28 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2013 11:52 PM by santiago_pet

    PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

    santiago_pet

      Lots of interesting discussions spawned during the 2012 conference regarding Processbook and HTML5 development from an web-part and graphical editing perspective. Personally, I would like to see Processbook evolve to something of a java or webbased HTML5 graphical editior with seamless transitional points between Coresight and/or Sharepoint. Creating, and moving SVG's around is becoming more and more of a challenge depending on the "wieght" of the SVG. Processbook while still the fastest way to quickly visualize data, it is becoming antiquated among the sea of HTML5 and the recent Windows 8 space

       

      3301.processbookHTML5.jpg

       

      My Dream Processbook Application

       

      - Thick client with Adobe Photo shop/HTML5 editing features
      - Favorite SVG template
      - Webbased client, eliminate the need to install .exe
      - A "publish to sharepoint" or "publish to Coresight" button
      - Connects to Sharepoint or HTML sight on launch
      - SQC trend behavior (The ability to stack trends from DIFFERENT time lines in the same trend display)
      - Built in Java editor
      - Customizable Clipart (The ability to upload your own images)
      - Interchangeable widgets and webparts. (It would be nice to see a gauge in processbook!)
      - Duval Triangles, Ort Charts..
      - Additional multistate conditionals to include If, then, else, and perhaps event frames type logic
      - Animated Gifs
      - The ability to store or script displays from database
      - Limited customizable parameters that can be exposed to clients FROM the hosted website.

      8176.CoresightBook.jpg

       

      - Mask, Taper, Shadow
      - Store templates in AF
      - Retrieve displays in AF.
      - Images dynamically changes when selected from AF
      - Export to tablet, and mobile devices.
      - Collaborative tools. The ability for clients to comment and make recommended edits from the same display. Digg voting functionality
      - "Event on Click" functionality. (i.e. user clicks on a peak, and all other peaks with the same values across the trend highlight
      - The ability to modify,or hide scaling on the fly
      - Shaded trend lines (great for delta, or fourier analysis)

       

      What does everyone think about this? An upgrade of this magnitude would keep this amazing tool ahead of the curve and current among the myriad of editors and widgets across Sharepoint and HTML5 platforms.

       

       

       

       

      [Poll]
        • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
          ldieffenbach

          Thanks for posting, Peter.

           

          I can't imagine the comprehensive application you describe would be quick to build, so I'll ask how long everyone would be willing to wait for it and would you expect us to abandon current PI ProcessBook development in the meantime?

           

          When you say PI ProcessBook is "becoming antiquated" does that mean that you aren't able to customize it the way you would like or does it mean that you can't do flashy displays? Based on our keynote address, I'm not sure flashy is the goal.

           

          Based on the conversation I had with you at the event, I understand the need for overlay trends (that is not what SQC provides) of different time ranges, but there are plans to address that kind of need, especially in the context of PI Event Frames functionality. I'd love to hear more about how that functionality is useful in your work.

           

          In the spirit of showing the work, can you provide more detail on these two items:

           

          -Thick client with Adobe Photo shop/HTML5 editing features

           

          - Webbased client, eliminate the need to install .exe

           

          I'm assuming they are not mutually exclusive, so please tell me why you'd use each and would expect both to be available.

           

          Likewise, in terms of the items around storing something in AF, which problem is that solving? Display management? Reusability? Convenience?

           

          Fourier analysis, as I understand it, is a way to clarify a signal by reducing the noise. We have some customers using an FFT calculation for analyzing synchrophasor data, for example. There are open requests for providing this type of calculation within the PI System in a more ad hoc fashion (the currently available mechanism is an interface). Most of the easily accessible information I see on FFT doesn't show any shading. What am I missing in my understanding?

           

          2656.FFTexamples.PNG

           

           

           

          How would you differentiate:

           

          - The ability to store or script displays from database

           

          From:

           

          - Store templates in AF

           

          - Retrieve displays in AF.

           

          - Images dynamically changes when selected from AF

           

          and how would that differ from the desire for a customizable clipart collection?

           

          It would be helpful to hear some examples of when and how you'd use: - Additional multistate conditionals to include If, then, else, and perhaps event frames type logic.

           

          Similarly, it would be helpful to hear how you'd use - "Event on Click" functionality. (i.e. user clicks on a peak, and all other peaks with the same values across the trend highlight. Is that just for visual pattern recognition? What other types of event on click would you expect to use? How is it different from PI Event Frames?

           

          We have some nice stories from customers about the limitations of our plot scaling implementations. What can you add about your own request for: - The ability to modify,or hide scaling on the fly?

           

           

           

          Thanks again for posting, Peter. Let's continue the conversation we started last week.

           

          Regards,

           

          Laurie

            • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
              ldieffenbach

              Also, have you seen this discussion thread? vcampus.osisoft.com/.../14765.aspx

               

              It's a discussion of good display practices started by another vCampus member.

                • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                  santiago_pet

                  Hello Laurie,

                   

                  Your response is most appreciated, and I am looking forward to continuing the discussion.

                   

                  ENHANCING THE PROCESSBOOK EXPERIENCE: REDUCING CLUTTER

                   

                  A processbook with additional graphical editing capabilities would reduce the number of active applications running on my desktop to achieve the goal of providing rich visualization. Sharepoint development with SVG comprises of the following applications

                   

                  - Dreamweaver (HTML design)
                  - Corel Photoshop (Graphical editing)
                  - Processbook (for the SVG foundation)
                  - Sharepoint Designer (Self explanatory)

                   

                  The following could be consolidated into one powerful thick client while keeping all work "within the OSI family" of solutions. Personally I would be willing to wait considerable time knowing that processbook could become the defacto web content delivery tool for our current PI infrastructure.

                   

                  POWERFUL OVERLAYS

                   

                  Over laying graphs would work in the following context within my field of work/study

                   

                  - Seasonal Peak: Comparison of Seasonal, apparatus temperature over load for n years
                  - Fourier comparison: Expected vs. Actual for n days, week, years
                  - KPI Substation comparison: Sub, Asset, and Componant performance over n months, years.

                   

                  FOURIER ANALYSIS

                   

                  I look at fourier as a means to identify a pattern or cycle in time, and then provide an array of values that "guess-timates" the direction the data will take in time. This kind of analysis is very handy in lieue of points that cannot exist in PI and subsequent event frames. I am imagining a trend displayed in processbook that is comprised of a series of event frames followed by a continuing and lightly shaded trend that reveal potential break down of an asset (for example) in the next n months, or years. This is not dissimilar to the built in excel function.

                   

                  THICK EDITOR CLIENT

                   

                  A thin (web based) client would eliminate the need to install n clients on laptops, and computers. Browser based deployment reduces if not eliminates the compatibility challenges. Additionally, it is easier to control default parameters (or settings) and licensing for end users. Users can save their displays similar to those found on Coresight. Infact a merge of the current processbook with Coresight would be ideal.

                   

                  LEVERAGING AF TO REGISTER SVG's AND OTHER VISUAL OBJECTS

                   

                  Storing images and base display templates would not be dissimilar to the way objects (files, youtube videos, images) are stored and catalogued in AF today. Rather than searching for files in the traditional sense, preferred templates could be stored and easily referenced visually through a clipart type vertical menu structure. Searching through 100's of PDI's without the benefit of a quick view for example has posed a challenge for Engineers across multiple disciplines

                   

                  ON THE FLY BUILT PATTERN RECOGNITION

                   

                  The "Event on Click" would aide in recognizing patterns within the noise. Currently there are no "on-the-fly" capabilities to filter for pattern on demand. Numerous event frames for example would be required at a cost to systems resources to perform a task that a brief graphical recognition algorithm with visual extrapolation into clients memory could do in relatively short period of time. This is not disimilar to a 3-bar inside pattern recognition found in various 3rd party webparts.

                   

                  THE SHRINKING TREND DISPLAY

                   

                  Our substation one lines are accompanied by relatively small trend displays next to each asset. Apparently this is a favorite among operators would can recognize issues with transmission lines, assets..etc with just a glance. The smaller the trend the more the scaling tends to clip the over all image resulting in less than desirable cosmetic effects on the overal display.

                   

                  I can provide a few more use cases. However, I am hoping this stimulates additional input from veteran processbook users in the audience.

                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                    santiago_pet

                    I did read the article. I have been working with Processbook for 6 years and have developed a knack for designing almost seamless displays for Sharepoint leveraging the application, Photoshop and VB coding. These are but a few snippets of displays I created on my spare time. Many of these displays did not require VB but rather clever multistate functions to perform animations..

                     

                    6013.gfx_5F00_display1.jpg

                     

                    Photo slide show and interactive user settings bars

                     

                    0574.gfx_5F00_display2.jpg

                     

                    Animated guages in processbook without the need for VB

                     

                    4718.gfx_5F00_display3.jpg

                     

                    Transparent frames and animated fanbanks in processbook

                     

                     

                     

                    2086.gfx_5F00_display4.jpg

                     

                    Active gradient colored bars.

                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                        ldieffenbach

                        Thanks for showing your work, Peter. The context of how and why displays are built (in this case) is really helpful when tallking to our Engineering team about solving new problems. I look forward to hearing from other vCampus members as well.

                         

                        Regards,

                         

                        Laurie

                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                            Rick Davin

                            Another vCampus member chiming in.  I like many of Peter's suggestions of a dream ProcessBook.  I can appreciate that OSIsoft wants the current PB to work today as it did in the 1990's.  Backwards compatibility is a good goal.  As is, PB started to be long-in-the-tooth years ago.  I was hoping for a more modernized client tool, preferably a thin client, and hoped that Coresight would have fit the bill, especially with the cool stuff in it.  It seems the philosophy of Coresight is for quick-and-dirty ad-hoc reports that can be quickly generated and then tossed aside, so I may never see PB-like process graphics in Coresight.

                              • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                Roger Palmen

                                Peter,

                                 

                                Do i understand correctly that the displays you have shown are displayed in the PI Graphic WebPart? Or is it PI ActiveView? They do look really good though! Compliments.

                                 

                                Another idea for visualisations on PI data:

                                 

                                Does anyone have experiences using Dynamic-Data based Visio diagrams in SharePoint that animate on PI data?

                                 

                                It is possible, and my investigations so far have not revealed any constraints here, but always good to know if there are some real-life experiences!

                                 

                                One i get a proof-of-concept done, i'll offcourse create a post on that!

                                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                    santiago_pet

                                    Hello Roger,

                                     

                                    The images are from PDI's which were subsequenly uploaded as PDI's. With photoshop in hand I've had fun learning how to graphically work around Processbook's limited cliparts. I'm glad we can mask active values.. huge help. Importing mpegs or similar animated objects just couldn't work for us. One work around was to store graphical coordinates in PI and call them into the <svg> parameters to create some amazing vector graphics on the fly.

                                     

                                    <path style='fill:#ccc;stroke:#000;stroke-width:2' d='M469,34 l-47,0 -46,1 -44,2 -43,2 -41,2 -38,3 -36,3 -33,4 -30,4 -39,7 -31,7 -27,11 -9,9 -1,2  465,0 25,-18 30,-9 32,-6 28,-5 31,-4 36,-4 38,-4 14,-1 0,-6 -234,0z'>

                                     

                                    The challenge has been to understand and properly map the coordinates, fills, and strokes needed to embed our own vector graphics. We would then use PI like a vector animator and perform animations for synchrophasor, harmonizers..etc. Doesn't work 100% because of svg rendering latency or malformed pathy styles, but it has opened the door to a unique way of embedding graphics without having to link, or embed them from a file directory.

                                     

                                    Processbook is by far the quickest and easiest way to breath life into static data, my only wish is that it had just a few more tools that allows graphical geeks like me to conceal the fact that my svgs are from the application itself hehe..

                                     

                                    I'm trying to find one of my vector projects to post for the community

                                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                        @Roger: I posed this question about Visio some time ago and did not get much feedback. As the Product Manager for PI Data Access, I am always interested in new use cases to extend the reach of PI System data in third-party... and I was led to believe one could bring live data into Visio (can't remember if this was going to be using PI OLEDB or PI Web Services, though). So I asked the community to validate the interest before I start playing with this - and I never got to it based on surprisingly low interest.

                                         

                                        It seems like you have a use case in mind, so I look forward to seeing your proof of concept!

                                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                            santiago_pet

                                            @Steve are you looking to leverage Visio as a kind of thin client data viewer? I am a heavy HEAVY  Visio user and have some pretty good use cases for this kind of application. I can model (for example) some decision trees (post jboss development) with live data from PI applied to it. Derive efficient ways of moving or even process data with applied analytics PI to client through the inclusion of drag and drop interface, PI, AF, and/or Event Frame widgets. This would result in some serious cluster or process net diagrams that would rival most over priced BI and DB modeling sets.

                                             

                                            From the makers of  "PI Data Link" comes "PI Visio Link"

                                             

                                            Wow.. The application for something like this would be far reaching.

                                             

                                            You have my vote@

                                              • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                                This vCampus Live 2010 talk shows Visio 2010 graphic being updated with live PI data using Visio Services

                                                 

                                                vcampus.osisoft.com/.../7832.aspx

                                                 

                                                0474.VisiowithPIData.PNG 

                                                 

                                                Above is a screen extract from the video in the talk. The drawing shows some temperatures (analog values), and some mult-state (green check box etc.).  The properties box shows how a link established to PI data - this can be from a DataLink XLS sheet.

                                                • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                                  @Peter: I am not looking for using Visio myself, I am looking for what this community is looking for ;)  I tried to gauge interest some 2 years ago and this is the first piece of data that  indicate there it could be useful in some use cases. Speaking of use cases, can you elaborate on what you would use drawings for exactly? Maybe I am missing the obvious but I fail to see how bringing dynamic data in Visio could rival a BI tool.

                                                   

                                                  Have you ever done that sort of integration and brought data from PI into Visio? Did you do it via PI Web Services, PI OLEDB Enterprise, something else? And those "widgets" and that "drag and drop interface"... are things you have developed or things you envision you could develop?

                                                    • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                      santiago_pet

                                                      @Gopal. Once again, you seem to have read my mind leveraging time series data in Visio. I was taking the premise a tad further by proposing we connect VISIO widgets to both offline and online data sources via OLE ENT. and crafting data nets similarly to the way SQL admins do so with SSIS or ETL. The challenges with exploring a sand-box solution against your "data deluge" is finding right tool for the right job. This is where VISIO could play an interesting role in helping to determine that.

                                                       

                                                      @Steve: I envision (to bring this topic full circle) being able to craft "live" widgets or find them in either Visio (on this case/thread) the processbook library where I could drag and drop them onto the "dashboard". The widgets endpoints would dynamically fit the end points of other widgets to visualize data along. HTML5 would probably be the best plat form to build a proof of concept.  The concept was proposed to me by an engineer after "The Visuals Training" over 7 years ago. Other than multistate functionality, our current widget (or clipart) offering in Processbook is limited in assisting data admins craft blue prints to move data from point A to point B with minimal planned executions, and/or steps that minimize latency.

                                                       

                                                      "... I would like it if Processbook had company specific widgets (I.e. transformers, tanks, turbines...) that I could simply drag and drop onto a blank sheet. The endpoints (or loose wires) were already defined in PI/MDB (or AF by todays standards) and would fit into other pre-fab widgets like a logical puzzle. In this, I would not need to know about PI, SDK's, Data bridges or other backend configurations other than that I can see my page come to life with minimal to no PI or SQL data mappings...."

                                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                    I'm late in to the game on this thread but I have my opinion here, don't I always.

                                     

                                    Peter, great to see someone else enthusiastic about ProcessBook.  Got to be my all time favourite OSIsoft product.
                                    I wanted to go through your list and add some comments (in blue).

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    My Dream Processbook Application

                                     

                                    - Thick client with Adobe Photo shop/HTML5 editing features
                                    Not sure I agree here, Photoshop for one is a huge tool with a specific design purpose.  ProcessBook falls short of that, it is for visualising data and arranging that data.  Instead I would prefer ProcessBook to support extensible Symbols.

                                     


                                    - Favorite SVG template
                                    No meaningful comment from me here.

                                    - Webbased client, eliminate the need to install .exe
                                    Agree here, you can already see the benefit from CoreSight.  You send someone a link and away they go.  No need to worry about versions of installed client applications, ... but we are far from have web applications with as rich an experience as an installed thick client.  Have a story here...I showed some hardcore process control & automation folks CoreSight, their eyes lit up.  I got comments like "that's a step forward from ProcessBook" and "hmmm now that looks better", that was until they started asking how to multistate a Value symbol in CoreSight.  Obviously I say you can't which was met with an "oh".  This continued with multiples comments of "oh" until they realised what they need they won't get from CoreSight (yet).  The same goes for other web applications that have tried to bridge the gap between ProcessBook and the web.  There may be some value in having ProcessBook displays rendered in CoreSight, so to share it you just send the URL.  Authoring that display though would still need to occur in ProcessBook. 

                                    - A "publish to sharepoint" or "publish to Coresight" button
                                    Mentioned CoreSight above.

                                    - Connects to Sharepoint or HTML sight on launch

                                    - SQC trend behavior (The ability to stack trends from DIFFERENT time lines in the same trend display)

                                    - Built in Java editor
                                    Scares me.  Don't think java is the answer.  Being Microsoft followers OSIsoft would always have a preference towards .Net although Microsoft doesn't have a clear direction for "nextgen VBA".

                                    - Customizable Clipart (The ability to upload your own images)
                                    Agree.

                                    - Interchangeable widgets and webparts. (It would be nice to see a gauge in processbook!)

                                    - Duval Triangles, Ort Charts..
                                    Part of my symbol extensibility comment.

                                    - Additional multistate conditionals to include If, then, else, and perhaps event frames type logic
                                    Multistate needs better integration with AF in general.  The conditional logic should reside in AF not within ProcessBook IMO.  Many a mess encountered with overuse of DataSets (PI Calculations) and repetition of such DataSets amongst displays.

                                    - Animated Gifs
                                    Common request, so agree.

                                    - The ability to store or script displays from database
                                    Not sure what you mean by this one.

                                    - Limited customizable parameters that can be exposed to clients FROM the hosted website

                                    - Mask, Taper, Shadow
                                    What would things like shadows in ProcessBook add to how data is visualised?  I keep thinking back to Wolfgang's thread on HMI displays, and references to Stephen Few's talk at vCampus Live.

                                    - Store templates in AF
                                    I've often talked of a ProcessBook add-in that would allow this.  Had a prototype but it needs work to finish.  Intend to put the source code in the "AF Symbol Drop" Community Project section.

                                    - Retrieve displays in AF.
                                    CoreSight chose SQL Server to store displays, ProcessBook wouldn't want to be different from that seen as though they will be interchangeable. You can always link to CoreSight displays that render ProcessBook displays in the future, those links could be stored in and retrieved from AF.

                                    - Images dynamically changes when selected from AF
                                    Don't follow you on this one.  Can you elaborate?

                                    - Export to tablet, and mobile devices.
                                    - Collaborative tools. The ability for clients to comment and make recommended edits from the same display. Digg voting functionality
                                    Social interaction is coming in CoreSight I believe.  In the past I created some VBA that tracked most frequently accessed displays, most viewed data points etc so I'm a fan of having these features.

                                     


                                    - "Event on Click" functionality. (i.e. user clicks on a peak, and all other peaks with the same values across the trend highlight
                                    - The ability to modify,or hide scaling on the fly
                                    - Shaded trend lines (great for delta, or fourier analysis)
                                    I would love this feature.  I posted over 3 years ago for Trend banding in ProcessBook on here, Laurie is still dragging her feet on that one.

                                     

                                    What does everyone think about this? An upgrade of this magnitude would keep this amazing tool ahead of the curve and current among the myriad of editors and widgets across Sharepoint and HTML5 platforms.

                                     

                                    Where have you been hiding the last few years Peter?

                                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                        santiago_pet

                                        @Rhys Thanks for the feedback! I was hoping to have another expert set of eyes take a glance and help refine the idea that incorporates the best of technology. The idea of a seemless viewer and thick processbook editor  has been a burning desire after a few short years of using the amazing product.

                                         

                                        - Thick client with Adobe Photo shop/HTML5 editing features
                                        Not sure I agree here, Photoshop for one is a huge tool with a specific design purpose.  ProcessBook falls short of that, it is for visualising data and arranging that data.  Instead I would prefer ProcessBook to support extensible Symbols.
                                        I agree I may have been a tad cavalier with Adobe like functionality. However it wouldn't hurt to add functionalities like transparency, masking, and gradient colors to enhance the users visual experience. Adding these three functions would reduce the number of objects in the display to simulate this. For example thermometers, gradient (temp or conditional) scales take over 10 objects to simulate something created with just 3. I would consider evaluating popular graphical practices within PB and developing towards a least common denominator that circumvents the need to import bulky graphics, or the need to group numerous objects to achieve the same results.

                                         

                                        A functioning table and guage part would be nice. Merge PI Webparts, Coresight in an HTML 5 driven thin client and I would do hand stands. The thin client would be chock full of powerful and scalable webparts. The thick client is more for sophisticated C or Java (o.k. maybe .NET) based applications with all the data-snapins (PISKD, AFSDK, OLE) included. Something like this would be an open and shut case for someone whose solution brings home the proverbial "bacon" through the visualization of data.

                                        -Built in Java editor
                                        Scares me.  Don't think java is the answer.  Being Microsoft followers OSIsoft would always have a preference towards .Net although Microsoft doesn't have a clear direction for "nextgen VBA".
                                        Actually this is a popular request along with C# functionality. At least from what I gathered talking to my peers in the past upto and including the recent vCampus convention. I think that a built in C or Java would break the "boundaries" that seem to exist for svg's. Right now they act as containers with limited to no .NET functionality due to security constraints. I am imagining uploading displays as interactive objects with endpoints that meld with webservices or similar consumption of external sources not bounded to the rules defined in the ...//admin pages.

                                         

                                        - The ability to store or script displays from database
                                        Not sure what you mean by this one.
                                        The ability to store the image as a database object as in a Sharepoint setting.

                                         

                                        - Images dynamically changes when selected from AF
                                        Don't follow you on this one.  Can you elaborate?
                                        Reference images in attributes you would time series data. onClick the data AND The image changes dynamically in an AF driven display

                                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                            dhollebeek

                                            Just a note: Microsoft thinks that they have a replacement (I wouldn't call it a path forward) from VBA that is not VSTO.  Basically they are pushing writing "apps" in the cloud and then plugging them into applications.  Not sure this approach works at all for process control networks that probably can't reach the cloud.

                                             

                                            And, yes, we're biased toward .Net if that's feasible ...

                                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                            ldieffenbach

                                            All,

                                             

                                            Please keep this thread alive...it's quite interesting to everyone (even the personal dig from Rhys ). I think Rhys captures something important when he says "an upgrade of this magnitude" because I think the sorts of ideas being tossed about here would indeed constitute a large effort.

                                             

                                            What if, after making existing PI ProcessBook content available through PI Coresight (the topic of discussion at vCampus Live this year), we embarked on a "do-over" of authoring capabilities? Would that free us from the backwards compatibility drag that makes it hard to re-invent one of our most popular tools (along with PI DataLink)?

                                             

                                            I also worry about things like this: if we commit to a new authoring platform, how do we avoid the trap of evolving technology that has ensnared the product as we know and love it now? I don't think I need to point out the current challenges facing developers in choosing among Microsoft-specific tools (which are well-loved), web-based tools (which are still evolving), and tools targeted at other platforms (iOS, anyone?). It isn't a small risk to commit to one or more of these technologies and remain focused on what OSIsoft does best in its client tools (namely, efficient and accurate rendering of data from PI using a tool that doesn't require a high level of software expertise).

                                              • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                mhalhead

                                                Hi Laurie,

                                                 

                                                I've made a number of comments before regarding ProcessBook.

                                                 

                                                First off I would like to say that I think ProcessBook is a wonderfully powerful tool but it is showing its age. Plus the newer server components are not well supported in ProcessBook; I'm putting AF into this category as it is a bit of a second class citizen in the PB world.

                                                 

                                                There will always be multiple products serving different requirements; however I would really like to see better alignment between them.

                                                1. I would like Coresight to become the web presence for all the PI Visualisation, whether it is a ProcessBook display or a display authored in Coresight. Yes I think that CS should retain limited authoring capabilities. CS should work cross platform, tablets (iPad, WinRT (e.g. Microsoft Surface), Android), smart phones, … basically anything that supports the right flavour of HTML5/JS.
                                                2. PI WebParts (and iViews) should simply surface the displays within Coresight.
                                                3. ProcessBook (or its replacement) should be the thick client that is used to author displays plus allow users to do more in-depth analysis. The original description of Coresight was for quick adhoc trending and analysis. Unfortunately this has not happened in my company; the adoption of Coresight is mediocre with users refusing to switch from ProcessBook.

                                                Firstly I don’t envy the team that has to do a rewrite of ProcessBook. The one solution that you’ve mentioned is to create a new authoring tool. From a development point of view this would probably be the easiest and far cleaner solution. Unfortunately getting people to adopt it would be far more difficult; at some point users would have to make the switch and they will only do this when the new product offers sufficient value. They (the users) will want to be able to migrate their existing displays; I’m using the term migrate rather than backwards compatible. Migrating the display symbols probably won’t be the biggest issue; it’s the VBA that is going to get you. There is simply no upgrade path for VBA. My gut tells me that only a small portion of PB displays would be impacted by the lack of VBA which is good.

                                                 

                                                The whole VBA issue is an interesting problem which apparently not even the MS Office team has grappled with; Excel 2013 still uses VBA. It would be easier if Excel had already introduced the VBA replacement. I’m hoping that project Roslyn will ultimately provide the foundation of the solution.

                                                 

                                                What should the PB replacement look like? I would like something along the lines of Visio.

                                                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                                    OSIsoft should open source any new display authoring effort, be it ProcessBook v4 or a new .Net based authoring tool.

                                                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                        jdjohnstn

                                                        Two items our teams would like in Processbook:  

                                                         

                                                        Different trend line colors based on characteristics (eg: Color trend line red if values are above upper control, grey if inside control),

                                                         

                                                        Ability to see Event Frames the same way we see batches now.  Event frames are pretty useless until our users can see them (DataLink and ProcessBook) without doing any coding...

                                                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                            wpurrer

                                                            same procedure as every year ;-) around january is time on Processbook and how to move forward... let's bet on 2014,... .. but besides some spikes I mostly have given up hope for change.

                                                             

                                                            vcampus.osisoft.com/.../14438.aspx

                                                              • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                santiago_pet

                                                                The demand (at least from my visualization team) for a .net or .java based authoring tool with web automated  Integration is increasing. The ability to package displays as objects that can be served up by BRMS/drools would in my mind put OSIsoft on the radar by many designers that leverage Wordpress, drupal, Ubuntu, or apache driven web authoring solutions. I do appreciate the efforts of the Processbook team however I think it's time to take PB to the next level. A total overhaul? Maybe not if it can tout many features prevalent in other premium if not free offerings with similar capabilities.

                                                                 

                                                                I'm still picturing a merge of Coresight, and Processbook w/ .net or java scripting as the de-facto to visualization tool.  Web based client for remote / light users while maintaining a thick client with robust adobe like mods. A base modeler for smart devices, and tablets would be heavenly... But one step at a time I suppose :)

                                                                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                    Lonnie Bowling

                                                                    @Wolfgang  Hey this tread started almsot 2 months ago, that is well ahead of last year's thread!  I think that the pressure is mounting, it is fun to read this, there are a lot of good comments, even if some is a re-hash.  It never hurts to repeat yourself, that is at least what I keep telling myself.

                                                                     

                                                                    @Laurie Thanks for being so nice all the time, I know that PB has to be a challenge to be a manager for.  Part of the problem is that it is used so much, we all have a lot invested.

                                                                     

                                                                    I think the fact that OSIsoft is not leaping to replace processbook with something new is actually a good sign.  I think they are being very careful about what the next step is going to be and are giving it a lot of thought.  Things in the consumer world are changing fast so it looks like PB is way behind, and it is in some ways.  But if you look at other packages, they are not moving at light-speed either.  I'm sure we will see PB 2.0 in the next 2-3 years and it will be good times again!

                                                                     

                                                                    Lonnie

                                                                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                        santiago_pet

                                                                        @Rhys Sharing the wealth is an excellent idea. Many a good solution have materialized from collaborative development. Reminders like these are good and keeps what is pivotal to conditional and predictive data visualization in perspective if not at the top of the list (one hopes).  Processbook is indeed a priceless tool which by all accounts will evolve into a powerful knowlege based driven tool. Maybe similar to what Neo saw at the end of the Matrix. Processbook was neatly positioned as a niche that did not require next-gen development tomorrow. "Oh how the tables are turning" I'm thinking, and that wouldn't hurt to put a stake in territories that similar rapidly evolving visualization packages are doing with deft precision.

                                                                         

                                                                        @Laurie. To answer your question. I love the look, feel, and highly inuitive functionality of the authoring tool.  I think many of us would be happy if this highly regarded feature remained the same. Extended it's compatibility to embrace popular scripting, and uploads to new and popular mediums (silverlight, html 5..etc) would open massive doors, all without having to necessarily revamp. Extend the parts library (maybe include the very parts that made Coresight, and PI webparts famous would be the icing on the cake.  When I hear revamp I am quickly reminded of terrible remakes of classic movies. It's a risky affair. A makeover of Processbook has a nicer ring to it IMO. Thanks for tolerating and being so responsive. It is greatly appreciate. I'm setting the snooze button for 2014 :)

                                                                         

                                                                        PB 5.0

                                                                         

                                                                        5672.The-Matrix.jpg
                                                                        Your 3 winding transformer will require replacement in 2.3 years.

                                                                          • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                            ldieffenbach

                                                                            Hi everyone,

                                                                             

                                                                            Believe it or not, I have been closely following this conversation (really, Wolfgang!), although I haven't been acknowledging every comment. (I have a day job, too...)

                                                                             

                                                                            Right at this moment, I'm sitting at our annual Engineering pow-wow, where OSIsoft is discussing all the major development efforts for this year and next (as well as some longer term initiatives). Folks, we've got lots to do! You'll be delighted (and hopefully not surprised) to hear that these efforts are largely focused on bringing more value to our customers (and partners) that are using the PI System to solve important problems and run their businesses better.

                                                                             

                                                                            That said, I want to assure you that, as a company (and not just me personally), we hear what you are saying about the need to make PI ProcessBook better serve the needs expressed here (and elsewhere). As Peter and others have pointed out, this is no small effort and fraught with some risk that we will make the wrong decisions (technology- or feature-wise), so we must carefully consider the larger picture. I'm working with other product managers, our engineering leadership, our chief architect, our technical steering committee, various development teams, and even our Sales organization to raise this effort to be a higher priority so that we can collectively develop a strategy to make something worthwhile happen that will be focused on solving the right problems.

                                                                             

                                                                            This is a not an easy or quick process, but I'm getting some traction for elevating the priority.

                                                                             

                                                                            When I presented at vCampus Live this year, I identified a set of problems to be addressed by making PI ProcessBook content available as part of the PI Coresight product (which I wanted to validate as the right problems to be solving). Those identified problems were targeted at two audiences: those who administer PI Systems and PI ProcessBook content (administrative roles) and those who are the end users of that content.

                                                                             

                                                                            This particular thread is based on a set of problems for a different audience: those of you building the content (and applications) for those end users. It is fundamentally a different set of problems. It is not a less important set of problems, but it does require a different set of solutions, I believe.

                                                                             

                                                                            Rest assured that, as we work on our strategy and weigh the relative priorities of building the "right thing", we will be considering the issues and problems raised in this thread as well as through all the various conversations we've had with you, other partners, and other customers.

                                                                             

                                                                            Rhys, can you award a beer counter to the first person who asks when something will be delivered? :-D (Hint: the answer is, I don't know.)

                                                                             

                                                                            BTW, I do appreciate the kind comments from individuals. I know sometimes I sound defensive on this topic, but I take your comments (and even complaints) constructively.

                                                                             

                                                                            Regards,

                                                                             

                                                                            Laurie

                                                                              • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...

                                                                                Laurie, did the open source direction get discussed?

                                                                                 

                                                                                I got the impression from Ray Hall that it is going to be a difficult move for OSIsoft.  A shame because you can see the passionate and talented developers that follow OSIsoft which will remain untapped (not that OSIsoft developers don't already do a good job).  The specified item was not found./

                                                                                 

                                                                                www.forbes.com/.../why-open-source-principles-are-a-recipe-for-innovation  Look for the "pie" & recipe references in the article.  The PI System is a recipe, ProcessBook is an ingredient, let us add some of our own ingredients to improve the recipe.

                                                                                 

                                                                                In some respects we already see source code based on OSIsoft's lack of obfuscation.

                                                                                  • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                                    ldieffenbach

                                                                                    Hi Rhys,

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I can't say we've talked about "open source" as a development path, but I hear strongly from everyone here (and elsewhere) that there needs to be an open environment, in the sense that it is easy for the Rhyses and Peters and Wolfgangs and Lonnies (and all the rest of you lurking out there) to build your specific (and in some cases vertical) solutions on top of whatever we provide.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I've said before, in various venues, that one of the strenghts of PI ProcessBook has been that it provides a performant, stable platform with some basic features that allows folks to add things on top. If we can improve on the ways that folks such as yourself can add those things on top, does that qualify as "open source" enough for you or I'm missing the real need? What I mean to say is, if Peter or Lonnie or Rhys can create a specialized visualization that uses the underlying application as a way to contain it, provide the data feeds, handle security, etc., and it is easy to "deploy" that visualization, are we on the right path? My definition of "easy" is a little squishy, but I would mean things like allowing you to use newer development languages, for example....and maybe not limited to just one. It may be a tall order, but I think it is what's wanted here.....

                                                                                      • Re: PI Processbook 2.0: HTML5 Editor & More...
                                                                                        santiago_pet

                                                                                        @Laurie ok I'm going to break my vow of silence here - could not resist.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Short answer: Yes!

                                                                                         

                                                                                        I appreciate the ease in which I can create displays and either run them in the native container (that is Processbook) or export to Sharepoint for immediate dispersal of information. Then, it stops there.. I am unable insert a YouTube video, or other social widgets for example in my display (Facebook, twitter, linkedIN, IM...etc). Not that I'd upload an svg to Facebook, but that most packages today offer an extension to do this whether it's java, .net, or c. I Presently I code java wrappers around the svg to do things like fade away, slide, flip, or behave like jqueries carousel. It's like dressing up a very large and heavy wooden box.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Again, I say keep "outer shell" (for lack of a better word) design but open it up just enough to allow creative integration and marshalling of data and widget content between both worlds without requiring extensive work around.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        Use case.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        - today

                                                                                         

                                                                                            - user drags and drops a vb button to advance to the next svg. Works only on sharepiont, and Vb execution forbidden...sorry, wrapper needed.

                                                                                         

                                                                                        - tomorrow

                                                                                         

                                                                                            - user drags and drops a java or xml serialized button. Upload, works with or without Sharepoint - viola -

                                                                                         

                                                                                        If a Processbook.sdk existed and i could recreate a complex svg w/ java or .net integration - I'd call it a day.

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

                                                                                        @Rhys here I thought that product was air tight. Try serializing and deserializing svgs into a message you can pass to and from a database.. I tried with comical results. Proprietary is proprietary ..hopefully not for long :)