I happily participated at the CAPE-OPEN European Conference in Lyon. I sadly missed the special interest group meetings at the end of the conference as I kind of skipped them in my planning (I though one had to be part of the SIG to participate but they were open to everybody).
CAPE-OPEN is a great set of standardized interfaces (API) — mostly COM but also CORBA in theory — to allow a unit operation model or a thermodynamic model to be used in nowadays a large array of simulation software. The API is slowly growing to cover nearly all the needs in the process and chemical engineering area.
Some companies have shown how a single implementation of a model can then be used in several simulation software all used within the same company. In large chemical companies, for historical reasons and to avoid a dependency on a single vendor, they tend to run several simulation software to do basically the same thing but not exactly.
In some other cases, I am a bit more sceptical, for example, if you have only one simulation tool in house and the tool is providing a clear and simple interface (for example the Fortran UAS in PRO/II) using CAPE-OPEN would require both mastering Fortran and C++ to implement a COM wrapper. This may not be the best choice depending on the in-house know-how.
As for any technology, you need to have a pragmatic approach but seeing an open standard used every day a bit more in the industry is always positive news. I am looking forward to do a bit more in the field while keeping a pragmatic approach, sometimes simple good old Fortran is better.