15 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2018 4:24 PM by vkaufmann

    What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?

    BillBPA

      AF Services is not listed in the release notes as a separate item but a category.  It shows up in the programs listed, so what is it?

      I'm asking because I will be asked to explain it to the compliance group.  Also, the 2017 versioning is going to delay any future installations if it is going to change every year because it will be considered a "major" release requiring a "full" analysis before it could be installed.

       

      OSIsoft Software.png

        • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
          matzen

          In the context of the above screen shot, PI AF Services entry corresponds to the bundle including PI AF Server + PI Analysis Service + PI Notifications Service.  In the 2017 R2 release of these same products, the individual entries are no longer shown in add/remove programs.  Only the entry for PI AF Services appears.   For the 2018 release, this entry will probably become PI Server 2018 instead of PI AF Services 2018.

           

          The versioning follows these rules:

          --------------

          Major Releases

          --------------

          2016.2.0.342 - "PI AF Services 2016 R2".

          2017.1.0.423 - "PI AF Services 2017"

          2017.1.1.437 - "PI AF Services 2017 SP1"

          2017.1.1.442 - "PI AF Services 2017 SP1a"

          2017.1.2.450 - "PI AF Services 2017 SP2"

          2017.2.0.844 = "PI AF Services 2017 R2"

          2017.2.0.845 = "PI AF Services 2017 R2A"

          2017.2.1.849 = "PI AF Services 2017 R2 Update 1"

           

          ------------------

          Version Convention

          ------------------

          YYYY.SPRINGFALLRELEASEBIT.SERVICEPACKNUMBER.BUILDNUMBER

           

          YYYY = year of release

          SPRINGFALLRELEASEBIT = 1 for spring release, 2 for fall release

          SERVICEPACKNUMBER = 0 for initial release, 1 for SP1, 2 for SP2, ...

          BUILDNUMBER = incremented nightly

           

          NOTE:

          SERVICEPACKNUMBER is also incrmented for "updates". For PI AF Services 2017 R2 Update 1, the SERVICEPACKNUMBER was incremented.

          3 of 3 people found this helpful
            • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
              BillBPA

              If it's a bundle then why are each of the elements also listed separately with a different version number?  Will they "disappear" when I install 2017 R2 and later versions?

              • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                kliffhopson

                Really??? You are telling us that the PI AF installation for 2018 will be bundled with PI Server?

                Is there a place where OSISoft is announcing the plans to make changes like these?

                  • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                    skwan

                    Hi folks,

                    Great thread you have going on here.  I'd like to provide some background on why we're doing what we're doing.  If you wind back to the year 2010, based on the feedback from customers and our product roadmap and direction, we basically redefined what the PI Server was.  Beginning with the 2010 release, the PI Server consisted of a bundle of what were then individual products.  PI Server 2010 consisted of PI Data Archive, PI AF, PI Notifications and PI ACE.  Over time, we added Asset Analytics to the mix beginning with the 2014 release.  The yearly naming was a result of customer feedback that it was extremely difficult to know how the individual products are aligned, when they were released and whether they were "together" since the product versions numbers had no relationship with each other.  In short, it was difficult to know if they had the most recent releases of all the components, and if they weren't the latest, how far back each component was.  Now fast forward a bit to the 2016 R2 release, we introduced the PI AF Services setup kit which consolidated many components into a single setup kit.  This solves many of the manageability problems that our customers had.  No longer do they need to run several setup kits to install all the components that they wanted.  For example, prior to the 2016 R2 release, if you wanted to install all the AF components on a single box, you had to install: PI AF Server, PI AF Client, PI Analysis Service and PI Notifications Service one after another each with its own setup kit and depending on what you're installing, potentially multiple restarts.  In addition, cross version mismatches caused a lot of tech support inquiries and questions since often times new features required an update to server and client, for example.  There were definitely fewer "clicks" to install all the components using the PI AF Services setup kit.  By combining the PI Data Archive with the PI AF Services setup kits into one, it further eliminates duplication and ensures that customers know exactly which components were released together.  The setup kit would of course allow you to install, for example, only the PI Data Archive, if you choose to.  This single setup kit will be smaller in size than two setup kits combined and in the case of a single box install, which many of our customers have, it's a single streamlined experience.

                     

                    I'm a bit perplexed by the question of where OSIsoft is announcing plans to make this change.  Do you feel that the format with which we release our setup kits require early announcements?  At the end of the day, customers can still install only the components that they want, while the setup kit ensures the dependencies are also installed.  It's just that rather than having to download and manage 2 setup kits as they do today (PI Data Archive and PI AF Services), there will only be one setup kit.

                    --

                    Steve Kwan

                    7 of 7 people found this helpful
                      • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                        kliffhopson

                        Stephen,

                         

                        My question about whether OSI is announcing these changes is specifically addressing the comment from Mr Matzen in which he stated "For the 2018 release, this entry will probably become PI Server 2018 instead of PI AF Services 2018." And my concern is about configuration management of software under NERC-CIP. The most recent changes - in which the versioning methodology is now using the year as the major version number will require NERC-CIP compliant PI users to jump through massive bureaucratic hoops every year with each new annual release. Previously, annual releases seldom qualified as a major version change. Furthermore, the new release has now bundled previously disparate products into a single product - which is all very nice for configuration management. But only if the managers of the configuration understand what is happening. I have found NO documentation in the installation instructions or the release notes that explains this change.

                         

                        Your story about how OSI started planning all of these changes way back 10 years ago is very nice. But your story doesn't address how OSI has communicated the specific changes for each new release. For instance, when the AF Services installation changed so that it became impossible to unpack the SQL upgrade script on the AF Server - that was never announced or documented. We had to figure out for ourselves that the installation executable had to be run from a location that had privileges for making changes to the SQL server. That was a big change - and I have yet to find any documentation explaining this. Maybe I"m not looking hard enough. But I really did search diligently.

                          • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                            skwan

                            Hi Kliff,

                            Thank you for your detailed response.  In researching your comments about NERC-CIP, it seems we have overlooked the impact of the versioning schema that we're using for the PI AF Services setup kit.  It was brought to my attention that you also opened a tech support case for this.  Thanks again as a tech support case allows us to have traceability to these issues.  Before we get further into this issue, I would like to first provide some information on the other topics you brought up.

                             

                            We first released the PI AF Services setup kit back in the 2016 R2 release.  At that time, we made available both the PI AF Services setup kit, which as you know combines all the components into a single setup kit, along with separate setup kits.  With this release, we also announced our intention moving forward to only provide the PI AF Services setup kit along with the PI AF Client setup kit only.  This allows users to upgrade the AF Client if they have no need to install any of the services - you can think of this as "servers" and "client".  I understand that not every customer installs every release so perhaps you may have missed this announcement made with the 2016 R2 release.

                             

                            We have and will continue to provide the AF SQL scripts separately along with a separate AF SQL script install guide for those who have a need to install this separately for the foreseeable future.  As an example, many of our customers with corporate SQL Server farms and dedicated SQL Server admins have a requirement to examine the SQL scripts before installation.  If you were to look on the latest AF download page, you would see that the AF SQL scripts are available under "Additional Resources".  Screen shot below:

                             

                            Therefore, you actually have 3 ways to install the AF SQL scripts.  Two different methods from the PI AF Services setup kit, or separately using the standalone, AF SQL scripts via command line.

                             

                            Now getting back to the PI AF Services versioning schema, I would like to request help from you to understand your needs.  The PI AF Services setup kit actually installs a myriad of components, each having its own version.  The entry in Add/Remove programs is just a name for the setup kit.  Its version has no relationship to the versions of the components that it installs.  For example, if you look at the actual version of say, the PI AF Server, it's 2.9.5.8368 in the latest release.  This information is available from the accompanying release notes, install guides, documentations, etc.  Similarly, when you install say, a Microsoft product, it doesn't show the version of every component that it installs in Add/Remove programs.  Since I'm not an expert with NERC-CIP, I was wondering if you can help me understand how one is required to determine the version change when upgrading software in a NERC-CIP environment.  Does a person need to run a software tool to determine versions and then follow some procedures or is it a manual process or ?  I appreciate that you are busy and may not have the bandwidth to provide the details.  Any pointers you can provide to procedures that you have to follow is greatly appreciated.

                             

                            --

                            Steve Kwan

                              • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                                kliffhopson

                                Stephen,

                                Thanks for directing me to the AF SQL Scripts installer. That resource was eluding me. However, I would still contend that the Installation Instructions should have provided guidance about this. See the screenshot below from the "PI-AF-2017-R2-Services-Installation-and-Upgrade-Guide." There is no mention that the scripts can be unpacked from a separate installer package.

                                SS_AF-SQL-INSTR.jpg

                                Regarding the issue of software versioning, I will start a new reply because this text editor is wonky at best and I have good reason to believe it will lose my work if I try to keep going with this message.

                                  • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                                    skwan

                                    Hi Kliff,

                                     

                                    I will have the doc writer add additional text to this table in the documentation.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

                                     

                                    Before we close this, I just want to clarify one thing.  You as the end user does not have to do any kind of unpacking of the SQL scripts from the installer.  We have already done all that for you.  We provide the SQL scripts for you and the command line instructions to execute them, so if you choose to go this route, you can execute the SQL scripts outside of the installer.  If you get a chance, feel free to download them and have a look.

                                     

                                    Specifically, within this same installation guide, if you go to page 42, there is a section on installing the AF database separately.

                                    and if you go to page 44, there is a section on installing the AF database manually.

                                     

                                     

                                    Again, thank you for your input.

                                     

                                    --

                                    Steve Kwan

                                  • Re: What is the program AF Services 2017 in the installed programs?
                                    kliffhopson

                                    Stephen,

                                    Your words perfectly demonstrate the problem we are facing with the current installation package. You explain that the AF Server has a different version than the AF Services - BUT WHERE DO I FIND THE VERSION OF THE AF SERVER? It is no longer listed in the Control Panel Programs and Features. And this change in the functionality of the installer was never explained or announced by OSISoft. BPA is struggling to implement policies that will allow us to comply with CIP-10 - specifically, baseline management and vulnerability assessments for major releases. If OSI keeps changing how software is installed, how can its customers be expected to establish procedures for configuration management? Procedures require consistent behavior.