Tech Labs | 25 Mar 2021

The Global Model Workstation FAQ

Technology Team

Oxford Economics

This article provides answers and explanations to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Global Model Workstation. The FAQ may be of help if you’re having installation issues or require clarification on how to use some of the more advanced features and settings of the system.

General

What is it?

The Workstation is Oxford Economics’ one-stop desktop application for working with our Global Economic Model and Global Industry Model. It offers two key functions:

How is it different to the Global Economic Model software?

The Workstation is the successor to our previous Model products, known as Global Economic ModelGlobal Model and NIIS Global Model. It provides the same functionality and more through a modern, intuitive user interface which is shared with our online databanks.

Installation

What’s in the latest release?

Please find the latest release notes here.

How do I install it?

The Workstation is included with our monthly release of the Global Economic Model. To install it, download a Model release from our website and run it as you would normally. After the Model files have been installed, you will be prompted to install the Workstation. You can find video instructions on our YouTube channel.

What do I need to install the Global Model Workstation?

Before you install the Workstation, your computer should meet the following requirements:

  1. Microsoft Windows 7 or later
  2. At least 2GB RAM
  3. 2GB free disk space

The application can only be installed by a user with administrative privileges.

What will be installed on my computer?

IIS is no longer a mandatory component when you install GMW. This has now become optional for v3.28 and later versions.

The installation consists of the Workstation application and a number of Microsoft components which it requires in order to work:

ItemDescriptionDeveloped bySize
Global Model WorkstationDisplays data from Model databasesOxford Economics600MB
.NET Framework 4.5Standard code frameworkMicrosoft40MB
IIS Express 10Desktop web serverMicrosoft28MB

Some of these are common features which may already be installed on your computer (in which case they will simply be skipped during installation).

Please note: The version of .NET Framework required by our Global Model Workstation software is changing from 4.5 to 4.6. This doesn’t change any functionality; the Workstation will look and work the same way as before. This will take effect from August 2019 onwards, starting with our Global Economic Model release in that month.

You can find out further information here

How long will installation take?

Installing the application and prerequisites for the first time typically takes 5 to 10 minutes.

Can I install it on a multi-user machine?

Yes. The Global Model Workstation is installed for all users but saved selections and other user data are stored on a per-user basis. Active Setup is used to add and remove user-specific files in the user’s application data directory.

Can I do a silent installation?

Yes, if you need to install the Global Model Workstation without showing a user interface, please follow these steps below. Please note: we recommend that this procedure is carried out by IT staff.

  1. Download the latest Global Economic Model .exe installer from our website.
  2. Invoke the installer as follows to run silently, where the value of DIR is the desired installation folder:> setup.exe /VERYSILENT /DIR="C:\your-installation-folder"
  3. Download the latest unbundled installer for the Global Economic Model from our website. This includes an .msi installer for the Global Model Workstation.
  4. Follow the instructions therein to install the Global Model Workstation’s prerequisites.
  5. Follow the instructions therein to silently install the Global Model Workstation using msiexec.

How do I uninstall it?

the program in the list and choose Uninstall.

The Microsoft components installed alongside the Workstation appear as separate programs on your computer and are not automatically removed when you uninstall the Workstation. You may uninstall them in the same way but take care in doing so: they are often used by other applications and you should only remove them if you’re sure that no other programs rely on them.

How can I get past the following message during installation? The Global Model is not installed in the selected directory

During installation, the Workstation needs to be provided with the location of the Global Economic Model on your computer. This error message means that the installer can’t verify that the Global Economic Model is installed at the location provided.

If you have recently installed the Global Economic Model, the installer will be able to discover this location automatically. In other cases, you may have to specify this location yourself.

In any case, if you encounter this message and are unsure which location to enter, please follow these steps:

  1. Confirm that the Global Economic Model is installed on your computer by searching for the application Global Model in your Start Menu under the folder Oxford Economics. If you cannot find this shortcut, please cancel the installation of the Workstation and download and install the Model first.
  2. When you have located the Global Model Start Menu shortcut, right-click it and select Properties.
  3. Find the Shortcut tab. The location you need will be in the box labelled Start in.
  4. Enter this location when prompted for the Global Model location by the _Workstation _installer.

What should I do if I encounter an error during installation?

If an error occurs during installation, if possible, please do the following:

  1. Take a screenshot of the error message
  2. If the error message refers to any log files, please locate them
  3. Please also look for temporary installation log files:
    a. Navigate to %LOCALAPPDATA%/Temp in Windows Explorer
    b. Find any files which begin with Global_Model_Workstation_...
  4. Attach these files to an email and send it to [email protected], along with any other details about the error

Can I use it with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (e.g. Citrix)?

This installation scenario has not been tested by Oxford Economics but, in theory, it may be possible.

The standard installation option for the Workstation is unlikely to work in a virtual desktop environment because it tends to locate data directly on the primary drive (e.g. in C:\OEF) and require that the user has write permission on that directory. It also requires users to install each new forecast (e.g. once per month for the Global Economic Model). However, you may avoid this behaviour following the steps below:

  1. Download the Unbundled installation option from our website and locate the Global Model Workstation Components section therein.
  2. Install GMW.msi to your VDI machine image.
  3. On the first launch of the Workstation, each user will be prompted to acquire a Model release, which contains forecast data. There are two options:
    1. Automatically download and import the latest release (requires in-app log in).
    2. Manually select a Model release to import. This should be a Data-Only download option from our website.
  4. Each user will then be prompted to select a working directory for their Model files. Model releases will be unpacked to this directory. The selected location should be one which is persisted between the user’s VDI sessions (e.g. in the User Profile).
  5. The user can now use the Workstation as normal. They should repeat Step 3 each time a new Model release becomes available.

Using the application

Where can I find instructions for using the Workstation?

You can find a series of short instruction videos on Oxford Economics’ YouTube channel.

Do I need to install IIS Express?

For versions, v3.27 and earlier IIS Express is a non-optional component. For v3.28 (August 2019) and later, it is no longer mandatory.

To find out further details, please view our TechLabs Blog Post.

Do I need an internet connection?

Once you’ve installed the Global Model Workstation, you can use it without being connected to the internet. However, there are certain features which use online resources and therefore unavailable offline.

Can I use the Workstation with a proxy server?

Yes, if you connect to the internet via a proxy server, you can use the Workstation, including its online-only features. To set up a proxy server, choose Settings -> Configure proxy server from the main menu. You can choose to use the settings from your computer’s Internet Options or specify your own settings.

If your computer serves localhost traffic through a proxy server, you may have to carry out this configuration to use the Workstation correctly.

What should I do if I encounter an error in the application?

Sending an error report

If an error occurs, you may be asked if you would like to send us an error report. If you proceed, you will see a draft email in your default email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook). This email includes some useful information and attachments which will help us to diagnose the problem.

Please feel free to add to this email any further details about the error and what was happening in the application at the time it occurred. When you’re ready, send it to the pre-populated address.

Sending a diagnostic email

If you are not asked to send an error report, please follow these steps:

  1. Take a screenshot of the error message (if any)
  2. From the Workstation’s main menu, select Help -> Draft diagnostic email. You will see a draft email in your default email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook).
  3. Attach the screenshot (if any) and add as much detail as you can provide about the error and what was happening in the application at the time it occurred.
  4. When you’re ready, send the email to the pre-populated address

Locating and sending log files manually

If you’re unable to send the draft diagnostic email (e.g. because the Workstation will not launch at all), please follow these steps to locate the application’s log files:

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Type %LOCALAPPDATA%\Oxford Economics\Julienne into the address bar and press Enter
  3. Locate the following files. Some of them may not exist depending on the nature of the problem. Please note, depending on your settings, the extension .log may not be visible:
    • Julienne.log
    • Mandoline.log
  4. Attach these files to an email and send it to [email protected] with as much additional detail as possible.

Common issues

Anti-virus on-access scanning (particularly McAfee)

Symptoms: intermittent problems loading databases in View and download data. In particular, seeing empty location and indicator trees when launching View and download data.

Explanation: if your anti-virus software performs on-access scanning of files, this may interfere with the normal operation of Global Model Workstation. Users reporting this issue often use McAfee anti-virus software.

Solution: configure your anti-virus software to exclude the Workstation’s folders from on-access scanning. In particular, you should add exclusions for:

Insufficient file permissions

Symptoms: you cannot load any databases in the Workstation. An error message appears when launching the Global Economic Model. You can only use either application by running as Administrator.

Explanation: both applications assume that the user has read and write permissions in the installation directory for the Global Economic Model (normally C:\OEF).

Solution: for this directory, grant the Full Control permission level to the Users group.

Corrupted application files

Symptoms: the Global Economic ModelView and download data and Pre-defined scenarios areas cannot be launched at all.

Explanation: in some circumstances, particularly following a Windows update or version upgrade, some non-essential application files can become corrupted. The corrupted files need to be removed.

Solution: follow the steps below to remove the files, they will be recreated by the application the next time you launch it. You may find some application settings return to their original state.

  1. Close GMW if it’s already open
  2. Open Windows Explorer
  3. In the address bar, type: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Oxford Economics\Julienne
  4. Press Enter to open that folder
  5. Delete the folder called BrowserStorage
  6. Try launching GMW again

Unable to launch View Data

Symptoms: an error dialog appears immediately after launching View data. You may see the following message: Specified argument was out of the range of valid values. Parameter name: site.

Explanation: the View data application runs on a local web server (IIS Express) which is installed as a pre-requisite of the Workstation. In a very small number of cases, perhaps due to restrictions in your IT environment, this component is not installed correctly and must be fixed.

Solution: firstly, please send us a diagnostic email so that we can confirm the cause of the problem. If we then direct you back to this solution, please follow the steps below to the fix the problem. These steps requires administrator privileges, so you may need help from your IT team.

Re-install IIS Express 10

  1. Close GMW if it’s already open
  2. Download IIS Express 10 from Microsoft’s website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48264. Choose an amd64 option if you have a 64-bit version of Windows, otherwise choose an x86 option.
  3. (Re-)install IIS Express 10
  4. Relaunch GMW and test View data again. If this still doesn’t work…

Enable IIS Hostable Web Core feature

  1. Close GMW if it’s already open
  2. From the Windows Start Menu, go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off
  3. Scroll down the list of features to find the one named Internet Information Services Hostable Web Core
  4. Enable this feature and click OK
  5. Relaunch GMW and test View data again.

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