My client has requested trend preview pictures to be inserted or attached to notification emails. To accomplish this custom code will be required.
According to Andrew Behn's post in this thread inline images is a new feature of PI Notifications 2012. But you'll have to add the pictures manually to each notification, and that doesn't work well with our template based way of working with this. If there was an option of selecting pictures based on substitution parameters, like we do in the PI Point Data References, I would be able to generate pictures with our equipment naming convention (name + equipment code), and select them using the substitution parameters from the template. Then the only thing I'd have to make sure of would be to update the pictures, so that every time the notification requested the picture it would collect it from disk and attach it.
(We have thousands of notifications so assigning picture names manually is not an option. We could have done it if we could edit notifications in bulk in AFBuilder, but (sadly) notifications can't be edited there)
But instead of storing pictures to disk and attaching them to notification emails I would rather store the pictures directly to an AF Attribute. After all, that's what we have the value type 'File' for, isn't it? I could then create a custom data reference which would deliver an updated picture when ever requested. But sadly, AF Attribute files and PI Notification files don't speak the same language, and I can't do anything with the AF Attribute files inside the PI Notifications.
Looking at attached images in PI Notifications compared to attached files (of other types) there seems to be different context menus, and the ones for images is the one letting you add inline pictures. Could it be that PI Notifications can't separate image files from other file types in AF Attributes?
Anyone care to comment on (1) a solution to my trend preview picture challenge, and (2) to the lack of file type support in AF vs. Notifications?