How to Set Up a DataFinder Federation

Updated Sep 24, 2020



  • DataFinder Server
  • DIAdem
  • LabVIEW

Consider you need to slice and dice your data over several DataFinder servers to solve your Big Analog DataTM problem or consider the data of your organization is spread over different regional locations. With DataFinder Server Edition Professional, you now have the option to create a federation of DataFinder servers, regardless of their locations. Sending a query to the DataFinder federation server will aggregate the results from all member servers giving you detailed insight into your data. You can have up to 100 member servers connected to a single federation and you use a configuration-based dialog box to set up the federation hierarchy. To set up your own DataFinder server, follow these steps for the federation and member servers.

Set up DataFinder Federation

  1. In the DataFinder Manager, go to File > New Federation…
  1. In the dialog box that appears, enter a Federation name and verify the connection information.  You can click the Export Federation Connection File () to share the federation with other parties.  If you chose to export the configuration file here, make sure to remember the path to the .fed file. You will need this to assign members to a federation.

        You can click the Advanced>> button to set the federation to run as a service or enable autostart.

        Click Finish to finish the federation server set up.

  1. Export the Federation Connection File. You may have done this in step 2 when setting up the federation. If you did not do this in step 2,  you can go to Settings > Federation… and click the Export Federation Connection File (). Remember where you save the .fed file.

Set up DataFinder Members

For each member, follow this process.

  1. Create a new DataFinder Server by clicking on the New DataFinder… icon

  1. Enter a DataFinder name and click on the Add Search Area button.
  1. In the Add Search Area dialog box, enter in an Alias name and use the Choose a Folder icon to browse to the location where your data is saved. Once the path is defined, and you have verified the Client path, click OK.
  1. After clicking OK, you should see the Alias name listed under Search areas in the New DataFinder dialog box. Verify this is the case and click Finish. Clicking Finish will signal the DataFinder to start indexing all of your files and identifying the properties so that you can begin searching your data for meaningful information.
  1. The DataFinder Manager will show that your DataFinder Server has been created. A blue hourglass means that the data is indexing. The blue hour glass will disappear when the indexing is complete.
  1. While the data is indexing, double-click on your DataFinder member to open the Configuration dialog box. Click on the General tab. Select that you want to join a federation.
  1. Click OK when the pop up notification says you need to import a federation connection (*.fed) and browse to the location where you saved your *.fed connection file. Click Open to finish setting up the connection.
  2. Verify the federation server and click OK.
  1. Click OK to acknowledge you have to restart the DataFinder member. To do this click the Stop, and acknowledge that your member will leave the federation.
  2. Then click start to rejoin the DataFinder federation.

  1. Optimize your custom properties. Optimizing your properties allows DataFinder to prioritize searching these properties and will list existing values when building queries and increases query performance. To do this navigate to Settings > Custom Properties…
  1. Your property will be categorized as File, Group or Channel Property.  Switching through the tabs will allow you browse where specific properties are located. In this example the properties I want to optimize are on the Group tab. You can select the Optimize All button to optimize all properties on the File, Group and Channel level or you can individually select which properties to optimize on each tab.  Click OK when you have finished. The DataFinder will need to reindex to take into account the new changes you have made.


Verify Members in a Federation and Export Client Configuration

  1. Click on the DataFinder federation in the DataFinder Manager and navigate to Federation > Member Information…
  1. View all members. You may need to click on the refresh button to view the most recently added members. Click the Close button to exit out of this dialog box.
  1. Now you need to configure how the data from this server will be displayed in client software.  Double-click your federation server listed in the DataFinder Manager.  The two default options include organizing your data by Year - Month or Author – Year- Month. You can also choose to set up a custom hierarchy such as the two options seen in Figure 3.  Please see these  tutorial on setting up your data hierarchy for further details.

            If you are using DataFinder Server Edition 2014, click here

The same data set organized with different data models in client software. The image on left is organized by Location – Engine Fuel Type – Engine Version – Air Induction. The image on the right is organized by Test Operator Last Name – Engine Fuel Type – Engine Version – Air Induction.

  1. Once your server system is set up, we need to export a client configuration file to connect to the server. To do this, on the tool bar click Export Client Configuration and click OK once you have verified the server name.
  1. Chose a location to save the *.URF file and remember the path. You will need it to set up a client to search and load the data.


Using DIAdem to Query Data From a Federation

  1. On the client machine, double-click on the *.URF file to register the server connection.
  2. Open DIAdem. On the Navigator Panel, select Data Stores.
  1. Select Open Data Store.
  1. The Federation Server Connection will be listed in the Open Data Store dialog box because we registered the connection when double-clicking the URF file. Select your federation and click OK.
  1. Now you will see your DataFinder federation hierarchy that you set up previously. If the data is not exactly as you expected you can repeat the process described in Part 3, step 3.
  1. You can now build a query in DIAdem using the drop down menus to select properties, create conditional query parameters and use populated dialog boxes to select valid values for the query.


Using LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit to Query Data From a Federation

  1. On the client machine, double-click on the *.URF file to register the server connection.
  2. Open a new VI and go to the DataFinder Toolkit Palette. This can be found on the Functions palette by browsing to Connectivity  > DataFinder Toolkit
  3. Place the Open Sever.VI on the block diagram and use the drop down menu to select Federation.
  1. Create a control or constant and define the DataFinder name you will be connecting to.
  1. Use the remaining Vis in the DataFinder Toolkit to build your custom queries. You can use examples in the LabVIEW help to get started.