Picture of Peter NELLENWithin the CAPE-OPEN 2018 Annual Meeting, Peter NELLEN was asked by CO-LaN to present (access PDF here, 340 Kbytes) on his experience with COBIA Class Wizard developed by AmsterCHEM. Peter’s experience led CO-LaN to choose Peter as instructor for the COBIA training course held on October 8, 2018.

Peter begins by providing background information on his areas of expertise and former positions. He also explains his interest in CAPE-OPEN and COBIA.

Then he describes what the AmsterCHEM COBIA Class Wizard, an add-in in Microsoft Visual Studio, delivers: classes and the definitions for all the functions in the classes. The content of the functions is not generated. So the code generated does not give a ready to run CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation. Still a step-by-step notice is provided that helps a lot to reach the goal of having a fully functional CAPE-OPEN Unit Operation.

Peter then shows screenshots of some of the steps involved. It gives a feel of how the COBIA Class Wizard is used and what it delivers. Peter shows the pieces of code that are automatically created and where they need to be modifed.

Peter than tells about his overall experience. Using the notice provided, it was relatively easy to get a Unit Operation with a Port Collection, such as a Mixer. Some issues were found along the way but quickly resolved by AmsterCHEM. Extending the capabilities of the Unit Operation proved a bit more difficult, partly due to a lack of documentation (about Parameters for instance) and partly to another bug that was also quickly resolved by AmsterCHEM. The tests performed and Peter’s willingness to develop some more his Unit Operation made evident a flaw in the design of the Parameters Common interface, as modified in COBIA. This flaw has been addressed by Methods & Tools SIG.

Peter concludes that the COBIA framework makes developing a PMC more efficient but points to the lack of documentation and of quality assurance procedures before release.