Figure 1: The project file tracks files opened into or created in the program, and those output from the program as well. Note there are some other program outputs (plot bitmaps, exported tables, etc.) that are not tracked with the project.

The modeling process is organized by project. The project is encompassed in a text-based file that does the following jobs.

  • track all files input (this is primarily any file processed by the program call command or opened into the project using the i Open Into Project dialog)
  • track all files output (this is primarily all saved model states)
  • track/indicate the current state of all input and output files within the program (which data files are open, which model state is the current state, etc.)
  • store project settings
  • store the program layout
  • store “project” objects (this is a range of items that includes plots and named filters)
  • set the working directory
  • store program environment information (program name, version, and revision information, for instance)

Keep in mind that files tracked by the project are not embedded within it. Moving project files outside the program will break the links being maintained by the project. With items tracked by the project, it is best to do file management tasks (moving or renaming) within the program.

When the program starts, it may be set to open the most recent project used or a start a new one. The preferred option may be set by the user in the Options dialog’s “Startup” section.

The Bundle command from the Tools menu is a utility for packaging projects (both the project file and the resources it tracks) into a single compressed archive file. The bundle file is useful for transfer of projects between users, for obtaining technical support, or for archival purposes.