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20 Posts authored by: RJKSolutions

I remember at this years user conference in San Francisco someone (naming no names Alex ) asked me where I find the time to post on vCampus, well here is an example.  Currently I have Ethan (you all must know Ethan by now) who currently has a case of chicken pox lying on one arm whilst I am typing with the other hand; typing with one hand is harder than it sounds and takes ages!  Anyway, enough of the waffling let's get to the real reason for this blog post...


OSIsoft has been talking about search quite a lot recently and the project they are running to have a single, unified search system that will be part of Coresight and find it's way in to the other PI client tools.  So far I am liking what I hear from OSIsoft on what the search system will bring, so I am looking forward to that.  Shortly after this I started archiving some prototype projects I once started in PI and came across a project that was a spin off from an archiving of video streams in to the PI system that we had on vCampus.  This soon got me thinking about searching video streams for data (image recognition...) swiftly followed by what I was having for dinner that night.  Once I got my thoughts back on track I wondered about the possibilities of being able to search within a video stream for significant events (this spawned other thoughts of event frames) or somehow find any video streams that have a match to a complex search criteria (even trawling the words spoken in a video stream).  


So I set off with my best friend Google (may be I should call on Bing one day) and within minutes, no seconds, I came across MAVIS on Microsoft Research.  MAVIS = 'Microsoft Research Audio Video Indexing System'.  Rather than repeat the content from the article, I highly recommend you read the MAVIS article.  Here is another MAVIS link.


I understand some control systems currently archive video streams of a process that can be shown along the same timeline of process data in the historian, but what if you could search the video in PI for either words that are spoken or image recognition (e.g. flaring) along side your process data in one query!


Interested to hear your thoughts.


After hearing the Microsoft talk at the regional seminar in Barcelona about how Kinect is being used by some developers, I'm off to hunt down the non-commercial SDK for Kinect next.
Coresight gestures here we come!

PI just got sexy!

Posted by RJKSolutions May 25, 2011

It is official, I am starting the vCampus PI Coresight fan club. (despite some early reservations over the name of the tool )


Although as vCampus members we won't exactly get any kind of early exposure or real hands on with it until it is released, I want to briefly talk about the concept of it and how excited I seem to be about it even though there is no extensibility model - yet. 


The new search mechanism is exciting, being able to search your entire PI landscape for relevant information is much needed and will work well (it does work well from the demonstrations we have seen so far.)  I raised the concern during John and Eugene's presentation at the OSIsoft regional seminar about the need for user friendly filters (don't over complicate the filter GUI!) otherwise the search will soon become flooded with irrelevant results in large implementations of public displays and PI/AF systems.  I have every faith they will nail the search filters judging by the rest of the tool so far and that the new search mechanism makes it to the other PI client tools sooner rather than later.


Another reason I felt the need to blog about PI Coresight (after the 2nd/3rd time of watching a presentation on it) is I like to think some of the conversations we as a community have had on vCampus have been listened to and in some capacity they are part of or influenced the tool - would we have had that type of influence and open exchange of ideas without vCampus? 
For example, some time ago I talked about having a Yahoo/Google/Bing stocks type trend in PI, another community member talked about a ProcessBook control they have created to mimic the stock trend, etc.  The trending in Coresight is slick, very slick, and in particular having different time ranges across mutliple trends and having a cursor on one trend reflected in the time ranges of the other trends was a useful feature.  The Coresight trends are just like a stock trend but with the good bits from the ProcessBook trend object mixed in. 


I think it is safe to say that when the community speaks, OSIsoft listens!


In John Baier and Eugene Resnick's presentation they also mentioned some of the features coming in later releases around Event Frames (drag & drop an Event Frame and the referenced elements all appear as default symbols, displaying Event Frames on a trend etc) and a favourite of mine being able to associate a display with a particular asset in an AF structure so any subsequent searches use that asset as the default root.  This is the tight integration with AF that we heard about from Laurie on the vCampus discussion forums.
What would be extra cool is to be able to define a custom graphic control to be associated with a particular asset (Element Template) so when you drop it on a Coresight display that graphic is loaded from the Coresight server and changes according to data changes.  I am sure this will come in later versions with the extensibility model via 'strict' graphic plugins.


I am very jealous of Eugene and the others working on the development of this very nice project.


Now I have to go look at some dull ProcessBook displays...


If you haven't done so already then watch the UC 2011 presentation:

Okay, so my title may be a little misleading to get your attention but hey, if your reading this then it worked.


In my usual weekly routine I spend a little bit of "me time" to scour the latest innovative ideas, technology and general goings-on in the world and came across a prototype of a "PaperPhone".  To be exact, the title of the research paper read:


PaperPhone: Understanding the Use of Bend Gestures in Mobile Devices with Flexible Electronic Paper Displays 


This naturally got me thinking about PI on smartphones and some of the recent discussions that were posted on the forums.  In the "old days" (not sure if I am part of that bracket just yet) people used to collect data on paper writing down their observations.  Then that paper collected data is entered in to PI via applications and interfaces, such as PI Manual Logger.  Fast forward a couple more years and everyone is carrying around hand held devices running PI Manual Logger Mobile to scan barcodes (although RFIDs would be nice) etc to collect their data and automatically sync with PI.  What if the whole collection process went full circle to the data being collected on paper once again, only this time that piece of (electronic) paper is running "PI Manual Logger 2016 R2"!


I haven't quite figured out what the "bend gesture" for the "next tag in the tour run" would look like so ideas are welcome!  Also, if you make a mistake then don't screw up the paper and throw it in the bin, I am sure this paper costs a lot more than regular paper.







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.

Hello vCampus members,

One of the privileges of becoming a vCampus All-star is that I get my very own blog, which I hope you will all find interesting.  As I am not an OSIsoft employee you can expect some interesting topics from the real situations/projects that I have worked on and am currently working on, which have been solved either in part or completely using PI!

Unfortunately I was unable to attend in person at vCampus Live! 2010 and I am sure I missed a really good event - hopefully I will be able to make it next year.  The vCampus team did manage to send a parcel of goodies to me in the UK that I would have collected in person at the event.  My only concern is that the t-shirt that was sent in the parcel is a little bit big...


That's all for now, be sure to keep checking the forums as well as the blogs!

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