About this manual

This manual is divided into two parts and appendices. The first part explains how to use the Patchworks software, how to navigate within Patchworks, set up objectives, scenarios and report on results. The second part takes you through preparing the data sets required to load a model. Analysts who are using Patchworks will want to read this section thoroughly.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of what you can expect from Patchworks. This chapter describes features and gives some examples of the types of planning problems where Patchworks may be of use.

Chapter 2 contains installation instructions. You will need to refer to this chapter when you install Patchworks for the first time.

Chapters 3 and 5 provide a quick tour of the Patchworks software that is illustrated with the sample data set. You may work through the quick tour and follow along with the sample data to get a working overview of key concepts.

Subsequent chapters of the User Guide provide detailed information about operation of the software, and analysis of forest management problems as well as data preparation, These chapters contain examples and code samples to help explain how the pieces fit together.

The appendices of the User Guide contain detailed references, answers to frequently asked questions, release notes, and other useful information.

A companion to this manual is the Patchworks Application Programming Interface (API). The API is distributed as a set of hyper-linked HTML files that come with the Patchworks installation. The API describes the public classes and methods that make up the Patchworks system.

Classes and objects in the Patchworks system can be accessed through the startup configuration file (PIN file) and through the Patchworks console. Analysts can use the API to develop processing scripts, control simulations using ScenarioSets (see the section called “Automating a Series of Scenarios”), and even to customize the GUI and add menu items to the Patchworks user interface. The API is a reference, and most analysts will only refer to specific sections only as required.