Page 773 - ExtendSim User Guide
P. 773

Data Management and Exchange 747
ExtendSim databases for internal data storage
ExtendSim databases for internal data storage
A database is a centralized repository for data. The ExtendSim graphical simulation database (GSDB) feature allows you to create internal relational databases for storing, managing, and reporting model data. ExtendSim databases also provide a convenient interface between mod- els and external applications, such as spreadsheets and external databases.
Each model can have multiple databases associated with it and each database can contain mul- tiple tables of data. Each table has fields that represent columns of data, records that represent rows, and cells that are the intersection of a field and a record.
Following the standard convention for databases, ExtendSim databases are organized by field and record (similar to being organized by column and row.) However, data tables, arrays, and external spreadsheets are organized by row and column. This is important to remember if you transfer data between ExtendSim databases and other data structures such as global arrays.
ExtendSim databases are stored with the model. They automatically open when the model opens and are automatically saved or closed when the model is saved or closed.
Using ExtendSim’s data access blocks or the dynamic data linking interface you can link model parameters to a database without writing any code. In this manner, parameter-based models can be easily changed to database-driven models.
How this section is organized
Because the ExtendSim database feature is such an extensive system, this section of the man- ual is divided into several topics:
• Advantagesofusinganinternaldatabase.
• WaystocreateanExtendSimdatabaseandmethodsforexchangingdatawithit. • How to create an ExtendSim database.
• Establishing a parent/child relationship between two database table fields.
• Managingdatabases,tables,andfields.
• Database dialogs and popup menus.
• UsinganExcelAdd-InforExtendSimdatabases.
For additional information, also see these sections of the chapter:
• “Dynamic linking to internal data structures” on page 737.
• “Blocks for data management and exchange” on page 772.
Advantages of using internal databases
There are many advantages to using an internal database. For instance, you can:
• Separate the data from the model for better project and experiment management.
• Organize information in a logical fashion, either within one database or across several data- bases.
• Create, view and manipulate data by product type, location, components, or any other com- mon characteristic.
• Provide a centralized location for information that is used in several parts of a model.
• Get easier access to different sets of data depending on model needs.
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