This article presented a very first look at Enif, a new software aimed at accessing existing EMME/2 data banks by means of a consistent modern graphical user interface.
The development of Enif is still in an early stage. Most of the work done so far was concentrated on developing a broad and consistent conceptual base and implementing the corresponding basic tools and mechanisms. Based on this, initial functionalities to provide read-only access to EMME/2 data banks for producing plots and lists have been implemented. This current implementation allows us to demonstrate that the goals set forth at the beginning of the project can indeed be reached.
A lot of work remains to be done in order to build all the desired functionality into Enif. However, even the limited functionality which is already implemented today --generating plots and lists-- is on its own a worth while addition to EMME/2. It will help to overcome the drawbacks of EMME/2's ``old'' graphic interface and ease the task of transforming the computational results of EMME/2 model runs into high-quality graphical output, both for interactive work on screen and for presenting results graphically in reports. For this reason, we intend to release a first version of Enif to all EMME/2 users as soon as our internal tests has proven the code to be robust enough for general distribution. This version will essentially contain the functionality presented in this article, i.e. it will allow read-only access to EMME/2 data banks for generating plots and lists, but it will not include any possibilities to modify the contents of the data bank. In a second phase, we then plan to gradually add network editing features to Enif. Building transportation modeling capabilities directly into Enif may be considered a desirable long term goal, but it is much too early now for making any commitments in this direction.
Even with the advent of Enif, the traditional EMME/2 modules will
continue to keep their importance, as they will remain responsible for
all tasks associated with the actual modeling of transportation networks.
Thus, Enif should by no means be looked at as a replacement for
EMME/2, but as a
--hopefully very useful-- complement to EMME/2!