Simcenter Testing Solutions Simcenter Testlab Neo Data Queries

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With Simcenter Testlab Neo Revision 2206  and higher, a new feature called “Data as Queries” was introduced.  A query is basically the “path” to the data curves in a display, defined by a series of attributes: project, section, run, name, function class, etc. Plots can be easily updated to overlay multiple curves based on the changing the attribute information.
This article explains how the data query feature works in detail.  It has the following sections:

1. Quick Start Example
2. Display Queries Menu
3. Data Query Tips
    3.1 Q Or Not To Q
    3.2 No Preview
    3.3 Multiple Queries In Single Display
    3.4 Front Versus Back

1. Quick Start Example

A quick example of how the data query feature works in Simcenter Testlab Neo is described next. In the example, data from three different runs will be overlaid using the feature.
To get started, before displaying any data, go to the “Display” ribbon at the top of Simcenter Testlab Neo and turn switch from “Regular Data” to “Data as Queries” as shown in Figure 1.
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Figure 1: Switch from “Regular Data” to “Data as Queries” in the Display ribbon.
Use the “+” symbol in the display tab area to open a new display (do not use the Preview tab). Drag and drop one data curve from one measurement run into the display as shown in Figure 2.
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Figure 2: A data curve from one of three measurement runs is placed in a FrontBack display.
There should be a letter “Q” in the legend to indicate the data in the display is associated with a “query”.  This means that the data query feature will affect the data. If there is no Q, then the data in the display cannot be manipulated as a query.

Note that the data should originate from a project file.  Data in the “input basket” cannot be used because there is no permanent path.  

With the data in the display (and Q in the legend), press the “Display queries” icon in the “Display” ribbon as shown in Figure 3.
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Figure 3: After opening the “Display Queries” menu, additional curves can be added to the display through the drop downs on the data attribute cards.
After pressing the “Display Queries” icon, data can be added to the display by clicking on the drop-down menus on the attribute cards. In this example, three runs are selected in the drop down when only one run was originally displayed. 
Press “Update Displays” and all selected runs are added to the display as shown in Figure 4:
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Figure 4: After pressing ‘Update Displays” the display is updated from one run to all three that were selected.
Pressing “Update Displays” changes the display contents based on current query and keeps dialog box open.  Pressing “OK” at the bottom of the menu also updates displays but closes the “Data Queries” menu.

There is one letter Q in the legend with a line extending to all three data curves in Figure 4.  This means that a single query produced three results.  The query is treated as a single object in the display. Because there is one query, if just one curve of the three curves in the legend is removed, all three will disappear.  

2. Display Queries Menu

The “Display Queries” menu has three sections:
  • Top: Action icons 
  • Middle: Property card selections 
  • Bottom: Corresponding query information
These are shown in Figure 5.  
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Figure 5: Sections of the “Display Queries” menu include action icons (top), property cards (middle), and queries (bottom).

The query information in the middle and bottom sections goes from left to right. The menu is shown in further detail in Figure 6.
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Figure 6: The “Display Queries” menu in Simcenter Testlab Neo.
In the “Display Queries” menu:
  • Update Displays: After identifying or modifying a query, press this button to update the display with the newly identified query data.  The display queries menu will stay open. Pressing OK at the bottom of the menu updates the displays and closes the menu.
  • Duplicate Queries: Need to add another curve to a display?  The duplicate queries does this by creating a copy of an existing query that can then be edited to add more.
  • Add Property: Add additional property cards or attributes to use in the query, for example “Function class”.
  • Property Cards: Attributes of the data to be used can be edited via the property cards. Pulldowns appear in the boxes if the selection allows editing. The information in the middle section reflects information from all open displays.
  • Query Information: Based on the light blue highlighted items in the middle section, corresponding queries are listed.
If there are two displays, each with a query, then the “Display Queries” menu will have two queries as shown in Figure 7.
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Figure 7: Two displays each with a query results in two “Q”s in the Display Queries menu.

Each of these queries can be updated independently of each other and will change their respective display.

3. Data Query Tips

A few tips on using the Data Query feature of Simcenter Testlab Neo are given next:

3.1 Q Or Not To Q

If “Regular Data” mode is on when data is dragged into the display, then no Q is placed in the legend.  This indicates the curve is “regular data” and not “query data”. It is possible to have both query data and non-query data in the same display as shown in Figure 8.
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Figure 8: Display that contains both query and non-query data.
The regular data could be used as a target line that does not change while being displayed against the query data.

3.2 No Preview

Queries cannot be used with the preview display as shown in Figure 9.
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Figure 9: Queries work with fixed displays.
Instead of the preview display, click on the “+” in the display tabs to open fixed displays to use with the query feature. The preview display is dynamic and always changes depending on which data is highlighted in the navigator.  It is not suitable for working with the queries.

More information on working with the preview display in the knowledge article “Simcenter Testlab Neo Displays”.

3.3 Multiple Queries In Single Display

If data curves were dragged one at a time into a single display, each would be treated as an independent query as shown in Figure 10.
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Figure 10: Because each data curve was dragged into the display separately, they are treated as independent queries, and each item in the legend has a separate “Q”.

Since only one query can be updated at a time, a result like Figure 11 can happen.
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Figure 11: First query was updated with redundant information to the second and third in the display.
In this case, the first query was updated to add additional runs, which resulted in redundant information as the second and third queries.

3.4. Front Versus Back

When working with mixed units, drop data in the back (drop on right side of display) of the FrontBack display instead of the front (left side of display).  

If this is done, multiple back display axes will be created to accommodate the unlike units as shown Figure 12.
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Figure 12: Data with two different engineering units are overlaid by using back display of FrontBack.
In the legend, data in the front of the FrontBack starts with a “F”, while data in the back has a “B”.

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