Introducing Flowfinity Streams: Time Series Data Storage and Management
June 26, 2023, by Alex Puttonen
We're excited to announce Flowfinity Streams, a cutting-edge time series database compatible with Flowfinity Actions version 23.1. Designed with efficiency in mind, Flowfinity Streams is used to store time series data from sensors and other automated data sources using substantially less database space compared to traditional relational data storage models.
Though it perfectly complements Flowfinity M1 IoT controllers, Flowfinity Streams operates independently, meaning any external sensors or data sources can be adapted to feed a stream.
Superior Storage and Rapid Ingestion
Flowfinity Streams is purpose built for the storage of billions of data records, but its capabilities don't end there, it's also optimized for swift data ingestion. Whether collecting incremental high-frequency data from a Flowfinity M1 controller or a REST API, to the mass import of pre-collected time series data via CSV, Flowfinity Streams can handle it all. In fact, our optimized ingestion engine can process CSV files exceeding 100 million records in just a few minutes.
Streamlined Business Process Workflow Integration
With Flowfinity Streams, bidirectional machine and human business process integration with Flowfinity Actions workflows is now a reality thanks to process automation robots. Streams can trigger processes from incoming data and launch workflows in Flowfinity Actions when thresholds are reached, or other business rules are triggered.
State variables attached to each data stream track rule processing, allowing triggers to execute complex logic across multiple sequential time series data points. Flowfinity Actions tasks and escalations can also trigger updates to Flowfinity Streams including state variables providing for seamless bidirectional integration between your Flowfinity Streams time series database and Flowfinity Actions business process workflows.
This seamless integration of workflow capabilities between Flowfinity Streams and Flowfinity Actions fosters smooth and efficient data management throughout your process end-to-end.
Example of Flowfinity Streams with Actions
To highlight the potential of an automated IoT application leveraging both Streams and Actions, consider a scenario where Flowfinity Streams is configured to accumulate and monitor sensor data from industrial equipment to track utilization and runtime.
State variables can be used to accumulate usage statistics, compared against an equipment maintenance schedule. When a maintenance threshold is reached, Flowfinity Streams triggers can create a preventative maintenance work order in Flowfinity Actions work order application.
Upon completion of the work order, an automated task in Flowfinity Actions can reset the state variables of the corresponding time series stream, setting the stage for the next equipment maintenance period. This illustrates the seamless integration of machine and human workflows that is easily achievable using a combination of Flowfinity Streams and Flowfinity Actions.
Flowfinity Streams data can be visualized with Flowfinity dashboards alongside Flowfinity Actions data, including using the new step-line chart. A continuous time series chart with support for reverse time axis provides an intuitive visualization of captured time series data. Flowfinity Streams data can also be presented using a map widget to display the state of various monitored assets in their physical locations.
Flexible Application Management
You can manage Flowfinity Streams either through the built-in system manager or dynamically using a custom configuration app in Flowfinity Actions. This feature allows seamless integration of Flowfinity Streams into sophisticated systems that combine machine data collection, dashboard visualizations, and human-operated workflows.
While Flowfinity Streams shares the app editor and permissions model with Flowfinity Actions, it's specially optimized for machine-generated sensor data. Therefore, it does not support complex data types found in Flowfinity Actions such as nested fields, lookup fields, picture fields, audio fields, or other binary field types. Once captured by the time series database engine, Flowfinity Streams data is immutable. Also, there are no native workflow states in Streams as workflow processing can be transferred to a Flowfinity Actions app using triggers.
Flowfinity Streams offers a variety of views for viewing and exporting collected data. This includes raw data views for detailed inspection, live views for rapid visualization of freshly captured data, and aggregated views for quick browsing of long-term trends.
For self-managed deployments, Flowfinity Streams requires Microsoft SQL Server 2019 or newer.
Flowfinity Streams elevates your data collection, management, and analysis processes to new heights. This exciting innovation reinforces our commitment to delivering top-notch solutions that streamline your business processes.