Generating a PI API Key

Predictive Index customers who wish to use the PI Application Programming Interface (API) to access their PI data must generate and use an API Key.

This article explains how to generate an API Key for accessing the data of an instance of the PI software.

Activate API Access

Your organization’s PI instance must have API Access turned on before any API Key you generate will work. Contact Predictive Index Support and ask them “Please ensure that API Access is turned on for our PI instance named _____”.

As of the time of this writing, API Access activation process and the use of the PI API does not currently cost anything extra for existing PI customers.

Where to Generate API Keys

API Keys are generated in the PI Software’s Administration > User Management area.

This administrative action can be taken only by PI Users with the role of Account Admin or Account Owner.

How to Generate an API Key

Refer to the PI Support site for general guidance on how to generate an API Key: Integration Guide > Generate an API Key.

Or you can follow this example:

Example – API Key for user named Data Manager

Steps to take if you decide to create a new user named “Data Manager” to own an API Key for use with MagicTools:

  1. Log into PI ( as an Account Admin or Account Owner user with whatever email and password you normally use.
  2. Go to Administration (on the menu seen when you click your name in the upper right corner).
  3. In User Management, click “Create New User”.
  4. Give the user the following details:
    1. First Name: Data
    2. Last Name: Manager
    3. Email:
      1. Note: no two users in the entire PI system can have the same email address
      2. Use a real email address if the user you are creating will need to log into the PI software directly
      3. Invent any fake email address if the user will not log into the PI software — as long as the email has not been used previously in the PI system and this user will only ever use the API Key to access PI data.
    4. Job Title: MagicTools Connectio
    5. Default Folder: \Your Company (type the backslash and then choose the first item shown in the suggestion list).
    6. Role: Account Admin (this elevated role allows the API Key to do things like archive unwanted data and move people to new folders)
  5. Click “Create User” – you will be shown the list of all users.
  6. Click on the name of this new user in the list of users so you can view the user details again.
  7. At the bottom, you will see a new “API Key” field that wasn’t there before.
  8. Click the “Generate New Key” button. 
  9. Click the little icon next to the API Key field to copy the new API Key to the clipboard.
  10. Paste the API Key into a document and save it to a secure location. Remember: an API Key is a powerful thing — guard it!
  11. Click “Cancel” if the Save Changes button is disabled — newly generated API Keys are automatically saved when you click Generate, so there is no need to click Save Changes if generating an API Key is the only action you are taking.

Testing an API Key

It is always best to test your new API Key before sharing it or using it. Learn how to do this here: PI API Key Testing and Troubleshooting

Sharing an API Key with others

Because API Keys grant powerful access to semi-sensitive information, take precautions to protect them. Some choices:

  • Use a temporary encrypted sharing tool like the one offered by Believable Magic: Securely Share Sensitive Content
  • Save the API Key in a document that is stored in a shared location accessible only to you and the intended recipient

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