Converting Remote StageNow Profiles for Local Staging Via a Wireless Storage Device

Summary

This article details how to easily convert a StageNow XML profile which is remotely hosted to work with a local server based either on a Sandisk Wireless Stick or a Zebra TC5x/7x device .

The Remote Hosting method outlined in a previous blog post here (http://developer.zebra.com/blog/stagenow-3x-remote-xml-hosting-v2 ) details how to remotely host a StageNow profile and files on a server (generally an internet server) . In cases where internet access is not available or bandwidth over the network is limited , it may be required to host files locally on a wireless storage device e.g. when performing an OS update on site. The method below explains how to convert the existing remotely hosted files to work from a local server which in this instance is the Sandisk Connect Wireless Stick (https://www.sandisk.co.uk/home/mobile-device-storage/connect-wireless-stick) . This is a low cost device with 16GB to 256GB capacity which is widely available and provides a very small & lightweight wireless HTTP file server.  Note that other wireless storage devices can be used but will require different IP addresses/file paths compared to the Sandisk device used in the examples below (although the techniques required to modify the profiles are the same).

Method 1:Converting a remotely hosted BIN profile

  1. Deploy and test the remote profile using the method from the original blog article link above
  2. Copy the project folder to the Sandisk stick in a sub-folder named Staging
  3. Edit  _import_to_stagenow.xml on stick, change path to use HTTP and to point to the BIN file on the stick e.g. in the example below , the projectname is bintest2:

http://172.25.63.1/wfd/Staging/bintest2/bintest2_ExecuteSection.bin

Note that the IP address is fixed for the Sandisk Wireless Stick (172.25.63.1) and the path to the root of the stick is /wfd

  1. In the original StageNow profile , edit any FileMgr paths to point to the file residing on the stick e.g.

 

 

  1. In the Publish screen, select ‘Host Deployment Package Outside of StageNow FTP server’ , click Download and save the BIN file to the projectfolder on the stick (overwriting the previous version).Note that the contents of ‘Location of Deployment Package’ field can be ignored.

  1. In StageNow , access All Profiles , click on Import and then select the _import_to_stagenow.xml file from the project folder on the stick
  2. Rename the imported profile to indicate that it is hosted on the stick e..g projectname_bin_sandisk
  3. Generate the barcode for the profile
  4. Ensure that Sandisk stick is ejected from PC (otherwise WiFi connection is not available)
  5. Connect the test device to the Sandisk network using a previously created StageNow WiFi profile
  6. Scan  barcode to test deployment

 

Method 2:Converting a remotely hosted XML profile

 

  1. Deploy and test the remote profile using the method from the original blog article link above
  2. Copy the project folder to the Sandisk stick in a sub-folder named Staging
  3. Edit  _import_to_stagenow.xml on stick, change path to use HTTP and to point to the XML file on the stick e.g.

http://172.25.63.1/wfd/Staging/projectname/projectname.xml

Note that the IP address is fixed for the Sandisk Wireless Stick (172.25.63.1) and the path to the root of the stick is /wfd

  1. Edit the projectname.xml file on the stick to change any FileMgr paths to point to the stick as per the highlighted sample below. Note that only HTTP is supported as a protocol to access the stick.

<!--SettingID=91-->

  <characteristic version="0.6" type="FileMgr">

    <parm name="FileAction" value="1" />

    <characteristic type="file-details">

      <parm name="TargetAccessMethod" value="2" />

      <parm name="TargetPathAndFileName" value="/sdcard/CFE_ATLAS_01-01-49.00-NG-U19-STD.zip" />

      <parm name="SourceAccessMethod" value="1" />

      <parm name="SourceURI" value="http://172.25.63.1/wfd/Staging/tc51_nougat_lg19/CFE_ATLAS_01-01-49.00-NG..." />

    </characteristic>

  </characteristic>

  1. In StageNow , access All Profiles , click on Import and then select the _import_to_stagenow.xml file from the project folder on the stick
  2. Rename the imported profile to indicate that it is hosted on the stick e..g projectname_xml_sandisk
  3. Generate the barcode for the profile
  4. Ensure that Sandisk stick is ejected from PC (otherwise WiFi connection is not available)
  5. Connect the test device to the Sandisk network using a previously created StageNow WiFi profile
  6. Scan  barcode to test deployment

 

Sandisk Performance Notes:

  1. Sandisk Wireless Stick supports 3 concurrent connections : https://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/18544/~/sandisk-connect-maximum-number-of-simultaneous-streams
  2. 1.3GB OS Update Zip file takes approx. 8 mins to download to a device with one connection active

Battery life of the stick is up to 4.5 hours continuous use and operating range is up to 45m line of sight: https://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17550/~/sandisk-wireless-stick-technical-specifications

 

Ian Hatton

Zebra Technologies EMEA

July 2019