I am currently working on the technical side of an AF Deployment (still in its early stages) and we are starting to grind through template standards. An issue has come up that I'm wondering if there is a way around.
Templates are, from our client's point of view, one of AF's strongest selling points. There will likely be 1,000's of instances of individual templates deployed through this server, the issue is that the source systems (PI Server, CMMS, etc.) will likely not serve all templated data points for all templated element attributes (points missing in instrumentation will likely be the biggest offender - and we do not want to create PI Points that do not map to instruments). We expect that most points will map for most templates, but there will be misses. The result when an unmapped attribute is displayed in a graphic (Element Relative Display) is a long error string - worse yet, these element attributes that have not been mapped can be searched by the client during ad hoc data analysis.
This would not be ideal by any means in a production system, so I'm wondering if there is a way to:
1) Change the long error string "Cannot retrieve PI Point ' ' for Attribute ' '."
2) Enable/Disable attributes for individual elements so that they do not show up in AF2 Searches. We would not want to change templates to accommodate missing data points, as this would result in several hundred templates (nullifying the advantage), and we would prefer not to delete element attributes, as physically, the attributes still exist (despite not existing in automation systems), and the templating can be used to describe naming standards if ever the points are automated.
Default values can be used when points are unmapped, but this does not correct the issue of a user searching and finding the attribute and then not finding any valid data. It would be far easier for clients to run the search and come up with only data points that are enabled or mapped.
I would appreciate knowing about any similar issues that have been encountered or any best practices that have been developed.