App interface#

Many Ansys apps are designed around user interaction within a desktop GUI-based environment. Consequently, scripts are recorded directly from user sessions and are in the context of manipulating the desktop app. Instead, scripts should be written for an API that is structured around data represented as classes and methods.

PyAnsys seeks to make the API a “first class citizen” in regard to interacting with an Ansys product by presenting the product as a stateful data model. Consider the following comparison between using a recorded script from AEDT versus using the PyAEDT library to create an open region in the active editor:

Using a Recorded Script from AEDT (MS COM Methods)

Using the PyAEDT Library

import sys
import pythoncom
import win32com.client

# initialize the desktop using pythoncom
Module = sys.modules['__main__']
oDesktop = Module.oDesktop
oProject = oDesktop.SetActiveProject("Project1")
oDesign = oProject.SetActiveDesign("HFSSDesign1")
oEditor = oDesign.SetActiveEditor("3D Modeler")
oModule = oDesign.GetModule("BoundarySetup")

# create an open region
parm = [
    "OpFreq:=", "1GHz",
    "Boundary:=", "Radition",
    "ApplyInfiniteGP:=", False
from pyaedt import Hfss

hfss = Hfss()

Besides length and readability, the biggest difference between the two approaches is how the methods and attributes from the Hfss class are encapsulated. For example, AEDT no longer needs to be explicitly instantiated and is hidden as a protected attribute _desktop. The connection to the app takes place automatically when Hfss is instantiated, and the active AEDT project, editor, and module are automatically used to create the open region.

Furthermore, the create_open_region method within the Hfss class contains a full Python documentation string with keyword arguments, clear numpydoc parameters and returns, and a basic example. These are unavailable when directly using COM methods, preventing the use of contextual help from within a Python IDE.

The source of the method within PyAEDT follows. Note how calls to the COM object are all encapsulated within this method.

def create_open_region(
    self, frequency="1GHz", boundary="Radiation", apply_infinite_gp=False, gp_axis="-z"
    """Create an open region in the active editor.

    frequency : str, optional
        Frequency with units. The  default is ``"1GHz"``.
    boundary : str, optional
        Type of the boundary. The default is ``"Radiation"``.
    apply_infinite_gp : bool, optional
        Whether to apply an infinite ground plane. The default is ``False``.
    gp_axis : str, optional
        The default is ``"-z"``.

        ``True`` when successful, ``False`` when failed.

    Create an open region in the active editor at 1 GHz.

    >>> hfss.create_open_region(frequency="1GHz")

    vars = [
    if apply_infinite_gp:

    return True

Here, the COM CreateOpenRegion method is abstracted, encapsulating the model setup object. There’s no reason why a user needs direct access to _omodelsetup, which is why it’s protected in the Hfss class. Additionally, calling the method is simplified by providing (and documenting) the defaults using keyword arguments and placing them into the vars list, all while following the Style Guide for Python Code (PEP8).