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The next step is to let ecflow_server know about your suite or to “load” the suite definition file.

This checks the file test.def and describes the suite to the ecflow_server.

This can be done in several ways, depending on how the suite was created.

Choose between the two methods below, to avoid errors associated with loading suite definition twice.


From within the course directory do the following from the UNIX shell:

 ecflow_client --load=test.def

This will check and load the suite definition into the ecflow_server.
If the check fails, the suite is not loaded.

You will have already seen ecflow_client being used in head.h and tail.h include files.

Please ensure you have exported ECF_PORT, alternatively use --port <port_number> on the command line.


We can ask the python script to write out the defs as ‘.def’ definition file
This can also be useful for debugging when you have a complex suite definition:
import os
from ecflow import Defs,Suite,Task,Edit
print("Creating suite definition")
home = os.path.join(os.getenv("HOME"),  "course")
defs = Defs( 

print("Checking job creation: .ecf -> .job0")

print("Saving definition to file 'test.def'")

# To restore the definition from file 'test.def' we can use: 
# restored_defs = ecflow.Defs("test.def")

If you called “defs.save_as_defs()” the file test.def will be written.

This can be loaded in the server as described earlier. (See Text)

Since the Suite Definition API allows the definition to be built in memory,
it can be directly loaded into the ecflow_server.
This can be done by using ecflow.Client python class.
    print("Load the in memory definition(defs) into the server")
    ci = ecflow.Client()
    ci.load(defs)           # load the in memory python definition(def) into server
except RuntimeError as e:
However, it is recommended that the building of the suite definition is separated
from loading it into the server. The loading should be placed into a file.
import ecflow 
    print("Loading definition in 'test.def' into the server")
    ci = ecflow.Client()   
    ci.load("test.def")      # read definition from disk and load into the server
except RuntimeError as e:
    print("Failed:",   e)

If everything is OK, you should have defined a suite in the server.

Have a look in the window running the ecflow_server, and look at the log file

What to do

  1. Load the definition file. Choose between loading as a text file, or using python API (Update $HOME/course/ to write out the definition to disk)
  2. If using python, examine test.def and create the file
  3. Check the log file.

You cannot use the load command IF the suite exists:  If you encounter errors associated with loading the suite twice, then you can delete the 'test' suite in the server.
ecflow_client --delete /test
If the suite exists on the server: The definition can then be re-loaded part or all of the suite. You need to be careful if the suite is set up to run automatically.
The replace command is used to re-load part or all of the suite. Please type the following for help on replace.

ecflow_client --help replace
ecflow_client --replace=/test test.def        # e.g. to replace the whole suite
ecflow_client --replace=/test/t1 test.def     # or just the one task