10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2013 1:12 PM by tlebay

    PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies

    Halenger

      I've come to the point where I need to ask what is the simplest way to get PI data to an iPhone/iPad without:

       

      1.) Having to buy a macbook and program in objective-C

       

      2.) Buy another machine/webserver and/or pay a subscription to a third-party to point to their servers

       

      I've tried studying Silverlight and I think it's safe to say... that was a complete failure... both in myself learning it and it already being a past technology.  I wanted to try HTML5, but was guided to trust in Silverlight.  Is HTML5 the way to go still?  If so, why can't I seem to find examples on implementing it - I need tutorials that explain even the basic of steps...  Or anyone else have other suggestions?

        • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
          tlebay

          OSIsoft is currently developing a PI Coresight app for the iPad.  We expect to make the app available in the iTunes Store before the end of the year.  You can see a demo of a prototype version that we did at the Users Conference earlier this year.   Here is a link to the presentation: http://www.osisoft.com/Templates/item-abstract.aspx?id=8174

            • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
              Lonnie Bowling

              Hi John,

               

               

               

              We are all in the same boat that you are and I totally feel your pain.  Google/Apple/Microsoft had made it hard for us in many ways where cross-platform development is concerned.  Right now the ONLY standard that is accepted by everyone is HTML(5), CSS, and JavaScript.  We are starting to see everyone converge on this standard now.  It is a pretty safe bet at this point to invest some learning chips into this area in my opinion.

               

              With the requirements you state, you cannot get PI data to an iPad or iPhone.  At a minimum you will need a web server to deliver content and make server side calls if you want to do HTML5.  That can be any technology you want, including c#.  You could try ASP.Net MVC if you are a .Net programmer.  The end result you need is to have web pages that can be viewed on the device of your choice.  You won’t need a mac to do this, but you will need a server.  There are plenty of resources on how to develop mobile HTML5 applications on the internet and books on the subject.

               

              The issues surrounding HTML5 for mobile is that if you do not do it correctly, it will suck, as is usually the case. And doing it correctly can be hard.   You still have to pay very close attention to the device you are deploying to (like iPhone vs iPad) to create a good application.  Developing nice looking and performing application can be more challenging to write.

               

              None of this is great news in my opinion, but at least we are getting a better feel for the direction the technology and market is going.  Microsoft is starting to figure out how to get their arms around this problem by offering us better tools, for example TypeScript was just release which has my interest.   There is no silver bullet and there appears to be none on the horizon.  The world of a single company controlling the computing ecosystem is over for good along with single platform development.

               

              So all I can tell you is what I’m doing.  I’m trying to use the skills I have where I can, but I work every day on developing new skills.  I mostly go in the direction that my projects take me in and try to enjoy the experience of leaning something new.  I think that staying up on Microsoft and Apple programming products are key for PI development, this also includes HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

               

              Good luck!

               

              Lonnie

               

               

                • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
                  Halenger

                  Thanks Gentlemen!

                   

                  @Tom - I'll take a look at that presentation as soon as I can.  I was afraid PI Coresight was going to be the first thing suggested; I say afraid because it's on more added software my customer has to purchase and add to their SRP... something I'm trying to avoid.  Unfortunately, when PI Coresight JUST came out, I had upgraded their system to PI 2010 and got new machines... on top of that, I convinced them to get PI Data Access suite as well; purchasing more OSIsoft products without having much else to show for it is something I don't know if I can get by...  One note, and again, haven't watched the presentation yet... is the PI Coresight App just for iPad, or will there be one for iPhone as well?

                   

                  @Lonnie - First and foremost, thank you for your continuing contributions to vCampus!  It's your Silverlight KPI demo that has got me continuing on this adventure... the example was simple enough to execute and be successful!  Your passion on this subject (mobile data/visualization) oozes and really is needed in the communitity, for those frustrated like myself.  I understand the possibilities of coding and designing your own idea/vision... but it's frustrating when there isn't even a drag-drop/workspace editor type solution as a back-up or last resort...  I'll have to look more into the TypeScript and see what that has to offer...

                   

                  Thanks again!

                    • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies

                      Lonnie mostly covered the UI aspect of things, so now I'd like to talk about the data access part of it. Luckily, this area tends to propose more standard stuff across platforms than on the UI side... specifically web services.

                       

                      While it is possible to call SOAP web services (which PI Web Services is) from any platform, there's a big tendency for mobile app developers to use REST(ful) web services. In the REST world, you either have a proprietary REST API or you adhere to a standard way to do REST, such as the Open Data (OData) protocol.

                       

                      A few other folks and myself have been talking about OData for a couple years now, trying to get a feel for what this community wants and needs. You can find some threads on this under the Discussion Hall, and a presentation or two at past vCampus Live! events.

                       

                      The good news is that things are getting much clearer and we have a much better understanding or what customers and partner truly need from OSIsoft. I kindly encourage you to attend vCampus Live! 2012 to hear, see and exercise what we have to propose.

                        • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
                          Halenger

                          Thanks Steve!  I will not be able to attend vCampus Live! 2012 this year as I have too many projects going on during the holiday season.  I would like to know if the presentations will again be posted as quick as last year (along with examples/code)?  I was quite impressed how fast video's were up for those that couldn't attend.

                           

                          I'd also like to ask the community if I can get any means of instructions on getting PI data in HTML5?  Either it be text or perhaps even better, a column series chart (or something)??  Without finding much, searching vCampus and google, I'm afraid this is either hard or so easy everyone should know how to do it... I'm thinking it's more like the first scenario.

                           

                          Thanks in advance!

                            • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
                              Lonnie Bowling

                              @John Thanks for the kind comments and I'm glad you were inspired to try silverlight., even though it never reached it potential  A couple of things to keep in mind.  One, is that technologies like Silverlight, SharePoint, and WPF/WCF still have a place and any effort you have put into learning them can still be useful.  They will be supported for a very long time and can fit nicely into an all microsoft or limited browser support solution.  Also, with Windows 8 tablets near release, there is a very good option for getting PI data out to a user where an iPad was the only option.  I think you might find this a very interesting area to look at.  Of couse this will not help with the iPhone, as it is much harder to ask a user to switch out their phone of choice.

                               

                              The other thought I want to leave you with, is that Microsoft getting very serous about supporting cross-platform development.  This is very good news for us.  I think that as time goes on, the tools will get better and better.  One thing that I have to say about Microsoft is that they really try to focus on making things as simple as possible for getting started.  For example, you can create a free Azure web site in less than 10 minutes!  That is a long way from where Azure was just a year ago.  So I expect that we are going to see some pretty awesome things in the next year, and TypeScript looks to be one of the early key technologies.

                               

                              One thing your post has reminded me of is to try and keep my presentation simple and easy to understand.  Thanks for that, I am keeping that point in mind as I work on my PI to Window 8 Tablet presentation for vCampus this year.

                               

                               

                               

                              Good luck and share more with us you choose you path!

                               

                               

                               

                              Lonnie

                      • Re: PI to iPhone/iPad - For Dummies
                        boblee

                        Is there a time line for tentative release of this App?