Lonnie Bowling

The Top 4 Takeaways from the OSIsoft UC 2016

Blog Post created by Lonnie Bowling Champion on Apr 13, 2016

While is it still fresh in my head, I wanted to do a quick recap on my experiences at the UC.


#1 Attendance

During the Keynote it was mentioned that there were 2,500 attendees, which is up from about 1,800 last year. I think this is validation that OSIsoft is doing very well and continues to be the leader in the time-series database market. I met several new attendees that were completely blown away with the capabilities of PI and all the associated products. For people like me, which have been to many UC’s, the excitement of people just being introduced to PI never gets old. It is a way that I get new energy and ideas to make my year productive.


#2 Hackathon

The theme of the Hackathon was working with actual San Diego Airport data to see what kinds of applications and data analysis could be designed, developed, and performed. In the past years there usually were issues about getting access to the platform or data but this year it was very well organized and most did not have those types of problems. This gave us more time to work on our ideas. Also, information was “leaked” out over a couple of weeks preceding the event to give us a chance to really think up a good idea.

I was on one of two teams from DST. My team was just edged out from placing in the top three. We designed a natural language PI Bot that you ask questions and get answers about data in a PI system. It was really interesting and got me thinking about how we will interact with machines in the future.

They also invited five teams do a pitch session. We pitched in front of a panel that included Pat Kennedy, a couple of executives from the San Diego Airport and a real-life Silicon Valley VC exec. Our team was able to do the business pitch, which I thought was awesome. It felt like a real life Shark Tank! Although I did not land a big deal, it was fun to dream. I feel like hackathons are a great way to release the creativity that is bottled up in your average developer. Lots of team work and ideas exchanged.


#3 Coresight 2016

Last year’s addition of ProcessBook displays was just a preview of what was in-store for Coresight. It has lost all of it’s Silver Light dependencies and can run in all modern browsers. With the next release we will be able to build displays within Coresight and take advantage of extensibilities, which will enable you to develop custom widgets. This is due to be released in May. There are many more features to be rolled out in the next year and a half. Big kudos to Chris Nelson, Tom LeBay, and Eugene Resnick! You and your team are doing a great job!


#4 Emerging Technologies

If you feel like OSIsoft might be just kicking back and enjoying the fruits of their software that was developed 30 years ago, don’t be fooled. They have developed Qi which is a cloud based data storage platform over the last couple of years. They also were demo’ing Nova which is the first visualization product designed to work with Qi. It is a full web-base, Coresight like, product that can be used to design displays, dashboard, and trends. All early stuff and in various stages of previews.

There is also much going on with data ingress. OSIsoft Message Format (OMF) was announced; it is a new standard that is being developed to allow writing data in a standard way to a PI System. This will allow new connectors and interfaces to be developed by third parties. In the past you were 100% on your own if you wanted to do this. I think this will create interesting opportunities, especially in the IoT space.



Overall, at the end of the five days, I was exhausted, had far too little time to attend presentations and demo’s, and was only able to talk to a fraction of the people I wanted to. I was very happy with the overall enthusiasm and energy of those with-in OSIsoft, those that have been using PI for years, and those that are just learning about PI for the first time. In a funny way, I feel like this is a new beginning, kind of like a PI 2.0 transition. The PI System is becoming much more open, more scalable, and is being used to solve an ever growing list of business challenges.


Lonnie A. Bowling
PI Enthusiast

My Personal Blog: www.lonniebgood.com

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