Product Update - October 2020

Related products: AIMMS Developer WebUI Integrations and Data Exchange Network Design
Product Update - October 2020

Product Update - October 2020: AIMMS 4.76.1, Scripting language integration, runtime improvements and new features


This post is an archive of the Product Update email sent by AIMMS Product Owner, @Gertjan de Lange.

We released some exciting new features this past month. Here's an overview of what you'll find in this email:

1. Integration options for Python and other scripting languages
2. Library updates: Data Exchange, AXXL and Forecasting
3. Solver updates for runtime improvements
4. AIMMS 4.76.1 release
5. New in AIMMS SC Navigator
6. Inspiration for Data Chart Styling
7. Language Reference now in HTML

Easily include the power of Python into your AIMMS model, for example to pre-process input data using Machine Learning



Interested in using the combined power of machine learning and AIMMS to improve decision making? Now you can! We have released new features to provide support for scripting languages in AIMMS, including a new HTTP Client Library, a new Data Exchange Library and supporting documentation in How-To. More information is available here. The combination of these libraries and docs should give you ultimate flexibility in using the (scripting) service of your choice; now and in the future.

To learn more about the differences between mathematical optimization and machine learning, and how you can use them together, check out this post in our community.

Library Updates 



Data Exchange

We launched version 1.1. of the new Data Exchange Library (Version 1 shipped on July 2020). This version now also supports read/write capabilities to and from Excel, and comes with improved (auto-)mapping features. To be precise, we added: 

  • The ability to read/write tables to Excel, one table per sheet. 
  • The ability to auto-generate mappings for JSON, XML, CSV and Excel based on model annotations, as well as new mapping attributes to support this.

AXXL and Forecasting Library

Until now, both the AXXL Library (for reading and writing XLS/XLSX files) and the Forecasting Library have been system libraries and part of each AIMMS installation. However, all newer libraries have been released via the online AIMMS Library Repository, allowing us to be more agile and creating less dependency on specific AIMMS releases. Therefore, we are close to completing the move of those two libraries. We will keep you posted in this Product Update email or in the Community. 

Solver Updates That Improve Runtimes by 75%

Did you know some solver updates can improve runtime by 75%? Don't forget to update your version of AIMMS to benefit from this and all the new features we launch. One of our customers saw an improvement of 50% in models that run over 1 hour by moving from CPLEX 12.7 to CPLEX 12.10 (running the defaults of CPLEX 12.10, no tuning needed). When they added the new ODH-CPLEX add-on, runtime was sliced in half yet again. This meant a 75% total improvement in runtime. We see the same kinds of improvements for other customers. I recommend you update your version and use this add-on. Contact us if you want to learn more. 


AIMMS 4.76.1 Feature Release

AIMMS 4.76.1 is out, including the new Bar-Line Chart in WebUI. Read the release notes for more details. 

New in AIMMS SC Navigator



In case you missed it, earlier this month, our team released a new version of AIMMS SC Navigator with some exciting updates:  

  • A new Inventory Planning App that can be used in combination with other SC Navigator Apps, like Network Design, IBP and Demand Forecasting.
  • An enhanced IBP App with updated Project Management Phase functionality to give you more flexibility to plan out project phases during the IBP process, resulting in better plans. 
  • Custom Costs in Network Design. These costs can be added at all points in the supply chain where physical costs are incurred. Example use cases are the addition of taxes and duties, carbon costs and inventory holding costs to the optimization.


Community Insights: Styling Data Charts



Many AIMMS developers are interested in different ways to style data charts. In AIMMS, you can do this by using style annotations in combination with CSS. The example below shows how you can visualize forecast data differently from historic data. There are several examples in our Community:


Language Reference Now Available in HTML 



Just like the Function Reference, the AIMMS Language Reference is now available in HTML and crawled by our search engine. We will soon connect it to our ”Help on” feature in the AIMMS IDE. 

Gertjan de Lange
Product Owner

Apologies for the long update. Please know we are exploring a way to provide this in more consumable chunks for you!


And we could have even shared more:

Data Exchange Library, extra’s:

We are currently wrapping up the support of specific row- and column-oriented JSON formats to increase performance and reduce file size. In one of our tests we can create/read a JSON file corresponding with ~4 million non-zeros in the model in about 4 seconds, while reducing the size of the file produced by about a factor 3 compared to the current standard representation. Keep checking in on the Data Exchange Library releases.

Libraries in general:

AIMMS release 4.76.2 will contain a performance improvement to the AIMMS API. This will benefit any library that relies heavily on the AIMMS API, such as CDM, DataLink, DataExchange, AimmsXLLibrary and AimmsUnitTest. The actual performance improvements you experience will vary depending on how much an action depends on using the AIMMS API, but may reduce execution times of specific external procedure calls up to 30-40% if these rely heavily on data transfer using the AIMMS API.

AIMMS 4.76.2 is released today.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Try searching on our documentation pages:

AIMMS Developer & PRO | AIMMS How-To | AIMMS SC Navigator