Thermo Special Interest Group (Thermo SIG) met on July 6, 2022 from 10 am till noon (Central European Time).


Draft of Manager Common Interface Specification


BASF (represented by Sergej BLAGOV), AmsterCHEM (represented by Jasper van BATEN), Michel PONS (Consultant as Chief Technology Officer).

Klaus MÖLLER (University of Cape Town) apologized for not being able to attend while on a trip to the Republic of Mozambique to teach there.


Thermo SIG progressed further the CAPE-OPEN interface specification for Managers, which contains, so far, one interface named ICapeManager.

After having previously identified the need for a Manager to advertise to the PME its capability to create, “from scratch“, a new Primary Process Modelling Component object, a functionality dearly missing among the functionalities of a Property Package Manager, Thermo SIG addressed how a Manager advertises such a functionality (the need to advertise the functionality was also listed as a design decision within the section on interface architecture).

After considering the possibility to introduce an additional interface dedicated to this optional functionality, Thermo SIG opted for introducing a property (SupportsCreateNew) on the ICapeManager interface. This property, a Boolean, lets the PME know if the Manager supports the creation from scratch of a new Primary PMC object (so not from a Template, not by de-persisting an Object). After fully describing this property, Thermo SIG went back to the errors and notes of the operation (tentatively renamed CreateNew) implementing this functionality.

Notes of the operation were reviewed and finalized. In the sub-section dedicated to errors potentially raised by this operation, it was made clear it is incorrect to raise an ECapeNotImplemented exception while the Manager is advertising its support for the functionality of creating new Primary PMC objects. The Manager should always be consistent with the promise made through the CreateNew property value.

This remark was made a requirement in order to be able to refer to it while testing compliance of any Manager. Another requirement was introduced on the need for a Manager to return a TRUE or FALSE value for the above mentioned property SupportsCreateNew.

A Manager hands over a Primary PMC Object to the PME without being required to initialize the Object. Whatever the way an Object is created (from a Template, de-persistence or creation from scratch), it is up to the PME to initialize the Object. This was made a requirement on the PME when dealing with Objects handed over by a Manager.

The Methods & Tools Special Interest Group has already specified, for version 1.2 of the CAPE-OPEN standard, a new signature for the ICapeUtilities::Edit operation (used to configure a Primary PMC) in order to fulfill the need to communicate the parent window to the GUI window created as part of ICapeUtilities::Edit. Within the Thermo SIG, it was discussed if the above mentioned CreateNew operation of ICapeManager should have as input argument a window handle provided by the PME. While this window handle could be used by the Manager for the GUI the Manager may provide, it was felt, after discussion, that such an argument would be better suited for version 1.2 of the ICapeManager specification since anyway it will be used almost exclusively by ICapeUtilities::Edit which does not accept yet such an argument in version 1.1 of the CAPE-OPEN standard.

As a side discussion, Thermo SIG considered at some length the potential need for a validation functionality on any Primary PMC Object. Such a functionality exists for a CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation and sits on the ICapeUnit interface. There is no such functionality on Property Packages and that may be problematic in some situations. A Manager will hand over to the PME a Property Package at some state of configuration. Will it be sufficiently configured to be used, this is not known to the PME.

However, after reviewing several generic examples at BASF, the definition of what validation is encompassing for Property Packages appeared difficult (but not impossible) to state in a unique way. Since validation is a functionality on the Primary PMC and is not pertaining to a Manager, it is not relevant to the Manager Common interface specification. Still it is a discussion worth to keep in mind for improving the Thermodynamic and Physical Property interface specification.

Next meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2022.


Picture of Sergej BLAGOV, BASF (2018)Picture of Jasper van BATEN (AmsterCHEM)Any CO-LaN Member interested in the Thermo SIG activities is welcome to join this Special Interest Group. Contact the co-leaders of the SIG for further information: Sergej BLAGOV at BASF () and Jasper van BATEN at AmsterCHEM (). The Thermo SIG is looking for additional parties, well versed into any aspect of thermodynamics applied to process simulation and willing to contribute to the maintenance and development of CAPE-OPEN interface specifications related to thermodynamical aspects.