FREE for students and post-docs!


DataTank was first introduced in 2002. Back in 2005 it got the Apple Design Awards in the Scientific Computing Solution category. In 2006 it was used as the foundation for DataGraph, which is focused on only graphing and uses a simplified data model. DataGraph and DataTank are based on a similar approach, namely a dataflow environment with objects that represent data and objects that create the drawing element in the graph. DataTank is significantly larger, with 80 data types to handle the data, about 2,000 computational actions and seven different drawing environments to handle graphs, composition, two and three dimensional representations.


DataTank is a modular environment, and doesn’t follow a standard versioning approach. Updates are frequent, and purchasing a license gives you all of the updates. This is similar to what the beta version of DataGraph does. DataTank is very stable, and the updates are typically not changes to the overall framework but instead tweaks and fixes to individual actions. The benefit of this is that if you are using DataTank for a task and run into a snag, you don’t have to wait for the next version or learn to live with it, but instead you can go to the Help menu and send an e-mail with a question/request.


DataTank is a very powerful application, and even though it is the parent of DataGraph, it is more oriented for programming. DataTank is a visual programming environment itself, and there are ways to launch your own programs from within DataTank. Those programs are command line utilities, either standard utilities or programs written using the DTSource framework, a C++ framework that comes with DataTank and is focused on the needs of numerical programming.

Getting a License

Starting in 2014, students and post-docs can now get a FREE license for DataTank. This license needs to be renewed every year, but as long as you are a student/post-doc you will be renewed. Once you get your faculty/research position you will hopefully consider DataTank a crucial part of your computing work flow.

First step is to download the application. This downloads a disk image of the application. When you launch it, it opens a window where you can request a trial or a student license.

If you are not a student or post-doc, you can get a 30 day trial license, and if that is not enough you can request additional time. There are two licensing methods available
  • A license for a single user on multiple machines.
  • A license for a single machine and multiple users
The license is purchased through the web store, run by FastSpring.


Introduction. Video to help you get started. For example files, use the Help menu in DataTank.

More on the movie page