We have at-line instruments that can write their analytical results to a serial port. Is there a way we can use PI Connector for UFL to save the data to PI?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Yes - the UFL Interface is still supported, and will continue to be so. We do not 'kill' support for products unless absolutely necessary, and will always work with our customers to help achieve the best outcome possible.
And I do agree that utilizing the UFL Interface for serial streams, and the UFL Connector for text files is certainly an option, and would enable you to be using the latest era of interface/connector products, which certainly has some advantages. However, if that didn't end up being feasible from a cost or maintenance perspective, you'll still be in great hands utilizing the UFL Interface for your text files.
Yes, it sounds like you should be.
Our PI Interface for Universal File and Stream Loading (UFL) is capable of interfacing with ASCII data files, POP3 messages, and serial ports.
This section specifies the plug-in required to process incoming data. For each type of data source, the PI UFL interface provides a plug-in, in the form of a .dll file.
When selecting to use the Serial.dll plugin, you will then have the following configuration settings:
Example: BITS = 8
Example: COM = 2
Example: COMDATA = c:\UFLLogs\rawdata.txt
Example: NEWLINE = "STOP"
0: 1 stop bit (default)
1: 1.5 stop bit
2: 2 stop bits
Taylor, thanks for the quick reply and information. I really appreciate the assistance! Please excuse my ignorance -- from an administrative standpoint, I somewhat new with PI.
Above I mentioned PI Connector for UFL because that's the tool I learned about at the PI User Conference this year. You directed me to the PI Interface for Universal File and Stream Loading (UFL). Until your reply, I didn't know that the interface existed. :-)
The interface appears to be older, but the connector and the interface certainly appear to be related as the parsing logic in the INI files looks similar. Can you explain the difference? Has the connector superseded the interface? In our case it seems that the interface might be the appropriate tool as we have two categories of instruments: those that create text files and those the generate serial streams. Or would OSIsoft recommend the newer connector for the text files and the interface for the serial streams? I'm not sure why, but unless I'm missing something, it doesn't appear that the connector handles serial streams. Thanks, Taylor!
Hi Jim, whoops - I am so used to the 'UFL Interface' that I didn't even process that you wrote 'UFL Connector'
You are absolutely correct that the PI Connector for UFL is newer, and has superceded MOST applications of the PI Interface for UFL. Unfortunately, however, the PI Connector for UFL documentation states that the functionality of the serial and POP3 plugins were not migrated.
This will mean that in your case we would still be using the PI Interface for UFL, not the Connector.
The concept of plug-ins as implemented by the UFL Interface has been redesigned. PI Connector for UFL still works with files in Windows directories and introduces a new communication channel based on a REST (REpresentational State Transfer) web service. Users choose one of these two options on the connector’s administration page.
In other words, reading data through a serial line or via POP3 servers, is not possible with PI Connector for UFL.
As stated in the previous paragraph, support for the Serial and POP3 plug-ins has been removed.
Thanks again Taylor! So, since we have a serial stream, we'll need the interface. Can I assume that the interface is still supported, but won't be enhanced? If my assumption is correct, maybe we should use the interface for the serial streams and the connector for the text files. Do you agree? Thanks!
Retrieving data ...