Monday, October 17, 2011

PIModuleDB: "It's What Makes PI Batch Possible!"

In addition to correlating unit/alias to tags, the PI Module Database is the foundation for PI Batch, in fact, it is a requirement.

You see, there's a special type of module called, "PIUnit". And the main difference between a PIUnit and a regular module is that a PIUnit can keep track of start/end times (a.k.a. PIUnitBatches or UnitProcedures as defined by S88).

If you go to your Module Database, you can discern modules from piunits because they have different icons. The Module looks like a red/yellow/green cube with an "M" in the center of it. The PIUnit looks like a half-filled tank of water with pipes in and out.

Edit PIUnit PIModuleDB

When you right-click on the PIUnit and select Edit, the following form will present itself:

Edit View PIModule Attributes

Pay particular attention to the Unique ID attribute of the PIUnit. The key here is that when you create a PIUnit, the PI server will create a PIPoint (a tag) for the purpose of storing PIUnitBatches.

You can prove it to yourself by doing a tag search on that gibberish text. In my case, I went straight to the PI SMT > Data > Archive Editor

PIUnit uniqueID is tag

What's more is that these events correspond with the unitbatches stored in PI Batch. The batch information about the batchid, product, procedure and endtime are stored at the starttime of the batch.

uniqueID is tagname that stores batches
You see, PI Batch is rationally a simple table... one with 7 columns and as many rows as you have batches. But if you are OSIsoft and alls you have is PI (hammer), everything starts looking like a tag (nail).

This is why PI Batch Database... while seemingly tabular... is actually a data structure that is a hybrid of the hierarchical structure presented by the PI Module Database and PI tags. What makes PI Batch possible is that uniqueID of a PIUnit in PIModuleDB is the name of the tag that archives unitbatch information.

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