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When I discuss the “PI System Installation Experience” I am considering the entire product lifecycle experience immediately after purchase through software acquisition, installation, upgrade and maintenance. I am also considering only the “on premise” software model – PI System Software installed on “machines” that *you* manage.


I will start with a hypothesis which I will not spend time defending: “the PI System product lifecycle experience can be improved.”


So what would be the “ideal” experience? Based on customer feedback, industry trends and our own experience in customer services, we have some ideas and some early development is underway.


Let’s first break the “ideal” experience down. What are we really trying accomplish? And I am assuming you are not looking to become a professional PI System installer! I assume that getting value out of PI is paramount, and that like the screen in a movie theater, you just don’t want to notice it while you are watching the movie.


So here’s what I am hearing:


1) You want to know what software is available, specifically, what is licensed to your company and even what is available but not currently licenced.


2) You want to know what software you have installed, and where. In other words, you want to know your current software inventory and usage.


3) You want to know what upgrades are available for any system in your inventory and whether a target machine has the appropriate dependencies (OS, frameworks, etc.) for success.


4) You want to be able to control the download, installation and upgrade of your PI System software.


5) You want the entire experience to be secure, reliable and traceable.


6) You don’t want to have to be an expert at understanding how OSIsoft bundles software, what the dependencies are, whether a target system is appropriate for an upgrade. In other words, you want to think about the software in your terms, what you want to accomplish – not necessarily the way that OSIsoft thinks about its bits.


7) You want to know if the software in properly installed, properly configured and properly operating. You want to know if your system is healthy.


8) You want a single, consistent experience for managing the software lifecycle whether you are a vCampus developer, end user administrator, OSIsoft Field Service, mPI customer, demo user or any other kind of user who will be in some way involved in successfully managing the PI System .


In my next entry, I will begin to discuss how we are thinking about addressing each of these needs (dare I say…requirements.) But here is your chance to make sure that I am “hearing” all of the needs associated with this problem...that we are answering the right questions and that we have properly defined the scope and requirements of this experience. Let me know if you have anything to add and I will be do my best to address it.

Yes, you can get external data into Microsoft Visio and Visio Services (Visio on the web, in the SharePoint environment). This can be done through OLE DB, which means you can get PI System data in your Visio drawings/schemas.


This begs the question: do you guys use this at all? Anybody using PI data in their Visio files? If yes, I am curious to hear what you use it for and what kind of data are you displaying... looking forward to your comments!

Ahmad Fattahi

Generations online 2010

Posted by Ahmad Fattahi Employee Dec 16, 2010

We are close to the end of the year. Let's take a look back and see how people are using Internet these days and how it would compare with last year. According to a recent research by "Pew Internet" email and social media (read vCampus ) usage is moving up while blogging (ironic!) and virtual world usage has been going down. Here are some key points:

  • Email usage is ubiquitous across all age groups
  • Social media and networking has been getting more and more popular (thanks to Facebook and Twitter)
  • Blogs are losing ground

You can see a short overview and analysis of the report here as well.






An Introduction

Posted by richard Employee Dec 14, 2010

I have been deliberating starting this blog for over a year (where has the time gone?) There are many exciting and relevant topics which cross my desk (or my mind) every day which impact our product and business direction. My goal is to use this forum to share my thoughts on many of these topics, current or at least interesting issues related to our product architecture. The nice thing about that goal is that “product architecture” pretty much means “everything” – how’s that for license – though maybe not poetic.


For those who don’t know me, I have been with Oil Systems Incorporated, oh…I mean OSISoftware, Inc.,…wait, OSIsoft, Inc…no, I’ll get this right…OSIsoft, LLC. for almost 21 years. I was fortunate enough to have returned from living in Lund, Sweden just in time to settle in at 545 Estudillo Ave. (the origin of port 5450) before our very first User’s Conference in 1990. Since then I have been privileged to work with some amazing people and wonderful customers and partners in various capacities as part of our software engineering department.


Today I serve as one of four “Directors of Engineering” (which make up our Engineering Leadership Team, ELT) where I act as our Lead Architect look across the entire product line and various cross cutting aspects like Security, Quality, Localization, Documentation, Conceptual Integrity, Managed Services, Setup/Installation and anything else that comes up that spans the main product areas (Servers, Clients, Interfaces and Data Access, Services).


I am also spending time on our Technical Steering Committee. This group which I once chaired, consists of members from a cross section of departments (Sales, Marketing, Customer Services, Engineering) who together look at the long term product vision and direction and annually produce an updated Product Development Roadmap. As much fun as that is, I will soon be stepping away from this committee to lead up some next generation research and development which I will start writing about sometime in January or February as soon as I have cleared things with legal…you know how that goes.


So that’s me and what this blog is about. I am very interested in everything from low level bit twiddling to philosophy of information sciences to management theory to theories and applications of machine intelligence. I read constantly and I will probably share relevant references as they come up. Clearly I am also passionate about the PI System, our users and partners and how to make products that delight those who use them.


While this is “my blog”, I encourage a dia(b)log. I hope to hear from you with any topics you might like to see me cover or to just share any thoughts or experiences this inspires. Since this is a permission based forum I can be fairly liberal is what I share and express (anything that doesn’t require NDA that is.) In my next post I will take on the topic of the PI System Installation Experience.

Ahmad Fattahi

On Users' Communities

Posted by Ahmad Fattahi Employee Dec 8, 2010

We have been having a good time in OSIsoft vCampus Community for the past two years. Thanks to every single community member (read "you"!) who has made OSIsoft vCampus a vibrant and progressive "developers' community".


Now that our beloved vCampus is beyond infancy, we can start thinking about a parallel and complementary world. Once in a while we see questions and comments in the forums where we need some feedback and/or exposure from end-users of our products as developers. This brings me to the main point of this post.


What do you think of creating a parallel universe in the virtual world in which end users and PI System administrators get to participate, respond to inquiries, bring up their concerns, and get exposure to the world of developers? Would that be of interest to our community? How do you think the relationship between the two should be? Would it help nourish vCampus as the provider of solutions to the actual end users? Do you see it as a win-win for developers and end users? Isn't it time to bring end users and PI System administrators with similar strategic interests under one umbrella, as OSIsoft vCampus has done for PI developers community?


Please share your thoughts!


Samples at Last

Posted by smohr Dec 8, 2010

I've been promising code samples in various venues since, forever, and never got them posted.


This turns out to be a good thing for you, because we've got a couple of new samples.


The samples are for the forthcoming R2 release (coming very soon), and accompany the webinar we offered on November 30th.  If you missed it, you can replay it in the Auditorium.  But we're developers, aren't we?  Less talk, more code!  If you download the following file:


You'll get samples for .NET (WinForms and Silverlight), Java, Powershell (!), and C++.

Sam Pride

I'm Back! Did you miss me?

Posted by Sam Pride Dec 2, 2010

After 15 months "out in the wild", I've returned to OSIsoft to start a new life as a Centre Of Excellence Engineer !!


It's great to be back, I've missed vCampus (I wasn't as successful as I thought I could  be in convincing my last post to give me a vCampus license). But wow, this place has grown over the last year and it's certainly been in great hands. I've learnt a lot whilst I was away and hope to do so as a member of the CoE team. You can be certain, anything I learn will find it's way here (just don't tell my boss!). As a CoE engineer, I'm on the cutting edge of PI technology and get to play with some really interesting PI implementations. What more can a PI Geek ask for?


Again, great to be back. You'll see me lurking on the forums, responding when I can, and blogging here when I have something of interest. You might also see me at the vCampus, UC and regional conferences, so be certain to come and say hello! As always, happy to respond to questions, comments either to the forum/blog post or by email:



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