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OSIsoft: PI System Management Tools, PI Tag Configurator, and other utilities. v3.4.375

October 18, 2019


Section 2.0 PI System Management Tools. Now, in this section we are going to discuss the tools that we use, the Graphical User Interface Tools, for managing the PI System. That’s what they are. They are a set or tools, all Windows-based, that allow you to manage a Server. Let’s you manage a Server whether the Server’s Windows-based or UNIX-based, so it works with either of ’em, either Windows or UNIX. It is included with all systems. But, we really do not recommend you stick with the one that ships on your CD, especially if your CD’s, you know, a couple of weeks even — or months, or, or even weeks old, because we do add to the System Management Tools all the time. So, go out to your Tech Support Site and download the latest version and that keep you up-to-date on that. So, we are constantly adding to that, adding new plug-ins and whatnot. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on that. The System Management Tools do have one requirement. Generally, they can, as you can see there’s a lot of ’em different here — a lot of different tools here. Some of the Archive Tools, or actually this Archive Tool right here, is something that’s going to require that you have permission to read and write to the registry on the Server that you are trying to get to. So, most of these can be used remotely without any additional preparation. But, you will notice that that’s not the case for some of them. And, we have — so, we have got a Tech Note that we have written up about that. If you do a search on our main website for 2980 — I am sorry, that’s the wrong search engine. Yeah, here is is: 2980OSI8. Do a search for that Knowledge Base Article, and what you will find is a nice little Knowledge Base explanation of what registry access that you are going to need to do that. So, basically, you need to make sure you are logged on with a Windows Account that has permission to read from and write to that registry if you are going to be using that Archive Manager remotely to do things to the PI Server. So, let’s do a quick review of all the different Utilities that are available for managing the System. Actually, the Utilities you are going to see here — some of them can be launched from PISMT. But the Utilities that I want to look at right now — these are generally separate Utilities. Some of ’em are, are even DOS prompt based. So, for example, there’s the PI Tag Configurator. Tag Configurator, it is launched from within SMT. It actually gets installed as part of SMT. It’s another one of these add-ins to Excel, so it’s going to allow us to do bulk creation of tags. We can import from the Server, make changes, export back to the Server, or simply just create a huge database within Excel and then export those tags to the PI Server. One of the typical things we see people do — you know, you have got 10,000 tags to create. You can export from the Control System and bring that into a spreadsheet, and then make some mina… minor modifications, changing Descriptor Names, etc., and then export that back out to the PI Server, and basically build your Point Database that way. So, great little Utility for managing the PI System in bulk. Now, we are going to spend a great deal of time on this a little later on, later on when we get to, I think it’s page 386, … in our Tag Configurator Section — we are going to go into this in great detail, so we will come back to that. The Interface Configuration Utility — it’s another Utility that’s launched from within System Management Tools within the PI SMT. It’s — allows you to do just about everything that needs to be done for in… interfaces, installing as a service after you have done the regular installation, managing the Batch File that passes parameters for how the interface starts up, viewing Log Files, configuring buffering, etc. All these are different things that — well, there’s, there’s generally old-fashioned DOS-based versions of doing this, or ways of doing this, but we have wrapped all those things up into a, a much more easy-to-use Graphical User Interface called Interspace — Interface Configuration Utility, and obviously we are going to spend a lot more time on that later on when we discuss Interfaces. piconfig is something we do not teach in this class. It’s this utility for maintaining the PI System Databases, and it’s kind of like a list processor. You basically, at the DOS prompt, you would use some simple ASCII Text Files that you have developed on your own. You know, using the piconfig syntax to do a type of list processing. So, you can modify the Point Database, Data Archive, Security, Access, etc., etc. So, we have exposed a great deal of the inner workings of the system through piconfig. Now we do not teach it in this class. It’s part of our System Manager II Class. And then, finally, there’s all different types of utilities we are going to mention in passing, as we go through this, this class, These are things that are generally done within — from within the PI-ADM Directory, the Admin Directory: determining what version of your system you are in, setting your password, using PI Error Tool to manage archives, including doing manual backups instead of just doing the regular Graphical User Interface. So, you know, there’s different utilities that we could, that we are going to be looking at as we go through and work on different, different tasks as we go through this class. Now, just to get a feel for what’s some of these Utilities are, let’s go through and actually run some of these Utilities. So, we will start with piversion and pisetpass. In order to start this up, let me go down to the Command Prompt here. I will to a Run and cmd. That should bring up the Windows Command Prompt. There we go — or the DOS Prompt. And I am going to change directories to the C:-pi -adm directory. That’s the Administrator Directory. And this is where I could run things like piversion. piversion with a dash v. It simply reports what version of PI you are running. Now this is available in PISMT as well. There’s, there’s Utilities that will give you the same information. But I just want to show you some of these Utilities. Just a — well, they are out there and we list ’em, so we might as well show you what they look like. pisetpass is a way of changing your password. So, if I want to change the password of PIADMIN, I simply put in his existing password and change it. And, in fact, I recommend everybody do that if you have not done so already. We, by default, the PIADMIN password is blank. Not a good idea to keep that blank. Technically, somebody could figure that out and get into your system if they, if they got access to your DOS prompt — or your, your, excuse me, your System Management Tools. So, watch out for that, and that’s pisetpass. You can also do that within the System Management Tools. As you saw, the Connection Dialog gives you the option to do that as well. Utility called piartool does a whole variety of things. In fact, if you look at the — my goodness — the arguments, there’s a huge number of arguments we could pass to this. Just to give you one example, piartool-al stands for Archive List, and this produces a listing that shows me what the archives look like in their current, the current — archive names and the amount of data that’s in those archives. Next on the list was pigetmsg. Pigetmsg was — used to be the only way of getting messages from the Message Log. But now, again, there’s Graphical User Interfaces for getting this as well. For example, I just do T for Tail, and it’s just showing me the most recent messages here, the last few messages. So, it’s, again some minor points that you can use these things for. Pidiag is still one of the best places to go for getting error messages converted. But that’s not all it does. There’s a whole host of things. If I just enter this with no arguments, you will see the list of arguments just scrolls right off the screen. But, for example, pidiag-e stands for error, and then I put in the error message. For example, 10401 converts into this Error Message: No Write Access – Secure Object. So, that’s an example using pidiag, but there’s obviously a lot more things you can use it for. So, I am not going to go through all of these. The PI List Update is going to list the — what the Update Manager is currently reporting. There’s things that are signed up for updates. We will mention some of these things briefly as we go through. piarcreate can be used to create archives. But again, old-fashioned way of doing it. And piarchss is a — it’s what you would use if you were reprocessing archives. And again, we do not teach that in this class. That’s part of our System Management Class. Now I do want to warn you that if you are just trying things out from the DOS Prompt, you will notice that some of the arguments to these are, are pretty severe things, are pretty serious utilities. piartool can do things to our Archive. pidiag can do things to your Point Database and your Archive, etc. These are not things that you just want to play around with on a running PI System. So, we still keep these there — here, because for troubleshooting purposes, you maybe one day have to come here at the response of Tech Support and, and add some things or do some things for the DOS Prompt. But that’s basically a summary of some of the, some more noteworthy things, utilities, you will find in the PIADMIN Directory.

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