Glossary of abbreviations#


Like all technical documentation, the documentation for PyAnsys libraries includes lots of abbreviations, which is a general term that also includes acronyms and initialisms.

On the first use of an abbreviation that might be unfamiliar to the developer community, the documentation for a PyAnsys library provides the longer word or phrase. For your convenience, this page provides a glossary of all these abbreviations.


A - B - C#


Ansys Customer Excellence: The Ansys organization responsible for ensuring customer success with Ansys products.


Ansys customization toolkit: The Ansys unified and consistent toolkit for customizing and extending Ansys products.


Ansys Electronics Desktop: An Ansys product with the best-in-class solvers for electronics simulations. ACT uses easy-to-learn yet powerful XML (eXtensible Markup Language) and IronPython programming languages.


Artificial intelligence: A branch of computer science that deals with building smart machines that can perceive, synthesize, and infer information, allowing them to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. AI can be applied to various domains, such as expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision. See also DL (deep learning) and ML (machine learning), which both fall under AI.


APDL (Ansys Parametric Design Language): A powerful, structured scripting language used to interact with the Ansys Mechanical solver. See also MAPDL, an FEA (finite element analysis) program driven by APDL.


Application program interface: A set of rules that enable different apps to communicate with each other. An API is a type of software interface, offering a service to other pieces of software.


Boundary condition: A place on a structure where either the external force or the displacement is known at the start of the analysis. In this way, BCs (boundary conditions) are where the structure interacts with the environment either through the application of an external force or through some restraint that is imposing a displacement. See also DOF.


Computer aided design: The use of computers to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.


Computational fluid dynamics: A branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to analyze and solve problems that involve fluid flows and related transport phenomena such as heat and mass transfer.


CFX: An Ansys CFD (computational fluid dynamics) tool for designing and optimizing turbomachinery, include pumps, turbines, compressors, fans, and other rotating machinery.


Continuous integration/continuous delivery: The practice of automating the integration of code changes from multiple developers into a single codebase so that the code can be built, tested, and delivered to production-ready environments for approval.


Contributor license agreement: An agreement defining the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to a project or company, typically for software under an open source license.


Common Object Request Broker Architecture: A standard designed to facilitate the communication of systems that are deployed on diverse platforms. CORBA enables collaboration between systems on different operating systems, programming languages, and computing hardware.


Carriage return, line feed: The invisible characters that the Windows operating system uses to denote line endings in files.

D - E - F#


Developer Ecosystem: The name of the Ansys team responsible for the Ansys Developer portal.


Deep learning: A subset of ML (machine learning), where artificial neural networks–algorithms modeled to work like the human brain–learn from large amounts of data. Deep learning is what drives many AI (artificial intelligence) technologies.


Domain name system: A hierarchical and distributed naming system for computers, services, and other resources on the internet or other IP (internet protocol) networks. Just like a telephone directory translates names to phone numbers, DNS translates domain names to IP addresses, which are numerical labels assigned to every device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.


Degrees of freedom: The minimum number of independent parameters that are required to define the position of a rigid body in space. BCs (boundary conditions) are typically expressed in terms of applicable degrees of freedom.


Data Processing Framework: An Ansys product that provides numerical simulation users and engineers with a toolbox for accessing and transforming simulation data. With DPF, you can perform complex preprocessing or postprocessing of large amounts of simulation data within a simulation workflow.


Don’t repeat yourself: A principle of software development aimed at reducing repetition of software patterns, replacing them with abstractions or using data normalization to avoid redundancy.


End-of-line: One or more invisible characters that denote line endings in files. Each operating system manages EOL characters in its own way. Windows uses the original DOS convention of a CRLF (carriage return plus a line feed), while Linux and Mac use only a LF (line feed).


Finite element analysis: A simulation of any given physical phenomenon using the numerical technique called FEM (finite element method). Engineers use FEA software to reduce the number of physical prototypes and experiments and to optimize components in their design phases to develop better products more quickly and less expensively.


Finite element method: A popular method for numerically solving differential equations arising in engineering and mathematical modeling. Typical problem areas of interest include the traditional fields of structural analysis, heat transfer, fluid flow, mass transport, and electromagnetic analysis.


Friction stir welding: A solid-state joining process that uses a non-consumable tool to join two facing workpieces without melting the workpiece material. The Friction stir welding (FSW) simulation example in the PyMAPDL documentation shows how to simulate the FSW process.

G - H - I#


gRPC: A high performance, open source, universal RPC (remote procedure call) framework. gRPC can efficiently connect services in and across data centers with pluggable support for load balancing, tracing, health checking, and authentication.


Graphical user interface: The system of interactive visual components that computer software provides for interacting with it. Such visual components include windows, buttons, menus, and icons.


Hypertext transfer protocol: A protocol for transferring data between a browser and a web server, providing the foundation of data exchange on the internet.


Hypertext transfer protocol secure: An extension of HTTP that uses encryption for transferring data between a browser and a web server so that sensitive data can be safely exchanged on the internet.


Identifier: A sequence of characters used to identify or refer to a piece of data or a process in code.


Initial Graphics Exchange Specification: A vendor-neutral file format that allows the digital exchange of geometry data and CAD models among CAD (computer-aided design) systems.


Intellectual property: A category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Of the many types of IP, the best known are patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.

Internet protocol: The network layer communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing function enables internet working and essentially establishes the internet.

J - K - L#


JavaScript Object Notation: A lightweight data format for storing and transporting data. JSON is easy for humans to read and write, and it is easy for machines to parse and generate. JSON is often used when data is sent from a server to a web page.


Line feed: The invisible character that the Linux and Mac operating systems use to denote line endings in files.

M - N - O#

MEMS Microelectromechanical systems: Miniaturized devices incorporating both electronic and mechanical components. A MEM device is made up of components between 1 and 100 micrometers in size. The PyMAPDL documentation references MEMs on multiple occasions.


Machine learning: The use and development of computer systems that can learn and adapt without following explicit instructions, by using algorithms and statistical models to analyze and draw inferences from patterns. ML is a data technology that falls under AI (artificial intelligence).


Mechanical APDL (Ansys Parametric Design Language): A finite element analysis program driven by APDL. APDL and MAPDL can be used for many tasks, ranging from creating geometries for analysis to setting up sophisticated solver settings for highly complex analyses.


Operating system: System software that controls and manages the hardware and the other software on a computer. Every computer must have at least one OS. Popular operating systems include Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Apple macOS.


Open source software: Computer software that is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose. Open source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner.

P - Q - R#


Printed circuit board: An assembly that mechanically supports and electrically connects layers of conductors, metal interconnects, insulators, and other components such as diodes and resistors.


Polycrystalline cubic boron nitride: A super-abrasive material that is used to make cutting tool for machining extremely hard materials. This tool is used in FSW (friction stir welding).


Python Enhancement (or Enterprise) Proposal 8: The style guide for Python code. This style guide helps Python programmers write consistent, readable, and maintainable code.


Product Instance Management: The PIM API is a gRPC API, enabling both library and app developers to start a product in a remote environment and communicate with its API. The PIM API is not intended to manage stateless services, to be a job management system, or a fully featured service orchestration API. Its purpose is to expose a minimum feature set for managing service-oriented apps.


Product marketing manager: The title of an Ansys person who can approve an open source project for an Ansys product for public release.


Pull request: A notification to a development team that a branch or fork of some code has changes that are ready to be reviewed. A PR allows the team to discuss, comment, and approve the proposed changes before they are merged into the main repository.


Power spectral density: A type of frequency-domain analysis in vibration analysis that is a measure of a signal’s power content versus frequency. The Dynamic simulation of a printed circuit board assembly example in the PyMAPDL documentation shows how to import an existing FEA (finite element analysis) model and run a modal and PSD analysis.


Python Package Authority: A working group that maintains a core set of software projects used in Python packaging. The software developed through the PyPA is used to package, share, and install Python software and to interact with indexes of downloadable Python software such as PyPI, the Python Package Index.


Python Package Index: A repository of software for the Python programming language. PyPI helps you find and install software developed and shared by the Python community.


Representational state transfer: A software architectural style that provides interoperability between computer systems over the internet. REST is based on simple and standardized protocols, like HTTP, which is the backbone of the internet. It emphasizes a stateless client-server interaction, meaning each request should contain all the necessary information to be understood by the server, without relying on any previous interactions. This simplicity and standardization make it easy for different systems to communicate and exchange data effectively.


Remote procedure call: A powerful software communication protocol used in distributed client-server programs. An RPC is a request message initiated by a client program to a known remote server to execute a specified procedure with supplied parameters. The remote server sends a response to the client, and the app continues its process. RPC is more efficient than REST in terms of speed, memory, and payload size. Typically, the use of REST should be limited to short messages transferred via JSON files, and gRPC should be used for large data transfers and bidirectional streaming.


Remote method invocation: An API that allows an object to invoke a method on an object that exits in another address space, which could be on the same machine or on a remote machine. The Java RMI is the object-oriented equivalent of an RPC (remote procedure) for Java, with support for direct transfer of serialized Java classes and distributed garbage-collection.


Result structural: A proprietary file format in which Ansys Mechanical writes simulation results from a structural analysis.

reStructured Text: A file format and markup language that software developers and technical documentation writers use to produce documentation for Python-based software programs.


Result thermal: A proprietary file format in which Ansys Mechanical writes simulation results for a thermal analysis.

S - T - U#

SI units

Système International units: The modern form of the metric system and the world’s most widely used system of measurement. It is the only system of measurement with an official status in nearly every country in the world and is employed in science, technology, industry, and everyday commerce.


Secure shell protocol: A cryptographic network protocol for operating network services securely over an unsecured network. Its most notable applications are remote login and command-line execution.


Test-driven development: A software development process that relies on software requirements being converted to test cases before software is fully developed. Software development is then tracked by repeatedly testing the software against all use cases.


User-defined function. Custom logic for a computation defined by a user that can then be reused multiple types in the user environment. Python UDFs are scalar functions that return a value for each row passed to them. In Python, UDFs can be applied directly in the dataframes and SQL data databases.

V - W - X#


Virtual private network: A secure connection from your computer, smart phone, or tablet to a server on the internet that allows you to browse the internet using this computer’s internet connection. A VPN provides hides your IP (internet protocol) address and encrypts your internet connection to provide an extra layer of privacy and anonymity.

VS Code

Visual Studio Code: The lightweight but powerful source code editor made by Microsoft with the Electron Framework. It is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. VS Code supports debugging, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, code refactoring, and embedded Git. It can be used with a variety of programming languages including C, C#, C++, Fortran, Go, Java, JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Rust, and Julia.


Visualization Toolkit: Open source software for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and scientific visualization.


Windows Subsystem for Linux: A Windows development environment that enables running a GNU/Linux environment, including most command-line tools, utilities, and apps, directly on Windows, unmodified, without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dual-boot setup.


eXtensible Markup Language: A markup language and file format for storing, transmitting, and reconstructing arbitrary data. XML defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

Y - Z#

(No Y or Z entries exist presently.)