StageNow 3.x Remote XML Hosting v2

The procedure below describes two methods to remotely host a StageNow profile for Zebra devices. Remote hosting has the following main advantages:

  1. The profile size is reduced so that the user only has to scan 1 PDF417 barcode regardless of the size of the profile . The profile can fit on a small capacity (256 bytes) IEC15693 NFC tag so it can staged via a NFC tag on any version of StageNow from KitKat onwards
  2. The remotely hosted XML profile can be edited and modified without having to regenerate the profile barcode/NFC tag (using method 2 only

Preparation

a) Download the utilities from this link (chose the latest (highest numbered) version from the list of files): 

Remote Hosting Tools

b) Unzip the contents of this archive to a working folder e.g. /projects/stagenow/xmlremote

c) Open a command prompt and navigate to the working (installation) folder e.g cd /projects/stagenow/xmlremote

Method 1 (Using StageNow only): Use StageNow to define XML profile, export profile as BIN to deploy to remote server

Overview

This mode allows StageNow to be used to define the profile which is subsequently exported and processed for remote deployment via the attached tools. Note that BIN files are only supported on newer versions of the StageNow client i.e. 2.8 or later.

Usage:

  1. Using a command prompt in the installation folder , create a template project using the command line below:

bingen.bat projectname (where projectname is a unique name for your profile e.g.

bingen.bat myprofile1

  1. Copy any files required to be installed on the device into the created project folder

 

  1.    Create profile with StageNow using the same projectname as per step 1 . Do not use any of the Wizards during the profile creation as they may add some steps which could cause an issue when the profile is modified i.e. just use the Xpert mode to select exactly which steps are required for the profile. Make sure all steps are included in the Deploy tab of the profile i.e do not use the Config tab. For any file transfers, use the External option in FileMgr to specify files to be included in the profile . The URL for the files should match the format below:

http://airsetup.com/airbeam/rbin/projectname/application.apk

 

Where projectname is your own projectname and application.apk is the file to be accessed.

 

  1. Select Complete Profile and tick the ‘Host Deployment Package Outside of StageNow’ button. Select the path of the BIN file which must be the same project folder as created in Step1 ( this folder contains any files included in the profile ) and save with the default filename

 

  1. Run the batch file from step 1 again to process and deploy the project files to the remote server e.g.

 

bingen myprofile1

 

  1. In  StageNow , select the All Profiles screen and then the import profile button below:

 

  1. Select the _import_to_stagenow.xml file from the project folder under the working folder. 

 

  1. Profile will be imported under the profile name  ‘server_bin’

 

  1. Select Home to see the imported profile. Select the profile and change the name via the pen icon next to the existing name. I would recommend using a postfix to the project name e.g. myprofile1_bin indicates this is a remotely hosted BIN profile.

 

  1. Generate the barcodes and/or NFC BIN file.  Note that if this profile will be deployed via NFC , you need to uncheck the ‘Encrypt Barcode’ option in the Review screen as per the screenshot below. This will make the profile small enough to fit on a IEC15693 NFC tag.

  1. If any subsequent changes are made to the profile,  reload the original profile (projectname) , make the required edits and then re-export the BIN file to the project folder. Run the bingen.bat file again to update the files on the remote server.

 

 

 

 

Method 2 (Raw XML Expert mode): Generate XML and edit manually

Overview

This mode supports automatic generation and deployment of a template XML file which can then be manually edited and re-deployed using the supplied tools. This method has the following additional advantages :

  1. The remote XML can be edited with a text editor which can be easier when working with large XML profiles
  2. It is possible to mix different levels of Mx in the same profile whereas with StageNow , the Mx level is fixed when the profile is initially created.

Usage

  1. Using a command prompt in the installation folder , create a template project using the command line below:

xmlgen.bat projectname (where projectname is a unique name for your profile e.g.

xmlgen.bat jb_profile1

  1. This will create a sub-folder named projectname containing a template xml file (projectname.xml) and a StageNow import file named _import_to_stagenow.xml
  2. Copy any required files for the project to the sub-folder – these are files which need to be transferred to the device
  3. Using a text editor, edit the XML file to modify the filename in the existing XML to include the required filenames e.g.

Existing:

http://airsetup.com/airbeam/rxml/profilename/com.adobe.reader.apk

Modified:

http://airsetup.com/airbeam/rxml/mynewprofilename/com.zebra.myapp.apk

Note that the filename needs to be modified in several places in the XML file if this is a profile which downloads and installs APK files.

  1. Add any additional XML steps using the templates contained in CSP.xml – each functional block of XML is delimited by comments
  2. Save the file
  3. Run the same command line again in order to update the files on the remote server i.e.

xmlgen.bat projectname

  1. In  StageNow , select the All Profiles screen and then the import profile button below:

 

 

 

  1. Select the _import_to_stagenow.xml file from the project folder under the working folder. 

 

  1. Profile will be imported under the profile name  ‘server_myxml’

 

  1. Select Home to see the imported profile. Select the profile and change the name via the pen icon next to the existing name. I would recommend using a postfix to the project name e.g. _xml indicates this is a remotely hosted XML profile.

 

  1. Select Complete Profile and generate the barcodes and/or NFC BIN file to test the remote profile. Note that the BIN file can be staged using the new ‘Local File Staging’ option in StageNow on Oreo onwards i.e. copy the BIN file to the device, browse for this file via the StageNow client and select it to stage.

 

  1. Subsequent changes can be made by editing the XML and repeating the command line deployment.

 

Ian Hatton

Zebra EMEA Sept 20

Ian Hatton

If you have problems viewing the images embedded in this blog , the original article is posted as a PDF document here