Vensim model with external data


I am trying to create an Epicenter model using Vensim with external data. I have loaded the model, cfg file and Excel file but the Interface Builder page just spins. Is this something to do with calling the cfg file?



Hi William,

Thanks for the link to your sim. We’ve taken a look at this. Our (alpha) interface builder is not compatible with Vensim’s use of Excel. We’ve got a fix pending for this that will go live end of today. I’ll post a followup message when this is running. Your sim was close but not quite correct in it’s use of this feature - I’ll post a couple notes on how to get this running once the Epicenter update is available.




Just a quick update that we are still testing this update and it will likely be delayed until tomorrow.





We’ve updated Forio with a fix to make the interface builder, Vensim, and Excel work together. I’ve modified your simulations and it is now able to run the Vensim model (with data from Excel), display a graph and accept a user input.

There’s a number of steps to make this work.

  • you must create a ‘cfg’ file that lists the file.
  • create a basic interface with the interface builder (auto generates the HTML)
  • hand-edit your ‘index.html’ file to specify the Excel file again.
    (you can see the specifics of this change by going to “Interface” and viewing the source for index.html.

This complicated process was intended to allow your interface to substitute in different Excel files at runtime (e.g. if you want to include different data sets for different regions). But we appreciate it’s rather involved.

The good news is that most of the steps above will be obsolete with our next release. You will no longer be required to specify the name of the Excel file, or to include a “cfg” file (for the purposes of including data files). Instead, the Excel or other data files will be automatically available to Vensim much like if you were running from your desktop.

We will post an announcement in this forum when the update is available.




Hello Will, I’m interested in knowing if the update that makes Forio run smoothly with Excel importing data is already launched. I’m considering to bring my Vensim model to Forio platform but I don’t have much experience and ability coding HTML.



Hi Andre!

Thanks for the note. It’s a much simpler process now. Just upload your data files – Excel, VDF or TXT to your “model” folder and Vensim will pick it up automatically, just as if you ran this on the desktop.

The only caveant is that you must call functions that start with “GET DIRECT” rather than functions that start with “GET XLS”. (e.g. use GET DIRECT DATA instead of GET DIRECT XLS).