Picture of Bill BARRETT (US EPA representative) in December 2018At the CAPE-OPEN 2020 Annual Meeting, Dr William BARRETT (US Environmental Protection Agency) presented the activity report of the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group (SIG) over the period from October 2019 till September 2020. This report (access PDF here, access video here) has been prepared by the core group of the Methods & Tools SIG.

Over the past period covered, the M&T SIG has advised CO-LaN Management Board on the licensing scheme to be applied to CO-LaN products. M&T SIG has helped define and categorize CO-LaN intellectual property between mainly abstract specifications, implementation specifications, distributed software. M&T SIG also provided input on the impact of licensing on the usage of these products. This was used in support of the Intellectual Property Policy adopted by CO-LaN in 2020.

In close collaboration with the Interoperability Special Interest Group, a proposal has been developed on the versioning scheme to be applied to the CAPE-OPEN standard and to the products derived from the CAPE-OPEN standard. Three different levels of changes are considered to organize versioning: breaking changes, feature additions (extensions) and bug fixes/patches. Based on this classification a numbering scheme defined through major.minor.patch.(revision or build) has been derived. Rules of compatibility between versions have been defined. The application of this versioning proposal to recent changes brought to the CAPE-OPEN standard, such as addition of Flowsheet Monitoring and Custom Data, or release of COBIA Phase II deliverables, has been developed as well.

A major activity of the Methods & Tools SIG is the COBIA development project. Over the October 2019/September 2020 period, the main result is the successful completion of Phase 2 of the project with the distribution on September 23, 2020 of the first versions of the COBIA Runtime (the COBIA middleware) and of the COBIA Software Development Kit (the code generator of COBIA-based applications).

The M&T SIG is looking forward to finalize the scoping of Phase 3 of the COBIA project which will address the threading model, marshalling and language bindings.

During the past period the M&T SIG has progressed on CAPE-OPEN 1.2 versions of textual specifications for Persistence, Parameter, Reporting and Error handling. These textual specifications need to be finalized over the next year.