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Data Historian

What is a Data Historian?

A database is simply an organized collection of data. Paper files in a filing cabinet are a database. An expense ledger is a database. Maps in a map drawer are a database. Common electronic databases include Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, IBM DB2, 4th Dimension, MySQL, MariaDB, and Microsoft Access.

A database management system (DBMS) is an interactive software application that collects and analyzes electronic data. Generally, it allows a database administrator (DBA) to create, define, and administer an electronic database, while allowing users to query and update that database.

A Data Historian is a special type of DBMS that logs time-based data into a database. Some historians use vendor-specific databases, while others use the common databases mentioned above.

The key advantages to using a Data Historian rather than a generic DBMS are:

  • Real-time collection of data
  • Time-series organization (time stamps)
  • Speed of access (read/write) is more important than speed of analysis (queries)
  • Special data-compression algorithms are used to reduce data duplication
  • Large volumes of data can be collected and stored quickly


Our Systems Integrators have experience with the following Historians and databases:

  • Inductive Automation - SQL Bridge module for Ignition (Historian)
  • Canary Labs - Canary Enterprise Historian and TrendLink (Historian, Trending)
  • Wonderware - InSQL Server, ActiveFactory (Historian and Trending)
  • Rockwell Automation - FactoryTalk Historian (Historian)

  • Microsoft SQL Server - database
  • MySQL - database
  • Microsoft Access - database
  • MariaDB - database
  • 4th Dimension - database