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Connecting industrial historians to Microsoft Power BI. One connector to get them all…

In this blog post, I will demonstrate how a simple connector can bring real-time process values as well as Alarm and Event (A&E) data together from many different types of industrial historians (the out-of-the-box list can be found here). Seamlessly integrate plant and corporate data and share with any colleague on any device, enabling faster, better, real-time decision making. The Industrial App Store Power BI Connector connects to Intelligent Plant’s Industrial App Store, while all data remains secure and safe on-premises.

 

Problem

Data historians are used throughout industry for mass-long term storage of time series data. There are a number of historians on the market with varying popularity but one thing they tend to have in common is their lack of integration options to popular visualisation tools such as Microsoft Power BI. As such, this valuable operational data is often inaccessible to the business making cross-data analysis with commercial data impossible. Often companies have to develop custom applications which are expensive, difficult to support and can sometimes lead to security issues.

 

Solution

Intelligent Plant developed the Industrial App Store which enables interaction with all the different historian data through a unified API. Earlier last year (May 2019) Intelligent Plant released an official, Microsoft certified Industrial App Store connector for Power BI. No more hefty SQL queries with no easy real-time update option or complicated architecture solutions, simply install Industrial App Store connect and out of the box you will be able to connect to Aspentech IP.21, OSIsoft PI, Honeywell Dynamo, OPC DA & HDA, Siemens and many more. This allows our customers to bring data from various sources into data-rich Power BI dashboards to deliver insights that weren’t possible before. Real-time updates prompt money-saving decisions by engineers that also increase plant safety and efficiency.

 

Join-the-Ind-AppStore.png

 

The setup

Download and install Industrial App Store Connect. Connecting to the Industrial App Store allows you to use your own data sources, it does this via a secure outgoing connection. It will not compromise the security of your server or network.

 

A short video explaining how the App Store Connect works.

 

Once installed, open a browser window and navigate to the configuration. There, you will be presented with a list of available data sources - each with its own properties and settings. That’s it, once the data source of your choice is configured it will be available for you using any tool that interfaces Industrial App Store API. Many tools such as Gestalt Trend, PnID, Microsoft Power BI, Power Automate are ready to connect to live data for immediate interactive analysis.

 

Open Power BI, navigate to connectors list and look for Industrial App Store. Sign in using your preferred way and the data source will be available for you. There are two main functions: Get Tags and Get Data.

  • Get Tags – this allows you to perform tag searches on your data source.
  • Get Data – this allows you to retrieve historical data with different aggregations (INTERP, MIN, MAX, etc.) as well as configurable time step granularity (1 day, 12 hours, etc.) for better insights.

This powerful functionality can bring different data sets together, here are some examples :

 

A brief video showing an engineer creating a dashboard with process and A&E data coming from at least 3 different types of historians (an early version of the connector).

 

A&E data alongside process data dashboards created by engineers for real-time A&E data monitoring.

aa-dashboard.png

 

Industrial AppStore Dashboard-expanded.png

 

Roundup

Intelligent Plant’s Industrial App Store Connector enables Microsoft’s powerful analytics and visualizations to be applied to real-time and historical process data. Seamlessly integrate plant and corporate data and share with any colleague on any device, enabling faster, better, real-time decision making. The Industrial App Store Power BI Connector connects to Intelligent Plant’s Industrial App Store, while all data remains secure and safe on-premises. The plant data may be centralized in a corporate data lake or globally dispersed across many sites and historians. Either way, Industrial App Store Power BI Connector brings it all together and delivers to your fingertips.

Welcome-Industrial-AppStore.png

About us

We are an ISO 9001 registered company, focused on providing services and solutions to industry. We specialise in the performance monitoring of equipment and processes through analysis and visualisation of real-time data, and in the management of alarm data. The company consists of both engineers and computer scientists forming a team of very capable and skilled professionals who provide innovative and tailored solutions to their global clients.

 

Useful links

Intelligent Plant - https://www.intelligentplant.com

Industrial App Store - https://appstore.intelligentplant.com

Industrial App Store Wiki - https://appstore.intelligentplant.com/wiki

Intelligent Plant YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGWOUFOjAEk_QW9w1wWWPDw