We are pleased to present the esper.io solution on our i.MX-based Nitrogen platforms to provision and manage your fleet of devices!
What is esper.io?
In the past, many customers asked us for a turn-key solution for them to control their fleet with requirements like:
- We need to have only one application accessible to the user
- We have to be able to update our application easily
- We’d like to know the state of our fleet in real-time
It is with those questions in mind that we discovered esper.io and we are happy to say it solves them perfectly.
Esper’s solution includes the following features (among others):
- Device Management
- Dashboard UI via esper.io website
- Events, Monitoring, Logs
- Remote Control
- System OTA Updates
- App Management
- App update scheduling possible
- Device Groups
- Managing devices per-site / per-IP / per-country etc…
- Kiosk Mode
- Allowing only 1 app to run
- AOSP & GMS devices
- Seamless provisioning
What about an example?
As a demo is worth a thousand words, we decided to go ahead and try it on our own.
Once you have an esper.io account, the first step is to create your template.
It will include all the parameters you want for your specific devices.
After choosing the name for your template, you will have to set the Compliance Policy which includes many options like whether or not the screen is lockable or if the Notificaiton bar should be present.
Next is the Apps step which allows you to upload one or several applications you want included in your system. You can also select whether or not you want the device in Kiosk Mode (1 app only).
During the Settings step, you will select the connectivity you want enabled (WiFi/BT/GPS) as well as branding or any other options normally set in the Settings application.
Finally, you can create and/or assign a Group of devices to that template.
That’s it, your template should be complete. Know that you can also update it later via the esper dashboard.
There are several methods to provision your devices. This section will cover the usage of the esper provisioning tool:
This is available on all OSes (Windows, MAC OS, Linux).
The first step is to provide your esper.io login for the tool to retrieve your templates.
The next steps are simply for you to select the application to download and select the device(s) to provision.
Then the installation 1st step will happen on the device.
Once this step is complete, you should reboot the platform for the 2nd step of provisioning to kick in automatically:
Next, your application, which in our case is KioskApp which is a very simple full screen, which should be started in Kiosk mode:
At this point, your device is fully provisioned and can be managed through the esper website.
Another option is seamless provisioning which requires integrating esper applications into the AOSP build tree. For that approach, you should contact the esper team directly.
Here is what the Dashboard should look like:
From there you have access to a lot of information:
- Memory usage
- Storage usage
- Battery info
- Firmware details (fingerprint)
- App details
- Retrieving logs
As explained in the introduction, esper.io is a very complete solution and this blog post didn’t even scratch the surface of all the possibilities. We hope that this gives you a good overview and we highly recommend giving it a try to better manage your production devices.