6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 5, 2010 9:54 PM by spilon

    AF "Use cases" and Future ?

    wpurrer

      Hello VCampus!

       

      I just want to ask what are typicall use cases for the AF?

      We use the AF only for 4 purposes:

       

      * Configuration for a custom Performance Equations.
      * Configuration for the Notification
      * Element based processbooks.
      * Jobs Management System for Reports,....

       

      I'D like to use the AF - Modeller as a kind of object based drawing of the processbooks (but the AF - Modeller has a couple of bugs .. and isn't really supported anymore .. because it is a part of sigmafine now.

       

      I also had a look on the user conference presentations, but besides this first 3 applications  there aren't any real use cases. And I haven't found any real "mindblowing" applications.

       

      I heared some companies build custom "production accounting" systems on the top of it.

       

      ... ?

       

      What is the future of the AF ?

       

      Regards

       

      Wolfgang

        • Re: AF "Use cases" and Future ?
          Ahmad Fattahi

          FIrst I should say some of the applications you mentioned are considered very critical and "mindblowing" to some users! For example, the way PI Notifications can handle thousands of notifications efficiently (using PI-AF) is a very compelling use case.

           

          Having said that, I should add that AF is way more general than that. As PI server is considered the database for real-time data, AF is considered the database of the configurations, assets, and models. As you may have noticed with the release of PI System 2010 we are now making AF a mandatory part of the "PI System" and moving away from MDB. Most, if not all, of future tools will leverage the rich set of features in AF as the asset framework of the PI System.

          • Re: AF "Use cases" and Future ?
            skwan

            Wolfgang Purrer

            Hello VCampus!

             

            I just want to ask what are typicall use cases for the AF?

            We use the AF only for 4 purposes:

             

            * Configuration for a custom Performance Equations.
            * Configuration for the Notification
            * Element based processbooks.
            * Jobs Management System for Reports,....

             

            I'D like to use the AF - Modeller as a kind of object based drawing of the processbooks (but the AF - Modeller has a couple of bugs .. and isn't really supported anymore .. because it is a part of sigmafine now.

             

            I also had a look on the user conference presentations, but besides this first 3 applications  there aren't any real use cases. And I haven't found any real "mindblowing" applications.

             

            I heared some companies build custom "production accounting" systems on the top of it.

             

            ... ?

             

            What is the future of the AF ?

             

            Regards

             

            Wolfgang

             

             

             

            Wolfgang:

             

            I'd like to offer to you some existing AF functionalities that can provide immediate values.

             

            1) AF allows your users to work in an asset centric fashion rather than using tagnames.  For example, your users can work with "outlet pressure of the compressor in the north-east corner of the plant" rather than tagname=xyz123.pv.

             

            2) AF can span multiple PI servers and other data sources.  This means AF can provide the infrastructure for your users to go to one single place and search for and work with asset/properties/tag/data/etc. from all your data sources.  For example, your users can go to AF and search for "all pumps that are drawing more than their nameplate amperage" and get back results from every single instance regardless of where the data is located.

             

            3) AF allows forumla and relational data references (among other) that provides to the users, again, a single place to work with all your data.  For example, if you have a SQL database that is storing non-time-series data, AF can reference them easily via data references.

             

            4) It's infinitely easier to work with your data in a hierarchical fashion or a connectivity model than a flat table.

             

            5) AF provides a huge library of UOM's which is invaluable when running analyses on your data.

             

            6) AF provides versioning, which allows the users to get a snapshot view of their assets/properties at a given time.  For example, if a piece of equipment is taken offline for an overhaul, it's immensely useful to be able to correlate the data prior to and after the overhaul.

             

            etc....

             

            As to the future of AF, we're now putting together the scoping document for the next version (2.3).  As such, we do not yet have a finalized list of features and functions.  Suffice to say that we're evaluating how we can incorporate features such as configured analytics, performance equations as a data reference, etc.

             

            I hope this gives you a sense of how you can further leverage AF in your current work.  Please also do not forget that many of our upcoming new products will be leveraging the features and functions of AF - for example, Event Frames.

             

            Future product roadmaps will be communicated to our customers via an upcoming new webpage.  Stay tuned!  Of course if you're at vCampus Live this year, please don't forget to drop by and we can talk AF all you want!

             

            Regards, Steve

            • Re: AF "Use cases" and Future ?
              mhalhead

              In my view AF's biggest benefit is as a means to contextualise the data. We have literally hundreds of thousands of data points for a single operation stored in multiple data source. AF provides a mechanism to tie all of this together into a logical structure. We are currently using the S95 specification as the basis for our asset hierarchy. All the reporting, visualisation and analysis/calculations then use this asset hierarchy. The idea is that this will make it more intuitive for users, easier to maintain and easier to rapidly add new functionality. It would be nice if AF support the S95 specification better, particularly around the activity models but this more an AF analytics discussion (I figure if I mention AF Analytics enough the production manager will ensure that it is in the next release; and maybe provide a heads up in the form of a CTP).

              Wolfgang Purrer

              (but the AF - Modeller has a couple of bugs .. and isn't really supported anymore .. because it is a part of Sigmafine now.

              I must admit that quite understand why OSI sold of Sigmafine. It is an extremely powerful balancing and reconciliation tool.

               

              Wolfgang Purrer

              I haven't found any real "mindblowing" applications

               

              This real depends on your definition of mind blowing applications. For most of my mets simply being able to get the information they need from one place without having to fight the IT is mind blowing; although that will wear off. Our engineers like the CBM applications we are starting to work on; I looking at including PCA based analyses into the monitoring of equipment.

               

              From an IT perspective most of these applications aren’t mind blowing. I’m intentionally avoiding large complex development projects for a number of reasons; they have high failure rate and they take a long time to complete. Small incremental steps is our motto for the next couple of years.

               

               

               

               

                • Re: AF "Use cases" and Future ?
                  wpurrer

                  Maybe mindblowing ist the wrong term:

                   

                  For me using AF as to contextualise the data ist nothing new ... our legacy database had this about 20 years ago, and this is one of the reasons our legacy database was so successfull.  Thats the problem i have now, i can't shake my users with this.

                   

                  For me whats missing in AF are  white paper like the matlab one in PI.

                   

                  * How to implement CBM or PCA (Production accouting ??) with AF
                  * What are solutions where AF is desined for.
                  * As i mentioned before, there weren'T any user conference presentation in this area ?? (besides some very basic ones (AF-Templates, Notification,...)

                   

                  For me is also not clear what is Osisoft and what isn't osisoft.
                  For example we bought AF and the AF - Modeller ist part of it, now we have troubles with the AF - Modeller and now it isn't supported anymore ??? It was the only way to design processbook pictures an object oriented way.

                   

                  PS: when the AF - Product Manager ist listening ... a support for server side totalizers would be really helpfull. and also a support for the "PE - Syntax" we are using very heavily the tagval - function ... but without a support in AF ...

                   

                   

                    • Re: AF "Use cases" and Future ?
                      skwan

                      Wolfgang Purrer

                      Maybe mindblowing ist the wrong term:

                       

                      For me using AF as to contextualise the data ist nothing new ... our legacy database had this about 20 years ago, and this is one of the reasons our legacy database was so successfull.  Thats the problem i have now, i can't shake my users with this.

                       

                      For me whats missing in AF are  white paper like the matlab one in PI.

                       

                      * How to implement CBM or PCA (Production accouting ??) with AF
                      * What are solutions where AF is desined for.
                      * As i mentioned before, there weren'T any user conference presentation in this area ?? (besides some very basic ones (AF-Templates, Notification,...)

                       

                      For me is also not clear what is Osisoft and what isn't osisoft.
                      For example we bought AF and the AF - Modeller ist part of it, now we have troubles with the AF - Modeller and now it isn't supported anymore ??? It was the only way to design processbook pictures an object oriented way.

                       

                      PS: when the AF - Product Manager ist listening ... a support for server side totalizers would be really helpfull. and also a support for the "PE - Syntax" we are using very heavily the tagval - function ... but without a support in AF ...

                       

                      Hi Wolfgang, thank you for your input.  First, my apologies for being late with this reply as we've been quite busy with vCampus Live!.  I would like to give you my perspective on AF.  As you know, AF is now part of the PI Server.  So I'd like everyone to think of AF as part of their PI System infrastruture.  Better yet, I would like everyone to not consider AF as something that is separate, and added to the PI Server, but rather as PI Server having the features and functions that the AF infrastruture provides - just as few people today consider MDB or PE or whatever as something that is added to the PI Server.

                       

                      At OSI, we pride ourselves as a provider of the infrastructure that enables our users to do things that they otherwise would not be able to do or very difficult to do.  We have partners, 3rd party vendors, integrators, etc. that provide specialized applications leveraging the PI infrstruture to do amazing things.  We see examples of these applications at vCampus Live! and Users Conferences all the time.  A good example at this past vCampus Live! was the presentation by iTi and their Ekho application that leveraged Event Frames, which of course relies on the AF architecture.

                       

                      There are of course lots of things on our todo list to better leverage the infrastructure that AF provides.  In no particular order, we are looking at allowing our users to build data/formula references using PE syntax, being able to schedule and execute a large number of calculations based on a scheduler using AF attributes as calculation inputs and writing the results back to one or more PI tags via separate AF attributes, synchronization of AF hierarchy between remote sites, etc.  As we pin down our product roadmap for the next releases, we will communicate them to our customers on our website.  Meanwhile, we're always looking for feedback on features and functions that you need so please feel free to let us know what's on your mind.

                       

                      Lastly, regarding your questions on the AF Modeler, as we have sold Sigmafine to our partner Pimsoft, they should be supporting you on that product.  Please let us know if you need any help.

                       

                      Regards, Steve