PI System Explorer

Version 2

    This document is an excerpt from the Visualizing PI System Data Workbook v2017


    PI System Explorer, or sometimes referred to as PSE or AF Client, is the AF user interface and allows users to find information about their equipment and processes. It also has a rich range of features, making it the configuration and management tool for AF, PI Notifications and Event Frames.

    PSE is installed as part of the PI ProcessBook and PI DataLink installations. The client component of the PI Notifications install kit will add extra sections to the Navigator Panel of PSE (MyPI, Notifications and Contacts) in order to configure notifications.


    The major components of the PSE are shown in the following:




    Menu Bar / Toolbar

    Use these bars for tasks such as opening/creating a database, searching for elements or contacts, applying and checking in changes, setting view options, and more. Menus and the Toolbar are context sensitive and will present different options depending on what section is selected from the Navigator Panel.


    Navigator Panel

    PI System objects are grouped into sections displayed in the Navigator Panel. Groups appearing by default include Elements, Event Frames, Library, and Unit of Measure, and Analyses. When the PI Notifications feature is installed, MyPI, Notifications, and Contacts also appear in the Navigator Panel.



    Use the Browser to select the objects you want to work on and display in the Viewer panel. The Browser displays the PI System objects that have been added to the AF database, such as elements, templates, notifications, etc. Depending on the section selected from the Navigator Panel, the following will be available from the Browser:

    • Elements: Elements can be organized in several hierarchies. Users can drill down the element hierarchy created in an AF database.
    • Event Frames: An event frame, as explained in more details in the following section, is any event, defined by a start time, an end time and a context. Event Frames can represent downtime events, process and environmental excursions, batch processing steps or any other events important to your organization.
    • Library: This is a collection of objects that can be re-used throughout the AF hierarchy. Types of objects that appear in the Library include Categories, Element Templates, Enumeration Sets, Reference Types, and Tables.
    • Units of Measure (UOM): The UOM database provides automatic handling of simple conversions between units of measure for attributes of the same UOM class.
    • Analyses: This section provides a summary of all analyses (e.g. calculations) configured on the current AF database. It allows you to perform administrative tasks like starting, stopping and backfilling analyses


    Status Bar

    Check the status bar after clicking an item in the Browser to see its status. For example, last modification time, if the object is checked out or if a notification is currently loading.

    Configuration Panel

    This panel is used to configure properties associated with attributes such as attribute references, UOM and values for static attributes.


    This is the primary work area. Use it to create and edit elements, attributes, templates, tables, contacts, notifications, analyses, and so forth. When configuring attributes through the Viewer, the Configuration Panel comes into view allowing you to make configuration changes.


    * For more information see Using PI System Explorer (PI System Explorer User Guide).


    Connecting to an AF Server to view the Element Hierarchy

    AF stores the asset framework objects (elements, templates, and so on) in AF databases. You can have multiple AF databases in AF, although you can connect to only one at a time. In PSE, you can see which AF server you are connected to and its list of databases by selecting the Database button in the upper left corner.




    The Select Database dialog box will appear and show you which AF server you are connected to (the drop down along the top).



    Once connected to the desired AF server, you can select the database from associated databases list.