Process EXecutive (PEX) systems combine Code Engines, VXML data files, and UIF interactive or automated control programs into an organized group that works towards a common goal. Examples include things like Process Integration and Design Optimization (PIDO), Multi-Discipline Engineering and Optimization (MDE/MDO), Critical Path Methods (CPM), Digital Twin organizations, Internet of Things (IoT), agile programming, and more.
A simple PEX need that is provided by TSPA is the ability to group CEs that belong to a particular area of work or analysis. This was created with an open macro source Excel spreadsheet that would read a list of CEs (with their attached Excel/UIF front ends) from a text file so that a user could run them as needed off of a common VXML database of design data. This PEX will work with any set of CEs/UIFs and build a sheet 1 of the spreadsheet that lists the CEs, offers an input for a common database file, and allows the user to launch/run listed CEs in any order. There is no process sequence enforcement, but it's a way for anyone to group separate CE/UIFs belonging to a particular task.
The first PEX system was called MDE for Marine Design Executive, and it had a list of several CE/UIFs that a naval architect could launch in any order using a common ship design VXML datafile/database. Here is what is seen when the MDE.xlsm spreadsheet is launched:
This grouping consists of 6 CE/UIF combinations. More can be added just by entering the connection information into a common text file. Anyone else can replace this group with their own just by replacing the listings in the file. It's a general-purpose grouping and launching tool for CE/UIF combinations.
The user can enter a common VXML database file that all CE/UIF combinations will use. In many cases, the input of one CE requires the output (in part) from another. This can define a spiral design process, but this PEX system does not enforce any particular sequence or CPM process. That could be part of another PEX organization.
Once a database has been selected, the user can launch any of the applications (CE/UIFs) by double clicking on the highlighted name. It will load the CE/UIF for that processing. For the Hydro3A processing, double clicking gives you this:
This is the TSPA standard UIF for any Code Engine. The PEX spreadsheet is still in the background, and when you exit this processing, you will go back to the main MDE/PEX screen. Note that the input data gets filled in automatically if it exists in the database. The results can be sent out to the database.
This is a simple example of what a PEX system can be and how it can be built on top of UIF/CEs. TSPA does not prescribe what these systems are or how they should be built, but it will provide organizational tools for TSPA component installation, revision, and management for different groupings of tasks, programmers, SMEs, and users. The goal is to be able to create complex PEX systems from the bottom up in a prototype and agile fashion by combining and organizing lower level objects and tools to meet larger organizational and system goals.