There are many times where testing an application or configuration are useful, prior to rolling out in a production environment. Such is the case with Barcode Solution. It is necessary to test the functionality or usage, prior to allowing production based use, or to troubleshoot problems. The costs of providing an actual barcode reader can also be prohibitive, especially if the reader is only used for troubleshooting.
We have the instructions below which will allow you to configure and use a Microsoft Virtual PC combined with a Windows Mobile 5.0 emulator, providing a Windows Mobile-like interface. You can then install the Altiris Barcoder application on this device, and test as though you had a true handheld available. For this, you will need the following components:
- An XP workstation - virtual machines can also be used
- Microsoft Virtual PC
- Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 MSFP Emulator
- The image for the emulator
- Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5
All of the necessary files are contained in the attached zip file, files-emulator.zip. Simply download and copy the files to the desired XP workstation and extract them. Your XP workstation should also have access to the Notification Server 6.x console. Let the fun now begin
Installing the Files
First, open the folder where you extracted the zip files to, usually ...\files-emulator. Inside that folder there should be the following files:
The first piece you will want to install is Microsoft Virtual PC by double-clicking on the file Setup.exe. Follow the prompts and accept the defaults to install.
The next step is to install the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 MSFP Emulator. Combined with the Emulator Manager, which provides the "cradling" actions, similar to the behavior of placing and removing an actual device from its cradle, this gives you the functionality of the Windows Mobile device. To install this, double-click on vs_emulator.exe. Again, follow the prompts and accept the defaults.
The next component of this involves installing the image for the Windows Mobile emulator. This gives the visual appearance on-screen of the Windows Mobile device. Install the image for emulator by double-clicking on the file efp.msi. Follow all prompts and accept the defaults.
The last component required is Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5. ActiveSync is the application that controls the synchronization between the host machine and the emulated Windows Mobile device. To complete installation, double-click on the setup.msi file. You may be asked to reboot the host at this time. This is recommended.
Loading the Emulator
Once all of the applications components are installed, it is time to run the emulator. On the host machine, click on:
Start >> All Programs >> Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 MSFP Emulator Image, then select PocketPC - Coldboot (This loads the image). You can see this in the screenshot below.
Connecting the Emulator to ActiveSync
With the Emulator running, it is now time to control its behavior. Click on Start >> All Programs >> Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 MSFP Emulator Image. Then select Device Emulator Manager and run it, as shown below.
Once the Emulator Manager loads, then select the device with the green arrow next to it, which is your active device, and right click on it. From the right click menu select "Cradle". See the screenshot below:
Once the device is "cradled", it should attempt to connect ActiveSync with the virtual handheld device. When it connects you should see a window that says "Retrieving Settings".
A new window will appear and provide the options available to you for synchronization. Click "Ok" to start the Synchronization Setup Wizard for ActiveSync. At this point, click "Next", and you will see the options prompts.
Please uncheck all boxes, so that nothing will be synchronized with the host PC, and click Next. Click finish to complete the last prompts, (It will automatically save the settings).
You will then notice that synchronization will happen between ActiveSync and the emulated handheld. It should result that the ActiveSync window will display "Connected".
If you do not see the connection occur in ActiveSync, you may need to adjust the connection settings. This is found in ActiveSync by clicking File>>Connection Settings. In this area, you may need to check the box "Allow connections to one of the following:" and select DMA, if you are using a VM host. This may not be necessary in all cases.
Installing Barcoder on Emulator
The next step is to get the Altiris Barcode Application installed on the emulated Windows Mobile device. With the Windows Mobile emulator running and cradled, open up Internet Explorer and open the Altiris Console on the host computer. This URL is http://(Notification Server)/Altiris/ns. Click on the Tasks>>Barcode>>Manage>> Manage handheld devices.
Then, under Additional Resources, click on the blue plus sign and select one resource. In the example in the screenshot below, a computer resource is selected. Click on the paper icon with the blue error point up to the left, as shown below in the red circle.
This brings up the menu choice to install Barcode Manager to the Host computer.
Click on Next, accepting the defaults and completing the install.
We now need to install Barcode on the handheld device itself.
Click on the same paper icon again with the blue error point up to the left. This installs the Barcode Application to the emulated Windows Mobile device, as shown in the next two screenshots below. You will have prompts on Host Machine and on the emulated handheld device.
You may find that you need to reset the emulated handheld device after this step. If the connections do not occur correctly, or you do not see the synchronization with ActiveSync occurring, resetting the handheld may be necessary.
Lastly, click on the same paper icon with the blue arrow pointing up to the left. This will be the third time you have click this icon. This last step allows you to synchronize the asset data to the emulated handheld, as shown below.
Steps to run Barcode after emulator is setup:
- Run the Windows Mobile emulator, if it is not already started.
- Make sure that it is "Cradled".
- Select Start>>Program Files>>Symantec Altiris Barcoder.
- If you need to synchronize to the Notification Server, you will need to authenticate.