Home > OSI PI > Was the OSISoft PI Regional Seminar Worthwhile?

Was the OSISoft PI Regional Seminar Worthwhile?

Our customers at Automated Results regularly ask us if it is worthwhile to attend the Regional Seminars around the country and the Annual Users Conference in California. The fact that we have attended each year since 1996 is a pretty good testimony, but it’s worth elaborating on.

I attended the Oct 27th, 2009 OSISoft Regional Seminar in Raleigh, NC; it was a 1 day seminar, yet it provided a tremendous amount of value:

  • Information on new PI application offerings and releases
  • Understanding where OSISoft is heading so we can plan ahead
  • Keeping in touch with OSISoft personnel, our customers, and other OSISoft customers
  • Sharing new ideas and uses for PI with others
  • Learning how others are using PI

As our customers are asking to be more visible online and move their information more real-time, it was interesting to hear Ron Kolz and Julie Zeilenga’s talks about OSISoft’s expanding their presence in real-time applications like Microsoft Data Centers and Front-end data loading from commercial and residential power customers. It’s great to see OSISoft’s marketing and engineering innovations paying off, which re-affirms their leadership position in the real-time industry.

Personally, I look forward to the OSISoft Product Roadmap, which describes what software has been released with a description of their features and how to apply it. It also covers what is coming up in the future so we can understand how it all comes together. Jay Lakumb talked about the gamut of products, one products that caught my interest was the Analysis Framework (PI AF), PI Notification. Being a prior member of the ISA S88 Batch Standard committee in the early 1990s, I strongly believe that PI customers can benefit from mapping their equipment (asset) and associated tags in PI. The PI AF is a replacement for the original Module Database. PI AF has scaleable performance because they utilize MS SQL server and now populating the AF does not use up PI tags, which was a deterrent in the past. I’m very excited about PI Analysis Framework; we have a customer that has been holding off defining their equipment hierarchy until the AF is released, so I’ll be digging into it immediately.

I’m also interested in the Web Services offering to communicate with PI. We have been implementing MOSS Sharepoint, been working with eCommerce sites, and been implementing web applications on the Internet (Business-to-Business, multiple locations within a corporation, and retail). We’ve found web services to be an efficient way to communicate between different Internet-enabled applications. We are also finding these applications could benefit from access to time-series information, so I’m looking forward to prototype the PI web services.

Others at Automated Results have been involved in implementations of High Availability (HA) and I’ve listened to their initial challenges and work-arounds, but it was great to hear Chris Coen talk about the OSISoft HA offering and how it works, what PI functionality isn’t HA compliant yet (ex. PI SDK, PI Batch), and their prioritized implementation plan to get all modules to be HA compliant. N-way High Availability PI databases and interfaces is a huge challenge, but essential functionality for an ever-increasing number of applications (ex. power, pharmaceutical, etc).

Julie Zeilenga talked about their recent release of the BacNet interface and it’s application in the Microsoft Data Centers. The PI OPC interface is a powerful interface to communicate with a large number of control systems; we implement a lot of these interfaces at the industrial sites. I think the BacNet interface is equally as powerful to interface with utilities and computer/network equipment. It’s application is amazing!

The information sharing and face-to-face networking is extremely valuable as an OSISoft partner and as an OSISoft customer. Both the annual user’s conference and the regional seminars are time well-spent. If you can’t afford the user conference this year, then make sure you get to a regional event, it is a small investment in your total cost of ownership in your PI implementation.

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If you have questions or comments, we’d be thrilled to hear from you! Let us know if there is something you think we should discuss.

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