OSIsoft releases second version of ECHO time-series database


San Leandro, CA- OSIsoft announced Oct. 1 the second release of its Embedded Component Historian Object (ECHO), which is a database technology for time-series data archiving. This latest version introduces four new capabilities: online backup and restore functionality; support for archiving BLOBs and BSTrs; CFR 21 Part 11 compliance documentation; and an OPC server interface. Consequently, OSIsoft reports that ECHO performs with minimal resource requirements, and has data fidelity for retrieving temporal data, as well as features to meet the needs of OEMs supplying users in the manufacturing, financial, test and measurement and medical markets.

ECHO lets developers embed scalable data archives in their products. Meanwhile, its historian stores and retrieves local data at rates exceeding 250,000 values per second, and can update central archives across a networked system when the connection is discontinuous or impeded by a slow connection. An online backup and restore enhancement allows ECHO historian to store data in a remote networked location without user intervention or extensive developer coding.

Likewise, ECHO's ability to archive and retrieve BLOB and BSTR files helps it capture very large files-screen captures, images or text-in the same archive as other data and simply treat them as another datastream. This expands options for users conducting after-event analyses, such as tracking a sequence of operator inputs.

In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued rules on management and conservation of electronic documentation. Defined in CFR 21 Part 11, these rules establish criteria for considering electronic records and digital signatures equivalent to signed and written paper records. ECHO's tools document that required tests and process steps have been performed, and that the archived data is recoverable, stored in a secure way and available for FDA inspection.

ECHO also includes OLE for Process Control (OPC) server functionality, so that once data has been acquired the application can publish it to other Windows-based applications. OPC bridges Windows applications and process control hardware and is an open standard that permits a consistent method of accessing data from plant floor devices. This means embedded system developers using ECHO can select software and hardware combinations that meet their primary needs without worrying about drivers.

Matt Miller, OSIsoft's OEM sales manager, adds that, 'ECHO, especially this new version, enables a product designer to meet the growing need of both end-users and manufacturers for rich data fidelity without overburdening centralized storage facilities with a mass of unused, raw data. With ECHO, data is stored where it's generated, used where it's created, and available years later for examination when needed. Nothing is lost or thrown away, but the network is not bogged down with unnecessary traffic."

Because ECHO is fully threaded, it allows multiple historian instances to run simultaneously on a node or machine. ECHO encapsulates all time-series data with no data loss and no performance degradation over time, and it imposes virtually no limits on storage or data retrieval. It includes support for a wide range of data types, and it supports time into past and future to aid forecast simulation data.

ECHO's package consists of two basic components: ECHO Archive Engine to manage the data historians and the reading/writing of process data; and ECHO Software Developers' Toolkit (SDK) which provides the tools for creating applications and interfaces that interact with the ar-chive engine.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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