This paper was produced for the 2019 NAFEMS World Congress in Quebec Canada
Initially developed in 2002, JET (Job Execution Tool) is an early example of a database driven SDM solution for automating routine CFD activities. Developed in house by the team at Abercus, it has proven to be an invaluable tool for over 15 years. However, the tool has several limitations, the most significant relating to its ability to easily adapt to workflows for new areas of application areas. While these limitations were recognised during the initial development phase, it was anticipated that JET would be a temporary solution and that the simulation software vendors would soon develop something better. JET was fit for purpose as a temporary solution because, at that time, all work undertaken by the team conformed to one of six well defined workflows and hence the flexibility to adapt to new simulation workflows was less crucial. Having assumed that a viable, alternative commercial tool would soon emerge, further development of the tool was restricted.
By 2015, however, a commercial tool suitable for Abercus’ needs had still not materialised. In the meantime Abercus had updated JET over the years to capture new workflows but each time a new workflow was added the process was more difficult due to constraints from the original development scope. At that time, and spurred on by conversations at a NAFEMS SPDM conference, Abercus started to explore open source options for a new SDM solution – this was documented in our paper at the NAFEMS World Congress in Stockholm in 2017 . It was found that whilst the tools explored were undoubtedly powerful, there was much to learn and it was concluded that this may not be the best approach for Abercus’ needs. The experience did, however, encourage us to restart the development of JET. Indeed, having had the opportunity to explore other options, Abercus realised that some of our original ideas in 2002 were really quite sensible – but at that time we did not have the conviction to implement them within the original tool.
Since 2017, Abercus has started to redevelop JET from afresh, free from the constraints imposed by our early development decisions in 2002. This paper presents the new architecture for the underlying database, the user interface and discusses the implementation of the tool within a client’s business. For our client, the deployment of JET has enabled its simulation capability to mature from CMMI L1-L2, where simulation processes are ad hoc and rely upon the heroics of individuals, towards CMMI L3, where processes are well characterised and understood . Our client is now well placed to further improve its simulation capabilities in a measured and controlled manner in future.