Build 573 available

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Build 573 available

Post by tomfid » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:08 pm

I'm happy to announce that we've just uploaded a new Ventity beta (build 573).

Some of the bigger changes are documented in the Release Notes (see "What's New" in the Help system), but there are also many small usability improvements, particularly to things like diagramming and predictive typing.

In the beta, core language features and the basic user interface are now working well, but it's far from feature-complete. Our current goal is to get Ventity up to speed for the kind of modeling we (Ventana) do on commercial projects. We think we're close, but we still need time series data support, optimization, and some support for user interface building (sliders, buttons, etc.). We're very interested to hear what you would like to see next - please drop us a note at this address.

You can download a copy of Ventity from

Feel free to share the link with your colleagues. Download approval is now automatic and fast. Note that you don't have to fill out all the fields in the form.

If you're new to Ventity:

The Help system contains a lot of good "getting started" material, including a series of videos, which are also on Vimeo, starting with

Several people have asked us what's unique about Ventity. The really big change is that we've replaced arrays with lists of entities, identified by attributes. This confers several advantages. Detail becomes a property of entities, not equations, which makes it a lot easier to change. Entities are modular, so they're easier to reuse and share among teams. Entities can be created and deleted dynamically, so there's no need to simulate a lot of zeroes for things that haven't happened yet. Similarly, a list can represent a sparse matrix, so there's no need to clutter your model with zeroes for project phases that aren't prerequisites or relationships that don't exist among people. All this happens in a development environment with modern graphics and windowing.

Here's an example that's just come up. A consumer products firm would like to model a portfolio of products across many regional markets, distribution channels, brands and package sizes. Not all of the brands are present in each market, and package options differ for each brand. We've done this many times in Vensim, but it takes a lot of data work to standardize things to work with arrays. With entities, it'll be easy - we'll create a Product entity identified by Market, Channel, Brand and Package attributes, and we simply won't bother to create combinations that don't exist. Later, when new products launch, we can add them to the model on the fly.

We think we're just scratching the surface of what's possible. That said, there are still some things that Vensim is really good at, like extreme speed, advanced algorithms and data connectivity, so we're continuing its development in parallel. We've been working on infrastructure for 64bit and Mac builds lately, which puts us on a solid footing for future upgrades.

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