17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2017 3:38 PM by gregor

    PI + Tableau

    brandonsalmen

      Hello,

       

      I was wondering if anyone in the community has tried using Tableau as a visualization tool for PI data? If so, can you elaborate on your experience and provide any advice for someone thinking of doing this? Our company is deploying PI, and all visualization will be done in a SharePoint environment. We are trying to find the best tools to present PI and other data in a "BI" type format, without having to completely develop custom tools ourselves. It seems like Tableau might work well within SharePoint, but I don't know how difficult it is (or even if it's possible) to get data from PI (AF) into Tableau.

       

      I saw a brief mention of Tableau somewhere in a discussion of the new Web API, but cannot find any further documentation. Would the Web API/OData service provide the best method for connecting PI to Tableau?

       

      Regards,

       

      Brandon

        • Re: PI + Tableau

          Have you looked at Power BI from Microsoft?

            • Re: PI + Tableau
              brandonsalmen

              Yes... actually we have been trying to get PowerPivot/PowerView to work, but it seems to be a frustrating and complicated process to get everything working properly within SharePoint. We can create reports in Excel with PowerView components, but getting them to display properly within SharePoint is turning out to be the biggest challenge right now. Power BI looks to be something which works with Office 365, correct? I don't think we are interested in Office 365 at this point, so unless it's possible to use Power BI separately, that really isn't a good option for us.

               

              Thanks,

               

              Brandon

                • Re: PI + Tableau

                  Brandon: Are you looking only at "on-prem" solutions and not on-line?

                    • Re: PI + Tableau
                      brandonsalmen

                      Thanks, Marcos; good to know there seem to be some standard connectivity/access options that we could pursue.

                       

                      Gopal, I am open to options as long as we ultimately have full control over the solution. If there is an online solution which turns out to be the simplest way to connect to our PI system and present visuals within our SharePoint site, I'm not opposed to that option, but something tells me that just wouldn't give us the flexibility or access that we are looking for at this time. Did you have something specific in mind that we should look into?

                       

                      I should note also that we have no prior experience with Tableau, but wanted to pursue that option since it seems to meet our requirements of a BI tool we can use in SharePoint, which also generates the type of visualizations we're interested in, and looks to have many connectivity options as well without a lot of other prerequisites. However, if there are other tools that would be worth looking into, we are open to those suggestions, also. As I mentioned above, we have been frustrated by the MS BI options to this point, so looking for alternates to what MS offers.

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      Brandon

                        • Re: PI + Tableau

                          Are you at SharePoint 2010 or 2013?

                            • Re: PI + Tableau
                              brandonsalmen

                              SharePoint 2013. We have also been running SQL Server 2008 R2, but are trialing SQL Server 2012 Enterprise as well to see if it's something we really need to move into.

                                • Re: PI + Tableau

                                  My suggestion is to reach out to Microsoft support re. SharePoint issues;  at OSI, we do have SharePoint 2013 with Excel PowerView working.  

                                    • Re: PI + Tableau
                                      brandonsalmen

                                      Yes, we will certainly try to see if we can get that working, as I believe we have all the necessary components to do that. I realize OSI is a Microsoft partner and would prefer for OSI users to use MS products whenever that is an option, however, I do still want to expand our vision and explore other options, and not just assume that the MS products would be the best all-around solution for us, given the rapid development of BI tools by many other companies.

                                       

                                      I was doing a little more research and found that SAS seems to have some tools which work within SharePoint. Anybody have experience with using SAS to view PI data?

                                       

                                      Thanks,

                                       

                                      Brandon

                          • Re: PI + Tableau
                            Marcos Vainer Loeff

                            Hello,

                             

                            I did a small research and it seems that Tableau is compatible with OLEDB. Hence, PI OLEDB Enterprise might be able to integrate the PI System with Tableau. Nevertheless, you need to know if you can integrate Tableau with .NET libraries in order to use PI AF SDK, which has the best performance of all PI System Access products. PI Web API and PI OData are also options that might be used in this integration.

                              • Re: PI + Tableau
                                Koerkel

                                So I was able to connect to my PI Historian using the PI ODBC driver but I am not able to retrieve and data or execute custom queries.  It seems Tableau places a wrapper around all SQL.  Does anyone have any suggestions? 

                                 

                                Dave.

                                  • Re: PI + Tableau
                                    gregor
                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: PI + Tableau
                                        JimGavigan

                                        Gregor Beck

                                         

                                        Thank you for posting this. I am playing with it now. I can do an excel connection to PI OLEDB Enterprise and can get queries back pretty quickly. I usually grab the data transpose snapshot values for event frames. I can pull several thousand events within minutes. However, it seems like it takes at least twice as long to do the same query in Tableau. I know the end game is to use the BI integrator, but I am just playing with this method until I can convince a customer to use the integrator. My first pass was actually to use PIOLEDB Enterprise to dump the EF data into Excel and then connect to the spreadsheet with Tableau. I was looking to see if I could create a more "live" connection, but it just seems slow. Any ideas as to why?

                                          • Re: PI + Tableau
                                            gregor

                                            Hello Jim,

                                             

                                            I believe I don't have to explain why your question is kind of evil but please prepare for a corresponding answer.

                                             

                                            The PI Integrator for Business Analytics is the product which was designed for the purpose. It offers the data through publications in flat views which is resulting into a better performance experience. If you are interested in trying the PI Integrator for Business Analytics, please talk to your account manager at OSIsoft.

                                             

                                            Tableau offers 2 different modes to interact with the data source. In Live mode, it executes a bunch of queries against the data source. Similar to other SQL Clients, in Live mode Tableau applies its own strategy on data acquisition which is not always ideal with regards to performance and efficiency. In Extract mode Tableau executes the custom query, pulls the data into memory and treats the data in memory. The Extract mode is similar to what Excel does and you may experience performance similar to what you experience with Excel when using the Extract mode.

                                             

                                            Independently if the above helps you to gain better performance with your current approach, please consider checking out the PI Integrator for Business Analytics.

                                              • Re: PI + Tableau
                                                JimGavigan

                                                No, the question really wasn't evil.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                I have a customer looking at the BI integrator and a few prospects looking at it jointly with me with some of your AM's. I am trying to understand all of the ways Tableau can connect and how they perform so when the customer asks me "can't we just do "X?" I can give them a solid answer.

                                                 

                                                I even had to ask myself - well, can't I just do an OLEDB Enterprise query to get the data into Tableau, won't that be ok? That answer is a resounding no because of the two modes as you describe. Live mode just seems to run slowly, even with some small queries.I just wondered if I was missing something. Hopefully, someone reading this thread gets pointed in the right direction.

                                                 

                                                I really can't wait to do some BI Integrator to Tableau or Power BI work for a customer with the integratorr. Really powerful stuff on top of PI data.

                                                  • Re: PI + Tableau
                                                    gregor

                                                    Hi Jim,

                                                     

                                                    Thank you for your feedback!

                                                    Did you by any chance try the Extract mode and if so, could you share what performance you experienced? Was it on the same level as with Excel?

                                                     

                                                    Jim Gavigan wrote:

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    I really can't wait to do some BI Integrator to Tableau or Power BI work for a customer with the integratorr. Really powerful stuff on top of PI data.

                                                    This reads extra kind. Thank you

                                      • Re: PI + Tableau
                                        bianca.alves

                                        Dear all,

                                         

                                        I work at an Oil & Gas company and we already use Tableau to publish performance indicators.

                                        Besides that we use OSIsoft PI in order to get realtime information from process parameter sensors.

                                         

                                        Our idea is to publish PI data through Tableau and I would like to know if any of you had this experience and would like to share it.


                                        Thanks in advance for all your help.

                                        Best regards,

                                        Bianca Alves