Read company updates and our technology viewpoints here.
Read company updates and our technology viewpoints here.
Time to read: 9 minutes
From our very first release in early 2020, HighByte Intelligence Hub has developed alongside the needs of Industry 4.0 pioneers. We have focused our efforts on addressing the most pressing challenges faced by industrial companies as they integrate systems and modernize their architectures. Today, industrial information networks encompass more sensors, devices, and systems than ever before, indicating an exciting level of connectivity being adopted globally. To facilitate and accelerate this adoption, we are excited to announce Intelligence Hub version 3.1.
Intelligence Hub version 3.1 includes powerful data accessibility, governance, and scaling capabilities from a broad swath of new features, each of which extends the reach of the Intelligence Hub to even more producers and consumers of industrial data.
How Version 3.1 Addresses Accessibility, Scalability, and Governance
Adding New Avenues for Data Access
Data accessibility has always been among the most significant barriers to digital transformation. As industrial information networks expand, the challenge of maintaining accessibility increases, requiring a robust but flexible data architecture. To address the ever-growing needs of Industry 4.0, the Intelligence Hub version 3.1 includes a REST Data Server, a new Kafka connector, and improvements to existing connectors, including PI System, Sparkplug, OPC UA, REST Client, AWS IoT SiteWise, Modbus TCP, and the File connector (now with FTP support). The new REST Data Server allows third party applications or services to initiate information requests from any input or model-instance defined in the Intelligence Hub, allowing users to request information directly from the Intelligence Hub instead of having to go to the underlying, native data source.
Leveraging Third Parties Systems to Extend Scale
The scalability requirements for successful Industry 4.0 projects are significant, so it is critical to architect for scalability from the start. Previous Intelligence Hub versions were built with scalability in mind, and in version 3.1, scalability is extended even further by leveraging third-party systems to accelerate configuration. Users can now dynamically drive template definitions from external sources and uniquely trigger flows for each asset—meaning that assets using common data subsets can be instantly and directly replicated even when they are not templated by the Intelligence Hub. We also added scalability improvements to the OPC UA Client and PI System connectors.
As Matthew Venter, Solutions Architect at Gousto, an online meal-kit manufacturer and retailer, shared with us, "The improvements made to the OPC UA connection have proven invaluable in scaling our solution. This enhancement enables us to handle larger workloads with ease.”
With dynamic templating and connection improvements, version 3.1 will help you leverage external metadata sources to streamline configuration and scale deployments across the enterprise.
Improving Data Governance and Accelerating Productivity
In a modern industrial architecture, using governed, standardized data is key to ensuring interoperability and digital transformation initiatives will scale. In version 3.1, Intelligence Hub users can easily import and export full or partial project configurations, regardless of whether they are defined by Intelligence Hub or external sources. These new capabilities also allow users to import models and instances directly from third party solutions like Element Unify.
An Overview of New Features
REST Data Server
The Intelligence Hub has long had the ability to interface with third party APIs, but it has not itself been an API that third parties can access. By exposing the Intelligence Hub as an API via the REST Data Server, users can now access the Intelligence Hub as a transactional, request-and-response interface and programmatically browse their Industrial DataOps infrastructure. As an HTTPS-based API, the REST Data Server enjoys broad support among IT applications and services.
“Though open APIs are rare in the manufacturing industry, this was one of our requirements when selecting an edge solution, and an important factor when we selected HighByte Intelligence Hub. The REST Configuration API has allowed us to programmatically configure, manage, and automate the Intelligence Hub,” said Arthur Beretta, Software Engineer at Verkor, an industrial company fast-tracking low‑carbon battery production in France to serve the European market. “The new REST Data Server takes accessibility a step further. We expect HighByte Intelligence Hub will help us scale data gathering by transforming and modeling thousands of data points and exposing this information to the business with minimal resources.”
File Connector with FTP Secure
Building upon local (file protocol) and shared network directories (SMB), Intelligence Hub version 3.1 delivers support for File Transport Protocol (FTP) with Transport Layer Security (TLS), also known as File Transport Protocol Secure (FTPS). Inside the Intelligence Hub, users can now securely read and write to individual or multiple files as well as manage directories in FTP servers, opening new capabilities to interface with data native to vision systems, CNC machines, lab instrumentation, and more. Additionally, version 3.1 supports store and forward for continuity of data in case of dropped connections.
AVEVA PI System Connectivity
A market leading process historian, PI System has a broad feature set that supports important data workloads in the batch and process industries. Intelligence Hub has uniquely made PI System a native node for Industrial DataOps teams since the connector’s first release in version 2.2. This has unlocked unprecedented interoperability with devices as well as applications and services spanning OT, IT, and even Cloud. Version 3.1 establishes even greater support for PI System input and output types, including asset, asset metadata, event frame, point, and point changes. Additionally, Intelligence Hub now supports all PI System output update options, including insert, insert compressed, no replace, remove, replace, and replace only. With Intelligence Hub, industrial organizations can increase accessibility and value of their PI System implementations.
Building on the Intelligence Hub’s ability to synchronize configurations across multiple hubs, Intelligence Hub configurations are now truly portable with version 3.1. Users can import and export JSON-based configuration files directly within the browser-based configuration UI. Both full and partial configurations can be imported and exported, enabling granular configuration sharing at the connection, condition, model, instance, flows, pipelines, and tags level.
Dynamic Templating and Element Unify Connector
Intelligence Hub has long provided users with flexible configuration. With version 3.1, Intelligence Hub extends its flexibility to external sources of truth, using dynamic templating to pull metadata from external data sources such as SQL databases or CSV files. Dynamic templating enables users to pull external template definitions directly into the Intelligence Hub to drive configuration.
Extending our configuration import functionality even further, version 3.1 also features a native connector to Element Unify built to import models and instance definitions. This connector supports AWS’s Industrial Data Fabric offering announced in April 2023.
Intelligence Hub version 3.1 provides the capabilities that today’s industrial users need to ensure their infrastructure will continue to meet the needs of IT, OT, and line of business users. With a focus on data governance, data accessibility, and systems integration at scale, version 3.1 extends the reach of Intelligence Hub further than ever, unlocking new levels of access to clean, contextualized, and usable industrial information for use cases across the enterprise.
To learn more, please check out these additional resources: