CO-LaN announces the release on September 16, 2011 of the CAPE-OPEN Logging and Testing Tool (COLTT) in its version 2.0. It is made available as an open source code from its repository. An installer is provided along with the source code for easy deployment and use.

COLTT is a software tool that captures all the communications taking place between a CAPE-OPEN Process Modelling Environment (PME) and one or several Process Modelling Components (PMCs). PMEs are typically process simulators while PMCs are thermodynamic components (Property Packages, Property Package Managers, Thermo Systems) or unit operations. By analyzing the log files obtained from COLTT, it is possible to pinpoint problems in implementations of CAPE-OPEN interfaces.

V2.0 constitutes a major release of COLTT in terms of eliminating dependencies to non open source third party software as well as increasing COLTT ease of use. The development has been conducted by Michael Halloran under contract from CO-LaN. All the modifications can be accessed on the SourceForge repository of the COLTT project.

Important note: prior to installing this new version, previous versions of COLTT should be uninstalled using Add/Suppress Programs in the configuration panel of Windows.

COLTT v2.0 What’s new?

New! Viewer application

The COLTT installation includes a new application for viewing COLTT log files. COLTTViewer makes it easy to navigate large log files and to pinpoint CAPE-OPEN implementation problems quickly. The viewer presents the contents of COLTT log files as a tree of calls showing nesting and sequence. Log files can be searched directly for errors or using regular expressions and calls can be filtered by method, object or component type.

COLTTViewer can also display .olg files created by the OATS logging tool which is part of the COCO Simulation package (

Controller improvements

  • The COLTTController application now lists all log files in the COLTT log file directory. The COLTTViewer application can be launched from the list.
  • The COLTTController application main window can now be minimized during a run.
  • The real-time logging tab, which proved unreliable, has been removed.

COLTT System improvements

  • COLTT can now generate log files for out-or-process components. This extends COLTT to cover a wider range of PMC developments.
  • A number of improvements have been made to the format of COLTT log files. The principal change is to identify calls initiated by COLTT rather than by a PME or PMC so that they can be filtered out. Calls made by COLTT are prefixed by “COLTT” and COLTT appears as a component in the COLTTViewer application so that all calls from COLTT can be filtered quickly. Other changes have been made to improve consistency.
  • COLTT configuration supports a new option to force COLTT to call the CAPE-OPEN Error interfaces whenever an error is returned by a logged call to a PMC. The switch applies to all logged objects in a run. The option is set in the CAPE-OPENLogs.ini file which can be found in the COLTT log files directory. To force calls to CAPE-OPEN Error interfaces use COLTT.AlwaysLogPMCErrors=true while to switch off COLTT calls to Error interfaces use COLTT.AlwaysLogPMCErrors=false
  • COLTT now supports logging of calls for all Microsoft COM persistence interfaces. The additional interfaces supported in this release are: IPropertyBag, IPropertyBag2, IPersistMemory and IPersistMoniker. Log file entries for persistence interface now show which persistence interface is being used.

Installation improvements

  • The installer is now based on WiX technology.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is now a pre-requisite for installation of COLTT, mainly because the COLTTViewer application relies on .NET.

  • The CAPE-OPENLogs.ini file and COLTT Logfiles will go under the user’s LOCALAPPDATA folder – typically \users\UserName\Appdata\Local\CAPE-OPEN\COLTT Logs. Where LOCALAPPDATA is not available on the target machine, COLTT will use one of APPDATA, USERPROFILE, or TEMP to ensure that files are writeable.

Defect fixes

Detailed report on the fixes included in v2.0 can be found on the bug tracking system within the COLTT project. Thirty-four tickets related to bugs have been closed with this release: bugs corrected range from simple typographic errors to installation problems or difference of behaviour when a PMC is logged with COLTT.