Announcing the beta release of PI Integrator for Esri ArcGIS

Blog Post created by bperry Employee on Jun 7, 2014

Anyone who was at vCampus Live this past year may remember a session on what was then known as “PI Geo Services.” We showed a proof-of-concept delivering PI data into Esri’s ArcGIS geospatial platform, just a few months after having begun product development in earnest. Since then, the product name has changed and our team has grown slightly – and we are proud to announce the beta availability of PI Integrator for Esri ArcGIS!










The idea behind the product is – not surprisingly – to stick PI data on a map. For many of us (including both developers on the project), we’re probably muttering “yeah, I wrote something like that one afternoon, with the Google Maps API and some beer.” Unsurprisingly, one of the first things our team learned (as PI guys) was that true geospatial folks (e.g. Esri) take maps really seriously. To them, in the beginning before we got to know each other, we were just “a database” – and to us, they were “a map.” That’s all fixed now, of course. In the same way that OSIsoft has built a company around time-series data, Esri has built a company around maps and geo-analytics. That rabbit hole goes deep, and it’s pretty cool to imagine analytical situations where time and space collide. Herein lies much of the power of our new product – the folks who know PI and PI data can very easily deliver that data into the skilled hands of Esri ArcGIS gurus.


This product is really supposed to be a product, and not something requiring extensive custom work/rework every time you need new widgets on a map. “Point, click, done” is the goal. So the human interface with PI Integrator for Esri ArcGIS is a friendly Configuration Portal.








Within the Configuration Portal, you configure map services which are containers for map layers. In our implementation, map layers are like an AF Element search for one specific AF Element Template. You could configure a map layer to point to { your production PI AF Server, the NuGreen database, elements of the Boiler template, within Houston } – and then the data for all of those boilers is ready to stream out and onto a map. That publishing process is handled by a graphical wizard. Once the PI data is live on an ArcGIS map, the circle can be completed by linking back into a PI Coresight display.








Architecturally, we've built the product to share a codebase for on-premises deployment (onto an IIS Server) and an Azure cloud deployment. This open beta announcement is for the on-premises deployment, which we’re focusing on for now.


Architecturally, zoomed in a bit: the product consists of two main components – a Data Relay service (read: PI AF client) and a Configuration Portal (read: web application). The Data Relay service gathers PI data, executes AF data references, and such. The Configuration Portal, as the name suggests, is the front-end to the product. It is also the muscle behind packaging and pushing data from the Data Relay node over to the ArcGIS system.


Right now, all data passes through Esri’s GeoEvent Processor engine and then into an ArcGIS Feature Layer which feeds maps. In upcoming releases, we’ll be doing some things to expose historical data and event frames. Right now, we’re very happy to start with real-time data!








If you’re itching to jump in and get started, there’s a full-fledged user manual available on the Tech Support website and within the download bundle – and, just as importantly, release notes! Since this is a beta, the section of the release notes titled “Known Issues” is mandatory reading :) ... Other than reading the release notes and user guide, my best advice is to find a buddy who knows ArcGIS. They’ll know how to work magic with the PI data you put in their hands. And they will be an indispensable interpreter as you get the hang of the ArcGIS lexicon.


Our talk from the San Francisco Users Conference this year has some further detail on the product and its provenance, scope and direction: http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=10993 Note that much time has passed since our vCL!13 talk, but for the sake of posterity, it’s at http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=10819


In the next post, we’ll outline the process of getting started with the product, and perhaps show an example of the product in action.


A big thanks to the rest of our team, and a heartfelt cheers to all who take our product for a spin!


Michael van der Veeken
Brandon Perry