BLOG: PI ProcessBook is going. What are your options?

 

Here’s how to make the most of the move from PI ProcessBook to PI Vision.

PI ProcessBook has been the key visualisation solution for PI data for decades. Despite the dated user interface, it provides a lot of capability and is used by many corporations to provide insight into their PI data. After more than 25 years in service, it was announced in late 2021 that AVEVA would be officially retiring PI ProcessBook due to outdated code and security limitations.

What’s the alternative?

PI Vision, the replacement for ProcessBook, offers secure, scalable, and modern architecture to support today’s mobile way of working. To help users migrate to this new product, AVEVA has a utility to convert those displays to the web-based PI Vision. This is very effective and even highlights which Process Books have VBA, allowing you to categorise the ones that will need more work.

I now have new PI Vision displays that have converted and work as ProcessBook did – but what do I do with the displays that didn’t convert?

In many cases, the answer is to put the analysis into Asset Framework and surface the data in PI Vision. Once you have determined what displays are relevant, those containing VB can mostly be replicated by using calculations and analytics in the Asset Framework. In general, Asset Framework is the right place to do calculations as any other downstream applications will receive the same calculated value, minimising errors and providing faster response times.

So, what are my options?

To help you with this, it is good to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are the old ProcessBook displays still relevant?
  • Where should you do the analysis?
  • How do you navigate to the right display?
  • What governance do you need?
  • How can you manage access to approved displays, as well as provide your team of engineers with the capabilities of PI Vision in ad-hoc mode?
  • If the engineers build some useful new displays, how do I manage the governance to make these available to everyone or to manage the information appropriate to a role?
  • Do you need to show more than just PI data?
  • How many users are there?
  • Do you have an Asset Framework structure in place?
  • Do you have manual data entry requirements?
  • What engineering resource do you have to do the migration?
  • What’s your budget?

 

PI Asset Framework (AF) is a fantastic solution for asset hierarchies and other aspects such as Event Frames, analytics calculations, and rollups.  We highly recommend adopting AF even if just for the Element structure and key tags for Event Frame analytics.

Compared to ProcessBook’s tag-based screens, PI Vision is AF-based and provides many advantages, including the management and structure of screens. However simply putting displays into folders (or worse, dumping them into a single folder) will lead to frustration. PI Vision is web-based so it makes sense to bring the visualization of PI data into a governed, structured platform with appropriate security, providing navigation to a wide range of operational data.

Dimension Software’s Asset Intellect provides a flexible, quick, and cost-effective way to migrate from ProcessBook to a web-based solution for both PI and non-PI data sources.  Many sites will use a combination of PI Vision, Seeq, Power BI, Power Apps, ESRI, SharePoint lists & documents, manual data entry, read/write SQL data, native charting, heatmaps, and much more.

Get in touch for further information on how we can easily migrate your PI ProcessBook solution to a modern, future-looking platform that enables a multitude of capability.

Paul Garnham

Paul Garnham

I help industrial companies get the most out of their investment in the PI System and the surrounding ecosystem. My engineering background provides an appreciation of a range of industries including how PI based Digital Transformation. My industry focus is power and water. You can contact me at Paul.Garnham@dimensionsoftwarenz.com


AVEVA World San Francisco

November 15-17 | Moscone Center, San Francisco
 

We’ll be exhibiting at AVEVA World San Francisco from Tuesday November 15 to Thursday November 17 and we’d love to talk! Visit us at Booth 44 or book a 1:1 with the team below.