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2013

OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2013 was the 5th and the biggest of our technical events by a huge margin. We hosted 300 guests from all over the world in 24 hands-on and 8 lecture sessions. We had the opportunity to make some important announcements about the future direction of the community. PI Geeks provided us with lots of valuable feedback, comments, and ideas. Below you can find the summary of the event.

  • Key Announcement: the vCampus program is expanding to reach more developers and provide better service all around the world. This goes hand-in-hand with the opening of our recommended data access technologies such as AF SDK, RESTful API, PI OLEDB Enterprise, among others. When it comes to the vCampus program we are planning to open up the discussion forums, document library, webinars, and blogs to the world to reach more smart developers. At the same time, the paid program will only get better. On top of the free components we are considering the following offerings for the paid program: a development PI System, access to the Virtual Learning Environment, exclusive access to early adopters program, discounts to our development events and training workshops, guaranteed response time in forums, and a limited number of escalations of key issues to our support team.
  • Key Announcement: Building on top of the vCampus community success and in order to serve our customers better, OSIsoft will offer an online community for the customers and end users of the PI System. Our Technical Support team will have a strong presence in that community to handle technical discussions and questions. It will also provide a unique opportunity for OSIsoft partners to see what customers need and get engaged in discussions to promote their skills and capabilities.
  • Key Announcement: Starting in 2015, we will combine vCampus Live! and Users Conference events in order to allow more PI System professionals take advantage of both events. While the venue and timing will be combined, the character of vCampus Live! as the main technical event for PI Geeks will be preserved. In the coming months we will be officially announcing these developments.

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  • Keynotes: on Day 1 we saw our engineering roadmap presentation by Ray Hall and John Baier, VP and Director of Engineering, respectively. They covered the upcoming products and the widening reach of the PI System in the connected world of tomorrow. Among all exciting developments cloud-based products and services formed an outstanding part of the presentation. Ray and John were followed by OSIsoft VP of Customer Support and Services, Steve Nye. He made the announcement on upcoming OSIsoft Community and changes to the vCampus program as summarized above. On Day 2, we had a fantastic visionary talk by Jared Spool on "The unintuitive nature of creating intuitive designs". I followed him to gave a quick overview of the "State of the Community" and announced Community All-Stars (Lonnie Bowling, Rick Davin, Rhys Kirk, Roger Palmen) and OSIsoft All-Stars (Steve Kwan, Chris Manhard, Mike Zboray). Congratulations to all of our super All-Stars for year 2013!
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  • Hackathons: similar to last year we held both programming and security hackathons. Teams worked tirelessly through the night to create their apps in the programming hackathon and came up with fabulous creations. The winners of the programming hackathon were Dong Energy, Plenty of Sun for the REST of the week, and The Sunny PI Guys holding 1st to 3rd places, respectively. Security Hackathon awards went to Yes! Team, Lucky 8, and WTF Security teams. Congratulations to all!

 

Note: We apologize in advance for the audio and video quality.

 

  • Hands on and lecture sessions: through 24 hands on and 8 lecture sessions we covered many of our existing and future development technologies including AF SDK, SharePoint, future data, RESTful API, Business Intelligence, client tools, and lots of best practices. Every year we shape the sessions in a way that conveys more value to you; please let us know if you have any suggestions or comments for us.
  • Networking lounge: this was a great opportunity for developers and partners as well as Enterprise customers to get together and mingle or just relax. There were numerous ad hoc and follow up meetings as well as great snacks in the lounge .
  • Vox pops: for those who are not familiar with them, these are the roundtable ad hoc sessions where the community decides the topics of discussion. This year we had sessions on Big Data analytics, future data, and Esri integration. It was great to see the high interest level of PI Geeks in such topics. These are great learning opportunities for OSIsoft Engineering and Product Management teams.
  • Future: we are getting better and bigger continuously! Our biggest vCampus Live! to date was the proof. Our goal is to bring the whole PI Community, customers, partners, and developers in one place. To help this community flourish we will see some very important developments in 2014. Establishing the OSIsoft Community, opening up the recommended development technologies, improving the vCampus program, combining vCampus Live! with the Users Conference, and a much improved partner program are among the improvements we have been working on. Stay tuned as we will be announcing these exciting pieces in near future!

Feedback: We are eager to hear your feedback and comments. If you you like to share anything with us about the upcoming changes or the event itself please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, contact the vCampus team, or contact me privately.

As vCampus Live 2013 kicks off this week, we're excited to announce the impending arrival of a new family of OSIsoft products: the PI System Web API.

 

The PI System Web API is a family of RESTful service products that enable resource-oriented access to the PI System.  We've heard your calls for a web-based data access layer that's suitable for meeting a wide range of technical needs.  Some of the key scenarios we're keeping in mind:

  • Mobile - one of the shortcomings of SOAP services is poor support on mobile platforms.  Previously, development of compelling mobile applications that used PI System data required that the mobile application developer write services of his own.  Our hope is that as the PI System Web API matures, there will be few cases where custom services are necessary.
  • Cross-Platform - OSIsoft is positioning the PI System Web API as the premier development platform for retrieving and manipulating your PI data in non-Windows environments.  HTTP and REST are fundamentally cross-platform protocols.
  • Cross-Business - Along with the announcement of the PI System Web API, we're also announcing the CTP of a product called PI Cloud Access.  PI Cloud Access is designed to allow secure access to HTTP-based services that you host and maintain on your premises.  With the combination of PI Cloud Access and the PI System Web API, you can effectively enable development of cross-business data sharing, controlled by the existing security infrastructure in your PI System.
  • System Integration - As support for REST services has grown in middleware products like Enterprise Services Buses, REST services have become suitable components for application integration scenarios, where PI data is needed in Line of Business systems or other third party applications
  • Cloud - As OSIsoft adds cloud-based offerings, the PI System Web API will be well suited as a development platform that provides seamless access to your PI data regardless of where it's located-- on premises, or in the cloud.

We are exploring different ways to expose PI System Data via REST and OData.  The following PI System Web API products are currently in development:

  • PI System Web API Core Services
  • PI OData Service
  • PI Search Service

PI System Web API Core Services presently provides basic functionality needed to retrieve and manipulate Time Series, Asset, and Event Frame data.  A Community Technical Preview (CTP) is available for immediate download on vCampus (Pre-Release category), and various events at vCampus Live! this week, including the Hackathon, will include hands on time with the services.  We're not sure that this will end up being the final name of the product, so stay tuned on that front.  More information about the Core Services is available in Brad Hess's series of posts, beginning with Getting started with PI System Web API Core Services.

 

The PI OData Service provides access to the PI System using the OData model and protocol, which provides SQL like queries through a standard REST API.  One primary use case for OData is integration with commercial off the shelf BI and database tools that have an OData connector such as Tableau, QlikView, Tibco Spotfire, and many others.   Many of you have expressed interest in implementing your own custom web applications using OData and the PI OData Service will obviously fit nicely into those types of systems.  A Community Technical Preview (CTP) is forthcoming and we have a hands-on lab at vCampus Live that features the PI OData Service.

 

The PI Search Service gathers configuration information from across the PI System to enable rapid querying and auto-complete.  The service consists of a crawler, to collect information from across your PI System, and REST interfaces, to facilitate building query capabilities into your applications.  OSIsoft's own product development roadmap includes adding Search support to PI Coresight.  At this time it's too early to tell when a CTP of the Search Service will be made available for download; however, vCampus Live! Hackathon participants will have the ability to use a restricted pre-release version of the product in their Hackathon application.

 

Concurrent with the release of these technical previews, we're also reminting the former "Web Services and PI" vCampus forum and blog, to provide you with a place to read product updates and share your experiences and feedback.  And of course, we're always happy to hear feedback from our vCampus Community directly.  All these product teams have been hard at work, and while none of this is production ready, we're really excited to share our work with you and get feedback from the vCampus community.

 

For those of you who are attending vCampus Live, we hope to get to meet and speak with you throughout the week and that you get some good opportunities to play with our Web APIs hands on.  And for those of you who'll be perusing the materials when they're posted online after the event-- stay tuned-- the materials should be posted shortly after the event, and we have other virtual events that'll take place over the coming months.

 

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The PI System Web API Team!

 

 

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