4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2018 10:32 PM by John Messinger

    Anyone have experience interfacting PI to the Labware LIMS system?

    RickJackson

      Does anyone have experience interfacing PI to Labware's Lab Information Management System (LIMS)?

       

      Any guidance appreciated, which PI Interface was used and what software on Labware's side is expected to be installed, system architecture recommended, etc.

        • Re: Anyone have experience interfacting PI to the Labware LIMS system?
          gmichaud-verreault

          Hi Rick,

           

          Since Labware LIMS is an ODBC compliant Client/Server, then you could capture the data using the PI Interface for RDBMS. If you need to send data from PI to the LIMS system, then you can either use the RDBMS to push data to it or use the PI ODBC driver to query the PI data from the LIMS system.

           

          Concerning system architecture recommendations, it would really depend on the throughput, your current architecture, and the network/security requirements. Your use case could help define those.

           

          Gabriel

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Anyone have experience interfacting PI to the Labware LIMS system?
            John Messinger

            Hi Rick,

             

            I've interfaced to Labware a couple of different ways for clients over the past few years. Depending on how you want to access the data in PI, your choices are either the PI-RDMBS interface to read data from Labware into PI points, or to use AF and create a linked table to the backend SQL database and then use Table Data References in your element hierarchy to request specific sample data.

             

            Labware has a non-trivial database schema, so I don't generally recommend trying to query (or link) directly to the tables. I prefer to work with pre-defined views or stored procedures to return the required data, thus making your client data retrieval queries fairly simple.

             

            Most of the times that I've interface to Labware, my clients have chosen to store sample results in PI points, so the PI-RDBMS interface is the way to do this. My usual approach with this has been to use the tag distribution strategy as you will often be retrieving many samples at once. I had one customer that preferred to reference the data in the backend database via AF, thus the linked table method. This comes with some caveats to be aware of, especially around table size. Whilst OSIsoft doesn't seem to have an official recommendation on this, it's important to note that all the table data is loaded in memory on the client machine. In the one implementation I did using this method (about 4 years ago now), I set the stored procedure to return the top 10K rows only for the dataset to ensure that client performance was within tolerance. Overall, the solution worked fine for the customer.

             

            John

            3 of 3 people found this helpful
              • Re: Anyone have experience interfacting PI to the Labware LIMS system?
                RickJackson

                Thanks John and Gabriel, I appreciate your advices.  Representatives for Labware have responded back to me suggesting an OPC interface which is the only interface that we are very familiar with here as that is how we pull data into PI from our DCS system.  Since I am not familiar with the specifics of the RDBMS interface, and certainly not with the SQL backend type connection, can you give me any pros/cons briefly for using RDBMS vs OPC?  Would one solution be more time consuming or have additional cost impacts in your opinion?

                 

                Thanks, Rick

                  • Re: Anyone have experience interfacting PI to the Labware LIMS system?
                    John Messinger

                    Hi Rick,

                     

                    That's an option. I wasn't aware that Labware had an OPC server - none of my past customers have ever mentioned this as an option for them; maybe it's an optional 'extra'.

                     

                    Don't know what the specific pro's and con's of RDBMS vs OPC would be in this instance, other than if you are familiar with OPC then it is probably an easier configuration choice. The usual caveats around DCOM communications would apply, but you probably have a handle on that as you are already using OPC from your DCS. The RDBMS interface would require a bit more of a learning curve, especially when using one of the more complicated data acquistion strategies such as tag distribution. Plus you would need a DBA or Labware person that can provide the required SQL for a backend stored procedure or view to expose the required data from the SQL database. Configuring and testing your RDBMS interface could be more time consuming in this instance.

                     

                    If an OPC server on top of Labware is an option for you, I would suggest you consider that integration path.

                     

                    John

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful