OSIsoft PI vs Ignition

What is OSIsoft PI?

OSIsoft PI System (now part of AVEVAis a real-time data management platform for industrial operations. The PI System Suite is software to collect, historize, view, analyze, and share operational data with users within and beyond the enterprise. The software is designed to be scalable from a single site to multiple sites, making it a good choice for businesses that have multiple locations or are planning to expand in the future.

OSIsoft PI offers a wide range of features and capabilities, including online documentation and an online knowledge base. The software is also designed to be easy to use, making it a good choice for businesses that need help using the software or if they run into any problems.


Licenses for OSIsoft PI are either for a set term, perpetual, or subscription based. When you buy a perpetual license for a product, subject to your agreement with them, they will grant you a perpetual, nonexclusive, nontransferable (except as specified in your relevant agreement) license to use their products

When you buy a set-term or subscription license for a product, OSIsoft will grant you a nonexclusive, nontransferable (except as specified in your relevant agreement) license to use the products. Subscription terms are one (1) year from the subscription start date.

Note: As of now, PI increases in price with the number of tags. 


With OSIsoft PI, you can pull operations data quickly into familiar tools. PI Integrators shape and translate data to use in cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform.

PI Integrators let you analyze operations data using familiar tools such as IBM Cognos, Oracle Analytics, Power BI, Qlik, SAP BI, Sisense, Tableau, TIBCO Spotfire, or any tool that accesses data using Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) or SQL standards.

PI Integrator for Esri ArcGIS

OSIsoft PI features a PI Integrator for Esri ArcGIS. This Integrator brings your maps to life by combining real-time operations data with visualization and geo-analytics. Data from sensors, control systems, and calculations enhance GIS analysis, providing up-to-the-minute status information for real-time situational awareness. 

Data visualization

OSIsoft's PI Vision is a tool that allows you to create your own visualizations.

With PI Vision, you can create powerful monitoring displays in minutes by using intuitive drag-and-drop tools.

You can also collaborate and share displays with just a hyperlink. Access data from the field, on any device. PI Vision’s browser-based interface means you can forget about installing and maintaining software locally. Thanks to Windows Active Directory integration, you can ensure only the right people access your valuable data.

Cloud Technologies

AVEVA Data Hub (formerly OSIsoft Cloud Services) is a secure, cloud-native data platform for industrial companies. With AVEVA Data Hub, you can capture, process, and share critical operations data with authorized users inside and outside your enterprise.

This cloud technology also increases user understanding with metadata and simple trending. This platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is ready to use from day one; everything is managed and maintained by AVEVA Data Hub experts

PI Cloud Connect

PI Cloud Connect is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) that lets you move data securely and natively between two PI Servers over the existing internet infrastructure. With PI Cloud Connect, you can give PI System users in different locations access to a live stream of data.

How does the PI System work?

The OSIsoft PI System is a platform for collecting, storing, analyzing, and displaying real-time data. It is composed of four key components:

OSIsoft PI Connectors - Connectors allow data to be collected from a variety of sources, including sensors, devices, and systems

PI Server - PI Server is the real-time data storage, normalization, analytics, and notification engine at the heart of PI Core.

OSIsoft PI Asset Framework (PI AF)PI AF is a single repository for asset-centric models, hierarchies, objects, and equipment. It contextualizes and further analyzes data to provide a detailed description of equipment or assets.

OSIsoft PI Vision- PI Vision is a display and analysis tool that allows users to create custom graphic displays of data.

What are OSIsoft PI's key features?

Some of the key features of OSIsoft PI include:

Data collection - OSIsoft PI can collect data from a variety of sources, including sensors, devices, and systems.

Data storage - OSIsoft PI stores data in a high-performance database that can be accessed by other components of the system.

Data analysis - OSIsoft PI offers a variety of tools for analyzing data, including ProcessBook and WebParts.

Data visualization - OSIsoft PI provides a variety of tools for visualizing data, including ProcessBook and WebParts.

What is Ignition?

Ignition is an industrial automation software product that is used by businesses to manage and monitor their manufacturing processes.

Ignition is sold by the module, so you only pay for the functionality you need. You can build your own module package, customize an existing package, or get personalized advice on a solution tailored to your needs.

Ignition offers a wide range of features and capabilities, including online forums, phone support, and email support. The software is also designed to be easy to use, making it a good choice for businesses that need help using the software or if they run into any problems.

Ignition is server software that acts as the hub for everything on your plant floor for total system integration. No matter what brand, model, or platform, it talks to your plant-floor equipment just as naturally as it talks to SQL databases, seamlessly bridging the gap between production and IT.


Although there are still some industrial automation software vendors who demand payment for each client and tag, Ignition is different since it is unlimited.

Ignition is available by the server: one license allows you to use an unlimited number of clients, tags, and connections to create the exact system you require. You may connect your whole business for a fraction of what some other solutions cost, and save those funds for development, staff, or expansion.

Ignition's unrestricted licensing scheme has no restrictions, but the hardware you run it on does, and a server may be overworked if you stress it too much. Fortunately, Ignition software is optimized for optimum performance, and it can be configured in a variety of configurations to fit big, multi-server installations.


Ignition is a universal industrial application platform capable of unlimited extensibility through the addition of fully integrated software modules. All modules are hot-pluggable, so they can be installed, removed, and upgraded without impacting your operations in any way, and they all work together seamlessly.

Ignition has a Third-Party Module Partner Program that enables third-party software providers to create modules for the Ignition platform in their area of expertise. You can purchase these modules directly from Inductive Automation.

Ignition Core modules can be used to create virtually any kind of industrial automation solution, including SCADA, IIoT, MES and beyond. With the Ignition Core modules, users can add features such as charts and tables, mobile access, voice notifications for alarms, transaction management, sophisticated logic systems, enterprise administration, and much more.

Ignition's open application programming interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) make it possible for third-party companies to develop modules for the Ignition platform. 

Data Visualization

Ignition uses its tool called "Designer" to cover their visualization grounds. Designer brings all your data, systems, and developers together into one simple, integrated development environment specifically designed to help you build industrial applications more quickly and efficiently.

With Designer, operators can use simple drag-and-drop data binding to easily create links between properties of on-screen components and data tags from PLC values, SQL queries, expressions, and more.

Cloud Technologies

One thing that sets Ignition apart is their server-centric web-based deployment model.

With Ignition, you can instantly launch an unlimited number of zero-install, full runtime clients on virtually any device. The central Ignition Gateway can be on one central server or distributed across several servers, located on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of both. You can even put Ignition all the way out to the edge of the network.

Mobile / Remote Access

Ignition is fully cross-platform and runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. That gives you virtually unlimited deployment options on physical hardware, virtual environments, and managed services; there is even an official Docker Hub image.

Here are some of the many devices, services, and systems on which you can deploy Ignition:


Embedded PCs, Laptops, Desktops, High-Grade Servers, Fog Computing

Managed Services

AWS EC2 AWS ECS AWS OutpostsAzure Virtual MachinesAzure ContainersGoogle Compute Engine

Virtual Machines & Containers


How does the Ignition work?

The Ignition software platform is designed to be extremely flexible and easy to use.

It is composed of three key components:

The Ignition Gateway - The gateway is the heart of the system. It stores data in a high-performance database that can be accessed by other components of the system.

The Ignition Designer - The designer is used to create custom graphic displays of data.

The Ignition Client - The client is a web-based visualization and analysis tool that can be embedded in web pages.

What are Ignitions' key features?

Ignition's key features include:

Unlimited Tags and Connections

Ignition is sold by the server: one license gives you an unlimited number of clients, tags, and connections, so you can build the exact system you need. 

Combines IT and Process Technology

Ignition is a universal industrial application platform because it allows you to connect all the data across your entire enterprise, rapidly develop any type of industrial automation system, and scale your system in any way.

Ignition is totally cross-platform and built upon trusted open technologies like SQL, Python, OPC UA, and MQTT.

Web Application via Perspective Module

Ignition enables operators to easily build full-fledged, industrial applications in HTML5 for the monitoring and controlling processes directly from a mobile device, desktop, and touch panel.

Whether for SCADA, HMI, or another purpose, the applications built in Perspective will look beautiful, and run natively on devices or in any major browser.

Take Advantage of Geolocation

In Perspective, you can use your mobile device’s GPS to provide geolocation data to enhance your application out in the field.

Ignition vs. OSIsoft PI

Ignition and OSIsoft PI are two of the most popular industrial automation software products on the market today. Both products offer a wide range of features and capabilities that can be used to improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity.

Both software products focus more on a specific operational space, but also seem to have a small overlap in terms of capabilities.

Ignition focuses on traditional HMI automation and SCADA

Ignition tends to lean more towards the traditional HMI automation and the world of SCADA.  It's primary purpose is to focus on visualization, automation and controls.  

However, Ignition's features creep into the world of business analytics.  The platform gives operators all the tools they need to build and deploy SCADA, HMI, MES, IIoT, alarming, reporting, and edge computing solutions across their entire organization.

With Ignition, operators can connect business systems like ERP with real-time operational data and make sense of it all with dashboards that track key performance indicators. Similarly, they can uncover additional insights by integrating their Ignition system with business intelligence, big data, and machine learning platforms.

Business that already use Ignition and want to take advantage of the use of simple business analytics will not need to acquire OSIsoft PI.  However, OSIsoft PI may be a good addition to their operations of they desire to have more advanced business analytic options.

OSIsoft PI focuses more on business analytics and operations

OSIsoft PI tends to lean more towards offering tools dedicated for business analytics and operations.   The PI System enables digital transformation through trusted, high-quality operations data. Operators can collect, enhance, and deliver data in real time in any location. PI accelerates the work of analysts and data scientists and supports new business opportunities.

However, OSIsoft PI's features also creep into the world of automation. With PI Vision, operators can create powerful monitoring displays in minutes with its intuitive drag-and-drop tools.

Business that already use OSIsoft PI and want to take advantage of the use of simple visualization tools will not need to acquire Ignition. However, Ignition may be a good addition to their operations of they desire to create more advanced visualization and operation options.

What are the benefits of using Ignition or OSIsoft PI?

Some of the benefits of using these software applications include:

Improved decision-making - With the ability to collect and analyze data, businesses can make better decisions about their manufacturing processes.

Increased efficiency - By collecting data from multiple sources, businesses can identify areas where they can improve their processes and make them more efficient.

Reduced costs - The data collected by OSIsoft PI or Ignition can help businesses identify areas where they can reduce costs.

Improved customer satisfaction - By monitoring their manufacturing processes, businesses can identify and resolve issues that may cause customer satisfaction to decline


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