ProcessBook End of Life: 5 Things to Know in 2022

Two years ago OSIsoft announced the sunsetting plan for its ProcessBook visualization toolkit utility. Security patches and updates for ProcessBook will no longer be available after December 31, 2022, so this year many companies are looking for new dashboard options to display their PI System data. Here’s what you need to know about ProcessBook migration in 2022.

What is ProcessBook?

PI ProcessBook is a visualization utility that allows PI System users to create dashboards and control screens for securely sharing real-time industrial IoT data about processes and machinery in their plants. This makes it easier to share PI data with colleagues across the organization without giving direct access to the operating control system.

OSIsoft ProcessBook Screenshot
Condenser and Cooling Tower Health Condition Plugin Display

Why is AVEVA/OSIsoft retiring ProcessBook?

A lot has changed in software engineering and data display options since ProcessBook was introduced more than 25 years ago. The ProcessBook code base is older and cannot keep up with modern security requirements as well as the new PI Vision product can. Sunsetting ProcessBook and canceling continued updates and support for it will allow the AVEVA/OSIsoft engineering team to focus more resources on the company’s newer, more flexible PI Vision product.

When is ProcessBook ending?

The following end-of-life deadlines have been announced for ProcessBook:

  • December 31, 2021 – End of sale
  • December 31, 2022 – End of security patches and updates
  • December 31, 2024 – End of support

What are my options for replacing ProcessBook?

There are two basic options for replacing ProcessBook: 

  1. Migrate your displays from Process Book to PI Vision
  2. Adopt a new analytics tool and recreate your dashboards from the PI data archive.
 

As the as the availability of industrial performance monitoring data has become more plentiful, new analytics tools have been introduced to help make sense of the numbers. Some organizations have adopted analytics tools like Canary’s Axiom, dataPark, GE’s CSense, Seeq, or TrendMiner to analyze their PI data. These solutions offer varying degrees of integration with the PI System and require additional licensing to deploy.

However, the best option for replacing ProcessBook is migrating to OSIsoft’s freshly updated PI Vision. OSIsoft’s recent innovations in PI Vision combined with Process Innovations specialized visualization plugins offer the most powerful options for managing and viewing PI data. PI Vision can handle the rapidly increasing data flows we’re seeing in today’s industrial systems. Its capacity to ingress large amounts of data and efficiently allow users to access, analyze and share that data with a native PI System integration make it the obvious choice going forward.

What’s the best way to migrate from ProcessBook to PI Vision?

The most frequent question we get about the best ways to migrate from ProcessBook to PI Vision is, “Can my team DIY our ProcessBook migration or do we need to hire an expert?” The answer: “It depends.” OSIsoft has developed a utility to help users migrate their ProcessBook displays to PI Vision. It’s a great option for simple displays. If you have more complex displays – especially screens with Visual Basic customizations – migration with the utility will be more complicated.

DIY ProcessBook Migration with the OSIsoft Migration Utility

Overview of the AVIVA/OSIsoft ProcessBook Migration Utility

The OSIsoft ProcessBook migration utility allows users to bring their dashboards into PI Vision then edit them as needed.

First, the utility analyzes each display to determine if all its elements can successfully transfer to PI Vision. Displays may not look the same even when they are transferred successfully. Design options like colors and fonts may need to be adjusted. The utility warns when a display includes elements that cannot be successfully transferred directly to PI Vision.

These anomalies are often due to custom VBA coding, ActiveX objects, or incompatibility with specific datasets. The utility allows users to export the VBA code and transfer the displays without it, so they can be edited and updated as needed to make them compatible with PI Vision.

 

A Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the AVIVA/OSIsoft ProcessBook Migration Utility in Action

OSIsoft has also created an online course with exercises to help walk users through using the migration utility. 

In this series of videos, OSIsoft Product Support Engineer Kristen Winnike walks users through the steps of using the AVIVA/OSIsoft ProcessBook Migration Utility to convert ProcessBook displays to PI Vision versions.

PI Vision: Migrating PI ProcessBook Displays Course

ProcessBook Migration with Process Innovations

When should you call in an expert to handle your ProcessBook migration?

A popular cost-effective and time-saving option for efficiently managing the migration is to DIY the simple displays in-house using the migration utility, then bring in expert consultants to handle the more difficult conversions and advanced upgrades needed. The Process Innovations team is happy to work collaboratively to support your internal team’s ProcessBook migration effort. It’s the best of both options.

Your ProcessBook displays have a lot of customizations.

If your team has invested significant effort over the years to customize your data views in ProcessBook, you may face significant frustration converting VBA, ActiveX, or certain incompatible datasets.

Your team has limited experience using PI Vision

If your team is new to PI Vision and you have a lot of displays to convert, bringing in a trainer/consultant to help get the migration started might save you a lot of time.

Your team has more urgent priorities.

The end of year deadline for security updates for ProcessBook will be here in just three quarters. If your team is busy with more strategic initiatives, you might want to offload the migration chore to keep them focused on higher priorities.

You want to upgrade with premium visualization plugins

Process Innovations offers more than 40 advanced visualizations for your PI System. They not only allow you to skip the complexity of custom programming, but also automatically include industry standard calculations, manufacturer curves for specific equipment, and custom tagging options. Learn more.

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