Community Edition Of PI
Offer a free Community Edition of PI. Limit the point count, but let us geeks monitor our IOT hobbies with PI. This will encourage business buy in and increase general knowledge of OSIsoft throughout the geek community.
Kenneth Barber commented
In response to Rick Davin, this is my opinion:
The community edition of PI should include:
• PI Data Archive (restricted)
• PI Asset Framework (restricted)
• PI SQL DAS (RTQP Engine) (full version, but simplified based on the restrictions of the above programs)
• PI Analysis Service (restricted)
• PI Builder (full version, but simplified based on the restrictions of the PI Server programs)
• PI SQL Client (OLEDB only) + PI SQL Commander Lite (both full version)
• PowerShell Tools for the PI System (full version)
• PI Connector For UFL (special CSV files only)
• PI Signal Generator Connector (Ramp Soak + Random) (full version) (not created yet; currently just a suggestion)
• PI System Management Tools + PI System Explorer (web version) (full version) (not created yet; currently just 2 separate suggestions)
Any program not listed here should be excluded.
Restrictions that can be imposed:
• as a rule of thumb, exclude anything related to reliability, security, or scalability
• exclude anything related to event frames or notifications
• exclude everything in PI System Explorer's Library except for enumeration sets
• exclude superseded and deprecated features (e.g. PI ACE, PI Performance Equations, 32-bit programs, point classes other than "base", PI Point attributes not used by those of point class "base")
• no PI Collectives
• no future data
• no archive backup
• no exception & compression
• no annotations or flags
• no ability to configure security
• all of the PI programs must be run on the same computer
• no PI program other than those allowed should work with the community edition
• you get only 1 archive file, and it will be dynamic
• expression analyses only
The PI Server, as a whole, should be limited to 200 "things" total. Examples of "things" that would count against this 200 include PI Points, digital state sets, elements, attributes, enumeration sets, and analyses. Each type of "thing" can have a different cost against the budget, but you get the idea. UOMs should be unlimited.
The PI Connector For UFL should be restricted to CSV files with the columns: PI Point, Timestamp, and Value. It should not use PI AF.
The PI Signal Generator Connector can be used to generate data for testing purposes without going back to the dark ages of the PI Interfaces that this PI Connector is based on.
The web versions of PI System Management Tools and PI System Explorer avoid any issues related to piracy of these currently client programs, since they won't be client programs anymore.
The programs that I've included are designed to give different types of users a taste of what PI can do yet not feel like they are missing out. Administrators have PI Builder. Power users have PI SQL Client (good for use in Excel or Power BI Desktop). Developers have PowerShell Tools for the PI System. No casual users will use the community edition, so we are safe to exclude PI Vision.
The restrictions that I've imposed are designed to simplify the PI system for small-scale use while preventing users from scaling towards production use. I was careful to make sure that the restrictions don't give a bad impression of the enterprise version of the PI system. The restrictions should not make anything other than scalability difficult. They should be restrictive but not feel restrictive.
You will also notice that my wish list depends on 3 suggestions being implemented. For best results, I feel that these should be implemented before the community edition of PI is attempted. The suggestions are linked below:
For anyone reading this comment, let me know what you think.
Clement Charbonnet commented
There are developer / express editions available of both the Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases. These are fully functioning versions of the commercial products that are available for free. There are license restrictions preventing commercial usage, but they do allow individuals to use the products for testing and learning. A free version of the PI system with license restrictions preventing commercial usage would help increase the base of users of the system.
Marc Dunivan commented
Aren't Community Editions mostly for Free Software or Open Source Software projects that release source code under the GNU Public License or a Open Source software license? Community Editions distributions of that source code compiled into binary files.
Would OSIsoft really Open Source part of its PI source code?
For OSIsoft providing a PI System as a cloud platform...there are Docker images:
Paurav Joshi commented
In response to Rick Davin, "On the surface this sounds intriguing bu..."
I have suggestion here to provide facility public PI DA like public PI WebAPI Endpoint, and tags created through connection will be deleted automatically after 7 days, and can be recreated only after 1 day gap (Individual can put effort to make their tagname unique). I think this is enough time to check for PoC of IoT. It is good to get rolling and then certainly there are more thoughts to consider.
Rick Davin commented
On the surface this sounds intriguing but I do have some questions. The easy one is: what is an appropriate point limit for small home projects? 25 tags? 50? 100?
Now on to the stickier question: what software components would be comprised in this Community Edition of PI? Obviously the Data Archive, with its point limit. Has some PE but no ACE. What interfaces get included? What about AF Server and Client? Seriously doubtful it would make it in the community edition. Which means I don't get Asset Analytics. No DataLink, ProcessBook, or PI Vision either. So really it's a Data Archive with little other things, which is something that could happen. With more things thrown in, it becomes tougher to restrict some of the other components, which just means we've opened the doors wide open for piracy.
If others are thinking full blown Data Archive and AF, then an inexpensive home IoT project with less than $100 of hardware will also need a suitable PC (or 2) to run SQL Express, AF, and all the other stuff. So I can get a Raspberry Pi and some sensors dirt cheap, but I also need a big beefy more expensive PC to run my Community Edition of PI.
Kenneth Barber commented
That's actually not a bad idea.
A community edition would be good for familiarizing yourself with PI and doing hands-on testing and learning without playing around with and potentially messing up the "good" database at work.
In addition, having PI at home would mean that you can learn PI, its potential, and its inherent limitations without the pressure of work. This, in turn, leads to users envisioning their ideal PI product.