TecIO: What it is and When to Use it
TecIO is Tecplot’s free software library that enables reading & writing of Tecplot file formats (*.plt, *.szplt). We support two distinct APIs that users of the library can choose from depending on their specific needs. The *.plt format has been around for ages and is a reliable way to read data into Tecplot 360 (and a host of other tools as well). The *.szplt file format (SZL) is relatively new and boasts some impressive file size improvements as well as massive load time speed ups. If you want to get into the weeds regarding the differences between Tecplot’s file types (including the ASCII option, *.dat) check out this post from Dr. Scott Imlay from 2018.
Who cares about TecIO?
That’s a fair question – after all, software libraries for the reading and writing of data don’t typically have large fan followings (even if they are awesome). For the majority of Tecplot 360 users the TecIO library isn’t likely to be of much interest – so who should be paying attention?
First and foremost, the audience for all things TecIO includes code developers who want to create a smooth path into Tecplot 360 for their users. Perhaps your user base has requested this, or perhaps you’ve realized (very astutely) that proactively adding Tecplot format export options is a great way to improve your user experience. Using TecIO gives you the power to export results quickly and efficiently in a widely used format. Just how widely used? Well, – just check out the list of codes exporting Tecplot formats.
But even if you aren’t a code developer you might be interested in TecIO if you’re using an opensource code that requires TecIO to support Tecplot output. Both Stanford’s SU2 and NASA’s FUN3D can write out Tecplot file formats if properly compiled with the TecIO library. For SU2 the library is baked into the source repo, so just follow the standard steps to compile the solver and you’ll have it. If you’re using FUN3D check out the steps in our blog Tecplot SZL File Output from FUN3D.
How do I get access to TecIO?
Well, if you have Tecplot 360 installed on your machine – you already have it! Every Tecplot 360 installation comes with a precompiled TecIO library. But if you don’t have access to Tecplot 360 or if you’d simply rather download the source code and compile it yourself you can download the source code through the MyTecplot Portal (request a free login if you don’t have one already).
In summary, TecIO can be a powerful asset to a few specific classes of users. After all, the engineering tool and the post-processing software aren’t much use if you can’t quickly and effectively transfer data from one to the other. TecIO provides a path for your data that is the easiest, fastest, and most capable – ensuring your engineering analysis isn’t limited by your engineering toolchain.
For more general information about TecIO you can visit the TecIO product page on our website.