Substitution Parameters in Templates Are Nice, But...

Blog Post created by JimGavigan Champion on May 24, 2019

I have been doing AF work going on 4 years now, and I used to spend a lot of time trying to make templates that were "cute" and used substitution parameters, but I have such a hard time finding consistency in the way tags are named across organizations (lots or mergers and acquisitions), but even worse, even in some plants there isn't a consistent naming convention.


I am doing some work for one of our customers' maintenance groups and looking at pumps. Here are the TEN variations  of PI tag names they used to state that a pump was in the "RUN" state:




Over the last year or so, we have just used a generic "tag lookup" sub attribute in our templates to combat this issue. That way, we can just map the tags into the tag lookup field and everything will work fine AND users who don't have PSE will have a way to see what tag the attribute is pointed at.


We feel that if we develop a template, it is more portable across our various customers and even within a customer organization this way.


I am curious what some of these folks think and/or are doing:


Roger Palmen

Tim Carmichael

Rick Smith

Ernst Amort

Steve Boyko

Dan Fishman (not sure this is the right account...)

Eric Belaski
Scott Larson

Jonathan Moretti



I didn't tag any OSIsoft people, but I certainly welcome input from you guys as well. I wanted to tag people who work in the integration world who have to do things at a larger scale and might have a different perspective. 


On the OSIsoft side, I would be curious to know what Ales Soudek, Rick Davin, Brent Bregenzer, and others think.


I looked really hard at what Element Analytics was doing, but the above problem just kept me from really understanding how that would help unless you were very disciplined about how you had built out your tags.