Bundle and share workflows using the Package Editor and open and run packages using the Operator interface.

This page offers a brief overview of using packages and the Operator interface in OMNIC Paradigm software to develop and run custom solutions. When available, follow the links to find more detailed information about using specific features.

What are custom solutions?

With custom solutions in OMNIC Paradigm software, you can design and bundle workflows for other operators to use.

A developer designs workflows and bundles them with all their required files into Packages and then shares the packages as RDEP files.

An Administrator then opens the packages so that the workflows can be run using the Operator interface.

Packages and the Package Editor

A package is an organized collection of workflows that can be easily shared. When you bundle workflows into a package, the package includes all of the files and information necessary to run the workflow on another system, including any reference spectra, images, and QNT files.

When you create and export a package, an Administrator at another site can open the package in the Operator interface so that users can run all of the included workflows.

For details on creating and exporting packages, see "Create or Edit a Package".

OMNIC Paradigm Package Editor

There are two major elements to a package: 

  • Workflows: A workflow is a pre-determined set of procedures and settings that ensure that procedures are carried out in exactly the same way each time. For more on workflows, see "About Workflows".
  • Categories: In a package, workflows are organized into categories. You can group workflows into categories in any way that makes sense for your organization; however, a workflow can be included in only one category. The same workflow cannot be included in more than one category.

When you export a package, all of the required files used in the workflows are packaged as well, ensuring that operators have all the files they need to run the workflows when they open the package.

The Operator interface

The Operator interface is used for running workflows loaded from packages and for managing packages. After opening a package, operators are presented with a simplified interface designed to run the package workflows.

The Operator Administrator can control which workflows are available by opening or deleting packages.

OMNIC Paradigm operator interface

The Operator interface is similar to OMNIC Paradigm software's touchscreen interface but presents only workflows from opened packages.

An Operator Administrator can open, update, and delete packages using the administrator controls. For details on opening and deleting packages, see "Operator Administrator".

Tips for working with packages

When creating workflows and packages, it can be challenging to keep track of dependencies, such as quant methods and embedded workflows. The following tips may help you manage your files and ensure your workflows are up to date and easy to maintain.

  • Organize your files so that they are easy to update and maintain. For example, you may want to create a single folder for resources used in your workflows. Then, within that folder, create specific folders for related items, such as quant methods, images, and spectra files. Then, keep the folder in the same location and keep the file names the same. You can then use the Update commands in the Workflow Editor to quickly update all of the workflow's dependencies.
  • Keep your workflows as simple as possible. For example, the Embedded Workflow tile is a powerful tool, but it adds greater complexity to your project. Whenever the embedded workflow is updated, you will need to manually update every other workflow that uses it.

You can create a new package or open and edit an existing package with the Package Editor.

Before you create a package, you will need at least one workflow. For more on creating and using workflows, see "About Workflows".

Packages can be created only in the Desktop interface of OMNIC Paradigm software.

Create a new package

To create a new package

  1. Using the desktop interface, go to File > Packages > Create.
  2. Enter a name for the package and select OK. The package editor opens with one default category. You can add more categories or add workflows to the category.
  3. To add a workflow, select a category and select Add Workflow.
    Workflows can be included in only a single category. You cannot use the same workflow in multiple categories.
  4. To add a category, select Add Category.
  5. Select Save to save the package. The saved package is available in the Packages pane of the dashboard. The package is saved automatically when you return to the dashboard but is not saved automatically if you exit the software from the Package Editor.
  6. To share the package, select Export. When you export the package, it is saved with an .rdep file name extension.

Tips for organizing workflows and categories

There are a few important factors to consider when organizing your workflows and categories in packages.

  • A workflow can be included in only one category. You cannot use the same workflow in more than one category. If you have workflows that you want to share across categories, you may want to create a separate category only for these shared workflows. This is true even with multiple packages. If a previously loaded package already includes a workflow with the same name, the operator Administrator will not be able to open a new package if it includes that workflow in another category.
  • Categories must also have a unique name. When the operator opens a package, any category that uses the same name as a category from a previous package will be merged. For example, if a new package includes a category named Category A, and a previous package already included a Category A, the categories will be merged into a single category including all of the workflows from both categories.

Consider the following example:

  • Category A (First Package)
    • Workflow 1
    • Workflow 2
  • Category A (Second Package)
    • Workflow 3

Is displayed as : 

  • Category A
    • Workflow 1
    • Workflow 2
    • Workflow 3

Edit a package

You can open and edit a package either from the Packages pane on the dashboard or from a saved RDEP file. 

To edit a package

  • From the dashboard of the desktop interface
  1. Scroll to the Workflows pane and select Packages from the list.
  2. Right click a package and select Edit. The package opens in the package editor.
  • From a saved RDEP file
  1. From the dashboard, go to File > Packages > Open.
  2. Select a RDEP  file and select Open. The file is added to the list of packages on the dashboard.
  3. In the Packages pane, right click the package and select Edit.
    If you open a RDEP file from the Package Editor, the package is opened in the Package Editor automatically.

Update workflows

The Package Editor includes several tools for updating workflows and their associated files.

When you add a workflow to a package, the workflow file is copied to the package. Any updates apply only to this package copy and are not reflected in the original file or any other packages that have copied the workflow file.

To keep the workflow files and their associated files (such as images or QNT files) synchronized, you must update them in the Workflow Editor manually. To avoid unexpected behaviors or results, you may want to update the workflow directly using the Workflow Editor and then use only the Update Workflow command in the Package Editor.

Update WorkflowReloads the selected workflows and updates any changes, including any files included in the workflow (for example, changed image files)
Update EmbeddedUpdates any workflows embedded using the Embedded Workflow tile.
Update QuantReloads any .QNT files that were included in the workflows.
Update ImageReloads any image files used in the workflows.

Test packages

Use the Run command to test the package before exporting it. By running the package, you can view and run categories and workflows as they will be shown in the Operator interface.

Note: When you run the package, if you run any workflows that collect data, the measurements are added to your database just as if you ran the workflow normally.

Run Workflows Automatically

You can set a workflow to run automatically using Auto Run. If automatic running is enabled, the workflow will run without any operator input. The workflows will run in the background while you use the software. If a workflow is running in the background, the operator will need to wait for it to complete before running another workflow.

You can set workflows to auto run only if they do not require any user input.

If multiple workflows are scheduled to run with Auto Run, they are added to a queue. For example, if one workflow runs every hour and another every two hours, they will both run on the overlapping hours and will not interfere with one another.

To enable Auto Run

  1. In the Package Editor, right-click a workflow and select Set Up Auto Run.
  2. Select Enable automatic running for this workflow and enter a value for the frequency in hours. You can also enter partial hours. For example, entering 0.5 will cause the workflow to run every 30 minutes.
  3. Select OK.

The workflow will run automatically after the package is opened in the Operator interface.

Use the Administrator controls in the Operator interface to manage packages, to change the Administrator password, and to return to the Desktop interface.

To access the administrator controls, select Administrator from the menu in the Operator interface and enter the correct password. The default password is Password. The Administrator should change the password immediately after installing the software.

Manage Packages

Use the Package Maintenance tab in the Administrator view to manage packages.

Open a Package

Opening a package loads the package categories and workflows into the Operator interface. Once the package is opened, operators can select categories and run workflows. Any workflows set to run automatically will begin running as scheduled.

When you open a new package, new categories and workflows are added to the categories and workflows from previously opened packages. For example, if the administrator opens "Package A" and then later opens "Package B", the operator will see the categories and workflows from both packages.

To open a package

  1. Using the Operator interface, open the menu and go to Administrator.
  2. Enter the password to access the administrator controls.
  3. In the Package Maintenance tab, select Open.
  4. Select a package file and select Open. Package files have a .rdep file name extension.

Update a package

When you open a package with the same name as a previously opened package, the package is updated.

For example, if you have already opened a package called "Package A" in the past, when you open a new package that is also called "Package A", the new package replaces the previous package.

Delete a package

Deleting a package removes that package's categories and workflows from the Operator interface.

To delete a package

  1. Using the Operator interface, open the menu and go to Administrator.
  2. Enter the password to access the administrator controls.
  3. Select one or more packages from the list of packages.
  4. Select Delete and confirm your choice in the confirmation dialog.

Change administrator password

Use the Change Password tab to change the password for the Operator Administrator.