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If you don't mind my accent...

Posted by spilon Jul 31, 2012

Indeed if you don't mind my French-Canadian accent, you can consider registering for the next vCampus-exclusive webinar: PI Data Access 2012 – Event [Frames] Integration 


With my colleagues Todd Brown and Chris Nelson, we'll be showing how the PI Data Access 2012 family is embracing the event framing concepts and delivers PI Event Frames functionality. Whether you want to develop a custom application (in an object-oriented, SQL, or service-oriented fashion) or integrate the PI System with other Line-of-Business systems, chances are you'll want to leverage one or more of the PI Data Access components... and ideally leverage significant events that occurred and were recorded in the PI System, as opposed to having to deal with individual and unrelated timestamps all the time.


Register now!


Abacus and recalculation

Posted by gmoffett Employee Jul 24, 2012







Thanks for the comments and feedback on previous posts.




We continue the theme providing some information on ideas and functionality for Abacus and look to the community’s feedback once more.


Disclaimer: items discussed in this post may or may not be include in released product. Consider this post an equivalent of a Community Technology Preview (CTP) whereby the features included may not be in the release!




History calculation – backfill for new calculations or recalculate existing calculations


You create a new calculation and want to generate results going back in time (backfill) for all the input values that exist. An existing calculation is updated and you want to recalculate the historical results.


These are just two examples of history calculation and we want to see if we can make this easier to do with Abacus.  So, how about if you only had to enter the start and end date and Abacus took care of the rest?


You may have some questions:


Q: What schedule would be used to perform the calculation?


A: The configured schedule for the calculation, for example: a calculation scheduled to run at 7am every day, when recalculated for the previous week would run every day at 7am.


Q: If I’m recalculating, what happens to the results that already exist?


A: These values would be deleted prior to recalculation.




Questions for you!


Is it ok to delete values, if not why not and what would you want to be done with the values?


Would you want to recalculate using a different schedule to that configured and if so what schedule would you want to use?


What other options would you need and why?


For example would you want to recalculate on existing results?





Glenn Moffett | OSIsoft - Product Management



Lonnie Bowling

PI to Mobile Part 1

Posted by Lonnie Bowling Champion Jul 23, 2012

Here is the first part of my blog series on taking PI to the cloud and mobile devices.  I have decided to try my hand at doing videos this time around.  I always seem to learn more that way.


Please let me know what you think, good or bad.


Thanks, Lonnie


I'm having problems getting the videos to show up embedded. Until then here are the links:


Introduction to the PI to Mobile Blog Series (7 minutes long)






Getting started with Azure Service Bus (43 minutes long)





To all vCampus members and PI Event Frames fans,


We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the PI Event Frames Generator BETA! 




PI Event Frames Generator (PIEFGen) can be configured to automatically create events (event frames) from trigger tags in the PI Server.  PIEFGen:



  • generates event frames from trigger tags in the PI Server
  • leverages event frame templates
  • writes to event frame attributes
  • handles complex hierarchical events like batches
  • provides a way to migrate existing PI BaGen configurations forward to the new tool to generate events in PI Event Frames



Here's a screen shot of some event frames I created with PI Event Frames Generator:








Additionally, there is a new PI Event Frame Configuration Utility BETA to use in conjunction with PIEFGen, shown below. 








We are looking for some feedback around the provided feature set, enhancement requests, feedback on the new configuration utility, and feedback on migration of existing PI Batch Generated (PI BaGen) configurations to PIEFGen.  Hopefully you're interested and can provide some feedback to our team within the next 3 to 4 weeks.




For a full list of system requirements, see the Release Notes.


Here is a link to the Beta User Manual.




If you're interested in trying out the new PI Event Frames Generator BETA or if you have any questions about it, please send a request and then we can provide you access to the download via the OSIsoft Tech Support site.




Feel free to provide us feedback at or in the Event Frames Discussion Hall.








Todd Brown


PI Event Frames Product Manager



12-Jul-2012 A Short Story: Vulnerability in Windows Common Controls


Those of you who frequent the OSIsoft technical support site may have noticed the security bulletin related to vulnerability in Windows Common Controls.  Yep, these are the venerable VB runtime ActiveX controls that have been so much fun for first timers and professional developers alike.  Do you remember the cheap thrill the first time you 'programmed' a Listbox?  I do and I owe it all to PI Processbook!


As you might expect the Windows Common Controls are very popular and to this day many applications still depend on VB6 runtimes. At first mention, depending on technology so far past its prime seems a bit tenuous but Microsoft's VB6 support statement comes to the rescue:


The Visual Basic team is committed to "It Just Works" compatibility for Visual Basic 6.0 applications on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 including R2, Windows 7, and Windows 8.


That policy got the acid test in April with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-027 announcing the update for a critical vulnerability in Windows Common Controls.


So what's the rest of the story?


A common pitfall for developers working on security issues is assuming the job is done when the patch is released. Actually patch availability is a 'hand off' to operational teams. You guessed it, fumble (or 'knock on' for rugby fans)!


In this case a security conscious customer observed the MS12-027 patch for MSCOMCTL.OCX was missing on a few machines.  These machines were part of a PI System and thankfully the customer reported the issue to OSIsoft technical support.  It turns out downstream from Microsoft, our developers had some work to do to repackage the Microsoft update.


For PI System partners and developers in the vCampus community it's possible you have products with the same issue. 


No worries. The OSIsoft prerequisite patch scope applies to the entire machine. The mitigation is complete so long as your app runs on the same machine.


Is that the end of the story?


Well, I'd like to tell you this could never happen again. Oh-no, here we go again. Look at Microsoft updates for 10Jul and the MS12-046 vulnerability in Visual Basic for Applications.  We are testing and watching closely for reports of missing update cases. In addition, a new VBA SDK was made available and will be considered to bundle the security updates in a future release of Processbook.


Moral of the story: a developer's job is never done!


Servicing software is essential for security. Unfortunately, servicing is imperfect today and requires extra effort to close the gaps. Where we can help each other it makes sense to do so.


As a closing nugget, the emerging DevOps movement directly addresses the fumble prone hand off between development and operations. It's too soon to know if DevOps will be more than next year's buzz word but the more I learn about it the more I believe in this approach. [DevOps, Rugged Software, SecDevOps, Visual DevOps, are frequent search words dedicated to this movement].

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