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8 Posts authored by: mmiller

The date and place are set. This year’s event is going to be held September 13th & 14th at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. That’s a couple months away—but right now, you can ensure that vCampus Live! 2010 includes the topics that are “must do” for you.


During the next few weeks the vCampus Event Team will finalize this agenda. We pull content from two places: OSIsoft development & technical staff and the vCampus Community to define the topics and shape the features of the conference.


We pored over last year’s feedback and want to throw out some suggestions:

  • What if we aligned the topics around what technical challenges you are faced with?
  • What about offering learning labs BOTH the day before and after? This would allow for greater flexibility of travel, especially for those traveling internationally.
  • Would you sign up for one-on-one development architecture consults with leading developers and technologists?. These would provide you an opportunity to explore issues arising in sensitive areas of your projects.
  • Would you like joint presentations from OSIsoft partners on key technologies (like Microsoft and SAP)? If so, about what topics?
  • Should we have Technology Roundtables this year? There are a couple things we want to improve from last year, but many felt they can provide great value.
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have a few joint presentations with vCampus members (you) and OSIsoft on some key topics?
  • Are you interested in a few extreme code reviews this year?

OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010 is a user-driven event—this means it needs active participation by our community. Are you interested in presenting? Do you have something you would like to share? Those who present have their attendance fee waived, making it even easier to attend, along with the respect of peers and colleagues. We’re looking for technical stuff (whether its programming related or not) that focus on the "how" to get value out of our products.


Join the online discussion and share your ideas.


This year we will also recognize the most helpful members in our community. Look for vCampus All-Star Awards to be announced and honored.


We’ll see you where the PI geeks meet!


The OSIsoft vCampus Live! Team



This year OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010, the in-depth technology event of the year, will take place on September 13th-14th! Once again, we’ll hold it at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.


Spread the word, there will be technical content for everybody: PI System administrators, developers, systems integrators. No matter what your affiliation with OSIsoft, come and join other PI geeks on this collaborative, technical journey.


New Learning Lab Schedule


The highly rated 'Hands-On Learning Labs' are coming back - twice as valuable this year: there will be sessions both on Sunday before the event (September 12th), as well as on Wednesday after the event (September 15th). Plan your travel to take advantage of these new options!


Help Set the Agenda


You saw last year how we really strive to provide an event for the community, by the community... you will be hearing more about how you can participate in shaping an event that really suits your needs, and helps you get more out of your PI System.


Already have ideas for talks, presentations or activities? Make sure you share those on the General vCampus Discussions forum or, in private, send an email to Also follow us on twitter for the latest news:


We look forward to seeing you September!


The OSIsoft vCampus Live! Event Team

One of the exciting announcements made at the OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2009 event was the "OSIsoft vCampus All-Star" Program - similar to Microsoft MVP, that recognizes the highest contributors to the community.


As a community it is important to get dedicated members involved with driving the direction of the community.  A handful of members were contributing at the level of our OSIsoft vCampus Team Staff, so we thought why not give them the same community position.  Make them Honorary Team Members, with the same privileges (don't worry they won't get the extra work parts).  The elected nominees will be announced at OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010 and will benefit from the following:

  • Personal blog
  • Forum moderator privileges
  • Free admission to the OSIsoft Users Conference and OSIsoft vCampus Live! events in the next year.
  • Option to take part in the OSIsoft vCampus Team weekly meetings
  • Free 1-year subscription or renewal to OSIsoft vCampus
  • vCampus All-Star Gift Pack (surprise)

So how does someone become an All-Star?  Start by becoming an active member and use the community  to help you add more value to your PI System, then give some of that knowledge back to the community.  If others get value from your input they will nominate you as a OSIsioft vCampus All-Star.  In July 2010 we'll open a community-wide nomination to select the All-Stars.  The All-Stars will be announced at next year's vCampus Live! and spotlighted at both Users Conference OSIsoft vCampus Live! events (April 26th-28th and September 13th-15th, respectively).

  • OSIsoft vCampus Members nominate All-Stars based on their overall contribution to the community
  • Contribution is based on the number and quality of posts into the community
  • A selection committee comprised of OSIsoft vCampus Team Members, Product Managers and All-Stars will select All-Stars for the following year from those nominated

So, we invite all of you to actively participate in the community. Share your knowledge and give your feedback.  Like all communities if everyone adds a little bit, the whole community becomes enriched.

I was a little perplexed by the large amount of food donated to Special 'E' by event at the Palace Hotel.  Specail 'E' is the organization that collects "extra" food for the homeless in the Bay Area with whom we arranged a donation.  As it turns out the Palance liked the idea, so they were donating ALL the "extra" food from the entire week for ALL venues to Special 'E'!  At the end of a long week the Palace donated over 500 pounds ( 226 Kg) to the program.  I suspect and hope they will continue this effort.  Some experts estimate that 96 Billion pounds of editable food each year is thrown out.  I was glad we could do our part however small.

The first OSIsoft vCampus Live! event is over, it was a huge success. Thanks to all of you who could join us, making this experience so memorable.


There was a lot to do, enough fantastic food and information for a week (maybe two). We heard most of you really got a lot of great information out of it (which created 18 new vCampus subscribers in 2 days!).




We all had the chance to talk to the developers and product managers on most OSIsoft products, including AF, PI Server, PI Notifications, AF SDK and PI SDK and had a in-depth look at the new products and features. Which, in retrospect was a long list!


This year we introduced a few new concepts for the event, such as the Technology Roundtables and 2 Extreme Code Review sessions - one was the Element Relative Display (ERD) add-in presented by the PI ProcessBook team and the other one was Micheal van der Veeken’s personal project LinqToPI. Thanks for sharing the code. The feedback was very positive, and we'll look to include them again next year.


A sizable group of attendees stayed with us for the third day and participated in the Hands-On Learning Labs, which feature more than 40 different exercises to choose from, a free USB with the documentation, help from many qualified people and the chance to take the printed book with you if you felt it was not too big.  I counted 17 new labs this year with an impressive range of topics.  I will look forward to hearing the feedback on those.


News announcements made on the event include the Event Frames CTP (which is available now in OSIsoft vCampus - see here), the StreamInsight CTP (within the next few weeks) as well as details on the next Users Conference (see here). We hope to see you there!


Another exciting announcement was the "OSIsoft vCampus All-Star" program - similar to Microsoft MVP, we will be recognizing our best contributors in the community. The nominees will be announced at OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010 and will benefit from the following.

  • Personal blog
  • Forum moderator privileges
  • Free admission to the OSIsoft Users Conference and OSIsoft vCampus Live! Events in the next year.
  • Option to take part in the OSIsoft vCampus Team weekly meetings
  • Free 1-year subscription or renewal to OSIsoft vCampus

So, we invite all of you to actively participate in the community. Share your knowledge and give your feedback.  Like all communities if everyone adds a little bit, the whole community becomes enriched.


Along the way our event managed to give a little back to the community too!  The food we didn't get a chance to eat, was donated to Special E who made sure it found it's way to local shelters, along with repurposing our signage and conference materials.  Twenty-one attendees donated thier new jacket to the Institude on Aging which helps diabled adults and seniors with independant living.  Thank-you for that! And lastly, we upgraded our dinner wine to include LookOut Ridge Library Cabernet, which was very popular at Wednesday's Keynote Dinner.  That was a good thing, becuase 7 wheelchairs were donated to the Wheelchair Foundation to help those in need world-wide through that investment.


By the way, this year (if you were not here) you missed out on quite a few interesting presentations like: “Connecting Custom Web Parts to OSIsoft PI Web Parts”, “Hacking your way to more secure code”, “Programming with Event Frames”, “1001 uses for PI Web Services”, “Metadata Replication in AF”, “Architecture and Deployment concerns” and the closing note “OSIsoft and Microsoft: Future Direction”.  I especially liked the session on PI integration with Surface, but then again, I am a geek!


Work has already started for next years event.  We have lots of great ideas and are poring though all of your feedback.  Once we get a handle on all of that we'll post the details for next years dates.


Thank-you all for making it a great experience!  Hope to see you again next year!




Big value in "Littleware"

Posted by mmiller Oct 10, 2009

Many OSIsoft customers get frustrated by the fact that we do not provide vertical applications.  We talk about all the great thigs that can be done with PI, like Condition-based monitoring and predictive metrics, with little more than slideware from those who have done it and all the money they made or saved.  These applications provide lots of value off the shelf and we rely on our partners and customers to produce and deliver these applications.  vCampus was designed to be the way we help you deliver on these challenges.  But what about smaller applications?  What about the projects that are easy to build on top of PI that could do some neat things for PI users?


One of our close friends at OSIsoft, Phil Ryder used to talk about "littleware".  I like the idea of Littleware.  Littleware are software applications that were more than snipets and functions, but not really full scale "applications".  These are the numerous programs that get written to extend the vlaue of PI in everyday use.  I bet you have some.  Many of these were bantered about over the years and eventually updated and posted on DEVNET.  DEVNET was pretty useful in its day and promoted some ideas that are now standard features (like playback in ProcessBook). But there were problems with it too.  Without a supporting mechanism these "littleware" applications became out of date and did not use the ever advancing capabilities of the PI system.  The support and management of it became significant.  Mostly it didn't address the real issue of providing assistance and guidence to  those who needed to develop on PI.  But the idea of littleware still exists and it is as important as ever.


Most of us would like the idea of a PI littleware share.  Having lead many development teams I see a problem with lttleware sharing between non-developers.  It has to do with relationship between users and devlopers.  For littleware to be valueable you need to use it as part of a work process.  Although generic littleware can be used, integrating it can provide profound value.  The problem I see is, how do users get this integration?  Or any changes for that matter?  Users are accustomed to presenting these changes back to developers.  In a lttleware share the users and developer most likely work for different companies with different ideas about its use.  Code share between developers relieves this becuase the relationship is different.  As a pier developers can modify for thier own use and repost for other users.  Several versions could then be selected for best fit and rated.  That's what communities do righ?


 So, my question is, should the vCampus Community become involved in a PI Littleware Share?  This seems like something that would benefit the users we all serve and this community.  I think we could do it if we keep the code share within vCmapus, i.e.  developer to developer.  Any user suggestions would be posed to the community who could accomodate the changes for thier benefit and the benefit of others and repost. The vCampus team would be available, as always, to provide guidance and direction for completing these gems.

Early registration means big savings. Don't miss it. Register now to save $250 on your registration and hotel—and members of OSIsoft vCampus take off $425!


New in 2009, OSIsoft vCampus Live! gives you a chance to get maximum benefit from the technical resources and developer support the online OSIsoft Virtual Campus (vCampus) by meeting your peers and colleagues face to face.


Join us December 1-2, 2009 at the beautiful Palace Hotel in the heart of San Francisco for two full days of an interactive technical experience designed for and shaped by the PI System development community:

  • An under-the-hood look at the PI System and how PI developers work
  • Live, in-person technology roundtables
  • Code reviews and best development practices
  • Networking with peers and OSIsoft developers
  • Deep dives in current and forthcoming technologies
  • Optional hands-on learning labs

Click Here to Register NOW!


Do some specific topics specially interest you? The OSIsoft vCampus technical community can now help shape and define the content of this event. Got an idea? Drop us an email at or just comment online at the OSIsoft vCampus Live blog. We want this to be precisely the event you need it to be.


And…because community input will continue to shape the content, be sure to visit the registration website to check the agenda as it evolves. Also make sure you follow us on twitter for up-to-the-minute news on the event.


So register today and see you in San Francisco in December!

Over the past 20 years OSIsoft has hosted user events for our community.  The annual Users Conference has been the main stay of these events.   Four years ago, we added a Developer Conference (DevCon) specifically for the development community so that we could focus on more detailed technical aspects of our offering- which were sometimes shorted in the Users Conference to focus on how customers were solving their business problems using PI.  Another important reason for the change is that some of the enhancements in the PI System needed to be supported in the server core before they are added to clients and other user tools.  This presents an opportunity for partners and developers to start their work at the same time, so that there are rich tools and applications available for customers quickly.  DevCon proved this was important to users and partners alike, who want to expand the capability of their PI systems. 


The trend continues this year as we rename DevCon,  change its format for a more interactive and dynamic event,  and expand our invitations to include more technical material to more technical users.  


If you are "all business" you won't want to miss the annual Users Conference this year (April 2010).  If you an über geek or someone in the middle, then you need to come where PI geeks meet... The OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2009 event!


I know what you're thinking: "Another conference?!  In this day of limited travel budgets?"  In the past it has been necessary to bring both technical and business people to the Users Conference and participate in both discussions which limited the depth of conversations for both groups.  Or one person had to pick between the technical and business sessions they wanted to attend.  By separating these events we can offer more content and increase the amount of open dialog between you, us and our partners.  


Making these changes delivers a better event to each group - one directed specifically at how you use PI - and at the least possible expense to you.  In the end it is all about creating an event that is the most valuable for you!


This year's OSIsoft vCampus Live! event is shaping up to be a whopper!  Here's what we have lined up for you:

  • An under-the-hood technical look at PI and PI development
  • Live, in-person roundtables
  • Extreme Code Reviews
  • Hands-On Learning Labs
  • Network with peers and OSIsoft personnel
  • Deep dive into current and upcoming technologies 

If you're interested but still not sure if it's right for you, drop us a line on this blog or send an email to - We'll be glad to answer your questions about the event and its agenda.  It is being held on December 1st and 2nd (with an optional day December 3rd) at the glorious Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco.


Already Convinced?  Take a look at the registration site (click here). You'll notice that members of the OSIsoft Virtual Campus (vCampus) program are eligible for a discount.


This event is designed for users looking to customize or expand out of the box capabilities and members of OSIsoft Virtual Campus, with limited seating. We strive to keep an intimate climate with lots of interaction between attendees and Product Managers and Developers.  So don't wait to register!

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