COFE can be loaded into an active document container, like for example Microsoft Excel. An instance of a COFE flowsheet document can also be created by means of automation (OLE/COM), for example in Microsoft Visual Basic.
Note: If you want to use COFE in excel, skip this chapter and start reading here.
Using both of the above approaches, one can obtain programmatic access to obtain information from and manipulate items inside the COFE flowsheet document. This chapter describes how to create an instance of a Flowsheet document, and how to access the document items by means of automation.
COFE exposed - where possible - all CAPE-OPEN interfaces through its automation interfaces. The exposed interfaces allow you to manipulate all COFE objects, but are primarily intended for accessing information in a read-only manner. Some operations are safe, that is, you can for example safely change the values of temperatures or compositions in streams and then study the effect of it. All changes related to the topology of the flowsheet itself however are advised to be changed only through COFE's front end. Even though you could instruct a unit operation's port to disconnect from its material, COFE would not know about it and would assume the material is still connected to the port. So you are advised to not manipulate any information related to the topology of the flowsheet other than through the COFE user interface. MANIPULATING COFE'S TOPOLOGY THROUGH AUTOMATION MAY LEAD TO UNPREDICTIBLE BEHAVIOUR
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