Process Historians Time Series or Relational Database

By June 28, 2019 July 12th, 2019 Blog, Canary, FactoryTalk, Ignition, Process Historian

Process Historians Time Series or Database?

In this sidebar of #TheFullCanary series, Dave and Alex talk Process Historians. Plus what’s the difference between Time Series and Database (relational).


Process Historian

Is the general term that we’re using for a database that is storing process data. This is data that is coming from your machines, either pulled directly from the tags or entered manually.

There are two types of Process Historians that we’re talking about. Time Series and Relational Databases.

Time Series Historians

When you hear us talking about Time Series Historians, you’re going to hear us talk about TVQ data.

  • Time that the action happened
  • Value of the action (number or string/text)
  • Quality of the data (Good or Bad)

We go more into the TSV’s on our Canary Labs Integrator post.

In addition to Canary Labs Historian, the most popular Time Series Process Historians are OSI PI, FactoryTalk PI Historian, Wonderware Historian, or people creating their own Time Series Database using InfluxDB.

Relational Database Historians

When you hear us talking about Relational Database Historians, you’re going to hear us talking about all the data that is generated from the tag data. This is generally going to be stored in some type of SQL database.

The most popular Relational Database Historian that we deal with is the Ignition Tag Historian.

Which one is better?

It depends on your application, which we don’t mean to sound like a copout, because it’s true. For smaller application that you’re happy with the internal reporting, Ignition is a fantastic option to keep costs down. For larger applications, with many tags and facilities that are looking to give their power users the most flexibility, we’re going to suggest looking at a Time Series Database. Take a look at what Axiom from Canary Labs can do, for advanced analytics straight on a Historian platform, we have not seen anything better.

More Process Historian questions? Or interested in our “expert” opinion on your application? Please feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to share the knowledge that we’ve gained.

Interested in going mobile? Then check out our post where we talk the industrial sector making a major shift to mobile platforms.