PI Coresight 2016

Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade to PI Coresight 2016

If you aren’t familiar with it, PI Coresight is OSIsoft’s premier web data visualization tool, which allows fast and secure access to PI system data. Coresight was launched in 2011 and since then has gone through several updates as more functionality is added into the product. Over the last couple of releases PI Coresight has been natively integrated in with OSIsoft’s new web service offering known as the PI Web API for tag and attribute searching. PI Coresight 2016 marks a major shift in the capabilities of the product. This article highlights the top three reasons why you should consider trying out PI Coresight 2016. Note – this article assumes that the reader is familiar with the OSIsoft PI system infrastructure. If not, please visit http://www.osisoft.com.

  1. Richer Authoring Capability 

PI Coresight 2016 has seen a massive improvement in the display authoring experience, partly thanks to the move to a completely web-based implementation (more on that shortly). Features as trivial as the ability to put in a text box or an image were not present in previous versions of Coresight. You can now absolutely position all objects on a display, including trends, tables, values, gauges, images, lines, etc. The Coresight display canvas maintains object display order and you have the ability to send objects forward or backward, or align them with other objects. A number of different shapes come built-in, such as a rectangle, ellipse, line, arc, and polygons.

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In previous versions of Coresight, changes would be saved as soon as they were made to the display. This meant that there was no ability to undo actions or discard changes. Coresight 2016 comes with a “Design Mode” which allows not only undo and redo, but also cut, copy, paste. Additionally, users can save their displays after all changes are done by clicking the “Save” button.

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  1. Advanced Display and Management Features

 PI Coresight 2016 introduces some key raw capabilities which previous versions did not contain. Additionally, there have been some improvements made to administrative features.

Multi-state Configuration

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Users of PI ProcessBook, OSIsoft’s desktop graphics package have for years been accustomed to rich displays which provide multi-state configuration support. To give a quick example of multi-state configuration – one can display an asset on the screen and have its background colour change depending on a particular characteristic of the asset, such as a flow rate.

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PI Coresight 2016 now provides multi-state configuration support as any symbol (except a trend or table) on a Coresight display can be configured to show color-coded states based on a threshold value. Threshold
values can be configured according to user-specified custom values, or traits defined within an AF 2.8 attribute.

 

Management and Security Features

Some noteworthy changes were made to display security. Previously, displays could either be private or public. If set as public, anyone who has access to Coresight would be able to see them. However, administrators can now govern which AF identity groups are allowed access to what display. Additionally, administrators can now restrict the search root from where display elements may be looked up. This would be useful if your organization maintains a segregated hierarchy where parts of the business do not need to access certain sections of the AF hierarchy.

Event Frame Comparisons

Coresight allows comparison of events such as process down time or batches using AF Event Frames. New in Coresight 2016, the Event Comparison feature allows you to analyze process data across multiple events on a single trend. Using this you can identify similarities and differences between process events and determine root causes.

Coresight also allows you to annotate events with comments and provide supplementary file attachments. The display also allows selection of attributes to display on the overlay trend. If child event frames are configured they are displayed in a Gantt chart below the main overlay display.

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  1.  100% Web-Based Displays

Arguably the most fundamental change in Coresight 2016 is the fact that it no longer requires the Silverlight browser plugin to render displays. This fundamental shift has enabled a couple key benefits, which we discuss in the following sections.

Increased Accessibility

In previous versions, Coresight data was accessible through the iPhone and iPad applications provided through the Apple Store by OSIsoft. However, by eliminating the dependency on Silverlight, Coresight is now much more accessible. Modern CSS (cascading style sheets) setups enable responsive design, meaning that the web site fluidly re-adjusts its layout and presentation according to the device’s screen size and characteristics. Modern browsers support the HTML5 standard which brings in itself several new features and enhancements. Coresight already comes with a mobile site and now that displays do not need Silverlight, the gates are open for any modern web browser to access Coresight data. Touch devices that are at least as large as the iPad mini will have the same basic editing functionality as desktop computers. Mobile applications are not needed, or in fact supported as of Coresight 2016.

Extensible Framework

With Coresight 2016, OSIsoft decided to make the application architecture pluggable and allow developers in to create custom symbols and tool panes. This feature offers tremendous flexibility for organizations who would like to use Coresight but just have slightly advanced requirements. The extensibility framework allows for varying degrees of reliance on Coresight. On one hand, you could choose to get data from the PI system and simply render it in a different visualization, such as a bubble chart or histogram, for instance. Custom configuration and multi-state properties may be applied to extensions as well. At the extreme end of the scale, you can put together a completely custom JavaScript web page, where the data does not even need to come from the PI system. Using AJAX calls, your display can call any external web service to get the data. As you can imagine, this is a very powerful capability and there are a large number of edge use cases that the application will now be able to fulfill (for instance, integration with Microsoft Power BI, or Google Maps integration). Below are some examples of simple to complex custom symbol extensions to Coresight.

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Summary

 Coresight 2016 offers an array of new features and capabilities and is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for a visualization tool for your PI system data. Even if the job seems a stretch, Coresight’s extensibility framework might be able to fulfill the requirements. This is not a perfect product, and as usual each new release comes with a set of known and unknown issues. Compared to PI ProcessBook, the product still lacks fine control over the display and does not have extended features such as the symbol library. However, completely revamping the product in the current release shows that OSIsoft is committed to the product and will continue to deliver fixes and enhancements.

About iSolutions

iSolutions is a data management consulting company that specializes in designing, implementing and supporting real-time, historian based, reporting and integration solutions for Oil/Gas and Utility companies. We specialize in historian system design, reporting and analysis tool implementations, production data integration solutions and custom software development. Our focus is to help your organization use real time data to monitor and manage performance and identify optimization opportunities.

iSolutions is a partner with major historian systems providers such as OSIsoft and Capstone Technologies. With our strong proficiency in vendor technologies and custom web development, we are well equipped to help you with your visualization needs.

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