free usage with little or no learning curve for end-users. In addition, we would like end-users to be able to store results in a central repository and to share results with colleagues.
While you can create EASAPs which drive any kind of software (in-house or commercial) that can be run in batch mode, the tool to be driven in this tutorial is a code which performs a simple structural analysis of a rectangular plate. This application was written by Herbert Whitman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and is freely available at http://www.fseas.info/.
It is an example of a simple DOS program that does not have a graphical user interface – it is a ‘command line driven code’. To run this program in its original form, you would open a DOS command prompt, change your directory to the program location, and type in the name of the main executable, femrctpl.exe. You then would be prompted to supply a series of inputs, as shown in the figures below.
As can be seen in the second figure, you would also need to supply the name of an input data file, created prior to running the program, using a text editor. An example of the expected form for this input data file is shown in the figure below left.
The output produced by the program takes the form of text and tabular data. A portion of this output is shown in the figure below right.
The results computed by the program include the local displacements, the local bending moments and the reactions on the supported edges.
Clearly, this is not a process that you would expect a new user to be able to execute in its current form without some training. More generally, while many commercial applications offer capable GUIs, they are usually designed to allow expert users to solve many different types of problems, rather than enabling a non-expert to quickly and intuitively execute a specific process.
In this tutorial, we will take a difficult, “expert-only” process, and “wrap” the process into an intuitive web application, enabling error-free usage by non- experts.
Note: This tutorial is designed for use with an EASA Server computer that is running under Windows. If your EASA Server is running under Linux, then please contact our support personnel at email@example.com to make arrangements for receiving a Linux server compatible version of the tutorial.
Below is brief description of each file.
|femrctpl.exe||Main executable of rectangular plate analysis program|
|input.txt||Input file for rectangular plate analysis program|
|plate.txt||Input data file for rectangular plate analysis program|
|logo.jpg||Image file of EASA logo|
|plate.gif||Image file used as a thumbnail or selection image|
|load2.gif||Image file used in diagrams|
|material.txt||Text file containing physical property data for a list of materials|
|plate.html||Template HTML file for report of results|
|plate2.ccl||Template object file to be imported into your EASAP|
|load1.ccl||Template object file to be imported into your EASAP|
|load2.ccl||Template object file to be imported into your EASAP|
|Helpfile.doc||Help file as a MS Word document|
First check with your Administrator that you have a user ID with Author privileges.
Note: If you see an Unpublish button, then the EASAP is already published.
We are now ready to start Session 1.