Data Sources Overview
Data received by the Exosite One Platform is represented inside of Portals as Data Sources. It's important to note that the One Platform uses the term 'dataport', which Portals represents as Data Sources. Each data source is unique so that it can be viewed and acted upon on it’s own for whatever an application or user requires. Data that is received is stored in a time-series based database, meaning the historical data points along with the time stamp of when each came in is available. You could think of each data source as a data stream, ready for on-demand processing.
The name provided to each data source inside of Portals is a ‘friendly’ name, one that is there for users to associate with even if the platform does not associate with it. More of the technical background can be read further down below. The name and units are there for your benefit and usage.
Portals allows users to manage certain aspects of data sources in addition to providing ways of visualizing and interacting with the data on dashboard pages.
A Data Source is an association of a client resource type called a 'dataport' in the One Platform. (More information about Clients and Resources in the One Platform can be found here) A dataport resource to the platform is a source of data (thus Data Source) and is uniquely identified by a combination of it’s Resource ID and Client ID. To put that into perspective, let’s take an example of a temperature sensor that is being read by a microcontroller and sent over the Internet to the platform.
The microcontroller has been programmed to know how to read that sensor, it likely is getting a value that means nothing to it, perhaps an analog value between 0 and 1024 (2^10). We’d call this an external passive resource, as the client (the microcontroller) reads this external value through one of it’s native ports (an analog input pin) much like it would read one of it’s own registers (which would be an internal passive resource). The microcontroller (client) and the analog value are represented inside of the One Platform as a client and resource.
So, as the microcontroller sends data, it uses the correct key (Client's CIK) and resource information (the dataport's alias) so the platform knows who it is and where to put the data. The microcontroller doesn’t care what the data is, but you care that it’s temperature is. An analog value between 0 and 1024 is really not useful. The client resource descriptor can specify a protocol to process the data as it is received, in this case to change to degrees Celsius. This descriptor also provides you with a friendly name and other useful metadata.
Managing Data Sources in Portals
The Manage Data area of Exosite Portals is the place to view and manage your data sources. Clicking on the manage menu item DATA will bring you to a page that looks like the following figure.
Click on a specific data source and wait for a window, similar to the following figure to open.
Editing a Data Source
The data source window allows a user to change certain parameters of the data source. Editable items are shown as editable boxes and drop-down menus in the ‘Data Update’ box of the window. When updating an item, click the ‘Update’ button to finalize the change.
Q: Why are certain items not configurable?
A: Changing these items would change how a data source is stored in the platform hierarchy or make the historical data and new data different enough that it essentially would be a new data source.
Adding a Data Source
To add a new data source, click the Add Data Source button on the data source management page, in the upper right-hand corner. This will open a setup utility to walk you through adding a new data source. Data Sources can be added automatically by devices and software using the Exosite API.
View Historical Data
In the Data Source window, the right-hand side contains a box called Data Graph, a graphical representation of data over time. This is only viewable if data is numerical. Data that is text and has no numerical information associated with it will not be shown in this window.
The Data Log box of the Data Source window provides a log of values, numerical, text, or binary based with the time-stamp and timezone.
Exporting Historical Data
The Data Log box includes an export link to export data to a .csv file. Clicking the link opens up an export utility to select the time period and data requested. Data can be exported at intervals of up to a month. The exported file could be very large, please keep this in mind.