How can we improve the PI Server?

Add the ability to upload raw data to the PI Data Archive

If PI Builder could upload raw data to PI, manual data entry would be greatly simplified.

There are a few ways to enter data manually in PI, but each method has severe drawbacks:

• Archive Editor in PI SMT
Problems: hard to add data to multiple tags quickly, no data validation

• PI Manual Logger
Problems: data entry form layout is not very customizable, initial setup can take a while

• PI Interface for UFL, where the user writes the text file manually
Problems: slow, error prone, difficult to read, no data validation

• PI Interface for UFL, where the user uses Excel to make the text file (likely CSV)
Problems: slow, unnecessarily convoluted (Why save a separate file to a special folder for the PI Interface for UFL to consume when other PI Data Archive edits can be done in Excel with PI Builder?)

• Custom data entry application
Problems: requires internal resources to develop and maintain

Excel already has mechanisms for form data entry (, table data entry, and data validation, so why not take advantage of them?

The data upload feature of PI Builder should be based on Excel tables (the Ctrl + T kind of table), since one of the current problems with PI Builder is that it hogs an entire sheet.

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Kenneth Barber shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
DECLINED  ·  AdminStephen Kwan (Product Manager, OSIsoft) responded  · 

PI Builder was designed to be used for configuration, as its name implies. We’re hesitant to create yet another data entry tool would would duplicate capabilities, confuse users and add complexity to PI Builder.


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  • Kenneth Barber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I suppose that another method of manual data entry is the PI Connector for UFL, but it is not much different from the PI Interface for UFL.

  • JamesGibb commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've done this in the past using the PI SDK functions from Excel VBA, but a built-in OSI version would save some developer effort.

  • Kenneth Barber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Some side notes:

    The only advantage that I can think of for using PI Manual Logger over PI Builder for data are that PI Manual Logger Web is a thin client and PI Builder is a fat client.

    If the user wants to retrieve the data that they just entered, the user can use the PICompDat function in PI DataLink, the PI OLEDB Provider, or PI OLEDB Enterprise (if the tags are used in PI AF).

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