On October 12, 2017, within the CAPE-OPEN 2017 Annual Meeting, Malcolm WOODMAN, leader of the Interoperability Special Interest Group presented the report (PDF, 282 Kbytes) on the activities of the SIG during the period from October 2016 till September 2017. The presentation is also available as a video on the CAPE-OPEN Channel.
The report has been prepared by Malcolm WOODMAN, Michael HALLORAN and Michel PONS (CO-LaN). First Malcolm presents the Interoperability SIG charter and states that the charter remains unchanged from the previous year. Then Malcolm describes the work process which involves monthly conference calls to survey progress and identify actions. Michael HALLORAN, as contractor to CO-LaN, implements new features or modifications, tests these together with Michel PONS who usually documents defects found in software tools under the responsibility of the Interoperability SIG.
The Interoperability SIG put together the repositories that support a large part of the technical and managerial activities of CO-LaN. The Interoperability SIG continues to maintain these repositories that enable appropriate collaboration within the SIGs, in between SIGs, among the CO-LaN membership and with the CAPE community at large (for some public aspects of the repositories). It is worth noting that the original projects set up at SourceForge for COLTT and COBIA have now been deleted. All projects now rely on RepositoryHosting as the service supplier.
Next Malcolm describes the activities of the Interoperability SIG with respect to the installers of the CAPE-OPEN Type Libraries and Primary Interop Assemblies. Following some points raised at the CAPE-OPEN 2016 Annual Meeting, a final version of the installers corresponding to versions 1.0 and 1.1 of the CAPE-OPEN documentation set, has been released and already downloaded 150 times. A document has been publicly released, after approval by CO-LaN Management Board, as a guide to developers for these installers and a conference call was organized in February 2017 with software vendors in order to introduce them to the installers and to the guide. These installers should be used by all CAPE-OPEN developers.
Lessons learnt from the development of these installers have been documented and provided to CO-LaN Management Board. The main recommendations are:
- Review the scope of the development and the assumptions being made about the vendors’ software and the end-users environment early in the development process
- Define Test scenarios and have them reviewed early in the development process
- Agree a test programme with the software vendors
Looking forward, the Interoperability SIG is now considering how to take into account additions to the IDL, for example for the Flowsheet Monitoring interface specification which is being finalized by the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group. A recommendation is being developed by the Interoperability SIG and will be proposed to software vendors in order to seek their feedback.
Malcolm then addresses the work done on COLTT, the CAPE-OPEN Logging and Testing Tool. COLTT has been adapted to 64-bit PMEs and PMCs and this dual release corresponds to version 2.4 of COLTT, downloaded more than 40 times since July 2017. Currently, a user of COLTT needs to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of COLTT and it is up to the user to decide which version to use depending on whether the PMC being logged is 32-bit or 64-bit. In the future it appears possible to develop a controller that will be common to both versions, making life easier for users. This controller, a 64-bit software, would activate either a 32-bit or a 64-bit logger depending on whether the PMC being logged is 32-bit or 64-bit. A 64-bit Viewer would complement the set of tools.
Malcolm then went on to describe the input provided by the Interoperability SIG to the COBIA project. In line with its key responsibilities, the Interoperability SIG has focused on achieving sustainable interoperability with COM implementations throughout the COBIA project. The Interoperability SIG is then emphasizing the need for multiple vendors to pick up COBIA for their development. Also it appears necessary to effectively prioritize the few resources available to CO-LaN with respect to an ever growing number of activities.