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Deploying Launchers

In some cases, it may be desirable to deploy a pre-configured Launcher to remote clients. Doing so bypasses the installation process on the remote machine. The process to do so is outlined below. The steps in this example are operating system dependent, as the launchers were designed to run on a single operating system. 

Three Key Pieces to a Configured Launcher

  • The launcher itself.
  • The JRE for the launcher. The "jre" directory should be in the same directory as the launcher. 
  • The configuration JSON file. The launcher always expects this file to be located at a certain directory, otherwise the launcher will create a new, blank, file. 

The steps below demonstrate how to configure a launcher, and then migrate each piece to a new file system into an appropriate location. 

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Pre-Configure a Launcher

  1. Install a Vision Client Launcher somewhere on network. Take note of the Installation directory you use, as a later step will involve finding this directory. 
  2. Configure each application. Be mindful of the Gateway Address setting: the deployed launcher will need to be able find the Gateway based on the address you enter.

At this point, we should have a single launcher configured with one or more applications. Next we can zip up the the launcher and its configuration files.

Create a ZIP

In these steps, we will create a single ZIP, containing all of the required files. 

  1. Navigate to the Launcher's installation directory. It should look similar to the image below:



  2. Copy all of the files shown in Step 1, and paste them into the Client Launcher Data directory. This is the same directory that the configuration JSON file is located. The path differs by operating system, but should generally look like the following:

    C:\Users\userName\.ignition\clientlauncher-data\
    Linux
    /home/user/.ignition/clientlauncher-data/

    After pasting, the directory should look something like the following:



    We now have a single folder containing the launcher, a JRE, and the application configurations. 

  3. Navigate up a directory to the ".ignition" folder. You will see the folder we were just in: "clientlauncher-data"



  4. In this directory (the .ignition directory), create a new folder called .ignition. Note the leading period. In some operating systems you may have to attempt to rename with a trailing period as well.

    .ignition.




  5. Copy the clientlauncher-data folder into the new .ignition folder. Note that you want to copy, not move. Moving would make prior application configurations on the local system unavailable.
  6. Zip up the newer .ignition directory.



    We now have a ZIP we can deploy to a new system. 

Deploying the Launcher

  1. Take the ZIP, and move it to another computer. 
  2. Unzip the file at the user directory. The location of the directory is based on the local operating system.

    Windows
    C:\Users\userName
    Linux
    /home/user/
  3. The files should be unzipped. Navigate to the launcher at:

    {user folder}/.ignition/clientlauncher-data/visionclientlauncher
  4. Run the Launcher. It should contain all of the configured applications. 
  5. At this point, consider creating a shortcut to the launcher, and placing the shortcut at a more accessible location. Alternatively, the launcher can be accessed via command line/terminal, so you could automate client launchers in a number of ways.


Redundancy

The client launcher can take advantage of a redundant Gateway setup. Whenever a connection is established with a master Gateway, the backup Gateway IP address is automatically stored in the client launcher configuration file. If the master Gateway cannot be contacted the next time the client launcher is run, an attempt is made to contact the backup Gateway. If the backup cannot be contacted, the client launcher switches between contacting the primary Gateway and the backup Gateway until one responds or the user closes the launcher.


Command Line/Terminal

Clients can be launched from the Client Launcher via command/terminal. When called in this way, many of the application properties may be overridden for the one call. The overrides use the same property names as noted in the Application Property Reference Table, under the "JSON name" column.

Windows: 
"C:\ClientLauncher\visionclientlauncher.exe" application=myproject window.mode=window
 
Linux: 
./visionclientlauncher.sh application=myterminal window.mode=fullscreen screen=0 

There are a few important notes when using the Command Line/Terminal to launch a project from the Vision Client Launcher. 

  • The Vision Client Launcher must be installed and have an application added for the Command Line/Terminal commands to work.
  • The application argument requires the application name in the Launcher, not the project name. You can open the launcher to determine what the application name is. Adding new applications in the launcher uses the Project title by default.
  • Applications may contain spaces in their name. However, when launching from command/terminal, spaces should be escaped with %20. For example, if our application was named my project, then we could all it with the following:

    "C:\ClientLauncher\visionclientlauncher.exe" application=my%20project


Command Line Arguments

ArgumentDescription
application
The name of the application to launch.
window.mode

Controls the client mode. Available options are:

  • window : Launches the client in Windowed Mode
  • fullscreen : Launches the client in Fullscreen Mode
screen

The screen index indicates which monitor to use.

fallback.application
The name of the application to use if the number of retries has been exceeded. The fallback is only utilized if the Retries setting is greater than 0.
timeout

The maximum number of seconds to allow for any gateway communication. Any communication that exceeds this amount will cause the Vision client launcher to abort the communication and try again if configured.

retries

How many times to attempt to contact a gateway again if an error occurred during communication. Available values are:

  • -1 : Retry indefinitely, or until the launcher is manually closed.
  • 0 : Zero retries, or abort after the first failure.
  • 1 (or more): Determines the number of retries: i.e., a value of "5" means five retries. If the number of retries is exceeded, then the launcher will attempt to launch the Fallback Application.

If the number of retries is exceeded, then the Launcher will attempt to launch the Fallback Application

init.heap
The initial heap size (memory) for the client.
max.heap
The maximum heap size (memory) for the client
-Djavaws.launchparams

Defines client tags that can be overwritten upon launch. The use of this argument alone only defines the client tags that will be overwritten. Setting a value on the tags can be done by an additional argument that utilizes the tag names delimited by a semicolon:

// Establishes the tag names
 -Djavaws.launchparams="Tag1;Tag2"

// Sets values on the tags
-Djavaws.launchparams.Tag1=10
-Djavaws.launchparams.Tag2=20

//An actual call would look like:
"C:\ClientLauncher\visionclientlauncher.exe" application=myproject -Djavaws.launchparams="Tag1;Tag2" -Djavaws.launchparam.Tag1=10 -Djavaws.launchparam.Tag2=20
config.json

Allows you to point the launcher to a launcher configuration file command line. Doing so will start running an instance of the launcher using the configurations in the file as temporary overrides. The argument expects a path to a JSON export file, specifically the same file that created by the that's created by the Export Launcher Config button under the launcher's  Settings menu. 

"C:\ClientLauncher\visionclientlauncher.exe" config.json="C:\Users\MyUser\Desktop\vision-client-launcher.json"


Launchers and SSL

When SSL is enabled on a Gateway, the Vision Client Launcher can take advantage of the enhanced security features associated with SSL. 

Certificates Signed by a CA

When the Gateway's SSL certificates are signed by a recognized Certificate Authority, no additional configuration is required on the launcher.

Self-Signed Certificates

When using a self-signed SSL certificate, the certificates for the Gateway must be locally accessible to the client launcher in the following directory:

{user folder}\.ignition\clientlauncher-data\certificates

When a certificate is placed in the directory above, the launcher will attempt to automatically add the certificate(s) to the local keystore upon application launch.


Troubleshooting

If the Vision Client Launcher fails to launch a client for some reason, the log file can be found at:

{user folder}\.ignition\clientlauncher-data\visionclientlauncher.log

This log contains any errors that occurred.



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