Automate a sequence of projects

Automate a sequence of projects


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Lokad supports two types of projects: forecasting projects and Envision script projects. Those projects can be combined to better fit domain-specific challenges. In order to facilitate the process, it is possible within an forecasting project to configure a sequence of scripts to be executed. This page is intended for advanced users, and outlines how a forecasting project can be configured to trigger a sequence of scripts within Lokad.

Forecasting projects vs Envision scripts

The forecasting projects and the Envision scripts are two very different kinds of projects both managed by Lokad that happen to be very complementary. Combined together, it becomes possible to handle advanced inventory scenarios. However, manually triggering a sequence of inter-dependent projects within Lokad is tedious. Thus, Lokad offers the possibility to configure a forecasting project in order to trigger a desired sequence of scripts, before and after the actual forecasting engine is run.

Overview of a full forecasting run sequence

The full execution sequence of a forecasting project can include:
  1. Sync - data are imported from a third-party app
  2. One or several pre-forecasting Priceforge projects
  3. Forecasting operation performed by the forecasting engine itself
  4. One or several post-forecasting Priceforge projects
  5. Final embedded Envision project

Indeed, the dashboard that is displayed in Lokad by default once a run is completed is actually a special Envision script (auto-created), which can also be customized.

Configuring Envision scripts within a forecasting project

In order to configure Lokad to trigger executions of scripts, you will need to have at least one forecasting project and one Envision script. How to set up such projects is beyond the scope of this present page, so in the following sections, we assume that your Lokad account already contains such projects. Now click on the Projects tab with your Lokad account, and then click on the Edit button associated to your forecasting project. You get to the project configuration view which is a rather long page. Scroll down until you reach the Envision runs section as illustrated below:

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If you click the button Add new triggered projects, the list of Priceforge projects available in your account will be displayed. Click on a project, and it will be inserted below. Then, you can drag and drop the project in order to move it either below Pre forecasting runs or below Post forecasting runs. Depending on where you position your Envision project, this project will be executed by Lokad either before or after the forecasts are produced.

An execution of a script before the production of forecasts is typically intended to modify the files to be loaded by the forecasting engine to perform the forecast. Indeed, while scripts can produce dashboards, scripts can also be used to perform advanced data processing operations which can be highly useful as part of the overall forecasting process.

An execution of a script after the production of forecasts is typically intended to consume not only the input data files that were already available the forecasting engine, but also to access the newly produced forecasts. Indeed, the forecasts produced by Lokad are also pushed into file storage associated to your Lokad account in a format convenient for further script data processing.

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It is possible to select multiple Priceforge projects. Thus, a forecasting project can act as a container for a sequence of scripts. The order of the sequence matters: the projects are executed starting from the top and moving down. You drag-and-drop the projects to change the order of the execution of your scripts.

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By default, all newly inserted Envision projects come with a wait status. This means that Lokad will wait until a project is completed on the Envision side before moving forward with the next step of the execution plan. As illustrated below, this setting can be changed to do not wait. In this case, once an Envision project is triggered, Lokad will immediately move on to the next project. The do not wait option is useful if you are looking to reduce the total waiting time when executing the whole sequence of projects. However, if data dependencies exist between your projects, then the wait option should be used.

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