What is the Application Programming Interface?
The Reliability Workbench Application Programming Interface (API) enables users to seamlessly link their databases or external applications to Reliability Workbench projects. For example, the API may be used to create a custom link between a SQL Server database for importing data into an Reliability Workbench project. The custom link may then be used to transfer data from the project back to the SQL Server database after the analysis has been completed using Reliability Workbench.
In summary, the API allows programmers to directly access project data without using the Reliability Workbench user interface.
The Reliability Workbench API is available by linking to the Reliability Workbench Dynamic Link Library (DLL). This is a .NET assembly that runs under the Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0. No separate installation is necessary to access the DLL. The DLL is part of the ReliabilityWorkbench.exe file. You will, however, require a DLL license to access the main functionality of the DLL.
In addition to the Reliability Workbench DLL you will also require a .NET development tool such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
How the Application Programming Interface Works
The Reliability Workbench API provides a DataSet class that may be used to hold project data in memory. A DataSet contains tables, columns and rows. The DataSet constructor automatically constructs all the tables and columns representing the Reliability Workbench project schema. However, no rows are added when a DataSet object is created, i.e. a DataSet object contains no data on construction.
A DataSet object may be initially populated with the very minimum of default data for a project by calling the DataSet New method. This method would be called if you are intending to populate a project with data from scratch.
A DataSet object may also be initially populated with data using the DataSet Read method. In this case data is extracted from an existing Reliability Workbench project file.
The DataSet class provides methods for writing and reading data to and from the DataSet. Tables and columns in the DataSet are identified by unique string identifiers. These identifiers are listed in the document Reliability Workbench API Reference Manual.
If you wish to write modified project data to a new or existing Reliability Workbench project file then simply call the DataSet Write method. If you wish to validate the data first then call the DataSet Verify method.