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48 Posts authored by: spilon

Join us at the bar of the Palace Hotel, where we're having pretty geeky discussions around a couple beers (and whisky, for Asle) 


See you all tomorrow, at the Welcome Reception!



Enough said - go register now, if you haven't already


No, seriously, it is getting difficult to get rooms from the hotel, so you better register today and contact Adrienne Lopez (the Housing Manager) if you run into trouble getting a hotel room for the event


See you next Sunday, at the welcome reception!



Starting a new career...

Posted by spilon Aug 25, 2010

As some of you may have noticed already, I am starting a new career (still at OSIsoft, don't worry ).


And no, I'm not talking about my recent attempts at being a geeky video star...


Like here: watch_5F00_video_5F00_steve1.png  or here:  watch_5F00_video_5F00_steve2.png




In fact I moved from the vCampus team to the Product Management group: I am now the Product Manager for the PI Data Access products, which include our SQL tools (OLEDB, OLEDB Enterprise, JDBC), the OPC DA/HDA Server, PI Web Services, etc.


As you can imagine, I will still be involved in the vCampus community but in a slightly different manner: going from a pure "tech support" and "architectural guidance" type of contribution, we will start working together to take those products where you and the rest of the community need them to be, to deliver value to you and your customers.


Consequent to my move, a new member joined the OSIsoft vCampus team: Ahmad Fattahi, from our headquarter. Welcome Ahmad!! Together with Andreas (Germany), Cristobal Escamilla (Mexico) and Han Yong (Singapore), they will continue to assist you with your PI development and integration projects, and delivering high-value, high-quality content like our webinars and other technical content.


And let's not forget the vCampus All-Stars... as we pointed out earlier this year, the first group of vCampus All-Stars will be nominated at this year's OSIsoft vCampus Live! event - it's still time to send your nomitations and highlight those who have been really useful to you! Help get them their hands on the nice All-Star package and who knows, maybe this will be you next year!


Alright, enough bla-bla... now go back to work!
No, seriously, I am looking forward to continuing this great relationship we have, and hope to see you in September at OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010

If you are not yet convinced about the value of attending this year's OSIsoft vCampus Live! event, I invite you to check out the latest announcement about it. It highlights some of the key items on the agenda, amongst many other technical sessions.


Not sure OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010 is for you? If you reading this blog post, that means you are a dealing with PI technology at one level or another and this event is definitely for you: you will experience a unique blend of in-depth PI System technology presentations from OSIsoft, customers and partners, as well as innovative ways to interact with your professional peers, and a lot of fun!


Check this out and register soon... September 13th is coming fast!



You might have already gotten the announcement about this, but the Agenda v1.0 is now available for OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010.


Go check it out on the registration website (and don't forget to watch the "How to convince your boss" tutorial )


See you in September!



If you checked your email inbox lately, you probably saw this announcement about the registration for OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010 being open...  Well, what you are waiting for? Hurry up and register soon to save money (Early Bird registration ends July 21st!)


More details coming soon on this blog (RSS Feed) and on the vCampus Live! 2010 twitter account.
All the details at see you in person in September!


(interested in presenting something at the event? submit your paper in this discussion thread)



Happy 'Geek Pride' Day!

Posted by spilon May 26, 2010

Just a quick note to wish everybody a happy 'Geek Pride' day


This is (apparently) celebrated every May 25th and started in 2006 (source). I also came across this fun little article about "5 Reasons To Be Proud on Geek Pride Day"


Back to more serious stuff... I really look forward to seeing you all 'where PI geeks meet': OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2010, during the week of September 13th in San Francisco. See the event blog and join the discussion online: Agenda, Technology Roundtables, Extreme Code Reviews.



I would like to draw your attention to the official Microsoft StreamInsight page - especially in the "Additional Resources" section down at the bottom. You can see 2 different videos that were posted on Microsoft's Channel 9, which describe how you can do real-time monitoring with PI and our PI System Adapters for StreamInsight:

For those of you who are not familiar with Microsoft StreamInsight, our StreamInsight Adapters and Complex Event Processing (CEP) in general, I invite you to watch our webinar on the topic. Also make sure you follow this blog (RSS Feed) and do not hesitate to initiate discussions in the "StreamInsight Development" discussion forum.



PIData | OData

Posted by spilon Apr 14, 2010

A couple weeks ago in Vegas, a new protocol was released: Open Data Protocol (OData). I can hear it from here, you're now thinking "oh well, oh well, yet another standards, new protocols emerge every other day".


That's true.
But I think this one is a little different and worth taking a deeper look at.


In a nutshell, this is a new data access protocol based on the REST principles, and is meant to facilitate sharing of data between heterogeneous parties (i.e. data producers, data consumers). An OData-enabled source essentially allows you to query and manipulate the data it exposes, by means of a simple URL.


I'd like to invite you to read what follows (a quick example I made up and a few links to more information) and then tell us what you think: are you interested in this? Do you have a brilliant idea on how you would implement this in your applications, in your organization? Do you think it would be valuable for our customers and partners if OSIsoft invested into OData?




Take our website as an example. And say you have your own website where you want to list upcoming OSIsoft events (e.g. Users Conference, OSIsoft vCampus Live!, regional seminars, etc.). With an OData-enabled version of our website, you could probably query it like this:


Which would return you an XML-type document (i.e. Json/Atom type feed) that lists the different things you can query, say:


Then you probably guessed it, you could query which would return an XML document listing all events with all corresponding information and links.


One could also filter on the fields you get back from the service, as well as sort them in the desired order. As an example, you might want to focus on the "Regional Seminars" type of event, or on events being held in San Francisco - the latter query might look this this:$filter=Location eq 'San Francisco'


Now imagine a growing number of OData-enabled data sources, from various data providers, and a growing collection of OData consumer applications... everything gets to be interconnected. From some application on your smart phone, you could get from the OSIsoft website to the upcoming Users Conference (April 26-28 in San Francisco), to the actual hotel and the list of services they provide, to a list of suggested restaurants in the area, and ultimately make a reservation at that restaurant's website.


And then take this to the PI and AF level: the ability to search/read/edit/delete data from PI and AF, from all sorts of OData-enabled clients (thick client, smart phone, website, ...) - sounds good to you?




While Microsoft is the key actor behind this, they really mean it to be an open protocol which hopefully gets standardized at some point. They are really serious about it and even implemented it in SharePoint 2010 (SharePoint lists are "OData queryable").


You can find out more here:

So let me ask you again: what do you think about this? Interesting or not? Already got a couple brilliant ideas on how you would implement this? How about OSIsoft exposing PI and AF data via an Odata producer?

Recent discussions on using the BLOB (Binary Large Object) point type had me wonder: what do people use BLOBs for?


I'd like to invite you to share your thoughts on what you use BLOB tags for, or what you think would be a good potential usage of those.
And what are your thoughts on Annotations? Annotations vs. BLOB?


Looking forward to reading you!

If you're like me, you probably downloaded and installed Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (VS2010) as soon as it became available (CTP, Beta1, Beta2, RC1 for partners...). And if you are using PI ACE, you might have noticed that the PI ACE Wizard does not appear under the Tools menu like it did in VS2003, VS2005 and VS2008.


Of course, the next release of PI ACE will incorporate nicely in VS2010, but the obvious question is: can I use PI ACE in VS2010 today?


And you probably guessed the answer, thanks to the title of this blog post: yes you can!


First, copy/paste the appropriate files from the %MYDOCUMENTS%\Visual Studio 2008\Addins folder to the %MYDOCUMENTS%\Visual Studio 2010\Addins folder - see screenshot below:




Then you need to edit the PIACEWizard.AddIn file as follows, using your favorite text/XML editor:




And voilà, you now have a nice "PIACEWizard" item that shows up under the Tools menu in VS2010! Just make sure you target the right version of the .NET Framework, the same used by your PI ACE Scheduler (most likely 3.5, if you are using VS2008 to develop your ACE calculations today).



Hello JDBC and Web Service developers!


Some of you might have noticed we released PI JDBC 2010 R2 and PI Web Services 2010 R2 around Christmas time, and I would like to talk a little more about these. (I recognize this post is a little late, but I'm sure the beginning of the year was pretty hectic for all of us  )


The 2010 R2 releases are incremental releases to the "2010" versions released in August 2010 - they broaden the support for information contained in the PI Asset Framework (AF) and provide a few bug fixes and enhancements. Let me go through the details for each of them.




PI JDBC 2010 R2
The main change for this release is the change from the classic PI OLEDB Provider (PI-centric) to PI OLEDB Enterprise (AF-centric) as the underlying data access layer, which implies a whole new table set and new functionality are available. Note, this release is backward compatible and using the same settings as in PI JDBC 2010 will fall back to the previous, classic PI OLEDB Provider behavior. Here's how:


As you may already know, JDBC uses database URLs to connect to databases. The URL for PI JDBC needs to provide the name of the PI SQL Data Access Server (DAS) machine and then some PI OLEDB Enterprise (or classic PI OLEDB) connection string. In this 2010 R2 release and going forward, you should use:


As an example, to use the PI OLEDB Enterprise table set and connect to the PI Asset Framework (AF), you could use this URL:
    jdbc:pisql://mySQLDAS/Data Source=myAFServer; Integrated Security=SSPI;


If you want to revert back to the classic PI OLEDB Provider table set and connect to the PI Data Archive, you would use:


For example:
    jdbc:pi://mySQLDAS/Data Source=myPIServer; Integrated Security=SSPI;




The 2010 R2 release also includes several other enhancements and bug fixes, including significant performance improvements for writing time-series data and support for multiple connections from multiple threads; please consult the Release Notes for more details. One thing I would like to bring to your attention, however, is a significant performance enhancement with regards to writing data into PI. Indeed, the 2010 R2 version implements a JDBC interface called AddBatch which does batch processing of the write operations. Combined with the FLUSH option (see the "PI OLEDB SQL Optimization" White Paper for more details), it really pushes the limits of what you can do with PI JDBC. Our good friend Andreas Schremmer is currently working on a White Paper about this... you can expect this within the next couple weeks




PI Web Services 2010 R2
Just like for PI JDBC, PI Web Services 2010 R2 brings new data retrieval features, particularly wider adoption of the PI Asset Framework (AF). PI Web Services 2010 R2 offers new features including the following:
     - New methods for basic PI tag search and snapshot retrieval
     - Extended AF Data Reference support
     - Extension of filter expression support
     - Support for additional data insertion modes


I talk about these a little more in the "PI Web Services 2010 and Beyond" (see under the Auditorium), but once again you can consult the Release Notes for more details on this particular release.




We hope these changes help you in your projects, and contribute to making more out of your PI System (including making it an "asset-powered" one )


In closing, I look forward to hearing from you about what you think is important we work on next - simply comment on this blog post or initiate new discussion threads in the appropriate forum under Discussion Hall.

This is just a quick note to let you know I'll be leaving for the Holidays shortly, returning on January 4th. And I wanted to take this opportunity to send all of you my best wishes for the Holiday season! I'm confident you won't even notice I'm gone, with Andreas, Cristobal and Han Yong taking care of you


I know we repeated this a lot lately (on the forums and blogs, at the OSIsoft vCampus Live! event), but just one more time as we approach the end of the year: thank you so much for making 2009 so successful for vCampus! Thanks for believing in this new program, thanks for having faith in us as your connection to the whole OSIsoft ecosystem, and thanks for being an active part of the community. I look forward to strengthening this relationship with you all in 2010, bringing always more value to all of you, customers, partners and colleagues at OSIsoft.


Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!, and see you in 2010!

Those who were at the OSIsoft vCampus Live! 2009 event might remember that Matt Miller listed a number of charitable actions derived from the event, in the closing session. One of those was the possibility for attendees to donate their giveaway OSIsoft jacket to Institute on Aging, an organization that helps senior of the San Francisco area live independently. As a result, 21 jackets were donated by our generous attendees. We'd like to share a note we received from the Institute upon receiving the donations:


Just wanted to let you both know that the Institute on Aging was really happy to receive the OSIsoft coats.  The timing is perfect because they are in the midst of a huge coat drive for bay area seniors and the SF poor.  The OSIsoft fleeces are perfect for the SF weather (especially this week).   Rudy at the IOA said it’s one of the best gifts you can give – warmth.


Thank you!

As you may have read already, we are going to have Technology Roundtables at our OSIsoft vCampus Live! event (San Francisco, December 1-2). This is a unique opportunity to share with peers and meet in-person with the OSIsoft development taskforce (Product Managers, Developers, etc.).


Now the question is: what do YOU want to talk about? Simply take a few moments to complete this survey to make sure we cover the topics you'd like to discuss at these roundtables.


Make sure check out the exciting agenda lined up for the event (and obviously don't forget to register for the event)

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