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Explainer: Phast Web Services

What is Phast Web Services?

“Phast Web Services” is a collection of the various models in Phast hosted online as web services.


But what is a web service, I hear you ask?

A “web service” is simply a software application that is accessible over the web with clearly defined interfaces (input and output). “Web services” are sometimes called API’s.

We use numerous web services in our daily lives without knowing it.  Your weather app connects to a weather web service provider. The input is a location; the output is the weather for that location. The Google maps API is another example. Given a location(s), the API can return various information related to it.  We can retrieve street view, traffic along a route, businesses in the area etc.

Web services are central to distributed application development. Just think about how many websites have Google Maps integrated, the many weather apps that leverage the same weather data provider. Web services enable a “one to many relationship” i.e. one web service acting as the engine for many applications.


Phast Web Services: Integrate Phast directly into your workflow/business process

“Phast Web services” enables high quality Phast calculations to be directly integrated into numerous applications. Think: Excel spreadsheets, Python Scripts, in-house software, other analytic software applications, process simulators – the possibilities are endless. You can automatically connect to various data sources, run calculations and publish results to a dashboard. It also enables real-time consequence analysis e.g. a sensor capturing live data on emissions (release rate, material etc.) from a vent can be coupled to the dispersion web service to generate real-time dispersion information. “Phast web services” can be used to create custom consequence analysis workflows that meet specific business needs as described here.

We have, so to speak “set Phast free”. It doesn’t have to live on your pc anymore.


Phast Web Services: Excel integration example

Excel and Python are tools widely used in the engineering community. Specific interfaces have been created to facilitate direct access to Phast Web Services from these environments (an Excel Add in and a Python Package). Connections to several other tools are also possible/available.

Fig1: Phast Web Services Toolbar in Excel


The figure below shows Phast Web Services directly integrated into a simple Hazard Identification (HAZID) Excel template. This enables Phast consequence calculations to be done immediately by the HAZID team (i.e. directly in Excel) during a HAZID workshop.


Fig 2: Phast Web Services HAZID Excel Example. 1: Phast Web Services Excel Add In; 2: Sheets available in the workbook; 3: Data input for consequence calculations; 4: Button to trigger consequence calculations.


Interested/keen to hear more – drop me a note.  You can also watch a recorded webinar on “Phast Web services” here.

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