Refer to Sections 1.3 and 17.1 of the User's Manual for additional information. Chapter 17 references example files included with the Dakota distribution which demonstrate how to construct a black-box interface. In addition the Users Manual sections on "Dakota Parameters File Data Format" and "Dakota Results File Data Format" may be helpful.
Dakota can be either loosely or tightly coupled to a simulation. Most users start by loosely coupling Dakota to an application using Dakota's black-box interface. In this mode, Dakota exchanges information with the application through the file system and executes the application with a system call. Some users wish to use Dakota's library mode to tightly couple Dakota algorithms with their applications. This more advanced use case can be very powerful, but requires programming to Dakota's C++ library API and typically involves compiling Dakota from source.