ecFlow's documentation is now on readthedocs!

You can check definition for valid trigger expression and in-limits for existing definition file using:

Command Line
ecflow_client --load=/my/home/exotic.def check_only
Python, Load from disk and check
from ecflow import Defs 
defs = Defs('/my/home/exotic.def')

This will check that the suite definition is correct and can be loaded into the server.

However, typically Definition files are built using the python API, where most checks are done whilst the definition is being built. (i.e. duplicate node names at the same level) 

Check defs built with ecflow python API
import os
from ecflow import Defs,Suite,Task,Edit
home = os.path.join(os.getenv("HOME"),  "course")
defs = Defs(

Simulation and Verification

You can also use the simulator, allowing you to predict/verify the behaviour of your suite in a few seconds. The simulator is available with the python API.

The simulator will analyse the definition, and simulate the ecFlow server. Allowing time dependencies that span several months, to be simulated in a few seconds.

 ecFlow allows the use of 'verify' attributes. This example shows how we can verify the number of times a task should run, given a start(optional, but required when using time-based attributes) and end time(optional).

suite cron3              # use real clock otherwise clock starts when the simulations starts
   clock real  1.1.2006  # define a start date for deterministic behaviour
   endclock   13.1.2006  # When to finish. end clock is *only* used for the simulator
   family cronFamily
     task t
       cron -d 10,11,12   10:00 11:00 01:00  # run on 10,11,12 of the month at 10am and 11am
       verify complete:6                     # task should complete 6 times between 1.1.2006 -> 13.1.2006

 Please note, for deterministic behaviour, the start and end clock should be specified when using time-based attributes.

 However, if no 'endclock' is specified the simulation run will assume the following defaults.

  • No time dependencies: 24 hours
  • time || today                : 24 hours
  • day                                : 1 week
  • date                              : 1 month
  • cron                               : 1 year
  • repeat                           : 1 year

The simulator resolution is determined by analysing the suite.

If we find time dependencies with a minute resolution, then this is used. (Otherwise, we use 1-hour resolution).   If there no time dependencies then the simulator will by default use 1-hour resolution.

This needs to be taken into account when specifying the verify attribute

If the simulation does not complete it creates defs.flat and defs.depth files.

This provides clues as to the state of the definition at the end of the simulation

Calling the simulator in python
import ecflow
defs = Defs('suite.def')        # specify the defs we want to simulate 
theResults = defs.simulate()    # call the simulator
print theResults                # check the results.

 If the definition was created directly with the python API, then we need only call 'defs.simulate()