Model Manager Features and Functionality

The COMSOL Multiphysics® software includes the Model Manager, a tool for efficient database storage and version control of models and related files, such as experimental data and CAD files. The Model Manager is fully integrated into the COMSOL Multiphysics® user interface. It provides organization and advanced search functionality, including search for features within a model, and a compare feature that displays the exact differences between two versions of a model. Model files are stored efficiently in the system with a minimum of redundancy.

The Model Manager workspace in the COMSOL Multiphysics<sup>®</sup> user interface.

Benefits of Simulation Data Management

The Model Manager benefits individuals and organizations alike with a structured workspace for collaboration between colleagues and teams, and even with external parties.

Key features:

  • Efficient storage of models
    • Store only relevant data to databases
    • Disk space usage is kept to a minimum
  • Automatic extraction of model metadata
    • Extract metadata when saving simulation models
    • Keywords and tags saved for future searches
  • Reuse of models
    • Use saved models and data as building blocks for new models
    • Generating a library of reusable parts
  • Track and compare changes to models over time
    • Get an automatic audit trail for your models
    • Compare and restore older versions
    • Reproduce modeling steps
  • Access control
    • Control who can find, open, and save simulation models and data
  • Centralizing simulation data storage
    • A Model Manager server installation centralizes database access

The Model Manager comes with a set of tools for addressing these points — all while staying within the COMSOL Desktop® modeling environment.

Features and Functionality in the Model Manager

The Model Manager includes a variety of powerful tools for simulation data management.

A closeup view of the Model Manager with a list of databases to the left.

Model Manager Databases

From the COMSOL Desktop®, you can create a new local database on your own computer to stay organized and keep track of your models and auxiliary data files. Alternatively, you and your colleagues may share models and files by uploading them to a server database accessed via a Model Manager server. The capability to use a local Model Manager database is included with all licenses except the class kit license. Installing and connecting to a central Model Manager server is available with a floating network license.

A closeup view of the auxiliary data for a model and the Model Builder to the left.

Efficient Data Storage

A Model Manager database is tailor-made for the storage needs of a model built in COMSOL Multiphysics®. The Model Manager makes sure to never store duplicates of simulation data when saving multiple versions of the same model. You can also delete built, computed, and plotted data that may instead be reproduced from the model as needed. This can greatly reduce disk storage, especially for large transient simulations or parametric sweeps.

You can easily manage auxiliary data files such as CAD files or experimental data files. In the Auxiliary Data window, you get an overview of all the auxiliary data used in a model and can quickly see where in the model an auxiliary data file is used. You will automatically be notified if an auxiliary data file is available in a more recent version and prompted if you would like to use the most recent file in the database.

A closeup view of the Model Manager with the user list to the left.

Model Manager Server

The Model Manager server is a web server that can be installed anywhere on your network and host a Model Manager database. For Model Manager server databases, you can control who has access to models and auxiliary data files by setting permissions. You can, for example, set which users are permitted to open or save a particular model, or set which users are permitted to search and see a collection of models.

A Model Manager server database can be shared by multiple users and enables you to collaborate with your coworkers on version-controlled simulation models and data files — all while staying within the COMSOL Multiphysics® environment.

The Model Manager server can either be configured to use internal database components managed by the server, or external database components provided and managed by your organization. Through the Model Manager server’s web interface, administrators can create accounts so that users can access the Model Manager server database from the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Users can also log into the web interface to update their own account settings.

A closeup view of the different versions of a lamella mixer model.

Version Control

The Model Manager comes with standard version control tools, such as viewing the version history of models and auxiliary data files, automatically detecting version conflicts when saving, and comparing versions with each other. You can, for example, open an older version to create a completely new model with its own split-off version history, or see all the changes made to a model from one version to the next.

When working on an existing model in a database, you can create a draft of the model that is version-controlled in its own right, enabling you to experiment with various simulation ideas without polluting the version history of the original model. Once you have finished your draft work, you may choose to either keep it as a new version of the original model or discard it. More advanced version control tools such as branching, merging, and reverting are also available. Branching enables you to work on an entire collection of models and auxiliary data files in isolation, while at the same time postponing the decision of whether or not your changes are worth preserving. Reverting enables you to restore models and auxiliary data files that you have previously deleted, perhaps by accident.

A closeup view of the search options in the Model Manager.

Powerful Search Functionality

The Model Manager search syntax enables you to search deep into models based on their properties, features, settings, and other metadata. You may, for example, perform search queries answering:

  • Which models use a Time Dependent study step?
  • Which models have a Length parameter between 5 cm and 15 cm?
  • Which models were last modified by me?

Additionally, you can search for tags that you have used to organize your model files.

A closeup view of the Model Manager with a lamella mixer model selected and the Comparison Result window to the right.

Comparing Model Contents

Any time you are interested in comparing two COMSOL Multiphysics® model files stored in a Model Manager database, or in your file system, you can use the Compare tool. The results from the comparison show the differences between the models and are displayed in a separate Comparison Result window.

By comparing model files, you can identify and correct errors in the current model, document and check differences between two versions of a model under development, and provide the differences between the two model files as an XML file for further processing.

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