PI (Legacy) Guy Introduction

Blog Post created by chuck on Dec 5, 2012
Who am I? Some call me the PI (legacy) guy.

I’ve been with OSIsoft 25 years plus some.  Most of these years you would have seen me in field service, tech support, and training roles.  The last 5 plus years I’ve been working with EA (Enterprise Agreement) customers, first in the Project Manager role, and more recently from the Center of Excellence.
Anybody remember this artwork?  Shortly after changing our name from Oil Systems, Inc, we adopted this artwork for our documentation, packaging, media, and web site.


Yes indeed, OSI has  changed a lot in 25 years.  It’s been quite a ride and a ride we’ve enjoyed together.  It seems appropriate to look back where we have come from.  A quotation from the first PI System Manager’s Manual:

The Plant Information System (PI) is a system designed to collect and analyze data.  The data is compressed and stored in an historical archive.  Months of data are available on-line for graphing, computation, and analysis.  Trend graphs allow the plotting of data using various formats.  Unit summaries provide a means of displaying numerical values for reports and for downloading data to personal computers for further analysis.  Automatically calculated performance equations can be used for correcting flows, mass and energy balances, product accounting, etc.  Complete documentation of performance equations and global constants is easy.  Interfaces are available to a variety of instrument and computer systems for automatic collection of data.  Manually entered data is well supported with a data entry form system.  User written programs may access the archive through subroutine calls for more complex data manipulation.  In summary, PI is a complete system for the long term storage and analysis of plant data.

[right](PI version 1.1, December 1986)[/right]

Who is the system manager for PI?  Another quotation from the first System Manager’s Manual:

The PI System manager is responsible for the complete operation of the system.  It is imperative for the System Manager to get familiar with all facets of the PI System operation.  This will also require knowledge of the computer’s operating system. 

The major features of the PI System relating to the System Manager are as follows:
  • Responsible for maintaining the point database and preserving the integrity of the data
  • Managing the user database, setting passwords and permission levels
  • The PI System Master Display Library and Custom Menu system are maintained by the System Manager
  • Only the System Manager can assign applications to any particular user

[right](PI version 1.1, December 1986)[/right]

It was thought originally one person would be PI System Manager and hold all these responsibilities.  Further that the System Manager would write or oversee the writing and integration of lots of “small FORTRAN programs.”  Of course, not all the programs were written in FORTRAN nor were all the programs small!  The PI System Manager would be responsible for the hardware and software maintenance contracts, the desktop devices users accessed the system with, the training and nurturing of the users. The PI System Manager would be a specialist substantially dedicated to PI.  In practice, there are lots of ways this task list gets broken down.  Lots of people within a plant site or across the corporation take on these roles and support not only the users but also each other.  So, the PI System Manager is not usually just one person, but several people across many disciplines working towards a high standard of availability for the PI System.

How does your company’s or site’s definition of PI System Manager or Administrator align or differ from OSIsoft’s 1986 vision?