HTRI Logo 150x57Within the 3rd CAPE-OPEN European Conference, also known as the CAPE-OPEN 2006 Annual Meeting, Joe HOLMES from Heat Transfer Research Inc. (HTRI), presents a talk titled “Beyond compliance” (PDF, 267 Kbytes). The focus of the talk is to encourage the software vendors, and CO-LaN itself, to look at issues beyond technical compliance with the CAPE-OPEN standards to drive acceptance of these interfaces in the marketplace. The paper presents some examples of work HTRI is doing in this direction.

Joe makes the point that adoption and use of the CAPE-OPEN interfaces will depend upon more than technical feasibility and availability. He also makes the point that ideally the end-user should not even notice that CAPE-OPEN is used for the interoperability he/she is seeking.

Then Joe states what is the current situation regarding CAPE-OPEN implementation in the XChanger Suite provided by HTRI. Three elements of the software suite have been made CAPE-OPEN Unit Operations.

Joe then points out that access to the native reports provided by XChanger Suite is not provided, changing the user experience with HTRI software between the stand-alone version and usage within a PME. Also Joe is looking for ways to call the native user interface of XChanger Suite interface. He then reports on a number of issues encountered when testing in various environments. Among the solutions to the difficulties encountered, Joe calls for the definition by CO-LaN of a required/recommended list of properties on a Property Package, but also for better testing software.He asks also for more sample code, going further than the mixer/splitter code example. Also PME vendors could provide a way to test against their CAPE-OPEN sockets without providing their complete software.

Comments by CO-LaN: some issues mentioned are in fact resolved. The ICapeUnitReport interface on the Unit Operation lets the PME retrieves the report provided by the Unit Operation. The ICapeUtilities interface gives access to the User Interface of a Unit Operation through its Edit method. Nevertheless the issue of too much flexibility in the interface definition remains a recurrent point raised by developers, requiring from them additional code in order to resolve most situations (such as volume property available instead of density property).