Picture of Bill BARRETT (US EPA representative) in December 2018On October 5, 2016, within the CAPE-OPEN 2016 Annual Meeting, Bill BARRETT (US Environmental Protection Agency), leader of the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group (M&T SIG), presented the report (PDF, 682 Kbytes) on the activities of this SIG during the period from October 2015 till September 2016.

B. BARRETT first gave the list of representatives from CO-LaN Members participating in the M&T SIG activities: Jasper van BATEN (AmsterCHEM), Tony GARRATT (ANSYS), Daniel WAGNER, Mark STIJNMAN (Shell Global Solutions), Michael HLAVINKA (Bryan Research & Engineering), Loïc d’ANTERROCHES (Céondo GmbH), David JEROME and Krishna Murthy PENUKONDA (Schneider Electric).

B. BARRETT explained how the work within the SIG is organized with three series of conference calls: one dedicated to the revision of common interfaces, one dedicated to the development of the Flowsheet Monitoring interface specification and one dedicated to the CAPE-OPEN Object Model (COBIA). B. BARRETT appealed for more Members to join the M&T SIG activities.

Then B. BARRETT restated the M&T SIG Charter that underwent no change since the previous year. Next B. BARRETT moved onto what the SIG delivered during the period and what it is working upon.

Two Errata and Clarifications documents were finalized, peer reviewed and approved for public release by the CO-LaN Management Board: one on the Parameters Common interface specification and one on the Persistence Common interface specification.

The M&T SIG has also been contributing to the definition and test of the CAPE-OPEN Type Libraries/Primary Interop Assemblies installers, developed by the Interoperability SIG, has progressed but not finalized an Errata and Clarification document on the Utilities Common interface specification, has also progressed on revising the Error Handling interface specification, on writing the Flowsheet Monitoring interface specification and on developing the CAPE-OPEN Binary Interop Architecture (COBIA).

CAPE-OPEN Type Libraries and Primary Interop Assemblies

The need for CAPE-OPEN PIAs developed, maintained and distributed by CO-LaN was identified by the M&T SIG in response to issues found by end-users. The M&T SIG advised the Interop SIG, responsible for the development of installers of the CAPE-OPEN Type Libraries and Primary Interop Assemblies, about code signing of the installers and of the installed files. And the M&T SIG provided also its input on an issue found about a persistence interface within the Primary Interop Assembly, about deployment issues as well as about how to deal with reference counting through installation so that security is obtained about retaining CAPE-OPEN references in the Windows Registry. The M&T SIG provided also the resources to conduct a peer review of the Developer Guidelines created by the Interop SIG and pertaining to the use of CAPE-OPEN Type Libraries and PIA installers.

Errata & Clarifications

Regarding the two published Errata & Clarifications documents, the M&T SIG strictly followed the internal process imposed by CO-LaN. It involves an in-depth peer review and its analysis plus response, in order to prove the quality of the documents proposed for public release. The M&T SIG would like to especially thank the reviewers of these documents. Without them the quality of the documents would be far lower. Then B. BARRETT went through the specifics of both documents.

A similar review process has been initiated on the Errata & Clarifications document developed for the Utilities Common interface specification.While the M&T SIG is confident that the clarifications are properly defined, the process calls for more reviewers to get involved.

Regarding the Error HandlingCommon interface specification, the issues have been identified and even some addressed within the COBIA project. A possible Errata & Clarification document on Error Handling is considered.

Flowsheet Monitoring interface specification

Next B. BARRETT stated the progress made with the Flowsheet Monitoring interface specification: still re-formulating Use Cases and checking the consistency between interface/method descriptions and these Use Cases. At this stage of progress, it is considered as doable to start the peer review process before the next CAPE-OPEN Annual Meeting. B. BARRETT exemplified the progress made through Use Case maps showing which Use Cases have been added and which have been modified since the last CAPE-OPEN Annual Meeting.

CAPE-OPEN Binary Interop Architecture

Regarding COBIA, B. BARRETT described the phasing agreed upon and mentioned that COBIA Phase I has just been completed. That is the proof of concept has been demonstrated and will be during the CAPE-OPEN 2016 Annual Meeting. Now CO-LaN Management has to decide wether it is reasonable and timely to start Phase II that will lead to a full set of CAPE-OPEN interfaces to be operable in COBIA. It involves some work by other SIGs, namely by the Thermo and Unit SIGs. B. BARRETT gave then the recommendation developed by the M&T SIG regarding the future of a number of interfaces that may need to be retired or reworked.

The presentation ended with the COBIA roadmap and the list of deliverables for the next period, that is till next CAPE-OPEN Annual Meeting.