Ana:Analytica Web Player - old wiki documentation
The Analytica Web Player (AWP) lets anyone view and run an Analytica model via a web browser. It also makes it easy to create web applications with Analytica. Users can open a model, view diagrams and objects, change input variables, and view results as tables and graphs via common web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari. AWP runs the Analytica models on a server computer using ADE (the Analytica Decision Engine).
AWP offers several advantages over Analytica Player for distributing models:
- Users can review and run Analytica models without having to download or install any new software on their desktop -- they don't need to consult their IT department. You can invite model reviewers or users simply by emailing them the URL of a model in AWP.
- Model authors can be sure that end users are using the latest version of models and data posted on the server, without having to worry about distributing updates to users individually.
- By using password-protected AWP accounts, you can reduce the possibility that sensitive or proprietary models will be seen by unauthorized people. (You can also use the information hiding features of Analytica Enterprise to hide selected data or formulas.)
- With the Group Plan to AWP, users can save changes to their models for use in later sessions -- similar to the Analytica Power Player, but not possible with the free Analytica Player.
- Once your organization purchases a subscription, you can make Analytica models accessible to many users, without have to purchase an extra license for each user -- as you would with the Analytica Power Player.
Model authors can upload models into AWP directly from their desktop. Users can save changed models, to revisit them in later sessions. AWP directories are password protected, so only authorized users can view and use models.
We welcome your comments. Please tell us what you think, including how you would like to use AWP, and any additional features you would like.
AWP is like the Analytica Player
AWP offers almost all the features of desktop Analytica Player. It lets you open a model, view diagrams, object windows, and results as graphs or tables. It lets you change any variable designated as an input, including as an Edit table; but it won't let you change other variables or create new objects.
With a Group Plan account, it will let you save a changed model so you can continue with the changed model in a later session. (It will not let you save changes with the Individual Plan.)
How AWP improves on Analytica Player
AWP offers several enhancements that are not (yet) available in desktop Analytica:
- When you move the cursor over a node (without clicking), it highlights the node with a light rectangle around it. After a couple of seconds, it shows the description of the node (if it has one) in a popup balloon. (This Balloon Help feature has also been implemented in Analytica Player 4.4.)
- Like most web applications, you use single not double clicks to drill down -- for example, to open a module diagram.
- It can display a result table or graph, or edit table, embedded in a diagram, instead of having to open the result or edit table in a separate window. As model author in desktop Analytica, you simply make the height of the input or output node greater than four times the default size, i.e. 104 pixels (52 nodesize units). When you upload and open the model with AWP, the graph or table appears embedded in its parent diagram, in the rectangle with size and location specified for the node.
- If you haven't seen AWP in action, you can view a few example models in AWP.
- Play the Rent vs. Buy model in AWP. The Rent vs. Buy model is an Analytica example model used in the Analytica Tutorial. It's a financial model comparing the Net Present Value of renting vs. buying a house. Model navigation is fairly intuitive. You can switch diagrams by clicking on modules or selecting different modules in the outline tree located on the left hide side of the diagram. Clicking on variable nodes generally displays the node's result. Hover the mouse over a node to see its description. One hint, you can right click on a node and select Object view from the popup menu to view the node's attributes in the object tab, notably the node's definition can be viewed here.
- Play the Foxes and Hares model in AWP. The Foxes and Hares model is predator / prey example mode also used in the Tutorial. When playing this model AWP adds beveled gradients and drop shadows to nodes on the influence diagram. Also, the default tabbed UI has been removed. Node descriptions and definitions can be seen by hovering over a node, and model results are displayed directly on the diagram.
Sign up for an Individual account allowing you to view and share your Analytica Models on the web. Your account will be loaded with 25 free credits so you can start using AWP right away. If you are an Analytica user with active Maintenance and Technical Support, you will also receive 25 credits every month at no charge. Credits may also be purchased in blocks of 25 or more for $1 per credit.
Any models you post to your AWP account will be private, and not viewable by others unless you send them an invite to view a particular model. This is a great way to see your own models running in AWP and then share them with others.
With the Group Account you get all features of the Individual Account, plus you create multiple Projects in AWP and you manage multiple users. Within each proejct, users are added and are assigned roles such as Manager, Author and Reviewer which controls their access to that project. Also with the Group Account, users can take snapshots of the models which makes a copy of the model with their own input data saved.
With the Group Account, you can change the logo shown in the upper left corner of the browser window from the Lumina logo to your own organizations logo.
We recently started making AWP much more accessible by introducing metered usage which is tracked using "AWP Credits". This reduces the overall cost of AWP and additionally AWP credit consumption is based on how much you use AWP, so you are no longer paying for AWP sessions that you do not use.
A single AWP credit is used when someone plays models during an AWP session. Here are the two scenarios for AWP credit usage. One, the account holder logs into AWP, and plays AWP models. So in this case, the Individual account holder can run multiple models over a period time, and only a single AWP credit is consumed. The next time an account holder logs in and plays models again, another credit will be consumed. Note that if someone logs in, but does not play any models, no credit is consumed. So you can monitor your AWP account control panels, delete models or buy more credits even consuming a credit.
Similarly, an AWP Individual account holder can send links to their models to their colleagues e.g. via email invites. When one of these colleagues follows these links and plays a model, a credit is consumed. They can replay the same model or open other models during the same AWP session using the same AWP credit.
AWP has a few differences from Analytica in its user interface:
- It only shows one window at a time (plus optionally an outline window on the left)
- Generally, a single click on a variable shows its result, as a table or graph, not object window.
- It offers tabs across the top to show the parent diagram, object view, table, or graph for the selected object.
- The expandable Outline view shows only modules, not variables or other objects. You can switch off display of the Outline by setting a flag within the model. (See AWP Attribute Values for details.)
If your model contains any linked modules or linked libraries, you need to make sure to upload the model file and all of its linked files into the same directory so that AWP will find them. Alternatively, you can embed the linked modules and libraries into the model so that it becomes a single file. There are two ways to do that:
- Open the model. Go through each linked module or library and convert it to the embedded equivalent. You can do this in their object windows. Change its Class to an embedded (i.e. not linked) module or library using the pulldown menu at top left of the Object window. Or you can change the Class in the Attribute Panel, selecting the Class attribute, and then setting the desired class.
- If the model has a lot of linked libraries or modules, it may be easier to select Save a copy in .. from the file menu. In the Save... dialog, check the 'Save everything in one file by embedding linked modules' checkbox. (Available in Analytica 4.2 and later.) See screenshot:
Features of Analytica not available in AWP
These features of Analytica Player are not available in AWP:
- Dialog boxes to change computation and display options, such as the Graph setup, Number format, Diagram and Node styles, Uncertainty Setup, and Preferences dialogs. It uses whatever options and styles you chose in Analytica before uploading the model to AWP.
- Slicer menus for multidimensional results that were introduced in Analytica 4.0. E.g. Color key slicer, Symbol key slicer, Symbol Size Key slicer and bar origin slicer.
- Clickable references.
- It has limited ability to copy and paste a subset of values from and to a table, and no ability to copy diagrams and graphs (except if you use Snagit or a similar application for selecting material to copy).
- No support for 'Check' attribute
- No support for 'MsgBox' function or Progress bar.
- We will be adding these and other features over time to AWP. Let us know if something is missing that you would really like to have.
Features of AWP not available in Analytica
AWP offers several options to modify the style of the user interface:
Tables and graphs in the diagram
- Embed edit tables and result tables and graphs in their parent diagram, so you can see the diagram and results in the Browser window.
- Reserve a space in a diagram to show the edit table, or result table or graph for any node you select in the diagram. This is especially handy for web applications.
More on Embedded Tables and Graphs...
Using Awp_attrib attribute settings
- Don't display the the outline view (the default is on.) The outline is useful to help users navigate around large models, but not needed for small models or when you don't want users to look at all its details.
- Display only the top diagram, and not any submodules -- especially useful for web applications.
- Add bevel and shadows to nodes to make diagrams appear more dramatic.
- Tell AWP not to display things, e.g. don't allow users to save, or restrict model browsing so certain parts of your model are not accessible.
You can control these options with keywords added to a new attribute called Awp_attrib. See AWP Attribute Values for details.
When creating a model in Desktop Analytica you can add an attribute Awp_attrib which can be used to specify certain behaviors when the model is played in AWP. More info...
Transfering data To and From AWP
Moving Model Results from AWP to Excel
Often one wants to move the results of a model run in AWP and transfer them into Excel. There a few ways of doing this. At the upper right of the result table, there is a Copy Table icon. If you click it, the table's contents as displayed in AWP is copied to the clipboard. Then just switch focus to Excel and select Paste.
If the result table has more the 2 dimensions, you can download the results for the entire table as a text file by right clicking the Copy Table icon, and select the 'Download results file'.
Watch this video to see these two approaches demonstrated.
It is possible to connect models in AWP to a remote database (i.e. a database on another computer) using an ODBC connection. With this type of connection, your model can read in input data from the database and write out model results to the database. Setting up the database connection may require some assistance from us so just email us at email@example.com for help.