View Simulink® and Stateflow® models without Simulink®

Do you use Simulink® and Stateflow® from MathWorks? These tools are powerful and often a central part in the engineering tool chain. Models and block libraries created with them carry valuable engineering knowledge of your development team and organization. The more important the models are the more people use them as a source of information for their everyday work. Reflecting the development process, there are many usage scenarios that need access to the models but are not about editing and simulating models. This is typical in testing scenarios but can also be found within implementation tasks. For these scenarios, viewer for models and libraries would be sufficient. So what are the pros and cons of using Simulink and Stateflow viewers?  

Suitability 

Simulink® and Stateflow® provide a functionality that goes far beyond read-only use cases. But if you just want to read and analyse models, features for editing and simulation can be considered an unnecessary weight that has to be carried around. 

Screenshot of YAKINDU Model Viewer with browsing and search features, showing simulink model

A model browser can cut off this extra weight and provide a focussed user interface. It can provide a much simpler and more direct access that better supports users browsing models and finding information. This should include:

  • Browser like access to view Simulink® models
  • Browser like access to view Stateflow® models
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Web like search
  • Bird eye view

Additional use cases are comparing and merging different model versions or tracing back to requirements.

Performance

Additionally, a lean application tends to be faster. This is mainly relevant for large models. It makes a difference if opening a (very) large model takes a few seconds before you can start working with it or if you have to wait for over two minutes.  

Chart showing model opening time between Simulink and YAKINDU model viewer Availability 

Simulink licences are expensive and if you are working in teams it is very common to use floating licences. These licenses are maxed out much too often and so the following error message might be familiar to you...
 
License checkout failed. License Manager Error - 39

This is annoying especially if you just want to take a quick look into a model. A viewer can provide access without any need for a Simulink® installation and licence. 

Costs 

As viewers are typically lightweight tools with a restricted yet optimized set of features they are cheaper and provide a way to cut license costs. You can find more information regarding licence costs in our blog post 'How to reduce simulink license costs?'

So using a Simulink viewer or Stateflow viewer is a pragmatic and cost efficient alternative to read and analyse models for use cases that do not require model editing and simulation features.

YAKINDU Model Viewer

 

Simulink® and Stateflow® are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc.

About The Author

Axel is working with itemis since 2006. He is head of R&D embedded systems and project lead of YAKINDU Statechart Tools.