Written by Todd Brown and Tom LeBay
Below is a list of answers to questions asked during a recent PI Coresight 2016 webinar. The questions have been grouped into different categories.
Q: When will PI Coresight 2016 be available?
- OSIsoft: PI Coresight 2016 is scheduled to release in Q2, before the end of June.
Q: If you add a digital state, like a status, with multiple digital states, will those states show up in the trend as the state name or the value like a number? I guess you can use a multistate like in PB but not sure if it shows up in the trend.
- OSIsoft: When a digital state tag is use in a Trend or Gauge the scale shows the state name. See the examples below:
Grouped question: Can the Y axis scale be manually set for trend and gauge scales?
- Q: Is it possible to change the limit boundaries in the graphs just for this study? not using the OFF-SCAN attributes?
- Q: How can a user set the scale (min/max) on the Y axis on a display trend?
- OSIsoft: There is currently no way for a user to set scale limits directly in PI Coresight. Scale limits are set, in order of precedence, by: AF attribute limits, tag zero and span, default value (-1 to 1).
Q: Is there a way to integrate the parameter description into a text box linked to each individual parameter in the trend graph (like a comic book text box)?
- OSIsoft: You can use a “Value Symbol” to display the description for a tag or attribute. This will need to be added in addition to adding the tag or attribute to a trend but I believe this would achieve what you are asking for.
Q: How can we change the screen background color?
- OSIsoft: There is no way to change the display background in PI Coresight 2016. A possible workaround is to place a square shape to cover the whole display area and then place other symbols on top of it.
Q: Can we convert a symbol from one type to other as was possible in previous versions?
- OSIsoft: Converting symbols from one type to another is not possible in PI Coresight 2016. This is a feature currently planned for our next release.
Q: Have you built in any capability to create on the fly calcs like in Processbook datasets?
- OSIsoft: There are currently no capabilities to create on the fly calcs, however this is consistent with the vision of creating an integrated visualization platform so we expect to include this in a future release.
Q: The screen can scroll now? So we're not forced to squish all trends into a small display?
- OSIsoft: Correct, the absolute size and position of items in a display is maintained regardless of the browser window size. There are zoom controls and a “fit all” option that can help the user set the appropriate size for their screen resolution.
Q: What about multistate for trend traces? And also multistate for historical context? (e.g. change color if alarm in the time range of the display - but not at the end time.)
- OSIsoft: In PI Coresight 2016 you can multistate any geometric shape, the value symbol and gauge symbols. We have plans to add multistate features to trends and tables in a future release.
Grouped Questions: Is there a way to edit the look and feel of the PI Coresight application?
- Hello, will there be any documented feature to edit css theme? Is there any display template feature (with header and footer, for example)?
- Will there be a theme wizard for changing color pallet?
- OSIsoft: In PI Coresight 2016 there will not be any documentation or wizards for theming PI Coresight.
Can symbols be built in Visio and imported?
- OSIsoft: If this question is in reference to adding external graphics into PI Coresight, then yes, you can use an external visual editing application that has more advanced drawing capabilities, export those diagrams/drawings as an image file (svg, png, jpg, etc.), and then insert it into a PI Coresight display using the Image symbol.
Q: When a display is shared with a specific group, is it only searchable by that group as well?
- OSIsoft: Correct. A user can only share a display with a group that he/she is a member of, and a user can only find or open a display that has been shared with a group that the user is a member of.
Q: Is the group for a display based on Active Directory Groups, some "Coresight defined group," combination, or something else?
- OSIsoft: The groups for display sharing are based on “AF identities”. An Active Directory user or group can be mapped to an AF identity as a way to help manage permissions.
Ad Hoc Analysis
Q: I didn't see any hint of zooming on trends. Will it be in the final release?
- OSIsoft: Yes, we have included “rubber band zooming” of trends (screen shots shown below) in the final release of PI Coresight 2016. On touch/mobile devices, you can also zoom in and out of the trends using typical two-finger pinch gestures.
Q: Is there a playback mode in the current graphic display?
- OSIsoft: No, currently there is no playback of time mode that enables you to “replay” what happened in PI Coresight 2016. However, we have shown that doing something like this is possible with PI Coresight 2016 by leveraging our extensibility CTP (Community Technology Preview) functionality. In the screen shot below, using our extensibility model, we have added a rudimentary “Playback Pane” to the application through our extensibility functionality that enables a user to replay the data on the display. In future versions, we may consider adding Playback functionality to PI Coresight.
- Link to Video of “Playback Pane”: https://youtu.be/O28momop4qQ
- Uservoice link: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/13659030
Q: Can we combine tags from different graphics to build a trend?
- OSIsoft: In PI Coresight 2016, a user can use the Assets search pane to search for data across AF databases and PI tags and trend that information on a trend. They can also select a row in a table and create a new symbol such as a trend using drag and drop. We do not yet have drag and drop ability from any symbol in PI Coresight 2016 as was possible in previous versions in PI Coresight. This is something we will add back to the product at some point in the future.
PI ProcessBook Displays / PI PB Viewer
Q: Will PI Coresight 2016 be compatible for existing PI ProcessBook displays that the business is using?
- OSIsoft: Yes, PI Coresight 2016 still has the same functionality as previous versions for viewing existing PI ProcessBook displays.
Grouped Questions: Can PI Coresight 2016 edit PI ProcessBook displays?
- Q: Will the PI Coresight display editing tools available to edit an imported PI ProcessBook .pdi file?
- Q: Is there a converter for PI ProcessBook displays to PI Coresight?
- Q: Will we be able to copy displays already in use? Such as a PI ProcessBook page?
- OSIsoft: PI Coresight 2016 can only view (but not edit) existing PI ProcessBook .pdi files. There is no converter available for PI ProcessBook displays to PI Coresight displays at this time.
Q: Will this be PI ProcessBook's replacement and it retired in the future? If so, what's the migration plan for existing displays?
- OSIsoft: As shown in the slide below, over the long term we envision that PI Coresight will become the replacement to PI ProcessBook. However, work towards this goal will take place over many releases. As you saw from our Visualization Vision, our goal is not to simply replace PI ProcessBook but rather to provide users with a more capable and modern visualization application that integrates and leverages the Modern PI System. As such, our focus is not just on PI ProcessBook features as we also want to provide new compelling value to our customers.
- OSIsoft: In regards to a migration plan for existing PI ProcessBook displays, we have a great start to this as PI Coresight can view existing PI ProcessBook displays already. So this enables customers to start using the newer and richer features found only in PI Coresight while they can also still use their existing PI ProcessBook displays all within the same application. At some point in the future, we may add more functionality to make it easier for PI ProcessBook customers to fully migrate and edit their displays with PI Coresight but this is not our focus at this point in time.
Q: Which PI Processbook features are not available in PI Coresight?
- OSIsoft: It’s difficult to list all the differences between PI ProcessBook and PI Coresight because these products are built on very different technology and have a very different history. PI ProcessBook is a Windows only application and has been around for over 20 years while PI Coresight 2016 is viewed in any browser and is just starting on this road to implementing our new visualization vision. But at a higher level, PI ProcessBook has more display editing features like rubber band multi-selection of objects/symbols, grouping, format painting, etc. It also has a graphical symbol library, XY plot, SQC, time playback/replay, multiple times on trends, PI BatchView, among other things.
It’s also important to note some of the key features available in PI Coresight 2016 that aren’t available in PI ProcessBook (we expect this list to grow significantly over time)-
- Quick and easy search or browsing of information in PI AF.
- Intuitive drag and drop interface.
- Display sharing functionality.
- Significant support for PI Event Frames:
- See event frame attribute values and navigate child events
- Apply event time range to display
- See event details including trigger information and ability to add comments and attachments to the events.
- Event comparison functionality that includes showing the data leading up to the start time of the event (root cause time period).
- Tighter integration with PI AF: AF traits on multistates, event frame severity, event frame comments
- Support for viewing displays and PI data on any mobile device (tablets and phones)
- With thin client web-based architecture, it’s much easier for administrators to perform upgrades and get new value in the hands of their users than the thick client model that PI ProcessBook uses.
Asset Framework Integration
Grouped Questions: Can you tell us more about the AF Traits functionality available in PI AF 2016 that PI Coresight 2016 leverages?
- Q: Can the PI-AF traits be tied directly to a PI Point's Zero/Span so we are not duplicating configurations in the PI Server and in AF?
- Q: For the traits, where are the max/min values created? Can the end user change that?
- Q: I haven't seen AF 2016 yet; will the traits be fixed parameters or could they be tags?
- OSIsoft: The traits functionality available in PI AF 2016 enables users to define related attributes in a way that allows client applications to find well known relationships between attributes. Traits are defined, using PI System Explorer, by a user with the appropriate write security access. Traits are created as child attributes to the attribute they are describing (ex: a temperature attribute) and they can be configured as any other attribute including as a data reference to a tag, table, or formula (so the values can be static or change over time). AF traits are not tied to a tag’s zero/span which often refer to the physical limits of the measuring device. Traits cannot be modified from PI Coresight 2016.
PI Coresight 2016 uses the following trait limits to set Y-axis scales on trends, the scale on gages and threshold values for multistating:
- For more Information on AF traits and the PI Server 2016 Release (see video around 20 min into the video): http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=13208
Grouped Questions: Does PI Coresight 2016 have an XY Plot, SQC Symbol, histogram, or archived value table symbol available?
- Q: Can xy plots be created in coresight now?
- Q: How many x/y-plots can be overlayed perfomance wise?
- Q: When can we have x/y-plots with more than one x-value?
- Q: Will SQC be integrated?
- Q: In the symbols option will there be a histogram available?
- Q: Is it possible to draw a dynamic data-table with the last values (for example 5, or 10) of a singled or combined tag?
- OSIsoft: No, PI Coresight 2016 does not have a XY symbol, SQC symbol, histogram, or archived value data table. This is something we will consider in a future release. However, it may be possible to integrate some of these symbols through the PI Coresight 2016 extensibility model which is in CTP. The display shown below shows an example of symbols not being shipped with PI Coresight 2016 by OSIsoft but that have been added into the system (included are a histogram and time series data table).
- Uservoice link – XY Plot: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517/suggestions/10624155
- Uservoice link – SQC: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/10745121
- Uservoice link – Histogram: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/13658910
- Uservoice link – Archived Values Data Table: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/10750026
Q: Is there a gauge / trend object for displaying GANTT Charts based on event frame data available?
- OSIsoft: Yes, the event comparison display includes a Gantt chart showing the events and their children. There is not a Gantt chart symbol for a “process display” at this time (this functionality is only available on an event comparison display).
Event Details Page
Q: Hello, will it be possible to select a reason code for an EF? I mean if EF is deviation from normal work in this case it will be great if personnel are able to select the reason for the deviation.
- OSIsoft: Great question! We have heard from several customers that they would like to be able to manually enter the reason code for an event (along with other types of manual data). Currently this is not available within PI Coresight 2016 (only the ability to enter a comment is available at this time). Supporting manual data entry for event frame attributes is something we are considering for future releases.
Grouped Questions: Will OSIsoft provide more flexibility in event frame searches for event comparison and process displays?
- Q: How can we select which event to show on the overlay?
- Q: Comparing an event to the last 10 "similar" events is not always what is required in an overlay.
- OSIsoft: In PI Coresight 2016, we only support comparison against the last 10 similar events (same event frame template) on the same asset (element) as the originally selected event. In our research with users, this was the best reasonable starting point for this ad hoc analysis experience. However, we also know that users need to ability to customize their event searches and we have plans to provide this functionality with an Advanced Event Frame Search in our next release of PI Coresight. So really, we see this initial Event Comparison functionality as a “stepping stone” to bigger and better things in upcoming releases.
Grouped Questions: Will the Event Comparison functionality in PI Coresight 2016 be able to replace PI BatchView (overlay trending) for existing PI Batch customers?
- Q: Can I pull data related to a batch (PI Batch)? If so, can I compare multiple batches together? I am assuming PI Batch will still be relevant unless the plan is to substitute PI Batch with Event Frames. If that is the case the same questions apply.
- Q: Does it do batch comparison with EF data?
- OSIsoft: We are glad the functionality we showed with Event Comparison triggered some great questions from existing PI Batch customers! We see the Event Comparison functionality we demoed in PI Coresight 2016 as a “stepping stone” to adding more future functionality to enable PI Batch customers to migrate their data to PI Event Frames. We plan on addressing several of the current functionality gaps in our next release of PI Coresight (scheduled for 4Q 2016):
- Advanced Event Frame Search: this will provide customers the ability to run event frame searches such as: “Return all the batches over the last 30 days for Product ‘Super Drug” and Recipe ‘Type A’ on Asset ‘Reactor*’.
- Ability to Align and Zoom to Child Event Frames
- Support for “Reference Events”: i.e. pinning Golden Batches to your event comparison display. Note that we may not have time to complete this feature in this upcoming release but it is our goal!
Q: Does "Event Analysis" include a replacement for PI Batch Generator with PI Event Frames and the ability to visualize batch information within PI Coresight (i.e. PI-BatchView functionality)?
- OSIsoft: The PI BatchView part of this question was answered in the question above. As part of our strategy to migrate PI Batch customers to PI Event Frames, there is a released interface called PI Event Frames Generator that can migrate your existing PI-BaGen configuration to PI Event Frames Generator and start creating batches in PI Event Frames. There is also functionality in the recent versions of the PI Server to migrate historical PI Batch data forward to PI Event Frames.
- See these presentations and video for more information:
- EMEA15 Batch Presentation: http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=12864
- UC2016 Event Frames Presentation: http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=13215
- See these presentations and video for more information:
Q: Are there plans to allow the PI Community at large to be able to freely share any CTP symbols they create? Could be a great way to extend system capabilities.
- OSIsoft: Yes, we would like to eventually leverage our OSIsoft GitHub site (https://github.com/osisoft/) to begin accepting pull requests to allow customers and partners to share their creations with the rest of the PI community.
- OSIsoft: Here’s some examples, we’ve played with in our testing:
Q: You give us extensibility; we can have our custom symbol. I read the documentation about that. However, we need to do some code. In the future, can we have custom symbol without writing one line of code...
- OSIsoft: Right now there are no plans to do custom symbols without having to write some code.
Q: What is the open-source library to add new visualizations? Is there training available?
- OSIsoft: It is possible to use different open source libraries to add visualizations into PI Coresight.
One of my engineers attended the session this morning. He mentioned that you would be able to host Microsoft Power BI visualizations within PI Coresight. This would be a nice feature. Is this a planned feature?
- OSIsoft: Using the extensibility features is it possible to embedded Microsoft Power BI within PI Coresight. We have actually prototyped this ability to test out our extensibility model. We have no planned integration to do provide this as a standard part of the product at this time but, it is possible to implement using our extensibility CTP. Screen shot example below!
Manual Data Entry / Event Comments
Q: You said comments for events were written to the AF SQL database so this implies no additional PI points necessary for comment functionality?
- OSIsoft: Correct, event frame comments/annotations are written to AF and does not require any PI points for this functionality. This functionality is available in AF 2016.
Grouped Questions: What type of files can you attach to an event comment and how is the data stored?
- Q: It looks like you can add an attachment to the comment. What can you attach and where is that data stored?
- Q: Are the image attachments stored as BLOBs on the SQL Server for AF?
- OSIsoft: The allowed file types that can be attached to comments are defined in AF with the default types being: .csv, .docx, .pdf, .xlsx, .rtf, .txt, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .svg, .tiff, pdi. The allowed file types can be changed via the AF PIDiag command line tool via the FileExtensions parameter. The files are stored in the AF DB SQL Server as varbinary(max) which is a BLOB. File size for an attachment is limited to approximately 7.5 MB.
Q: Can the event’s comment be only viewed in that particular PI Coresight display? Will we able to push that comment into a report?
- OSIsoft: Event comments are stored as part of the event, not with the display so they are available whenever the event details are view in PI Coresight, regardless of what display was used to access the event. To add a little more detail, event comments are stored in the Asset Framework (AF) 2016 as part of the event frame record. The event comments are currently accessible through the AF-SDK and in the future other data access methods (SQL Based and WebAPI). Additionally, PI DataLink 2016 will also be able to retrieve the comments/annotations associated with an event so this is great option for generating a report on this data.
Grouped Questions: With PI Coresight 2016, can you manually enter comments related to attribute data or manually enter attribute values?
- Q: Is it already possible to show [tag] Annotations in Coresight? As far as I know there is already an enhancement request.
- Q: Will it be possible with the WebAPI of Manual Logger to edit certain AF Attributes values and not only PI Points values?
- Q: Is it possible to manually enter data that can be used in a PI expression? i.e. manually enter a variable used in a calculation.
- OSIsoft: No, PI Coresight 2016 does not have the ability to enter or show annotations from tags nor manually enter data into AF attributes/tags. We only support entering comments on events (event frames) at this time. A future enhancement to PI Coresight is likely to include the ability to enter comments/annotations on tags and manually edit AF attribute values.
- Uservoice Link – Comments/Annotations on Data Values: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/13659444
- Uservoice Link – Comments/Annotations on Asset: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/13659459
- Uservoice Link – Data Entry of AF Attribute Values: https://osisoft.uservoice.com/forums/320517-pi-coresight/suggestions/13658616
Grouped Questions: Will the Event Comments/Annotation/Acknowledgement functionality meet the pharmaceutical industry 21 CFR Part 11 requirements for electronic records and electronic signatures?
- Q: Will there be a possibility to force FDA Part 11 Signatures for Data Inputs like Ack. or Comment?
- Q: Will Electronic signatures conform to 21 CFR Part 11 when for example enter a comment or acknowledging a message?
- OSIsoft: At this time, the event acknowledgement and commenting functionality does not require the user to re-enter their password when acknowledging or commenting on an event. However, the authenticated user name is captured as part of both these actions. In the meantime, we know that some pharmaceutical customers use similar functionality for non-GMP purposes, but this is at the discretion of your Quality/Computer Validation department. This is something we will consider for a future release.
Mobile / Tablet / Phone
Grouped Questions: What mobile operating systems does PI Coresight 2016 support? What about the existing PI Coresight iPhone and iPad apps on Apple iOS?
- Q: Does Coresight support Android mobile devices also?
- Q: Does Coresight support android and Apple?
- Q: Are the Apple iPad/iPhone Coresight apps still valid with the release of HTML5 Coresight; or should we just use PI Coresight?
- OSIsoft: PI Coresight 2016 has been completely re-architected to removing Silverlight and replace it with HTML5 technologies. This means that customers can view their PI Coresight displays from any major operating system via the web browser. Users can view displays on Apple, Android, Windows, and other devices supporting a modern web browser. Given this broad device support, starting with PI Coresight 2016 support for the previous PI Coresight iOS iPad and iPhone apps are no longer compatible. Please see the link below for more information on this.
- Link to OSIsoft Tech Support: https://techsupport.osisoft.com/Troubleshooting/Alerts/AL00296
Q: Does the new multistate functionality also work in the phone view, to allow color changes to be reflected to draw attention to immediate problems?
- OSIsoft: Yes, if you open a display up on the phone that has a multistate symbol on it, it will work and update in real-time. The user has zoom in and out controls to be able to zoom into the area of interest on the display since there is less screen real-estate on a phone.
Q: Is all of this integration with notifications available with current notification versions?
- OSIsoft: The ability to make comments on an event is available only with AF 2016. The ability to acknowledge an event is also only available with AF 2016 however, the integration of PI Notifications and the ability to acknowledging an event will not be available until the next release of PI Notifications.
With the next release of PI Notifications acknowledging an event in PI Coresight will have the additional functionality of halting escalation logic on Notification. The next generation PI Notifications will use event frames as the basis for sending out notifications. PI Notifications 2016 is expected later this year (Q4 2016). A beta version of the new PI Notifications product is expected June 2016.
Q: Will Notifications be available through PI Coresight?
OSIsoft: PI Notifications is currently being rewritten to have better integration with AF Analytics and event frames. With the next version of PI Notifications an event frame trigger will also be the trigger to deliver a notification to users and the event frame will be the container for event related information. So by providing more capabilities around events, we are also providing more capabilities for PI Notifications customers. In PI Coresight 2016 we have significantly enhanced our event visualization capabilities with a new Event Details page that includes commenting on events and the new Event Comparison functionality. We will continue to enhance PI Coresight in future versions to include more Event and Notification functionality. PI Notifications 2016 is expected later this year (Q4 2016). A beta version of the new PI Notifications product is expected June 2016.
Administration, Technical, & Architecture
Q: Is Silverlight still required with PI Coresight 2016?
- OSIsoft: No, PI Coresight 2016 is based completely on HTML5 technologies and no longer uses MS Silverlight in any way.
Grouped Questions: What is the upgrade path from previous versions of PI Coresight to PI Coresight 2016?
- Q: If you are currently running Coresight 2015, what does the upgrade to 2016 consist of? Is it a simple matter of running an executable that is quick or does it require additional tasks; e.g. converting existing native Coresight and Process Book displays.
- Q: Are current Coresight 2014 and ProcessBook screens still compatible within Coresight 2016?
- Q: Is there an upgrade path for importing the Coresight 2014 database of displays into 2016?
- OSIsoft: Installing PI Coresight 2016 on a machine with a previous version of PI Coresight already installed will upgrade the system. After the PI Coresight server is upgraded, all clients automatically get the new functionality (through their web browser).
Previous PI Coresight displays are converted to PI Coresight 2016 displays with absolute sizing and positioning of symbols when the display is opened for the first time using PI Coresight 2016. Since PI Coresight 2016 does not have a radial gauge at this time, any previous PI Coresight displays with radial gauges are converted to a vertical gauge. We are planning on adding a radial gauge back into the product in PI Coresight 2016 R2 (targeted for 4Q2016).
Grouped Questions: What are the dependencies between PI Coresight 2016 and PI AF 2016?
- Do you have to have AF 2016 installed first before Coresight 2016?
- Is PI Coresight 2016 dependent on AF 2016?
- OSIsoft: PI Coresight 2016 will work with earlier versions of PI AF (PI AF 2016 is not required). However, there is additional functionality available PI Coresight 2016 is connected to a PI AF 2016 database. For example:
- AF Traits usage in multistate symbols and setting value scales
- Event Severity Colors
- Event Comments/Annotations and Attachments
- Q: Can you export the displays to migrate to different environments?
- Q: Can displays be exported to other Coresight systems like from Dev, to Test, to Production?
- OSIsoft: Currently there is not a way to export/import Coresight displays from one system to another system. This is something we are hoping to support in the near future.
Q: Will PI Coresight 2016 work in Azure? (all servers in Azure)
- OSIsoft: We don’t officially test PI Coresight in Azure, only on Windows Server 2008 R2 and above. So while this is not supported, it should work (and we have several demo machines running on Azure).
Q: Will it be possible to customize the URLs? or some way to be able to generate it with data coming from AF Elements?
- OSIsoft: PI Coresight has support for many URL parameters that support passing in data context, time context, and asset context (AF Elements), among others. More information can be found in the PI Coresight help and Admin manuals.
Q: Can we build URL for Event frames directly like ad hoc displays?
- OSIsoft: This is not currently available for this release but will likely be considered for an upcoming release.