My Top 5 Features in SIMUL8 2010
By SIMUL8 CTO, Frances Sneddon
New Online Help Files
SIMUL8 Help files have been completely updated. All the content has been refreshed and we’ve made them available online, don’t worry though, we’ve also included an offline version.
Being online means you always get the most recent and up-to-date help files. We wanted this flexibility because we’re making a commitment to make our Help Files completely comprehensive so that you can get the most out of SIMUL8. We will be continually updating the Help Files with extended ‘How to Guides’ and if there’s anything you want to see extended or added contact us and I’ll make sure it happens.
Read the new help files at support.SIMUL8.com/help
Custom charts can now read data from our spreadsheets. Yes, you could always have charts within spreadsheets do this, but with custom charts your onscreen and floating run time charts can read this data too.
I love this feature because it gives you complete flexibility. For instance, because they read from a spreadsheet you can control the values displayed on the x axis. I and lots of you have been screaming for this flexibility for years!
Also there are several new Visual Logic commands that let you control when your chart is updated. This means you have the flexibility but without sacrificing run speed. So if you know your chart only needs to update at the end of each day, then you only update it then.
Combine this with the new Visual Logic Custom Report event that lets you tailor your report, and you have truly dynamic and responsive result charts.
Visual Logic Line by Line Undo
This is such a small feature (although I happen to know it was a huge amount of development work!) but the impact is huge. So often I write Visual Logic lines then think ‘that’s not quite right’ and the only way to get back was to undo the whole lot. SIMUL8 2010 has made this process so much easier and I’m SO glad to finally see this feature added.
Resource Schedules let you set up a table to vary the number of resources available rather than specifying a fixed number. The only way you could do this previously was through Visual Logic but now we’ve automated it for you. We’ve introduced a quick and easy set up that lets you vary the number of resources available by minute, hour, day, week and month allowing you to build your models so much faster.
Visual Logic Command Browser
This feature creates a browsable, searchable list of Visual Logic commands in a docked window. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but trust me this will revolutionize how you write Visual Logic and how fast you can do it.
The browser contains a search box that lets you type any part of your Visual Logic command and the browser starts bringing you up a filtered list of commands. This is even better than predictive text because you don’t need to remember the exact syntax, just one word will do. Select your command and the Formula Editor opens giving you all the parameters you need to enter.
As you use the browser it automatically builds up a list of all the commands you’ve recently used and you can also add your favorite commands to a special list so you can always easily get to them.
This is great for the experienced Visual Logic user but also invaluable for the new user who needs an easy way to get familiar with all the commands available to them.
Work Item Visual Logic
OK I know this is actually the sixth feature but I couldn’t just pick 5! I will make this really short to make up for it. Now you can attach Visual Logic to Work Items. This sounds such a small thing but it is so powerful, it makes Agent Based Simulation with SIMUL8 really possible.
Read More on SIMUL8 2010
The above are my favorite features but there is lots more in SIMUL8 2010 that I know you’ll benefit from. Read the full feature tour on our website.