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Over the last few weeks, many of my colleagues in engineering have been busy building and testing software so that I can make this announcement.  With that I'm happy to announce that we're making a beta available for you.  This beta consists of:

  • AF Server 2014
  • AF Client 2014 which includes the Asset Based Analytics Client (aka Abacus client) and the Analysis Management Plugin to PSE
  • PI Analysis Service (aka Abacus scheduler)
  • The next generation PIBufSS
  • Kitchen sink

Whew, what a mouthful!  (Ok, not really the kitchen sink, but  you get the idea - there's a lot of stuff in this beta.)   It goes without saying that I'm extremely proud of the work that the engineering teams have done and I encourage all of you to give them a pat on the back during vCampus Live! 2013 while you get the chance to play with many released and unreleased software.  You are coming to this event, aren't you?  If you haven't decided, please do check out the agenda here.


There are so many enhancements I don't think I can cover them all in a blog post.  So here are a few personal favorites just to wet your appetite.  In no particular order:

  • Support for Buffered writes via PIBufSS
  • Parameterized AF Tables.  Optional separation of AF Table Connections from AF Tables.
  • Faster Searches, in particular, bulk path lookup and template-based attribute searches
  • PI System Explorer (PSE)
    • Lightweight trend in PI System Explorer
    • Improved Search UI in PI System Explorer
    • Both 32 and 64 bit PSE
  • Event Frame enhancements, including new searches, locked event frames, duration displayed in PSE
  • Data Access
    • Support for the Bulk RPCs in PI Data Archive 2012
    • DataPipe on AFAttributes
    • DataCache
    • Digital State Set editing
    • PI Identity and Mapping exposure
    • Find PIPoint Metadata changes
    • Tracing
    • Ability to pass windows credentials for off-domain windows connection
  • New String Builder Data Reference
  • PI Builder support of Tag Configuration and Analytics.  Support for 64-bit Excel.
  • Audit Trail and Audit Trail Viewer (must be enabled via command line, requires SQL Server Enterprise or higher)

In all we completed several hundred work items including enhancements and fixes.  I would suggest you read the release notes to get all the details.


Before you run off and download the beta, I want to describe to you something we added to Abacus in this beta.


The Asset Based Analytics functionalities are new to the PI System.  It’s critical that we fully understand the typical usage pattern of the users and how the system reacts to these use cases.  As such, this beta incorporates the ability to collect and provide back to OSIsoft ANONYMOUS usage statistics from the use of the analytics features (only).  The statistics that is collected has no identifiable information which can be used to trace back to the user or any particular computer.  In addition, no business logic or actual data is collected.  Below are examples of some of the statistics that are collected:

  • # of Analysis Processors
  • Fractional CPU
  • Computer memory profile
  • # of Performance Equation functions used (but not the business logic)
  • PE functions used (but not the business logic)
  • # of different types of analyses
  • # of analyses in various states (running, in error, etc.)
  • Latency
  • Analyses queue statistics
  • Evaluation count
  • Error count
  • Statistics on backfilling
  • Statistics on Rollups
  • Statistics on User Interface (UI) actions

The current plan is for user to be able to voluntarily opt-in to providing anonymous statistics to OSIsoft in the release product.


So if you're interested in trying out this beta, please go to the download center and select the Pre-Release category.  If  you have any question or comments, feel free to start a discussion thread or email me directly at:  Feedback and support related questions to the beta can be sent to any one of the following dedicated mailboxes:, and




See you at vCampus Live! 2013






Steve Kwan


Product Manager



We are exciting to announce that a Community Technology Preview (CTP3) of the next generation PIBufSS (v4.3) is now available in the "Pre-Release" area of the vCampus Download Center (Note: CTPs 1 and 2 were internal releases only.)  The next generation BufSS sports some significant enhancements and addresses a number of issues commonly affected prior versions.  Some highlights of this CTP include:

  • PIbufss now supports buffering to multiple servers and collectives. This is an important feature for clients that rely on PIBufSS to distribute data across a collective. Previously you had to choose one PI collective to buffer to, now you don't have to choose.
  • PIbufss now sends data 2-3 times faster than previous versions (assuming the necessary additional bandwidth is available.) This not only means higher sustained data rates, but it also means that after a network outage any data queued up will be unloaded faster, resulting in users getting live updates that much sooner.
  • PIbufss is now more robust when recovering from an uncontrolled shutdown. When running prior versions it was not uncommon after a power outage for pibufss to stop sending data to the server due to a queue file getting corrupt. This would require manual intervention to dismount and rename/repair the queue. PIbufss 4.3 is built on newer queue technology that can recover from these situations.
  • Improvements for monitoring the health of PIBufSS
    • A single health status that provides indication of the health of PIBufSS
    • A new three tired health diagnostics capability with drilled down capabilities using performance counters
    • New command line options and enhancements
  • A new Buffering Manager which provides an upgrade wizard from BufServ to PIBufSS and an Add Server wizard to help users through the process of configuring buffering to a new server.

Please consult the release note with additional details and current limitations to this CTP.


As with all non-released software, we do not recommend installing this in a production environment.


We would appreciate your feedback, including bug reports.  Please send them to our dedicated mailbox at:  We will be monitoring this mailbox and will reply back to you as quickly as possible.

"vCampus Live! 2013 needs you!"




Register now!


It is that time of year again where vCampus Live! is just around the corner, a particular highlight of the year for me!
This year will be Oliver's 2nd vCampus Live! event, flying for 11 hours on a plane to be in San Francisco for the event. Such dedication from a 17 month old.
So who is Oliver? Well he's my son, my 2nd son. I'm sure most already know my eldest son Ethan who's 4 years old and a vCampus Live! veteran. There's a reason why Oliver is pointing at you whilst you read my blog post and that stroy unfolds below so please read on.




I'm a big fan of vCampus especially the vCampus Live! event. It is awesome for numerous reasons, in fact I usually get more out of the 2 days attendance at vCampus Live! than I tend to out of 1 years subscription to the forums. That's not meant to devalue the forums in any form, they're invaluable but I wanted to exaggerate & emphasise the value of attending vCampus Live! in person; standing in front of the developers/product managers/VPs as you tell them about complex situations that you're using the OSIsoft toolset and watching them various expressions on their faces - ranging from a big cheesy smile  to sheer panic as you show them a bug or potential gap in their particular tool's/application's offering . You can hunt down find OSIsoft employees that you've not met before but exchanged email and really thrash out issues, give feedback and find out sneaky bits of information on future versions of products. Sometimes you even get to see the developer's lego DeLorean car . You just can't get that sort of interaction from a virtual presence, you have to do that in person.


I've been to all but 1 of the vCampus Live! events, and I'll hopefully be to the foreseeable events. Besides the reasons above for attending I have another reason for attending, cheesecake. Yep, cheesecake. We simply do not have the Chessecake Factory franchise in the UK so I have to make the annual visit to Union Square in San Francisco to visit the Cheeckcake Factory. This is a passion shared by my eldest son Ethan. When I mentioned in passing to him that I would be going back to vCampus Live! he instantly knew it would be in San Francisco and began to jump our living room shouting "we're going to San Francisco again....we're going to San Francisco again..." followed by a moment of silence which was broken by the next chant of "CHEESECAKE!". Oh dear, that is not the plan. The plan is that I would be going alone this year and now I have about 30 seconds to contemplate how to break the news to Ethan that he in fact won't be coming this year as he has a lot on at that time of year. With beads of sweat forming I began to panic and decided to break the news to him in the morning. That was a long night.


Turns out the lure of cheesecake was too much for my wife too. The decision was made that we would all be heading over. Phew, no breaking the news to Ethan after all. He is now counting down the days until we fly out (as am I ). Needless to say Ethan was excited to be going once again...






So if you've not already registered there is still plenty of time to register, and plenty of time to be as excited as Ethan about vCampus Live! 2013. Once you've registered then be sure to visit the Cheesecake Factory on top of Macy's and at the event be sure to give every single OSIsoft employee as tough a time as you like - this is the community's event, the community would not exist with you!

Hey everyone! 


For those wanting to get hands-on with Events in the PI System, we are developing two great labs for vCampus Live Dec 3-5 in San Francisco! 




Hands-On with PI Event Frames Generation (Wed Dec 4, 2:30)


In this hands-on session, you will learn how to configure event frame templates and automatically generate events through configuration. In the first part of the lab, you will generate hierarchical events via trigger tags using the released PI Event Frames Generator (PI EFGen). In the second part of the lab, you will generate events using PI AF and performance equation syntax via the soon to be released Asset Based Analytics functionality. You will learn how to associate different types of events with the equipment on which they occurred and store relevant data with the events. Come learn how to automatically generate events in the PI System! This course requires no programming/development skills.


Hands-On with PI Event Frames Visualization (Thu Dec 5, 3:45)


In this hands-on session, you will learn how to visualize events in the PI System. You will visualize your events using PI Coresight Related Events functionality to automatically discover your events, and view your event data within trends and tables in PI Coresight. Additionally, you will learn how to leverage PI OLEDB Enterprise to view PI Event Frame data in PI WebParts. Finally, you will have some hands-on experience with the soon-to-be-released PI DataLink functionality that will support PI Event Frames! Come learn how to visualize events in the PI System! This course requires no programming/development skills.




You can see the full agenda here:


If you've seen the demos that Chris Nelson and I have given at UC2014 or more recently at EMEA UC2014 with the Mine Trucks, you will get a chance to build that demo in our two labs!  So the only pre-requisites are that (1) you want to get your hands-on EF and (2) either you or your kids love trucks like mine do! 


Need to register?


Looking forward to seeing everyone in SF!


Todd Brown


Product Manager, PI Event Frames 




REST at vCampus Live!

Posted by dnoonen Oct 23, 2013

Hello vCampus Community!


I'm writing this post to highlight sessions at this year's vCampus Live! that will touch on our REST system. We have 3 hands on sessions on the agenda that cover various aspects of the REST system:


1. Title: Developing against the RESTful Surface - In this lab you will interact with a portion of the REST API we are building on top of the PI System.  We have created a sample HTML5/JavaScript application that interacts with the REST API and your job will be to write code that fills in some blanks.


2. Title: Introduction to the PI OData Service - The PI OData Service is a member of our REST family. In this lab you'll interact with the service using a browser and Microsoft Excel.  Much like the "RESTful surface" lab above, you'll also edit an HTML5/JavaScript application we've developed that interacts with the PI OData Service. 


3. Title: Exposing your AF SDK based service as a REST endpoint in the cloud - In addition to the REST API that we'll provide, our system is extensible and allows you to build a custom REST service that is exposed through our cloud infrastructure.  In this session you will build an AF SDK based REST service and expose it to the cloud.  You will also build a client application that communicates to your custom service through our cloud infrastructure.


In addition to the 3 sessions above, the vCampus team is hard at work generating a scenario for the Hackathon that makes use of the REST system. 


We are in heavy development mode on all aspects of our REST offering.  We didn't want the "in development" nature of the system to prevent us from letting you interact with it at this year’s vCampus Live! event.  We're excited about the possibilities and looking forward to getting your feedback.


Dan Noonen


PI WebParts 2013 Is Released!!

Posted by mwood Oct 23, 2013

PI WebParts 2013 is now released and ready for download and can be installed on SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint Foundation.  This version supports native SVG rendering which means you now have web browsing options that do not require the Adobe SVG Viewer. 


The following are the enhancements and fixes included in the release.


  • Added support for SharePoint 2013.  PI WebParts 2013 can be installed on SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint 2013.
  • Support for additional web browsers.  In addition to Internet Explorer, PI WebParts pages can now be viewed in Mozilla Firefox and, when using SharePoint 2013, Google Chrome. Note that some features of PI WebParts rely on the use of ActiveX controls, which are not supported in Firefox or Chrome. Therefore, the following features are not supported outside of Internet Explorer: the PI ActiveView web part, the PI Messenger web part and the “Launch in PI ProcessBook” command in the PI Graphic web part.
  • Native-browser SVG rendering (no plugin required).  When using modern web browsers that provide native support for SVG rendering, the Adobe SVG Viewer plugin is no longer required on client machines.  Note that by default, SharePoint 2010 renders web part pages as in IE8, disabling SVG support in IE9 and higher. If a plugin-free experience is desired with SharePoint 2010, Mozilla Firefox can be used instead.  Refer to the Microsoft documentation for details on Firefox support in SharePoint 2010.
  • Separate application server for data access.  In order to minimize the footprint of PI WebParts on SharePoint servers, the data access components used by PI WebParts are now packaged as a separate application server (called PI WebParts Services) that can either be collocated on the computer where SharePoint is installed or installed on a remote computer.  The latter option is especially useful for SharePoint farms where multiple web front ends can share a single application server for data access.
  • Installation via a SharePoint Solution Package (WSP).  In keeping with best practices for SharePoint custom feature development, PI WebParts is now delivered as a standard SharePoint Solution Package.
  • New search based user interface for locating and selecting PI Tags, AF Elements and AF Attributes into web part configuration properties.  Rather than navigating through the AF hierarchy to manually locate particular elements and attributes, users can search for specific items by specifying an element or attribute name mask. Searches can span all PI and AF servers in an enterprise or they can be targeted to a particular server or database.
  • New paging feature in PI TreeView.  In order to better support large AF databases, the PI TreeView web part now includes “previous” and “next” nodes to present large sets of child elements in smaller “pages




Punch List Item



Deploy RtBLS to a separate app server


RtWebPart Install – Some Suggestions for SharePoint 2010


Table web parts should allow a row to be automatically selected


Remove the Adobe SVG Viewer


Client-side Connections cause Trend Cursors to disappear


Incorrect scales in ad hoc trend from PI Graphic


Performance issue with the “Select PI Data” dialog in PI WebParts


Ad hoc trend shows incorrect attributes for element relative paths that are more than one level deep


Unit of Measure for some AF Attributes not displayed in PI Graphic web part Value symbols


Problem with Export to Excel and ad hoc trends when using attributes with the same AFAttribute name but different context paths


Problem with PI Gauge configuration settings when using attributes with the same AFAttribute name but different context paths


Attribute search dialog times out when AF Servers are unavailable


Direct users to the correct URL to download Adobe SVG Viewer


Support for AF enumeration sets


Substitution parameter in AF PI Point DR relative time is not correctly handled in PI WebParts


Attribute value substitution is not made when element name is generated from a template


PI Gauge configuration settings are not retained when using attributes with same AF attribute but different context



Please see the product release notes for more information.

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