Introduction | Your first interface | Building a model | Advanced features | Resources

1.1 How to use these training materials

This training material has been prepared for users of the JeLSIM eSim Builder Toolkit version 2.3. It will serve as a general introduction to the toolkit and the world of simulations, and will complement the extensive help files included with the toolkit.

This material consists of five sections: an introduction, two hands-on tutorials, an example section of more advanced features, and additional resources.

The introduction provides the necessary background to understand how to effectively use this material, what a simulation is and when and why to use them, and the components of the eSimBuilder and how they work together.

The hands-on tutorials - one for interface designers using the Interface Builder, and one aimed at programmers using the Model Wizard - are where you will start learning how to use the eSim Builder toolkit and quickly be building your own simulations.

  • Your first interface - will allow you begin using the Interface Builder straight away. This part of the tutorial is based around six tasks that make it easy for you to complete your first simulation. In each section, guidance is given on how to complete the task, but you will not be given step-by-step instructions. Instead you will be invited to explore the Interface Builder yourself to complete each section. If you do run into difficulties, step-by-step instructions on how to build a similar model can be found in the Interface Builder help.
  • Building a model - introduces the Model Wizard and takes you through a series of short tasks so you can see how simple it is to build your own model. Some knowledge of the Java programming language is necessary for completion of this section.

At various points in the hands-on tutorials, you will be asked to take some time to explore some aspect of the toolkit in order to perform a task. It is up to you how long you take and the depth you go into. At these points you will see this symbol:

The advanced features section provides further ideas and examples of some of the more advanced things you can do with the JeLSIM toolkit. No programming knowledge is required for the majority of features described in this section. It is intended as a reference section and there are no detailed instructions here, but instead commented code examples and interfaces are available for you to examine, see how they work, adapt and experiment with.

The additional resources provide links to additional reading and online tutorials, and an indexed list of all sample simulations provided in the toolkit that you can use for reference.

As you will discover later on, all JeLSIM simulations consist of a model, programmed in Java, and an interface that allows a user to interact with that model. This training material aims to get you up-and-running quickly using the two key JeLSIM tools - the Model Wizard for developing models, and the Interface Builder.

Most of this material is suitable for non-programmers, but the sections related to production of a model will require you to have some knowledge of the Java programming language. Where an understanding of Java is necessary, you will see this symbol:

Suggested routes through the materials

A simple read through of all the content provided here should take in the region of 30 minutes to 1 hour, and will give you a good grasp of the capabilities of the toolkit. If you are new to the eSimBuilder then you will probably find it worthwhile to spend a couple of hours working through the Building your first interface and / or Building a model from scratch tutorials in some detail, recreating the interfaces created in the tutorial yourself. Alternatively, you may wish to use these tutorials as a reference when you are building your own interfaces.

The Advanced section can both be used as a source of inspiration on the difference ways that interface objects can be used and as a reference section giving concrete examples of how to implement and customise certain visualisation objects.