What's New at AIMMS
General announcements & discussions about the company and user community
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An interview with UX Designer Thomas Pleeging AIMMS takes pride in providing a great user experience, both in SC Navigator applications and through our WebUI, which provides a toolkit for AIMMS developers to deliver a great-looking user interface in their Apps. Often, translating our supply chain expertise into a great UX does not come easy, especially in robust apps that have multiple types of functional users. To ensure we have a user-centric approach, we work with user experience experts. We spoke with Thomas Pleeging, former UX and Senior Designer at Total Design, to get his take on this UX improvement journey and uncover some of the highlights. Thomas, as an agency, how do you ease the collaboration between the business (supply chain) side, design and development? Our standard way of working starts with a session. So, we organize a session with the product owner (who typically brings the business or supply chain expertise), the developers (who know about data modeling and t
Marcel Hunting on the AIMMS Scaling toolInside AIMMS
Automating a manual process: the new AIMMS Scaling tool We recently released a new Auto-scaling feature as part of the Math Program Inspector with AIMMS 4.74. This feature can improve the quality of your model with much less manual testing and guesswork when it comes to scaling factor determination. Hear from @Marcel Hunting , who led development of this feature, about how Auto-scaling came about, when to use it, and how your model can benefit. Marcel is part of R&D as well as the Support Team at AIMMS. How can users identify scaling issues?Users are usually not aware about scaling issues in their model. Modelers raise their awareness when they suddenly encounter an issue with the post-solve, for example. Usual symptoms of a poorly scaled model are: AIMMS post-solve warnings “solution not reliable”, or “could not find a solution" A small infeasibility due to rounding errors in the constraint Instability of the solution, that it would return slightly different solutions In
Go explore our new website! You may have noticed our re-designed website: www.aimms.com.We are super excited about this next step and would love to hear what you think. There are a few important changes you need to know about: Our Support and Developers sections are completely reorganized – we've pared it down to bare essentials, letting our Documentation and Community take over much of the content. We have a new Support Center, which you can access from the home page. This will be your new hub for AIMMS documentation, product downloads and resources. Watch this 1 minute video to learn more: Please send us your feedback! Got questions, suggestions, bugs, comments? Please submit your first impression in the poll and leave a comment below this article.
Focus on UX to Drive App AdoptionInterview
Tips from Total Design’s Thomas Pleeging As you know, AIMMS has been on a journey to improve user experience, both in our own products and through our WebUI, which provides a toolkit for AIMMS developers to deliver a great-looking user interface in their Apps. The importance of UX cannot be understated and it’s not just about cosmetics. As this article in our Project Success series explains, your app should look appealing, but it should also fit into your user’s workflow, reduce friction and present data in a seamless way. How can you achieve this? We spoke with Thomas Pleeging, a guru for all matters UX and former Senior Designer at Total Design, to get some practical tips. Thomas has worked in design for 10 years, six of them specifically devoted to UX. He has worked closely with our team for nearly three years now. Here’s what he had to share. UX and UI, you often hear these terms in concert with one another. What do they actually mean? Yes, that’s right. UX stands for User Exp
Thinking about User Experience is not optional This article is part of the series “Set your project up for success.” We all know that users’ expectations have changed about what an app should be. Not only should your app serve its primary functions, but also provide information in an attractive and easy-to-digest way. It should fit into the user's workflow and avoid friction. In my experience, good user experience (UX) is the basis for acceptance of the app and of the outcomes of the app. It doesn't mean just cosmetics, like adding a few graphs and matching the button colors to the company logo. It means really understanding how your user will use the tool, in what context, and structuring to facilitate that purpose.Good User Experience (UX) is the basis for acceptance of the app and of the outcomes of the app. Know your possibilities, and your limitsIn the AIMMS platform, a model developer can build the whole User Interface (UI) – and we're doing our best to keep delivering WebUI too
Our Standard Workshops have gone virtual to accommodate the needs of our customers. They will take place over 4 half days. These hands-on workshops are led by a member of our support team and are geared to help you to make immediate use of the advanced productivity tools and features in AIMMS. We are pleased to announce new dates and session topics below: June 22 – 25 4 mornings, CEST - exact time to be determined Trainer: Arthur d’Herbemont July 13 – 16 4 mornings or afternoons PDT - exact time to be determined Trainer: Mohan Chiriki Workshop fee This training is free if you hold a subscription to a Developer’s License. If you don’t have a license and you would like to join, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information. Topics covered In this training we will tell you a bit about the history of AIMMS (the company). But this training will mostly be about learning you the basics of AIMMS: How to build your first AIM
Q&A follow-up Many thanks to everyone who joined today's webinar Resilient Supply Chain Network Design presented by @Bhomik Jain, @Paul and @Aanand. We didn't have enough time to go through all submitted questions live during the webinar. In this article you will find our answers to the questions asked. Please be invited to keep the conversation going, right here on the AIMMS Community. Question Answer(s) How much time would it take to build a model and application like the one shown in the demo? I would expect it to take 25-30 days of building time for a not so experienced (AIMMS) model builder? Models can be constructed quite quickly using an Excel data template and easy to use browser interface. The App is built and maintained by AIMMS, so you only need to worry about feeding it with meaningful data and running scenarios. Data should also not be a barrier : use what you have got, make some assumptions, and then refine from there. So within one week you shoul
Determine what data from which sources is needed This article is part of the series “Set your project up for success.” Start with the assumption that this aspect is going to be difficult – even in successful projects. Companies have a lot of unstructured data. Acknowledge that it will be a big task to get the "right" data in the "right" format. Prepare clear documentation of what data you need, and consider all sides of it. In what format should data be? Where does it come from? How you will get it into AIMMS? In what order does it need to go in? How you will store it? In what type of database should it be stored? What will you do with the data after AIMMS has optimized it? Consider how often you will need fresh data – and whether you need a full set of new data, or just a delta containing the changes to previous data. The more details you know up front, the easier it will be to track down the data and explain to the responsible parties what they need to provide
Monday, May 18, 2020 About the event Join our interactive webinar to learn about our new managed service for integrating different ERP systems and other data sources with AIMMS applications. We will introduce the service proposition and explain how it's different from more traditional approaches. The webinar will contain a demonstration of an end-to-end integration powered by the innovative SnapLogic integration platform. We will be joined in the webinar by our partner Rojo Consultancy. Rojo Consultancy specializes in cloud and on-premise integration, as well as business process orchestration. Speakers Jan Willem van CrevelLeader of Product Development and Operations at AIMMSLucas LaumansEnterprise Integration Architect at Rojo Consultancy
Make “Time To Value” a priority This article is part of the series “Set your project up for success.” Customers often name "fast modeling" as a distinguishing factor of AIMMS compared to other modeling languages. As we know, time is money, and the longer a project takes to deliver, the higher the cost. Your customers will be happier when they can see things moving along quickly. Make it official with KPI’s Adding Time to Value as a project KPI means evaluating items based on what has the highest value and can be delivered in the shortest time. It tells you what to prioritize as the project goes along. That means that your first priorities should be on a Minimum Viable Product, focusing on those high-value features and functions that serve the primary user needs. Once that is delivered (or presented), you can tackle other user needs in following versions. Your first priorities should be on a Minimum Viable Product, focusing on those high-value features and functions. De
Devote time to key areas in your plan for success One of the very first posts on our Community is "How to create a reliable and successful AIMMS application" which provides tips for developers and project managers. This topic is crucial for many of our customers, and is well worth revisiting from an even higher level for all stakeholders. As Director of User Support & Customer Success, I have evaluated many AIMMS projects. Evaluation shows that "just" making a good model with AIMMS is no longer sufficient for a successful project and a happy customer. An AIMMS implementation is increasingly a software implementation, including everything that comes with it. The developer is increasingly becoming part of a team of specialists, including IT specialists, data connection experts, and UI or interaction designers. An AIMMS implementation is increasingly a software implementation, including everything that comes with it. The main reasons for this: Applications developed w
In recent years, information security awareness has increased greatly in the industry, and so have the threat levels. We frequently receive questions from customers about our security policies and what we do to look after their data. In this article, I will try to provide you with an overview of our approach and activities in the realm of IT security. Information security touches almost every part of our business and our customers expect us to act securely in all our activities and to deliver secure products and services. We have been investing in information security for a long time, especially since we started developing the AIMMS Cloud Platform. The move to the cloud brings great benefits to our customers, but also increases our responsibility. At least a third of our development efforts for our cloud platform were and are devoted to security. In the following section I will outline what this has led to so far. AIMMS Cloud Platform Security We worked hard to meet our custome
Dear community members, users of AIMMS, We are always curious to know why our users use AIMMS. So a simple question for you that I hope you can answer and let us and other community members know: What makes you want to use AIMMS (and not other tools)? Understandably this is a very open question, any answer is good (long, short). Of course, it always help to give context.
!! UPDATE !! We are saddened to inform you that AIMMSFEST will no longer take place on April 3, 2020, due to the uncertain expansion of the coronavirus. The wellbeing of our community always comes first, and unfortunately this means steering away from our original plan to connect in person next month. To decide whether or not to join AIMMSFEST, under these circumstances, is a decision we don’t want to ask from our community. In the meantime, we are looking into activities that do not require travel which we could potentially host on April 3. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to meeting you in the near future. If you have any questions, please contact me. Sending you our best wishes, Kim Meijer AIMMS Marketing EMEA ORIGINAL MESSAGE Experience the power of the AIMMS Community live and in person APRIL 3, 2020 | 10 AM - 6 PM | AMSTERDAM, NL It's my pleasure to invite you to AIMMSFEST, a new speed networking event for the AIMMS community taking pl
When you work with AIMMS, you get upgraded to exceptional care. Customers are our focal point and fundamental to everything we do. That is why we are pleased to announce that we were awarded our ISO 27001 Certification on January 17. This international certification demonstrates that we manage information security in a way that safeguards the integrity, confidentiality and availability of our customers’ information. We have been investing heavily in information security for a long time, especially since we started offering the AIMMS Cloud Platform four years ago. As cyber security risks were rising across all industries, we decided to further 'up our game' and adopt the ISO 27001 standard. This would offer us a ready-to-use, proven and widely recognized framework for risk management and continuous improvement in information security. In the course of a year, we created our ISO 27001 compliant Information Security Management System - essentially a collection of documents and forms -
Our User Support team has been working on very exciting changes that will make AIMMS documentation a lot easier to find and navigate through. One of those changes has been the transformation of the AIMMS Function Reference from a PDF into an HTML site. This is a pretty big deal for us. Not just because the Function Reference is now more seamless to use, but because we achieved this using a template that you can use to build your own AIMMS documentation site too! We have open-sourced the theme files in GitLab. Read on to find out what got us here and why we’re so thrilled to share this with you. First, a word about the AIMMS Function Reference The AIMMS Function Reference is the go-to guide for all the functions, sets, and procedures in the AIMMS core. They are the pre-declared building blocks of the AIMMS language. When we first started out, these got documented in a PDF. That PDF grew over the years and, as you can imagine, it became quite long and difficult to maintain. So
We want to make sure the time you spend here is worthwhile - getting help with a specific problem, learning about upcoming AIMMS features, exchanging tips with other users. Maybe you’re also curious about how we’re going about it? Check out some cool stats from 2019, preview some plans for 2020, and share your input (really!) Who are our users? Our users are representative of the AIMMS ecosystem - Academics concerned with modeling, Partners who create AIMMS-based solutions for their customers, Customer companies whose teams use AIMMS, and AIMMSians who work on the product and experience. Community Users 2019 What do people do here? For one thing, people engage with one another on problems and solutions, product ideas, and more... Community Engagement 2019 ...and from all those discussions come help and answers that everyone can benefit from. Community Helpfulness 2019What are people interested in? We do our best to find interesting topics and write about them. We’ve shared a list
The new year is here already?? Hello, 2020! 2019 was an eventful year, with plenty of things worth remembering! Here are our most popular posts from the last year - just in case you missed something to read with your afternoon coffee :) Articles Partner share: 3 Tips for a Better Page Layout Interview: Unisoma on Analytics and Data Science in Brazil Inside AIMMS: Insider’s View of WebUI Interview: Districon on Driving Change with Optimization Product questions User question: Multiple Optimization User question: MIP Relative Optimality Tolerance User question: Disable CSV Download in WebUI Product Discussions Roadmap discussion*: Workflow Menu Roadmap discussion*: Python Integration Roadmap discussion*: Widget Actions Product idea*: Display Custom Text Strings in WebUI Product idea*: Bar Chart with Line Chart Product discussion: Display a Dataset with Status Bar *Note that product ideas and roadmap forums are restricted by customer login.
Our Docs & Community Teams are working to continuously improve and expand product documentation, developer resources, and the community.We want to make sure we’re covering the topics you need most, in the way you need them, so we’re asking for your input.It should only take about 5-6 minutes to complete, and your response will make us very happy!Take the survey
I want to let you know that we are in the process of consolidation the mentioned identifiers to specify e.g. the readonly flag, define a tooltip, or the text in a Gantt char item, will receive it’s own annotation in the identifier specification. This is a more elegant way and will make the model more flexible with respect to choosing which identifiers should be the annotations (and name those to your liking). In addition, it will make it clearly inside a Identifier declaration with annotations exist. We expect to release this in 4.71 (our first release in 2020 ). The new model Annotations that will be added to support this WebUI behavior: webui::TooltipIdentifierwebui::FlagsIdentifierwebui::ItemTextIdentifier In the model, this will be represented as follows (as you can see, the annotation can be of a lesser dimension then the identifier itself): IMPORTANT: This also means that the old style will receive the status deprecated as of 4.71. The specification by _flags, _tooltips, _a
We are happy to welcome Andrew Ong, our newest AIMMS Support Team member! He will be focusing on PRO, Cloud and licensing support, and will be a Community moderator. Andrew focused on Technology and Computer Science in his studies, and has experience in IT support. He's a Pacific Northwest native. He likes outdoors activities like hiking and snowboarding, and enjoys going to concerts. He also loves to travel, and even spent a few years living in Korea when he was in high school. We spoke to him about his first impressions of his new role at AIMMS. What brought you to this role at AIMMS? I was just interested in the role itself, since it seemed like a good fit for my background. But now I understand what is special about the company. I like that AIMMS operates on the Holacracy model. It promotes independence, but also accountability. What are some first impressions of working here? For one thing, the company is relatively small, so it gives a sense of closeness among colleagues.
Thirty years ago, our founder Jan Bisschop started AIMMS with a vision: to develop technology that would make it easy and intuitive to build optimization models and user applications, in one go. Jan handed over his ownership of AIMMS in 2003. Through a management buy-in, I became a shareholder and leader at AIMMS. Since that moment, I see it as my primary role to serve AIMMS in unleashing its full potential, and to be the steward of Jan’s legacy. In 2012, we made an important strategic decision at AIMMS, in our quest to bring the amazing benefits of optimization to society. We realized that to increase the positive impact of AIMMS, we needed to get closer to the business side, where the value of AIMMS is “consumed.” Since our company was founded, most customer projects had been in the field of Supply Chain and Operations, so we started adding a supply chain management chapter to the AIMMS journey. In past years, we have been working on two important and large product development proje
Did you know that we are adding new articles to How-to nearly every week? Don't miss out on fresh tips and knowledge to get the most of out AIMMS! Here's where to check out the newest articles: Recently Added to How-To And feel free to add comments below if you have any suggestions for areas you'd like to know more about
In recent years, we have received many questions about Constraint Programming, a paradigm typically used for scheduling cases. Willem-Jan van Hoeve, Professor of Operations Research at the Tepper School of Business (Carnegie Mellon), is an expert on this topic and a trusted advisor many organizations rely on to address a variety of OR problems. He has offered to prepare a training to help our partners and customers build internal know-how on CP. The 4-days training is scheduled for March 30 to April 2, 2020, and will take place in our Haarlem office (Diakenhuisweg 29- 35). All of the examples discussed in the training will be built in AIMMS, so you’ll be able to apply your CP knowledge when developing AIMMS apps. If you are interested, please send me an e-mail email@example.com
It’s hard to beat Santa’s supply chain. Who else offers present deliveries to millions of households around the world in a single night? Even our favorite retailers are not there yet! We like to think new methodologies and tools are helping them get a little bit closer, though. In this interview, Districon’s Sander van Lokven shares insight into how retailers prepare for the holiday season. Districon is a supply chain specialty firm and an AIMMS partner with more than 40 years in the business. Sander, can you start by telling us about yourself and your experience in supply chain optimization?I have a background in Operations Research and worked as a process consultant for Districon in EMEA, delivering optimization projects for nine years. Two years ago, we started working with Peapod to design their warehouses and we set up a Districon branch in Chicago. I'm now responsible for our North America operations and manage a team of six consultants here in the Chicago area.Peapod is one of
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