Asset Analytics vs. Custom Data Reference

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    Asset Analytics versus Custom Data References

    During the early years of AF, the options were limited to producing your own calculations. The Formula Data Reference could be used to make simple calculations.  Anything mildly more complex required a Custom Data Reference (CDR), which was far more complex to write than a simple formula.  What would one consider 'complex'?  Any calculation that:

     

    • Needed Summary data
    • Used strings or text
    • Used looping constructs
    • Integrated with third-party libraries

     

    As Asset Analytics has been available for several years now, it has quickly become a major alternative over Custom Data References where it can easily handle these cases:

     

    • Needed Summary data
    • Used strings or text

     

    Asset Analytics is the preferred calculation engine to address the above items, plus it offers the added performance benefit of persisting calculations to the PI Data Archive for faster retrieval. 

    The BIG Question

    Before you begin thinking about a Custom Data Reference, the question to ask should not be "Can a Custom Data Reference be used?"  Rather the question that you really should ask yourself is "Can this be done in an Asset Analytics?"

     

    If the answer is "Yes", then you should use an Asset Analytics. If the answer is "No", then - and only then - should you consider writing a Custom Data Reference. Be aware that there are areas that Asset Analytics currently cannot address that provide justification to the need for a Custom Data Reference.  

     

    Be aware that there are areas that Asset Analytics currently cannot address that provide justification to the need for a Custom Data Reference.  

    • If your calculation logic requires looping constructs
    • If you must integrate with third-party libraries

     

    Please use the discussion forum to discuss or ask any questions about Asset Analytics vs. Custom Data Reference