Goal of this blog post is to explain how to display time series data in a dashboard using the dashboard designer. The data source being used here is an OPC-UA data source. The pre-requisite to follow this guide is that you have setup PCo and Cloud Connector and that the connection between PCo and DMC is configured. In addition you need an OPC-UA server which can provide time series data. There is no need to create any object in PCo manually to get the OPC-UA connected. All you need to have is the OPC-UA server. Last but not least you need some equipment in DMC you can use to link the equipment indicator to the OPC-UA tag.
Step by step guide
As a first step we need to create a service provider in DMC. Open the “Manage Service Provider” application
Once the application is open you find a little “+” symbol in the top right corner to create a new service provider. Press that little “+” button to get into the creation wizard.
The new screen has three tabs at the top, we start with the “Details” tab.
For the name and short description field you can choose any value you would like to use. The other values have to be the same as shown on the screenshot above. When done here, then switch to the next tab “Data Source Properties”.
The data source description can be given any value. For the protocol you can select the protocol which you need for your OPC-UA server. Mine uses opc.tcp, it could be that your OPC-UA server needs http(s) for communication. The host name and port you need to enter is the host name and port which PCo (not DMC!) needs to use to connect to the OPC-UA server. Since I am using a test setup here, Message Security and Security Policy are both set to none. Nothing you want to have in a real setup of course. Please select whatever you need for your OPC-UA server for Message Security, Security Policy and Binary Encoding.
A word of caution here, in order to have historical data the OPC-UA server used needs to support historians. Not all OPC-UA servers support this. Please make sure that your OPC-UA server supports this, otherwise the whole setup will fail.
Now we switch to the next tab “Security”.
Again, my setup is only a test setup so I selected the settings above. Authentication Mode might be different as well as the locations for your certificates. The locations of the certificates are locations for PCo and not for DMC. That means especially that these values depend on your PCo configuration and that the pathes given above are folders on the server where PCo is installed.
Now it is time to press the “Save” button to save your Service Provider. You will get a dialog asking about the activation.
Please select “Submit for Activation”. In the next screen you either select an existing activation group, or you create a new activation group. Once that is done you will see that your Service Provider has the state “submitted”.
Navigate to the application to manage your activation objects.
In the next screen select from the drop down menu “Deploy and Activate”.
After a few seconds you should see that your object is deployed and activated.
Don’t continue if you see any error, the next steps depend on that activation. If you see an error here sometimes it helps to take a look at the PCo logs. The deployment writes the configuration to PCo. When the deployment was successful then you should see an agent and a source system in the management console for PCo.
Now you can go back to the service provider application and start the service provider.
Next you need connect an indicator of a piece of equipment to the OPC-UA tag. To do so navigate to “Manage Equipment Connectivity”.
From the list of equipment select the equipment you would like to use. Make sure that at the top of the screen you see that a plant is assigned to your equipment. Without that plant you won’t be able to assign that equipment to a plant hierarchy. In the next screen you might see a list of service providers already connected, if your service provider is not in the list (which is most likely if you do the setup the first time), then use the little “+” button to add it.
In the next screen you might want to use the filter to find your service provider, after you found your service provider select it and press the “Add” button in the lower right corner.
In the list of service providers you should see now your newly added service provider. Select this new entry.
In the tab bar you see an entry “Indicator Groups”, navigate to this tab and select the indicator group which contains the indicator you would like to connect to the OPC-UA tag. After selecting the indicator group you will see a screen similar to the screen below.
On the left you see that I have two groups assigned to my equipment, you might have more or less groups. On the right I see the indicators, in our demo the indicator for the pressure is relevant. Press the “link” button on the right hand side. You will see the following screen:
In that screen select your service provider at the top and in the tag hierarchy select the tag you would like to use.
Make sure that your equipment is assigned to your hierarchy, if it is not then you won’t be able to see your equipment in the dashboard designer.
Navigate to the dashboard designer.
After the dashboard designer came up, press the “New” button:
On the right hand side you find a hierarchy, in “Real Time Indicator”, you should be able to find your equipment and below the equipment your indicator which you linked to the OPC-UA tag.
Drag and drop that indicator on the design pane. By default you will a circular gauge. When you click on that gauge a context menu in the top right corner shows up.
Select the first entry to change some settings.
The mode has to be set to “History”, make sure to remove the entries in “Start Date” and “End Date”, finally enable “Auto Refresh” and set the refresh rate to 10s. The value in “Refresh Period” determines what values are being displayed. So in the screenshot above we would see the data from the past 60 minutes up to now.
The dashboard now looks similar to the screen below:
Now press the preview button (see red box in above screen). Once the preview is open generate some data that the OPC-UA tag you have connected changes.
You might have to use the slider at the bottom to change the time frame you want to view. Depending on the slider position new incoming data is hidden and you need to move the slider to the right.
Now you can create your own time series data dashboard in DMC. All you need is a service provider connecting to your data and connect the tag to an indicator. Fairly easy, isn’t it?