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You can rename PI Points directly without losing any historical data (Every point has an associated Point ID, which is a unique number that identifies the point internally. PointID is never reused, even when a point is deleted).
Changing point names: To change a point name, use the Point Builder tool in System Management Tools ( Points > Point Builder ), PI Builder, or the piconfig utility. With PI Builder and piconfig, use the NewTag attribute in the PIPoint table.
Note: Many client applications, such as PI ProcessBook, automatically update point names. However, you might have to update some programs that retrieve data, such as PI DataLink spreadsheets.
Refer to KB01027 for impact on the client applications.
PI AF knows both tag and PointID. But since the AF configuration is a string, import will provide the string with the original tag, and subsequent export will break the link because the original tag is not found due to the rename. Therefore, updating PI Point Data References in AF (either through PI System Explorer or PI AF Builder in Excel) to reflect the new tagname should be part of the tag renaming process. Otherwise, custom code is required to update the configuration string where tag has been changed to avoid accidental breakage, for example, import and re-export of the strings.
Thank you Gabriel. If I don't use NewName but choose Edit only in PIBuilder, will I get the same result? Same tag, new name, existing data...
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In the case, PI Builder would fail to execute 'update' command as it would not find the tag with 'NewName'.
If you selected 'Create Or Update', then you will create a new tag instead as Gabriel said.
PI Builder needs to find the tag by its old name first in order to update to a new name.
'NewName' field/column exists for this reason.