Jerome Lefebvre

Sharing PI Vision displays between different companies

Blog Post created by Jerome Lefebvre on Nov 15, 2019

It has not been always easy to share displays between different organizations and companies when using PI Vision.

I'm thinking in particular when it is a parnter that creates displays for a customer.


The work was either to re-create the displays on the customer site, replace the customer's display database entirely with a database provided by the partner. This was made easier with the release of the display utility in PI Vision 2017. With this utility, if the two databases could be made availabe on the same network, then we could transfer a single display, modify its ownership and the data it references. 



The problem, is clear is that there are on few cases in which the partner's environment can be made available to the customer's environment to do this migration (let alone be given all the correct SQL permissions). What had to be done is to copy the partner's environment to the customer site and do the migration within the customers' environment. This meant a lot of work for the customer side.



With the release of the 2019 version of PI Vision, a new set of API was released with PI Vision website. These are private APIs for use the PI Vision Display Utility. You can see the existense of a new site under the PI Vision site, but it is only meant to be accessed through the utility.


As the PI Vision site already has the correct permissions to manipulate its own database, this means that the SQL permission problems have been cleared. This is the new environment in which the utility works.


As you can see these apis is just a regular Rest API, and thus, can be made available from a much bigger range of networks. In particular, in the environment we discussed so far, the partner can make their environment available to the web and the displays can be pulled from the customer's environment! All the customer needs is one machine in their DMZs that can connect to both the internet and their PI Vision site. To limit things on the partner side, as all that is being transmitted is the displays and not any data, the partner can set up a PI Vision on their DMZ that is accessabile to the web, but contains no actual data. (This, along with the usual web/domain/etc security)

I think is a much nicer set up as the work that needs to be done by the customer has been reduced greatly and sharing displays between sites can now almost be made automatically.



Note: An other option, similar to what was possible with 2017 R2 SP1 is to set up two PI Vision environment within the customer's site, one to hold a copied version of the customer's database and the customer's environment.