DNDC Online Simulation - Help


  1. Introduction
  2. Registration and Login
  3. User Folders
  4. The File Manager
  5. Moving Around and Making Folders
  6. Uploading and Downloading
  7. Renaming and Deleting
  8. Creating a new Database
  9. Run a Simulation


The DNDC online simulation allows to user to run the DNDC Regional Model on a server as a client, instead of using his/her own computer for computations.

The purpose of this guide is to help the user that is experienced with the Windows DNDC Model transition into the Online Model.

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Registration and Login

The online model uses a user account system to allow you to create, modify, and view DNDC databases, scenarios, and results across computers and times. Simulations can take time, few people leave their browser windows open for days at a time.


To create a new account, click the "register" link at the bottom of a login page, and you will be transferred to the registration form. You will need to create a one-word username, password, and valid email address. When you have entered them, click 'Submit' button, and if all fields are filled and valid, an account and folder spaces will be created for you, and a "Registration Successful" page should appear. A link should appear to direct you to the login page.

Logging In

To login, simply type in your username and password, and click "login". If login is successful, the page you originally requested will load. Otherwise, an error message should appear, giving you a reason for denial. Too many denials will result in the login page being "locked" for 60 seconds.

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User Folders

Each user account has three folder spaces, each with a different function: The databases folder holds all simulation databases, the scenarios folder holds the input files and logs used for the online implementation, and the results folder holds all results of run simulations. The databases and results space are direct analogues to the Database and Result folders in the Windows version, but the scenarios space is unique to the online version.


The database folder holds your

The File Manager

When logging in from the DNDC Models or registration page, you should enter the file manager. The File Manager lets you view, upload, download, and manage files and folders in your folder spaces, and contains two wizards for running a simulation.

The Top Bar

The top bar contains links to the two wizards, a refresh button, a link to this help file, a user settings page (currently disabled), and a logout button. "Run Simulation", "New Database", "Help", and "Settings" launch pages in a new window.


The header below contains two pieces of information, separated by a hyphen. The first one is the currently logged in account. The second contains the directory path which you are currently viewing, up to the name of the current folder space. If you are not in a folder space, as when first logging in, the directory path will read "main".

Folder Commands

The middle bar contains folder management commands. The bar includes the "New Folder", "Upload", "Delete", "Rename", "Download", and "Up One Level" links. When viewing "main", this bar is disabled, and the buttons are grayed. When viewing a file, all except "Up One Level" is greyed and disabled.

Folder/File Viewer

Below that is the primary focus of the File Manager. When viewing a folder, a listing of all files and directories are listed in alphabetical order, with date of last modification, and size. When viewing a file, the contents of the file are displayed, as a text file. Editing the file online is currently not allowed, but future versions will have such capabilities.

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Moving Around and Making Folders

Moving into a File/Folder

When in folder view, clicking on the name of a directory will mave the active directory into that folder. The screen will then refresh, listing the directorie's contents. An empty directory will display the list headers (i.e. "Name", "Last Modified", "Size"), but will not show any files. An invalid directory will display nothing at all. Clicking on a file will move the active directory into that file, and the screen will refresh, displaying the file as text. (Note: File Manager cannot recognise different file types, so viewing binary files is not recommended!)

Moving out of a File/Folder

To move out of a directory or file, click the "Up One Level" in the folder commands toolbar. The active directory will become its parent, and the screen will refresh. The parent directory of a folder space is main.

Making a Folder

In order to make a folder in a particular directory, move into that directory. Then click the "New Folder" button. A yellow box will appear, asking for a name for your new folder. Folder names may only consist of alphanumeric, hyphen, and underscore characters. When finished, click the "New Folder" button inside the box, and a new folder should be created and appear in the directory listing.

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Uploading and Downloading


To upload a file, a set of files, or an entire directory tree inside a .zip file, first move to the folder in where you wish to upload. Then, click the upload button. You may upload as many files as you wish, but file names may consist only of letters, numbers, hyphens, periods, and underscores. Although only one file input is provided, additional fields for more files may be added by clicking the "Add another file" button. Since some files are too large, or too numerous to be added one at a time, you may first archive them in a .zip file, and upload that. The .zip file will be automatically unzipped and deleted. Each upload command has a maximum upload limit of 20 megabytes.


Since clicking on files opens them up on a browser, and some databases will have hundreds of files in them, a download button has been provided for convenience. In folder view, select a group of files/folders which you would like to download using the checkboxes to the left of their names, and then click download button. The files and files within each folder will be recursively zipped into a .zip archive, the folder paths junked (for security purposes), and a link will be displayed pointing to the zip file.

NOTE: Due to security issues and subsequent junking of folder paths, any files with the same name will cause the zip process to crash. This problem is particularly annoying with Lib_clim files, and is currently being worked on.

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Renaming and Deleting


The File Manager allows for multiple file renamings with a single command. To rename files/folders, move into their parent directory, then select them by clicking on their checkboxes to the left of their name. Then click "Rename" A text box should appear to the right of each selected file/folder. Type their new names inside the boxes, and click the "Rename" button below the files. The screen should refresh with their new names.


The File Manager allows for multiple file deletions with a single command. To delete files/folders, move into their parent directory, and select them by clicking on the checkboxes to the left of their filenames. Then click the "Delete" button. A dialog box should pop-up, asking for confirmation for the operation. Click "ok" to delete the files. Folders MUST be empty before they may be deleted.

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Creating a New Database

Inputs are a crucial part of the DNDC Model. Regional simulations draw input from a database folder, which contains all the climate, farming, and geographical files and differs from simulation to simulation, and a library folder, which provides static values for soil and crop types. For now, only the database folder may be customized.

There are two ways of creating a database for simulation online. The first is by uploading files and folders manually, recommended for previously created databases, or by the New Database wizard, which will create the database folder trees for you, given the files. This former can be explained with the Windows User Guide, and a previous section. The latter is explained below.

By Wizard - Step By Step

NOTE: If at any time after step 1, you do not have the requested files, simply skip the step, and you can upload them conventionally later.

To begin, clicked the "New Database" button at the top left of the File Manager. It will open the wizard in a new window. There are five steps in creating the database. The first is to name the database. Type in a name in the text box provided, and click submit. If the name is valid (again, only letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores) and does not currently exist, the folder will be created, and a "Step 1 - Complete" screen will appear. Click "Forward to Step 2" to continue to the next step.

The second step is uploading GIS files for the database. The files follow the format as seen in the Windows DNDC User Guide PDF. When you have filled in the fields, click "Submit". The files will be uploaded to the server, and renamed to fit requirements. If no problems occured, continue to step 3.

The third step loads climate files into the database. These also follow the format found in the Windows DNDC User Guide PDF. For each climate file, also specify its year. To add additional files, click the "Add another file" link, and another year/file field should appear. When done, click the "Submit" button, and if everything was successful, continue to step 4.

Step four is optional; Farm type files, with the same data as found in the site simulations, is provided automatically for each database. However, you may add more farm files here. When done, click "submit", and if all is well, continue to step 5. If you chose not to upload any files, no messages should be displayed in the completion screen

Step five is also optional; The simulation, if so desired, can draw map data from SHAPE files. Only .dbf, .sbn, .shp, .shx, and .zip files are permitted. When done, click "submit", and if no error messages are present, instead of a "Forward to step 6", you'll be presented with two options. You may either close the wizard and run a simulation later, or proceed directly to the "Run Simulation" wizard.

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Run a Simulation

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