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How to deploy an .netmf application to multiple FEZ boards?


#1

Maybe this is a stupid question for you experienced guys but I just wonder if mfdeploy can/should be used to deploy an production application to multiple fez boards?

Mfdeploy is used to update firmware, that is what I understand and I did this a couple of times successfully. Application development is done in Visual Studio and the application is downloaded to the target board to debug and test it.

But once an application is finished how should I download this application to all fez boards I have to program. Should it also be done with VS of can I do that with MF deploy. I looked into MFdeploy but it seems to accept .hex files only whereas VS doesn’t seem to produce a hex file.

TIA

Jos


#2

It is different between usbizi and emx/chipworkx. Large systems do support “application deployment”, just search the mfdeploy help. Usbizi does it through the GHI boot loader. See commands in usbizi manual


#3

Thank you Gus.

I found the following in MFdeploy’s help and put it here so it can be of help for others too:

MFDeploy enables you to create a standard deployment that you can then replicate to multiple devices. A standard deployment contains a copy of all of a device’s deployment sectors. You have the option of signing the code you deploy to your device, which is highly advisable in a production environment. The easiest way to sign code is to create a key file containing a public and a private key. For information on creating key files, see Managing Device Keys.

Use the following procedure to create a standard deployment.

Use Visual Studio to create and deploy the application into the deployment sectors of a device.
When the deployment sectors are exactly as you want them to be, run MFDeploy, select Target from the main menu, and then choose Application Deployment.
Click Create Application Deployment.
In the dialog box that appears, specify the name of your deployment file.
If you want to digitally sign the deployment file and you have previously stored the key in a file, click the button with the ellipsis to navigate to the key file. Otherwise, click the Create Key button to create a key pair.
Click Ok.
If you want to sign an existing deployment file, use the steps in the following procedure.

Select Target from the main MFDeploy menu, and then choose Application Deployment.
Click Sign Deployment File.
In the dialog box that appears, specify the name of your deployment file.
If you have previously stored the key in a file, click the button with the ellipsis to navigate to the key file. Otherwise, click the Create Key button to create a key pair.
Click Ok.
The deployment file is now ready for use. You can use MFDeploy to copy it to devices that are identical to the device for which it was created.


#4

Jos:

WiKi page.
http://www.microframeworkprojects.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

and here is short tutorial to start with Wiki
http://www.microframeworkprojects.com/index.php?title=Shortcut_to_Create_Wiki_NETMF_Project

the good thing is, you will get some points too.


#5

Sam,
Do you mean this discussion is deleted from the forum after a while?

Thanks for your suggestion to put it on a WIKI page. If I have some time left I might create an entry there. Can we get points on creating a WIKI page as well? I didn’t know that.


#6

no not will be deleted but it will be lost between thousands of posts


#7

@ jdv. AFAICT (please correct me if wrong), but usbizi does not support the getting or putting of hex file to device via MFDeploy (could not find in e-book, maybe I am missing it). Only corbra (I think) can use mfdeploy this way. For usbizi, need to use TeraTerm and (G)et (L)oad commands to read/write app image.

VS creates the hex image after compile and MetaDataProcessor step and uploads via the debugger channel. Thing I don’t get. If VS creates a hex image:

  1. why doesn’t it leave it in the build dir?
  2. Why can’t MFDeploy use the same methods VS is using to upload hex?

#8

You can do it on USBizi but noth through MFDeploy.

See my last reply

The process is more complicated than you think so no VS can’t create hex files as VS doesn’t know much about the device’s flash structure.


#9

@ gus. I think we are saying same thing.

USBizi - Get and Load via TeraTerm.
EMX - Get and Load via MFDeploy.

Maybe someone can explain how VS deploys and image.


#10

Why do you need details on how VS loads the image? Isn’t easier to tell us what you want to accomplish and we will show you how to do it?

…put it simple, VS does NOT have hex file that loads…it loads multiple PE files, with the help of the device, and then the device can create the HEX file back though MFDeploy, or the USBizi boot loader.

if you need more details then you have to dig in the NETMF source codes I am afraid


#11

Let me rephrase this and please correct.

  1. USBizi does not support application get/load with MFDeploy. EMX/Cobra does. Correct?
  2. USBizi does support application get/load with TeraTerm method.

#12

Yes
Yes