PI Asset Framework (PI AF) Overview

PI Asset Framework (PI AF) is a single repository for asset-centric models, hierarchies, objects, and equipment. 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 VIsion, 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 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.
 
PI Asset Framework Version Comparison
Version Name 2014 R2 2015 2016 2017 2018
Version Number 2.6.x 2.7.x 2.8.x 2.9.x 2.10.x
Capabilities          
Simplifies calculations with pre-built functions and auto-complete. No coding required.
Provides out-of-the-box option to store calculation results in PI Points
Easily aggregate data for roll-up KPI's such as site totals or fleet averages
Tracks AF hierarchy changes for auditing
Streamlines permissions management with PI AF mappings
Allows calculation results to be stored into future PI Points for forecasts or setting targets x
Add context to your data with attribute traits like high/low limits, or with event annotations and severity classifications x x
Notifications support REST and complex data types to more easily initiate work orders in other systems, such as Maximo x x x
Support for attribute and attribute template Display Digits like how PI Points can be configured with Display Digits x x x x
Native integration with MATLAB Production Server x x x x
Pulse, step, and step continuous event frames generation based on a trigger attribute. x x x x
Dynamic output timestamps based on an Expression variable x x x x
Support for arrays in existing functions and several new functions to populate arrays x x x x

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 measure. The product contains 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.

PI Asset Framework users can use asset analytics to 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 the 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 several millions of elements 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 (added 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 Asset Framework and PI Data Archive leverage Microsoft software security defenses provided by the compiler and operating system.  Due to its tight integration with the operating system, OSIsoft regularly tests PI System software against newly released Microsoft Security Patches. For more information, please visit the MS Security Patch Compatibility page.

Note:
  • 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 2018 introduces a single setup kit that includes PI Data Archive, PI Asset Framework with Asset Analytics and Notifications, PI Web API, PI System Directory, and all dependent components. Users can choose the desired components to install in a new installation.