OpenFOAM®1, produced and released by What is OpenFOAM?OpenCFD®, is quickly gaining acceptance as To most people, OpenFOAM is a Computational Fluida free and viable alternative to expensive Dynamics (CFD) package, but in fact it is a package that can actually solve any continuum mechanics problem.commercial CFD packages. It has considera- (Admittedly, CFD is one of these, but there are othersble advantages in comparison to commercial as well (e.g. magnetohydrodynamics)).alternatives, making it attractive to a large OpenFOAM was released under an open source license in 2004. This started off a development that is still gai-number of companies. The growing popula- ning momentum today. Many developers are extendingrity of OpenFOAM leads to an increased de- OpenFOAM for their own needs, some are delivering their work back to the OpenFOAM user community andmand for fast and efficient support. The new OpenCFD is constantly extending and enriching theDutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM, organized software. Today, there are vast numbers of models and solvers in OpenFOAM, making it one of the most power-by VORtech and Actiflow, will offer just these ful packages in its field.kind of services right around the corner. Thisleaflet will tell you everything about it.1) OpenFOAM® and OpenCFD® are registered trademarks of OpenCFD Ltd, the producer of the OpenFOAM® software. The support desk for OpenFOAM® announced in this brochure is not an OpenCFD® service.
2 | Dutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM® How to get support for OpenFOAM There are several ways to get help when working with OpenFOAM. The information on the OpenFOAM website will proba- bly get you a long way. Also, the company behind Open- FOAM, OpenCFD Ltd, offers support contracts. There are courses that are organised by the Dutch Open- FOAM User Group. This will help you get through the usual beginners problems. While you are working with OpenFOAM, you will proba- bly run into problems, just as you would with commerci- al software. In that case, you can check the OpenFOAM website, in particular the fora, to see if anyone has al- ready answered your problem. If not, then you can put your question or problem on the forum and wait if so- meone will answer it. Unfortunately it can happen that your question will not be answered. In most cases, this is not acceptable. For instance: ifOne of the most striking things about OpenFOAM is the you have a deadline and the problem that you encoun-fact that it is completely free. But to many users the ter cannot be ignored. For such a situation, it is best tomain advantage of OpenFOAM is that its source code is have a support contract with an organization that canpublicly available. So, if you know a bit about program- guarantee the proper service levels. There are severalming, you can inspect the code and see what it does. If such organizations for OpenFOAM. In the Netherlands,the outcome of your simulation is not what you expec- VORtechActiflow’s service desk for OpenFOAM offersted, you can find out the cause. And: if you want additi- this kind of support right around the corner.onal functionality, you can create it yourself. Or you canhave someone else build it for you.Of course, there are not only advantages. The main dis-advantage is that OpenFOAM requires you to do a lot ofconfiguration work yourself. But it also gives you a lotof control over the configuration. This allows you to runmodels for which the commercial packages just don’toffer the right buttons.
Dutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM® | 3Our service desk for OpenFOAM • Consultancy If you require advice on anything related to Open-Our service desk for OpenFOAM offers you the following FOAM, you can hire one of our consultants. Forservices. Please contact us for the most up to date in- example, they can help you decide whether Open-formation. FOAM is an alternative to your current software, and what the risks and benefits are. Or they can assist• First line support you with the introduction of OpenFOAM in your or- If you run into a problem the first line support desk ganization. Installation or upgrades of OpenFOAM is meant to get you going again as quickly as pos- can also be done by our consultants. sible. Initially, all communication with the first line • Development support desk will be through the Internet portal Our developers are highly experienced in Open- where you can report your problem. The support FOAM and are very efficient for programming exten- desk will then reply either by mail or telephone wit- sions or add-ons. You can either hire them by the hin a single day. If the problem or issue is too com- hour or have us do projects. In the latter case, we plex to answer quickly, then it will be forwarded to will give you a quotation that describes what will be the second line support desk. developed and for what price.• Second line support • Modeling support The second line support desk will consist of Open- As experienced OpenFOAM users, we know the do’s FOAM experts that should be able to solve any and don’ts of working with OpenFOAM. Not only OpenFOAM issue efficiently. Obviously, this may with respect to the software itself but also about take some time if the problem is really difficult. To the modeling itself. What is a good grid? Which tur- avoid unexpected high bills, we will make an esti- bulence model to use? What is this odd feature that mate of the time that we need before we actually I see in my results? start. Questions and answers
4 | Dutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM® • Shouldn’t I better hire the guys from OpenCFD? OpenCFD offers support contracts as well. Our ser- vice desk for OpenFOAM forwards the really tough questions to OpenCFD. The advantage of the Dutch OpenFOAM support desk is that you can address us in your own language and we can come by your of- fice to help you out. • How long is the duration of the contract? Support contracts are offered per year. Obviously, we hope that you will stay with us for a long time. But we understand that we will have to earn a las- ting relationship by delivering good work.• What does it cost? Prices depend on your particular situation, like the response time you require, the total amount of support you need, etc. Send an e-mail to contact@ cfddesk.nl.nl or call +31(0)15-2850125 for a quotation.• How dependable is this support desk? The expertise is already in place. Actiflow has been working with OpenFOAM for many years and VOR- tech has done serious development work with OpenFOAM. Moreover, VORtech is used to running support desks for other software packages. If we think that we cannot handle the question effecti- vely, we will forward it to OpenCFD, the company behind OpenFOAM. Interested?• Can I ask you absolutely anything? Our team is experienced in OpenFOAM so they If you are interested in the Dutch OpenFOAM should be able to answer most questions and repair support desk, please send us an email at: most bugs. But we have to admit: some problems firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31(0)76-5422220(Actiflow) are just too complex to be solved in the framework of the support desk. In that case, we will be happy to supply you with a quotation for having your pro- blem solved by one of our experts.
Dutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM® | 5 What about open source software? The developers form an informal network that decides on new features or the best way to fix a bug. Developing the code is a joint effort but not in the framework of any formal organisation. This is not the case with Open- FOAM though. There is a commercial company behind the software (OpenCFD) which develops the code. Also, formal commercial support is available for the open source packages that are widely used. In the caseAlthough open source software is already quite com- of OpenFOAM, organisations like British OpenCFD andmon in scientific computing, many companies are still VORtechActiflow offer support contracts. This giveshesitant to use it. If you have doubts about using open you the certainty that a professional and experiencedsource software, then this section is relevant for you. company will help you quickly, whenever you need it.Open source software is software of which the source Another disadvantage is that open source software iscode is publicly available. Open source code is placed often less user-friendly than commercial packages. Thesomewhere on the Internet and everyone can take a people that develop the code are usually so comforta-copy and do with it whatever they like. Usually, the only ble with computers that they don’t spend much time onrestriction is that you cannot sell the open source soft- fancy buttons and help files. It requires you to becomeware since it is not your own work. But there is no point a bit more of a computer expert. But once you are overin selling it, since everyone can get it for free from the that, you will find that you can do things with the soft-Internet. To make sure that everyone complies with the ware than you couldn’t possibly do with a commercialopenness of the software, open source software comes package.with a license. In case of OpenFOAM, this is the GPL li-cense (see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html), one A common misconception is that if you do your own soft-of the most common licenses around. ware development based on an open source package, you have to make this development public as well. YouSometimes, developers send their modifications back are free to keep your developments to yourself. Compli-for everyone to use, even though there is no obligation cations can arise only if you want to sell whatever youto do so. Useful modifications (like bug-fixes or new developed. In that case, the license of the open sourcefeatures ) are incorporated in the main version by a net- package may pose some problems, but even these canwork of volunteers. In this way, the software develops. be solved most of the time. Likewise, you are free toSome of the major software packages (Linux, Apache, keep the results that you obtain with the software con-MySQL) have been developed in this way and are highly fidential. The openness is limited to the software itselfdependable and of a superb quality. And if something is and does not extend to your own use of it.wrong after all, then it is usually fixed within a few days.But there are obviously also disadvantages. One thatmakes many companies feel uneasy about open sourcesoftware is that there is not a well-defined organisationbehind it.
6 | Dutch Service Desk for OpenFOAM®About Actiflow and VORtech Design for AerodynamicsActiflow is a company which is specialised in combi- VORtech is a company of scientific software engineers.ning aerodynamics and product design. In a team of We combine a high level of expertise in mathematicaldesigners and aerodynamicists, high end knowledge modeling and computational techniques with the abilityof airflows is turned into products. Moreover, Actiflow to create software that is correct, efficient and maintai-performs aerodynamic studies on a consultancy basis. nable. VORtech offers professional support for Open- FOAM and other scientific computing packages.Our engineers are experienced in product design, aero- VORtech started in 1996 as a spin-off from Delft Univer-and hydrodynamics, CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) sity of Technology. Since then, it has grown into a com-and systems & control. To support our services, we have pany of some 15 highly skilled scientific software engi-a large computer cluster and a workshop where prototy- neers. We offer a full range of services for computationalpes are built and tested. software: consultancy, development, maintenance and optimisation. Our customers are mostly engineeringFor many years now, Actiflow uses OpenFOAM as its firms (small and large) and research departments ofmost powerful tool to analyse gas and fluid flows. By major companies and public institutions.using this tool, we can visualise flows, we can analyseflow behaviour, and we can see the effects of flows intheir surroundings. Based on the insights from Open-FOAM, we advise our clients. Of all CFD codes available,we chose OpenFOAM, as it is a reliable, accurate and va-lidated code offering lots of customisation options.Our customers vary from local engineering and designfirms to large multinationals. They are active in a widerange of industries: from the built environment to themedical sector, from automotive to aerospace, fromwind energy to lifestyle. www.cfddesk.nl / email@example.com T +31(0)76 - 542 22 20 (Actiflow)