Online Courses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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    What is the format of the online courses?

    Our online courses are 3 weeks long but all of the material is online so the lectures and material can be completed at whatever time is convenient for you. Typically you spend the first week consuming the video lectures, the second week completing the exercises, and the final week completing the final project. If you're registered for a hosted session, there will also be a course facilitator to answer any of your questions throughout the course or help you come up with an idea and implementation for your final project, just as you would have access to an instructor in an in-person course.


    Will each course really take 3 weeks? What's the time commitment like?

    The time commitment for the online courses will vary depending on the course. However, it tends to be approximately to  3-4 hours/week. Each course will not take 3 entire weeks. We conduct them in 3 week periods though so you can work at your own pace, on your own schedule. You will have access to the materials 24/7, however you do not need to work around the clock.


    What do I gain by registering for a facilitated session?

    The course materials for all of our online courses (video lectures, exercises, etc.) are available on our community for you to access, even if you are not registered for a course. However, by registering you will gain access to the course facilitator who can help you along the way and you will receive a certificate of completion after turning in the final project.


    Access TypeAnonymous (not signed in)Signed in with OSIsoft SSO accountRegistered for Online Course
    Read forumsYesYesYes
    Contribute to forumsNoYesYes
    Watch video lecturesYesYesYes
    Comment on videosNoYesYes
    Ask questions in the communityNoYesYes
    Ask questions directly to a course facilitatorNoNoYes
    View course exercises and final project promptYesYesYes
    Submit exercises and get feedback from facilitatorNoNoYes
    Submit final project and get feedback from facilitatorNoNoYes
    Earn a certificate of completion for the courseNoNoYes
    Access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)NoNoYes [1]


    [1] Access to the VLE is only available for courses that come with an accompanying configuration in the VLE. Currently, these courses are:

        All other courses require users to have access to their own PI Systems. Please see the individual course pages for details.


    What's involved in the online courses, and how can I access the materials?

    The online courses are each composed of a set of video lectures, exercises, and a final project. There are also discussion forums for students to interact with one another, ask questions, and share their experiences with the PI System. All of the material can be found on the course pages within the Learn PI Space of the PI Square community. In order to interact with the courses, you will need to be logged into the PI Square community with an SSO account.


    Learn PI space:

    Learn PI homepage.png


    Sample course page layout:


    TS Newsletter screenshot 2.png


    What system requirements do I need?

    The online courses are all hosted on our PI Square community, so Internet access is required. Additionally, the video lectures are hosted on YouTube, so ensuring access to the videos is key. Otherwise, having access to the necessary application for the course (i.e. PI DataLink, PI ProcessBook, PI System Explorer for AF, etc.) or the Virtual Learning Environment is needed.


    Specifically for courses that use the VLE, you will need a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Client and you will also need to be able to access the domain where the machines are hosted. A typical connection string has the form, where the cloud service name is specific to a group of virtual machines and xxxxx is a port in the range 41952-65535. Therefore users connecting to Azure virtual machines must be allowed to connect to the domain * throughout the port range 41952-65535. If you cannot connect, check your company firewall policies and ensure that you can connect to this domain on the required ports. Please see the OSIsoft Learning website's FAQ for more information on the VLE.


    What software do I need for the online courses?

    For the majority of the online courses you will need your own copy of the software as well as your own data (connection to a PI Data Archive and PI Asset Framework Server). Please see the individual course pages for details on what's required for that course. The reasoning is that we want you to be able to work with your own data instead of simulated data that may not be relevant to your industry. By working with your own PI Systems, you will finish the online course with something immediately valuable to your enterprise.


    The only exceptions are the Configuring a Simple PI System, Implementing PI System High Availability, and Configuring PI Data Archive Security administrator courses which come with corresponding configurations in the Virtual Learning Environment. These courses involve more administrative tasks (creating tags, installing interfaces, configuring security, etc.) which we recognize experimenting with should not be done in a production environment.


    If you're an EA customer, you should already have access to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) labs. These are slightly different from the online courses as they are purely self-directed via a manual\instruction book and the virtual environment. If you'd like, you can use one of the VLE to complete an online course. However, please note that these environments are not configured to correspond with the online courses in terms of available software, data sources, etc. Also, the VLE sessions only last 8 hours before resetting. Thus, it is recommended to use your organization's PI System and software instead of the VLE.


    Can I expect help round the clock during an online course?

    While we will try to respond as promptly as we can, we do not have instructors on hand 24/7 for the whole 3 week duration of an online course. Depending on your time zone versus that of the facilitator, there may be a roughly 24 hour turnaround for questions. You are also more than welcome to ask questions in the community, which may have a faster response time.


    Can I still take the course if my organization doesn't use PI Asset Framework (AF)?

    Our courses mimic the advancement of the PI System, and thus are moving more and more toward asset based functionality. However, you can typically complete a limited or modified version of the course exercises and final project using the software versions or data items that work for you (for instance, using only PI Points instead of AF attributes). The only consequence is that they may be unable to mirror all functionality covered in the video lectures.


    Specifically, you will have to skip things that are only for AF, such as the element relative displays in PI ProcessBook or using the root path in PI DataLink. However, when it comes to creating PI ProcessBook displays or PI DataLink reports, there are few differences between doing so with PI Points versus AF attributes as those are simply the source of the data. The functions, symbols, etc. within PI DataLink or PI ProcessBook would remain the same.


    If you are unclear about how to do something using PI Points instead of AF attributes, just post a questions directly in PI Square and we can help you get around your limitations, if the functionality will allow for it.


    Can I earn a certificate of completion through the online courses

    Yes, you will also get a certificate of completion from the online courses if you are registered for a course and successfully finish and submit a final project to the course’s facilitator. However, we do not have a certification program (since we are not an accredited educational organization) so you cannot use these courses for continuing education credits.


    Can I take an online course outside of the scheduled sessions?

    Unfortunately you cannot take the course and earn a certificate of completion outside of the scheduled sessions. Outside of those dedicated times, there will be no facilitator to answer questions or grade final projects. You are welcome to work through the course material on your own (see course pages within the Learn PI  space), however there will not be a dedicated facilitator.


    For the courses that use an accompanying configuration in the Virtual Learning Environment, you can register for just the VLE access if you'd like to complete the course on your own outside of a scheduled session. Again, outside of the scheduled times, there will be no facilitator to ask questions to or to grade your final project. Thus, you will not earn a certificate of completion for doing this.


    What's the difference between the OSIsoft Online Courses and the OSIsoft Learning YouTube Channel?

    In general, our online courses are intended to go more in depth than the videos we have on our YouTube Channel by providing both video lectures and exercises, thus making them more like the classes we offer at our public training centers. Our Learning YouTube Channel holds over 1500 videos that focus on a specific task or feature, intended for the person who knows exactly what they are looking for and for on-the-job performance support.


    My organization hasn't configured our AF hierarchy yet. Are there any samples?

    Throughout PI Square you'll find various sample AF databases that have been uploaded for a variety of project. However, your best option is the Asset Based PI Example Kits  as these are industry specific and very detailed.


    For simpler examples, please check out:

    PI DataLink I Online Course Materials


    Instructions on how to import a database:

    Importing Generic PI AF Databases


    These videos look really blurry. Can I see them in higher definition?

    Yes! All of our videos are recorded in 1280 x 720 resolution, YouTube's high definition dimensions. The player will automatically set your resolution based on some of your network connectivity parameters. However, you can also manually decide which resolution you'd like. Check out the Online Course Videos - Tips and Tricks to see how!