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Getting started

This page provides an overview and brief instructions on how to use the main features and capabilities of pSeven Enterprise.

Integration and automation

pSeven represents a design process as a workflow - a dataflow chart, which captures the process logic as a set of data-dependent subtasks. Each subtask becomes a block in the workflow. Blocks have named inputs and outputs called ports. To pass data between blocks, you connect ports with links, at the same time specifying the data dependencies.

A typical optimization workflow in pSeven, which uses several blocks to pre-process the starting parameters, run optimization, and post-process the results. Arrows show data links between the blocks. Colored links indicate an optimization loop controlled by the Optimizer block; the dashed link shows that some parameters are passed inside the loop.

There is no need to set up the block execution order - pSeven automatically resolves the data dependencies between blocks and, when you run a workflow, launches its blocks in the order defined by links. Each block starts as soon as it receives inputs, processes the input data, and sends outputs. Different blocks may work in parallel - for example, if they receive input data at the same time.

Parameters and results

Design process parameters and results are selected from workflow ports.

Any input port of any block can be selected as a parameter:

  • Select a block in the workflow.
  • In the Block properties pane, find the input and mark it as a parameter.
A parameter port.

Any input or output port of a Composite block can be added to results:

  • Select a Composite block in the workflow.
  • In the Composite properties pane, find the port and add it to results.
A results port.

To view all workflow parameters and results, unselect all blocks (click an empty area in the workflow) to show the Run setup pane.

The Run setup pane listing some workflow parameters and results.


pSeven Enterprise supports various ways of collaboration:

  • Sharing workflows and creating shared workspaces
  • Collaborative editing of shared workflows
  • Publishing workflows as web apps (see Workflow publishing)

Shared workspace

In pSeven Enterprise, you can give other users access to workflows or folders located at the root of your home folder. Sharing a folder also shares all its contents, so you can use folders to create multiple shared workspaces for different projects.

To create a share, hover over a folder or workflow and click the share icon. You can also select a single item in the Explorer pane and use the Share folder... command from the pane's menu.

Creating a share. Note that the share has to be located at the root of your home folder.

Clicking the share icon or using the respective command opens the sharing settings dialog, where you can add users and set their access rights. Users with read-only access are allowed to view the share's contents and run shared workflows but cannot make changes. Users with read-write access can participate in editing.

The sharing settings dialog.

Once you have set up a share, pSeven displays a persistent share icon next to the share's name. Clicking this icon opens the same sharing settings dialog, so you can add or remove users for a given share as well as change the user access rights to this share.

A shared folder. Clicking the share icon opens the sharing settings dialog.

Collaborative editing

pSeven Enterprise provides for multi-user editing of workflows. Users who have access to a shared workflow can work on it concurrently - for example, add and configure different blocks. Changes to the workflow made by different users are synchronized in real time.

Two users working with a shared workflow.

Design space exploration

pSeven Enterprise enables effective design space exploration by using pSeven Core - a Python library containing tools for optimization, design of experiments (DoE), and data analysis.

Design space exploration tools powered by pSeven Core.

Design space exploration methods supported by pSeven Core include:

  • classic space-filling DoE methods;
  • DoE methods optimized for response surface methodology (RSM);
  • optimized DoE for Gaussian processes modeling;
  • adaptive DoE methods for tasks with linear and generic constraints;
  • single- and multi-objective optimization;
  • robust optimization;
  • sensitivity analysis, and more.

The pSeven Core library is embedded into pSeven Enterprise by default. To use its methods, add a Python script block to your workflow, then import the desired pSeven Core modules in the block's script.

Predictive modeling

pSeven can train and evaluate predictive models using the training algorithms from pSeven Core. Training techniques supported by pSeven Core include:

  • Gaussian processes;
  • mixture of approximators, which enables incremental model training, useful to update an existing model with new data;
  • tensor products of approximations for full-factored datasets;
  • data fusion methods for training on multiple datasets of different fidelity;
  • gradient boosted regression trees, response surface modeling, spline approximation, and other.
Predictive modeling tools powered by pSeven Core.

pSeven Enterprise also enables the deployment of predictive models as web services. You can load a pSeven Core model into a Python script block in a workflow, then connect to it through the REST API - see Workflow as a service for details.

Workflow publishing

In pSeven Enterprise, you can publish any workflow as a web app to AppsHub - a built-in repository of workflow-powered web applications. These apps expose simplified UI, which by default displays only workflow parameters and run results. It is also possible to replace the stock app UI, which is provided by pSeven Enterprise, with a custom app UI tailored to that specific app - for example, to include visualization of results, app usage guidelines, and so on. Any user who has access to AppsHub can run any app without configuring or editing the workflow that powers the app - so the use of apps does not require experience with pSeven Enterprise.

An example workflow-powered app with the stock app UI.

To publish a workflow, select it in the Explorer pane, then select Publish to AppsHub... from the pane's menu to open the publish dialog.

Select a workflow in Explorer and use the menu to publish.

In the publish dialog, name your app, add a description and a thumbnail to show on the main AppsHub page.

Workflow publish dialog.

Optionally, you can give other users the permission to obtain a copy of the published workflow. If you select "Allow other users to get the workflow from the app" in the dialog, AppsHub users will be able to download a copy of your workflow to their private workspace. A user who downloads a copy becomes its owner and can edit, configure, and run the obtained workflow. These changes are safe to the app because they apply only to the user's copy of the workflow.

Custom app UI

pSeven Enterprise allows you to replace the stock app UI with a custom app UI to make the app's interface more specific to its tasks.

An example workflow-powered app with a custom app UI.

App UI files are located in the UI folder in the workflow folder. Once a new workflow is created, the UI folder contains the stock UI files. You can download that folder and use the stock UI implementation as a starting point in developing a custom app UI for your workflow.

The app UI folder in a workflow.

Extending pSeven Enterprise

pSeven Enterprise provides various ways to expand its capabilities and integrate with external services. This section lists the expansion options available and provides links to detailed guides.

User blocks

For users who intend to develop custom blocks, pSeven Enterprise provides a user block template, which is available from the block library as well as from examples in AppsHub.

To get the template from the block library:

  • Create a new workflow.
  • Add Example user block from the Common library section (double-click it or drag to the workflow).
  • Double-click the new Example user block created in the workflow to open it. See the block's Help for the development guide.
The user block template in the pSeven Enterprise block library.

To get the template from AppsHub:

  • Switch to AppsHub using the link from your user profile menu.
  • Open the User Block Example app and see the example's description for the development guide.
The user block example in AppsHub.

Workflow as a service

In pSeven Enterprise, workflows can be integrated with external web services and applications using the REST API - the protocol to run existing workflows. A REST client can connect to a workflow, set its parameters, launch a workflow, get its results, exchange data with the workflow at run-time, and so on.

To use the REST API, you need an API token, which you can get either by authorizing through the API or from your user profile menu.

Getting the REST API token from the user profile menu. In this menu you can also find a REST API browser, which may help you in exploring the API.

To run a workflow through the REST API, you need the workflow's API URL. To get it, select the workflow in the Explorer pane and use the Copy API URL to clipboard command from the pane's menu. You can also get a list of workflow URLs by using REST API requests.

For further details on using the API, see the pSeven Enterprise REST API Guide.

Block messaging

A REST client that runs a workflow can exchange data with its blocks while a run is in progress, using the messaging mechanism. For example, you can set up a block to wait for a message from the client, then process this data to produce output.

An example Python script block that uses messaging.

For details on using the messaging mechanism, see section Messaging in the pSeven Enterprise REST API Guide.

App as a service

The REST API can also be used to run apps from AppsHub. The API provided by apps is basically the same as the workflow API described in the pSeven Enterprise REST API Guide. The main difference is that you will need the app's API URL to work with. To get this URL, open AppsHub and hover over the app thumbnail, then click the icon.

Getting an app's REST API URL from AppsHub.

Windows extension nodes

pSeven Enterprise can be extended with additional Windows nodes to run node-locked or Windows-only software. For example, if a block in your workflow integrates a tool that runs on Windows only, you can configure this block to run on a specific Windows node where the tool is installed:

  • Select the block in a workflow.
  • In the Block properties pane, select one of the nodes from the drop-down list under the block's name.
Selecting the node to run on in block properties.

Extension nodes are set up after the main pSeven Enterprise deployment and can be added at any time as needed. For further details, see Extension node deployment.