PI Asset Framework (PI AF) Overview

PI Asset Framework (PI AF) is a single repository for asset-centric models, hierarchies, objects, and equipment (hereafter referred to as elements). It integrates, contextualizes, refines, references, and further analyzes data from multiple sources, including one or more PI Data Archives and non-PI sources such as external relational databases. Together, these metadata and time series data provide a detailed description of equipment or assets.

PI AF can expose this rich data to PI System components such as PI Coresight, PI DataLink, or PI ProcessBook where it can be used to build displays, run calculations, deliver important information, and more. PI Asset Framework can also expose these elements and associated data to non-PI systems via a rich set of data access products. PI AF also includes a number of basic and advanced search capabilities to help users sift through static and real time information. The following comparison table lists the capabilities of current and earlier versions of PI AF.

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PI Asset Framework hierarchies and models consist of elements grouped by specific relationships (parent-child, connectivity). An element is an asset-centric object that can expose a number of attributes or properties such as:
  • Name plate information
  • Flow rate
  • Temperature
  • Density
  • Calculations
  • PI points
  • Data stored in external tables
Furthermore, each attribute can be assigned a specific Unit of Measure. PI Asset Framework can then automatically convert values between Units of Measures. The product ships preloaded with numerous standard unit-of-measure classes and conversion factors based on the International System of Units (SI). It also supports user defined classes and Units of Measure.

Users can configure, schedule, and run calculations written using PI Performance Equation (PE) syntax acting on their PI Asset Framework (PI AF) attributes. PE expressions, Rollup calculations and generation of PI Event Frames based on trigger conditions are all supported analysis types. In addition, analysis templates enable users to manage their analyses in a standardized and consistent manner.

PI Asset Framework can support a nearly unlimited number of elements (several millions) and each element can support numerous attributes and child elements. It allows users to build their elements in whatever way best suites them.

PI Asset Framework also includes features to simplify building elements including:
  • Support for templates
  • Object-level security via Identities similar to the PI Data Archive (new in 2015)
  • Support export to and/or import from XML files
  • A sandbox area where an individual can work on changes without impacting other users
With its rich set of features and functions, PI Asset Framework is the preferred way for users to interact with their PI System data.

  • PI AF SDK is the foundational .NET-based software development kit for interacting with asset metadata and time series data stored in the PI Asset Framework. It is available from PI Developers Club* (formerly known as vCampus). For more information, refer to PI AF SDK Homepage.
  • PI Server 2017 includes the PI AF Services 2017 integrated setup kit which streamlines the installation process by allow users to selectively install PI AF Server, PI Analysis Service, PI Notifications Service, PI Web API, and the PI AF Client.  As a result, PI AF Server, PI Analysis Service, and PI Notifications Service individual setup kits are no longer provided.