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The answer is it depends! First the easy part: When comparing CPU clockspeeds within the exact same processor family, clockspeed is a good guide to performance because a higher clockspeed means more instructions are completed per second.


But when comparing the CPU clockspeeds of different processor designs, it's generally apples-to-oranges. For two CPUs with the same clockspeed, a shorter pipeline has an advantage because it stays full more often. For two CPUs with the same pipeline depth but different clockspeeds, the higher clockspeed gives it an advantage. For two CPUs with different clockspeeds, it depends on the pipeline depth and other factors.


For more information and a quick overview of how CPUs work see this article.

In my first blog post I presented updated performance results for the case I presented at vCampus Live! 2010. One of the things I briefly talk about in my presentation, is that I use an XSD Tool to create C# classes from an XSD file which comes along with AF. Today I would like to go through this process step by step.


The file OSIsoft.AF.xsd is found in the AF folder, which is located in the PIPC folder.


The tool is called XSD.exe and is found in the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\Bin - at least on my computer. It's very easy to use, and there are lots of options you can turn on. The default language is C# so we don't have to specify that, but you can use and other languages as well. Type xsd.exe /? to get a complete list of options.


The command I've used is:


xsd.exe OSIsoft.AF.xsd /Classes /namespace:Amitec.AF_Import


and this will generate a .cs file which you can import into your Visual Studio solution. The /Classes flag must be present, and I've also specified the namespace of my C# project.




I've imported both the .xsd and the .cs file into my Visual Studio solution, here are a couple of screenshots:

7875.vs_5F00_OSIsoft_5F00_AF_5F00_xsd_5F00_small.jpg 5756.vs_5F00_OSIsoft_5F00_AF_5F00_cs_5F00_small.jpg
OSIsoft.AF.xsd OSIsoft_AF.cs



Now we can start using the classes in the .cs file. This will be an "AF disconnected way" of dealing with a data hierarchy - as it doesn't connect to AF in any way, as opposed to using the AF SDK. You could start with something like this:

AF m_AFInstance = new AF();        
AFElement myAFElement = new AFElement();
myAFElement.Name = "FirstElement";
myAFElement.Description = "My first AF Element";

m_AFInstance.Items[0] = myAFElement;



After completing the business logic for your application you can do like I did, serialize your AF instance to XML - so that you can import it through PI System Explorer:

System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializer xSerializer = new System.Xml.Serialization.XmlSerializer(typeof(AF));
TextWriter writer = new StreamWriter("AF_Import_"+DateTime.Now.ToString("ddMMyyyy_HHmmsss")+".xml");
xSerializer.Serialize(writer, m_AFInstance);




This week an issue was resolved that related to garbage collection collecting too soon! The issue originally manifested randomly during long running tests. Configuration of a machine with 256MB of memory enabled the issue to be triggered within minutes of a test starting. Once repeatable, the issue was squashed within a few hours.


The focus is now on a session management update, session testing and release testing!


We should be in a position by the end of next week to provide an expected release date, with a current conservative estimate putting the release around the 3rd week of May.


Glenn Moffett | OSIsoft - Product Management

Microsoft and Apple are currently two of the few giants in the high tech and computer world sectore obviously. But how do they compare and what is the trend? Can the comparison shed some light on the future direction of our companies? How do our companies compare with those two giants in terms of per employee revenue and profits?


Answers to the above questions and much more interesting stats in this article.



PI OLEDB Enterprise 2010 R2

Posted by spilon Apr 20, 2011

To all the OLEDB developers and integrators out there, I am pleased to announce that PI OLEDB Enterprise 2010 R2 is now released! You can go get it now under the vCampus Download Center, in the "PI Data Access" area.


This release addresses important limitations of some 3rd party consumers that have problems with (or simply do not support) OLE DB providers that include .NET code. These limitations were overcome by separating the .NET code from the provider using a new developed Windows Service called "PI OLEDB Enterprise Agent", which executes all .NET calls. As a result, additional consumers and configurations are now working - for instance Linked Servers in Microsoft SQL Server, with "Allow inprocess" configuration (yes, just that!)


This version also features the following:

  • New "Allow Expensive" initialization property and new "OPTION (ALLOW EXPENSIVE)" clause allow to execute expensive queries (i.e. some unrestricted, or WHERE-less queries)
  • Performance enhancements in reading AF Attribute values (up to 30%)
  • Changes in menu structure of PI SQL Commander to better integrate with Visual Studio Framework

But wait, we're not done yet, I've got other good news for you: this version bundles the recently released patches for PI SDK ( and AF Client (2.3.1). You can read their respective release notes for all the juicy details, but one key item this addresses is the incompatibility between the latest release of the classic PI OLEDB Provider ( and the PI SDK version - this is referred to as Known Issue #22196OSI8 and was discussed at length on the vCampus forums... well, it's fixed now!


Now head down on the next big release of PI OLEDB Enterprise, which will include Event Frames functionality!
Stay tuned and happy OLEDB'ing!

Why is it that I do most of my writing in airports…statistics I guess…


As those who attend the UC may have noticed, we announced that we are taking a good long hard look at “Cloud” computing and how it plays with the roadmap of the PI System. I was fortunate to meet with a number of you to discuss your ideas and what is clear to me is that PI System hosted applications and services are a forgone conclusion. What isn’t so clear is what specific hosted applications and services customers are ready to accept as part of their information infrastructure.


To try and generate some clarity OSIsoft has formed both technical and business research teams to explore the real opportunities for value. These teams are hard at work exploring the technologies and business models in the “Cloud” space.


Since I am sitting in the “chair” I will share my views (and please, please note that this does not represent our company roadmap or indicate any commitments to deliver at this point.)


The PI System infrastructure must be extended to the cloud. The future to me looks like a continuum of applications and services spread from on-premises to hosted environments. A few will favor exclusively one or the other end, but most will find the greatest value in a hybrid model. For example, in the near term I can see the Directory Services (AF, etc.) hosted since it is relatively static data. I can also see applications like PI Coresight running in the cloud. While it is likely that Data Services stay close to home and close to the high volume of rapidly changing signal and streaming data sources. Of course, as is a mantra of the current system, data reliability, durability and availability will be a key to the value and success of these hybrid systems.


Another big opportunity with the cloud is the ability to make data available to mobile devices without having to allow them access to the corporate or even worse control networks. The security models afforded to this approach are encouraging us to finally explore mobile device applications.


Related to the mobile opportunity, a whole new generation of secure integration services will be spawned in the cloud. Imagine being able to securely share specific PI System information to authorized application vendors. Vendors can provide applications with rich PI System access without ever venturing to the corporate network. I am expecting a renaissance of new applications and services built on the PI System as the barriers to entry (security, deployment, TCO) are lowered.


One thing that became clear from a number of my conversations is that the greatest challenge to IT will be to enable high performance, high reliability networks for their users. As hardware resources, operating system maintenance and application management shift the cloud, IT will need to shift more of their energy to architecting and maintaining a solid infrastructure.


Those are a few of my thoughts. As always, I’d love to hear yours.


PI for StreamInsight Update

Posted by gmoffett Employee Apr 14, 2011



PI for StreamInsight is new functionality from OSIsoft enabling analytics on PI data using Microsoft StreamInsight an event processing engine. PI for StreamInsight includes what are called adapters in MIcrosoft StreamInsight terminology that allow PI events to be used in StreamInsight queries and StreamInsight events to be written back to the PI System.


The current status is that we have finalized all features and are continiuing to test and work on remaining known issues prior to release.


One item we are working on is that for long running queries we are seeing an intermittent (or more appropriately rare!) issue whereby we attempt to process an invalid event


Obviously we can't release with this issue, so once we have this resolved we'll be in a better position to estimate the actual release date.


For reference our Product Roadmap provides information on timelines for release of our products, including our target for PI for StreamInsight:


At the OSIsoft 2011 User Conference there was a presentation on PI for StreamInsight and there is also a vCampus webinar from last year available also for more information


There is a pre-release version of PI for StreamInsight available in the downloads section of vCampus and thanks to those customers who have already downloaded and provided feedback.


We plan to post another CTP (pre-release) version update later this month for vCampus members


Also, over in the discussion hall we have a forum for StreamInsight


Glenn Moffett | OSIsoft - Product Management

I used to be able to recite the venue and theme for every conference until about 5 years ago when some of them started to blur together. When I started the employee count was in the low teens. I had just moved back from Lund, Sweden where I had sought refuge after my undergraduate years in Berkeley…little did I know that 21 years later I’d still be here in the Bay Area, losing track of the details of my history – but hey, I’m a big picture guy and it is not lost on me that the big aspects of "Oil Systems, Inc.” that convinced me that here is where I belonged are still the same key aspects of OSIsoft, LLC, that keep me here, excited to wake up every day to work with amazing colleagues, inspiring customer and partners to continue creating and innovating software that makes a difference in the world. I was about to list these aspects, but they almost seem cliché, except that they are genuinely true. For example, why doesn’t OSIsoft, LLC put a premium on schedule for software releases – because that premium would be at odds with the premium we put on focusing all our effort on customers in resolving the inevitable problems that arise. I love that we are customer driven and technology driven – when it comes to our surface we are, well, a bit geeky…right? I love that. I love that I work with passionate and brilliant people – every day grinding through details of the day to day while floating in conceptual clouds imagining and creating the future - better ways to bring the value of the PI System to those who can use it to make a difference in there world.


Ok, love fest over…I’ll get technical next time. By the way, everyone I saw and didn’t see in San Francisco this year, I am completely inspired and motivated for another year…I hope you all are too…see you next year (if not sooner)!

I have a spare 5 minutes on my hands, well I don't actually but thought I would multi-task for the next 5 minutes, to dump my thoughts from this years Users Conference...the good and the bad.




Firstly the "official" announcement of PI Coresight.  Well it looks awesome with some very slick functionality and I especially love the trend object!  I can see it becoming very well adopted, let's hope OSIsoft don't forget to add extensibility in future versions.  There are a few bits I would change but as it was a sneak peak of it in action I will reserve final judgement until a version is in production.  One overwhelming criticism would be the name "PI Coresight", not a good name but hey, it makes up in functionality what it lacks in marketing.  (I don't have a better name suggestion right now )




Secondly StreamInsight.  I have been sitting on the fence for some time on this topic but have now fallen off on the StreamInsight side.  After talking a lot at the conference about it and seeing the presentations it now has my attention (a good thing??).  It will son be time to flood the discussion forums with questions.




vCampus. I think Ahmad, Lonnie and I gave a great presentation on the benefits of vCampus as well as the community aspect...was good to meet some of the other vCampus members too.  There were two presentations at the User Conference that I thought were very good and it turns out they were both from two of our vCampus members.  


Mike Loira's presentation was excellent, it was clear to see where his projects with PI are heading, how vCampus has helped him along the way and interesting to learn some details about the Steel industry - worth a watch when the presentations are released.


The other presentation was Michal Halhead's presentation and his use of AF & data validation.  Very interesting presentation and an example of how to use AF as an execellent layer in your architecture.  I have recently worked on some overlapping themes (Instrumentation, SPI (Intools), AF calculation scheduling,...) so good to see how others have tackled the same issues.




It was great to meet some OSIsoft staff that I have been bugging recently like Denis Vacher, Charlie Henze, Laurie Dieffenbach and our very own Ahmad - I didn't manage to hunt down some of the others on my hit list because there were so many people at the conference!




The charity poker night was another highlight for me personally because I am by no means a poker player but some how found myself on the final table and finishing 4th!  It was all in aid of charity and I believe we all managed to raise around $14,000!!  (Does someone from OSIsoft have the picture that Dave Roberts took?)




I thought I would finish of with my criticisms...the 30th anniversary celebration was, well, a bit disappointing.  I thought there would be more of a celebration considering the 30 years of OSIsoft existence but it never seemed to get going.  Also, I thought the Sputnik video was a strange addition to the closing talks in my honest opinion.




All in all another great conference but maybe 2010 was better than 2011.

Some screenshots of a pre-beta version of the Windows 8 operating system have just been posted to different websites. One particular feature is the addition of ribbons (the type seen on MS Office products) in different explorer windows. It must have been a very good experience in the Office environment. It may gradually replace the idea of the menu items as we know them today.





OSIsoft Users' Conference 2011 is over. It was our most-attended conference ever. At the same time we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the PI System! We entertained about 1300 attendees and got representation from 86 countries!


As for our Community, we had a presentation, a lunch gathering, as well as a product booth. Thanks everyone for attending our events; it was great to see you all in person! We discussed several different ideas and received great feedback from the attendees.


It was extremely heart-warming to see how much value our fellow community members are getting out of vCampus. Besides, we received invaluable suggestions from the attendees. We are constantly working to get better. Share your feedbacks and ideas with us on the forums or via email.


You will be able to watch the presentation as soon as they are processed and posted to the OSIsoft UC page. See you all online and in our future events!

Asle Frantzen

15 years in realtime

Posted by Asle Frantzen Champion Apr 1, 2011

I'd like to take the opportunity to congratulate Amitec with the 15th anniversary today, 1st of April, with a picture of the great tasting cake we had during lunch



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