10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 16, 2013 4:55 PM by lgarrigues

    My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013


      To start with, I really liked to be there on vcl13.

      With this post I want to share my personal opinions and take-aways from vcl13 with the community with the objective to start up some interesting exchanges of thoughts.

      The Good

      PI ODATA services: This is a great leap to offer business analytics. Clients who take the effort of investing in a structured asset model on top their PI data will greatly benefit from this.


      PI Core Webservice: This has been coming for quite a while and I like the idea of cutting lose from the need to install bulky SDK’s to get to my PI data. I perfectly caters for the mobile/mashup case.


      Esri maps integration with PI data( Feature services): I really liked the idea/concept of ‘pushing’ your geomatics + real-time information to the feature services and getting served full featured maps, well done.  Blind spot for me is data protection and security.


      EventFrame Generator: personal interest having written by own eventframe generator because the PI Notifications 2012 functionality did not have capability to generate eventframes nor (more importantly) do this is retrospective. I liked to see this requirement covered and fully integrated in the product stack, especially in combination with asset based analytics.


       Asset Based Analytics: I am in love with this……ABAcus totally rocks!! The ability to use PE’s, but more in a divide-and-conquer way, in small steps make the PE’s much more readable/maintainable, also in connection with the AF asset model attributes (which might be formulas). The backfilling option also rocks and meets a business requirement I am currently dealing with where we are ‘tuning’ emissions estimations and need to redo calculations once we change parameters…not sure how it will work out when you also want to recalc a totalizer….need to dive in the manuals for that

      The Bad

      PI Core Webservices:  credited this was a beta version, I found the support of bulk fetches a bit annoying. Simple things like retrieving current values from attributes require lots of coded calls to the rest API. I would have like the REST api to be a bit more asset model ‘aware’ in the sense that you can pass in the element path or construct a list of element paths like the AFAttributeList.GetValue method.

      The ugly

      PI manual logger 2012: Oh man…this tool reeks of its history…I would not approach my customers with this…they will kill me..Plain ugly windows 3.1 style interface, no integrated security, no decent reporting capabilities except for tapping directly into the database…

      The puzzling

      PI Cloud Services: The PI cloud services is seemingly a compelling story, but I am uncertain of the actual value proposition in this case. What are say Oil majors, Petro chemicals and Pharma companies getting out of this? Most of the companies are very secretive about their production data, aside from the fact that in some countries there are even laws stating that production data is not permitted to be hosted out-of-country. Data that these companies DO want to expose is I think of a different time dimension, mostly aggregations. And for this there are currently already other cloud solutions around.


      StreamInsight : where is it ? The silence on this is deafening ….I know this is more a Microsoft ‘thingy’, but it was supposed to be a first OSI/M$ banding together….I looks to be born dead…not sure what the alternatives are….



      The Promising

      I attended the VOX pop on the Datawatch product…perhaps I was a bit to direct in my comments, apologies for that ( but heck, I am Dutch) . I actually liked the visualizations…I  got me thinking about some fundamental questions:


      1)      For BI purposes, Can we filter/do analytics directly at the event pipe, in order to do data cleansing ‘at the gate’ instead of post mortem ?


      2)      If OSIsoft is really serious about real-time BI, where the challenge also lies in preventing the ‘data copying’ . I would expect them to work on an adapter that taps directly into the raw archive system and  where  you can ‘enrich’ this information with (meta) data from your asset model.


      3)      Related to (1). Would it not be great to have a sort of Map/Reduce functionality inside/close to the pi server where you could plug-in your (predictive) analytics logic ?

          • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013

            Hi Aldo,


            Having not been there yet again I can't comment too much but I will comment on the puzzling (I with a major mining group). Yes we are sensitive about our production data and aren't about to post it to the internet for everyone. However, like all other companies our supply chain is becoming integrated so we are already sharing data with vendors/partners. The current solutions are ad hoc and generally all over the place with far too little control/auditability. So I'm looking at PI Cloud Services and I do think that there is a really possibility that this could meet our needs. There is one caveat the receiver must also have PI; which not all our vendors do. I need to have a long discussion with our EPM to see if we can find an innovative solution to this, maybe OSI provides a stripped down receiver only license.


            I also agree with your Ugly.

              • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013
                Roger Palmen

                Hi Aldo,


                Thanks for your writeup! My first chance to get some in-depth info from vCL. And an excellent starter for some discussion.


                The good: i will definitely dive into the ODATA services. Has not been ommy radar yet. ESRI: No information without disclosure imho.


                The bad: Can't really comment. Have not played with it yet. end-of-year and end-of-project mayhem! 


                The ugly: It could not get more ugly than it already was i believe...but i also do not have much visibility on what customers really require. For me i disliked that the architecture of PIML is the odd one out. Given all the tools available (e.g. the webservices), we should almost be at the point where we could effectively build a replacement for PIML, running native on Android/iOS/wPhone, or build something on HTML5. Although, i don't have any details on user scenarios so e.g. ruggedized hardware and / or if the win3.1 style GUI is an issue for operators.


                The puzzling: I truly see the benefit of PI Cloud services, and like it's simplicity. For any purpose, data needs to be shared to get value out of it, else no need to store it anyway. And if you e.g. outsource the maintenance of your 1000+ compressors, how would one provide the data to execute the service. The cloud should get rid of the technical issues in exposing this data. Also the PI Cloud can be installed on-premise i believe, allowing to select a host that complies to the local regulations. However, this is proprietary, and thus relies on the service provider also using PI Cloud (or the data provider having enough leverage to force them to). Therefore i also see a big chance of REST or ODATA repositories on the cloud becoming the norm for this purpose.  Streaminsight is very powerfull, just as any Complex Event Processing solution. But it is also very complex and thereby only suitable to organisations that can harness the technology.


                Eagerly awaiting the presentations from vCL!




                And i'm the first to announce some highlights from the agenda for vCL 2014 :

                • PI services in the cloud (PI server, AFserver, etc.) in the cloud for Dev / Test purposes.
                • Pi Cloud linked to ESRI cloud
                • WebParts 2014, merging CoreSight technology into Webparts functionality. (and webparts that actually work )
                  • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013
                    Ahmad Fattahi

                    Great discussion please keep going. In case you are interested to learn more about the new key announcements and also read a full recap of the event read here.

                    • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013

                      Hello Roger,


                      Roger Palmen @ CGI

                      vCampus AllStar 2013 (that means this gives you the right to ask me anything, and me the obligation to help everyone as much as possible!)


                      You've received the All Star award as recognition and to honor your activities within the vCampus community. It is not intended to bind you for the future. We nevertheless hope you feel encouraged to continue contributing as you've done in the past.

                        • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013
                          Rick Davin

                          Abacus looked cool and I liked the formula refactoring feature that may not be in the current beta but hopefully will make it in the final product.  The hands-on session focused heavily on scheduled calcs.  It is my understanding that for natural triggers that you have no control over the output timestamp, so that may greatly limit its appeal to me.


                          I was encouraged by PI Cloud Services.  Moving to the cloud is not as simple as moving your PI server into a VM in Azure.  Security, passing credentials, etc., are big concerns and its nice to see OSIsoft being very forward-looking into this.


                          That said, PIML still seems to be backward-looking.  The world has exploded with a staggering variety of mobile devices and many mobile users have a greater expectation of their experience.  My company uses PIML not because it is good, but because it 'free' with our agreement.  A complaint I've had for many years is PIML is geared for a single PI Server close to the manufacturing floor and it doesn't play well on an enterprise level.  As our demands and needs grow, if PIML can't keep up then our interests and our customers are better served to look for other products to fit the bill.

                            • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013
                              Asle Frantzen

                              Rick Davin

                              It is my understanding that for natural triggers that you have no control over the output timestamp, so that may greatly limit its appeal to me.


                              But hopefully Steve and the team will find time to implement this before the release, based on the feedback here in the forums

                              • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013

                                Hi everyone,


                                I'm here to represent "the ugly", much as it pains me to own up to that :-)


                                This year was the first time that PI Manual Logger was represented in the hands on sessions at vCampus Live. Our intention was two-fold in offering this lab: one, we wanted to show how the currently released product can be used to address common requests for manual data collection we've heard over the years (PI Manual Logger was first introduced in 1997) AND two, we wanted to show off the upcoming new web-based interface for entering data (based on HTML5/JavaScript and supporting a wide variety of devices that enable this technology). It sounds like some of you may have missed the second one.


                                Because our focus has been on the new entry interface, we haven't yet started on a new configuration experience. Our plan is to address that after the upcoming release for data entry.


                                One of the features not yet shown in our upcoming release is our plan to incorporate Claims-based Security. We are planning to incorporate this newer security model using core PI System capabilities that are currently being worked on, so it just wasn't ready for us in time for vCampus Live.


                                We have also heard you about the need for a more enterprise-friendly approach. The history of the product was highly focused on site-based configuration, as some of you noted, and we understand that needs to be addressed.


                                I hope any of you lucky enough to have seen Jared Spool's presentation got the notion that OSIsoft is working to improve its design process. I fully expect that a new version of the PI Manual Logger configuration experience will follow many of the principles that Jared outlined in his talk. I also expect that it will be more fully integrated with PI Server capabilities, so that the resulting configuration becomes part of the system rather than a "silo" of configuration information.


                                For the record, I don't expect that we will incorporate reporting features into this product. In my view, the overall experience should be so well integrated with the PI System, that reporting is enabled the same way it is for any other PI System data. I'd be delighted to hear more from any of you on that point.




                                Laurie Dieffenbach, Product Manager

                      • Re: My take-aways from Vcampus Live! 2013

                        Hi Aldo,


                        As the PM for our Cloud initiatives, I thought I would talk to the the puzzling part  First, I would like to say that the software industry as a whole is moving towards services (SaaS). Even in more conservative areas such as industrial/manufacturing applications, the question is not IF applications and solutions will move to the Cloud but WHEN. Granted that some components of these solutions will always remain On-Prem, very close to the operations but a good chunk (visualization, analytics, reporting, BI ...) could be delivered differently. Also instrumentation and sensors are changing very rapidly (the Internet of Things) and eventually even conventional control systems will be impacted.


                        We already have customers in pharma and oil & gas who have asked us about the possibility of delivering PI as a Service. Not all the data gathered and store in PI systems is highly sensitive and a lot of it could be managed/leveraged by Cloud based solutions. Cloud offering are also moving towards more flexible deployment than just the black and white public/private


                        Knowing that it takes years for our customers to adopt and feel comfortable with new technologies, OSIsoft needed to move quickly. And we actually did start our research on the Cloud about 3 years ago. For now, our main strategy is to expand the capabilities of our current On-Prem software by delivering a sets of complementary services that don't need more deployment/management. We see the Cloud as an extension for On-Prem software allowing easier access to the data and open the door for more distributed, flexible and scalable systems.


                        I'll be happy to get into more details on the Cloud based offerings we are working on.