MobiControl Frequently Asked Questions


General

G1. What are the system requirements for MobiControl?

G2. Can MobiControl be used on a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer?

G3. How do I tell what version of MobiControl I am using and where do I view my licensing information?

G4. How do I minimize the battery drain on my device?

G5. What are recommendations for doing backups?

G6. How do I rename a device?

G7. How do I setup my devices to connect through an external network?

Installation, Upgrade, and Uninstallation

IU1. How do I install only the MobiControl Manager console?

IU2. Why is MobiControl running in trial mode when I am an existing registered user?

IU3. How do I safely upgrade MobiControl?

IU4. How do I move my Deployment Server from one machine or server to another?

Connectivity

C1. I created an add device rule, generated a Device Agent, and installed it onto my mobile device. Why doesn't it seem to connect to MobiControl?

C2. Is there a way to troubleshoot or test to see if my devices can successfully connect to Deployment Servers?

C3. What settings should I use for slow connections?

C4. Do dynamic IP addresses present a problem for MobiControl?

Device Agent

A1. I installed the Device Agent on my device but it is not showing up in the device tree. How can I make it appear?

A2. How can I make sure that the clocks on my mobile devices have the proper time?

A3. Why is the MobiControl Device Agent changing the server host name/IP address information that I am configuring on the device?

A4. Can I use MobiControl to manage my Windows-based computers, laptops, tablet PCs? If so, how can I create the agent?

Remote Control

R1. What settings should I use to remotely manage and establish remote control sessions to devices over cellular (e.g. GPRS) or dial-up connections?

R2. How can I use MobiControl to manage and/or remote control devices whose IP address is not reachable or not public (i.e. external or private addresses) as is often the case for GPRS connections?

R3. I need to remote control a device that is in the sleep or standby mode and is currently offline. How can I wake up the device and force it to connect to MobiControl?

R4. Why do I get a Rapi initialization timeout error when I try to remote control my mobile device?

Security

S1. How do I put pictures into my lockdown menu?

S2. How can I restrict what a user of the MobiControl Manager console can do?

Package Creation and Deployment

PD1. How do I deploy registry settings?

PD2. Do I need a second Deployment Server?

PD3. I am running my application on all my devices. From time to time I have to update some settings in my applications .ini file. I don't want to send the entire .ini file each time, is there a better way?

PD4. I need to create a script that I will use in the package I deploy to my devices. Is there a way to test the script before I deploy it to my devices?

PD5. Does MobiControl support a fault tolerance Deployment Server?

Scripts

SC1. Are there any APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available so that I can call and execute a MobiControl scripts from a custom application?

Database

D1. What are recommendations for doing backups?

D2. Can I use a third-party reporting tool to generate my own custom reports?


General

G1. What are the system requirements for MobiControl?

Please click here to see the system requirements needed for MobiControl.

G2. Can MobiControl be used on a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer?

Yes, you can use MobiControl on a Windows Vista or a Windows 7 computer. If you are connecting your device via USB to your computer, you need to download and install the Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center on your computer first. Please visit Microsoft's website at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/devicecenter.mspx to download Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center.

G3. How do I tell what version of MobiControl I am using and where do I view my licensing information?

In MobiControl Manager, from the menu bar, click Help, and then click About MobiControl Manager to view the version and build information. Also listed in this window is the licensing information, displaying the number of servers and devices licensed and how many devices are in currently used within your license.

G4. How do I minimize the battery drain on my device?

MobiControl has several settings that allow you to optimise the Device Agent behavior to minimize battery drain.

  1. Device Connection Sensitivity

    (Right-click on the Deployment Server in the Deployment Servers view (tab) and select Deployment Server Properties). You can set the Send Test Message to Devices parameter to a higher interval to reduce the communication between the device and the server. This will increase the time it takes for the server to recognize a device as online or offline.

  2. Device Retry Interval

    (Right-click on the device, select Configure Device, and then Advanced Settings. Set the device retry interval to a higher number. The lower the number, the more aggressively the Device Agent tries to connect to the Deployment Server. For example, if it is set to 300 seconds, when the device is offline, it will try to connect to the Deployment Server every five minutes.

  3. Device Update Schedule and File Sync Schedule

    You can increase the time interval after which the device checks the server for updates, packages, or file synchronization (when it is online and connected to the server). For the device update schedule, right-click on the device, select Configure Device and then Update Schedule. Typically, in a test environment, the update schedule is set to a shorter interval to quickly see the results of test packages, etc. In a production environment, the devices may not need to download updates for hours/days. Similarly, the file synchronization schedule can be changed by editing the file sync rule under the Rules view (tab).

  4. Connection Mode

    (Right-click on the device and select Configure Device and then Advanced Settings.) By default, the MobiControl Device Agent runs in the "Persistent" mode in which the Device Agent tries to maintain its connection to the Deployment Server whenever a data network is available. You may maximize battery life by changing the connection mode to "Scheduled" or "Manual" (depending on your environment), so the Device Agent only connects to the server within a limited time window (to download updates, synchronize files, for support, etc.). Adjusting the connection mode would achieve the highest battery consumption efficiency.

G5. What are recommendations for doing backups?

We recommend that you do a backup as often as possible. If you are running MobiControl v2.06 or earlier, you need to backup your file store and your database. If you are using MobiControl v3.00 or later, you only need to back up your database. To back up your file store, use the Microsoft File Explorer to copy the contents of the file store to a backup folder. To back up your database, if you are using the lightweight Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) you may need to purchase a third-party tool to backup your database. If you are running the full Microsoft SQL Server, you can back up your database using the tool provided with Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Most database back up tools provide an automated back up system so that your database will be automatically backed up at regular intervals.

G6. How do I rename a device?

The device name is considered the user-friendly name for the device. It is not the unique identifier for the device in the MobiControl system (that is the role of the device ID). It is possible to have more than one device with the same name, although that is not recommended because it will lead to confusion. From the device list, right-click on the mobile device icon of which device you want to rename. A menu of device options will appear. Select Rename Device and enter your desired name for the mobile device. Note that you can also change the device name from the MobiControl applet in the General tab in the configuration options that runs on the actual device.

You can also have the mobile device have its name based on a custom data value. For more information, please see Q3. How do I use "custom" information to name my mobile devices (e.g. the device owner's name)? in the Tips and Tricks page.

G7. How do I setup my devices to connect through an external network?

When your devices are connected on an external network (GPRS/CDMA) they require a Public IP in order to communicate with your Deployment Server. In most situations companies have a corporate firewall on their Public IP address. You must configure your corporate firewall to allow devices to connect to the Deployment Server. Set up your firewall to port forward from Port 5494 publicly to Port 5494 internally. Port 5494 is used for Windows and Android device communication and is fully customisable by opening the MobiControl Manager, and going to the Deployment Server tab, right click on your deployment server, and select server properties.In the server properties window, you will be able to set a custom port for device communication as well as the public IP addresses the devices must use.

For example, if your Deployment Server has an Internal IP of 192.168.1.184 and your Public IP is 210.25.10.219 all incoming traffic on 210.25.10.219:5494 must be forwarded to 192.168.1.184:5494.

Open the MobiControl Manager, go to the Deployment Server Tab, Right Click on your Deployment Server and select Server Properties. In the Server Properties dialogue box place a check mark in the "Override Default IP" box, and the "Alternate IP Address" box. Enter the Public IP Address or Hostname in the Alternate IP Address box. When finished entering the new information, click on OK. The devices will receive this information upon a device update schedule or as they come online. This change instructs the device to attempt connecting to the deployment server using the Alternate IP Address/Hostname if it fails to connect at the IP Address originally provided. These settings get stored in the device agent and will take effect from now on. Each device MUST connect to the deployment server for these settings to get updated on the device.


Installation, Upgrade, and Uninstallation

IU1. How do I install only the MobiControl Manager console?

During the MobiControl installation, when you get to the Select Features option, there are three options listed: MobiControl Manager, MobiControl Web Console and MobiControl Deployment Server.Checking all of these options will install all the components of MobiControl, including the Deployment Server. The checking only one option is used to select the exact components you wish to install on the computer. Click MobiControl Manager and click Next. Select MobiControl Manager and click Next. The next process is to enter the database data in the Data Link Properties dialog box to finish the installation.

IU2. Why is MobiControl running in trial mode when I am an existing registered user?

For existing MobiControl users, it is necessary that you exchange your current registration code with a new registration code for MobiControl v6.00.

If you haven't obtained your new MobiControl v6.00 registration code, please contact us to exchange your registration code. (You will need to provide the company name and person to whom the product is licensed.)

IU3. How do I safely upgrade MobiControl?

Please see the Upgrading MobiControl page.

IU4. How do I move my Deployment Server from one machine or server to another?

You need to ensure that the Device Agents installed on the devices are updated with this information before you move the Deployment Server. To do this, add the IP address of the new Deployment Server as the Secondary External IP Address in the Deployment Server properties, while keeping the address of the old Deployment Server as the primary external IP address. Allow the settings to be propagated to the devices. Typically, these settings would be refreshed when a device disconnects and reconnects to the Deployment Server. Once all the devices have the new settings, disable the old Deployment Server (right-click on the Deployment Server and select Disable or Shutdown). Now, when you enable the new Deployment Server on the new server, the devices would be able to connect to the new Deployment Server (after they fail to connect to the old Deployment Server). After all your devices have connected, you can specify the IP of the new Deployment Server as the primary external.

If you are moving from your test server to a production server, we recommend that you create a brand new database:

  1. Run the MobiControl installation file and install the new database on the new computer.
  2. Launch MobiControl Manager when it is done.
  3. Open the Tools menu and click Options.
  4. Click the Connection button.
  5. Change the appropriate settings in this window to point to the new server.

Connectivity

C1. I created an add device rule, generated a Device Agent, and installed it onto my mobile device. Why doesn't it seem to connect to MobiControl?

The most common reason why a MobiControl Device Agent cannot connect to a MobiControl Deployment Server is because there is a firewall between the device and the Deployment Server that is blocking the connection attempt from the device. By default, MobiControl Device Agents open TCP/IP connections to Deployment Servers on port 5494. If this port is being blocked by an intermediate firewall—personal or corporate firewall—then the device will not be able to connect to the server.

A personal firewall is one that on the computer that is running the Deployment Server. For example, the Windows firewall (typically running by default) blocks several TCP/IP ports including port 5494. If you are running a Windows or other firewall on a computer that is running a MobiControl Deployment Server, make sure that TCP/IP port 5494 is not being blocked.

If your devices are external from your corporate network and need to go through a corporate firewall to get to MobiControl Deployment Server(s), you will probably need to configure external IP address(es) for Deployment Server(s) and then set up firewall rules to map the connections from devices to internal Deployment Server IP addresses. The following steps describe how to configure external IP addresses for your Deployment Servers:

  1. In MobiControl Manager, go to the Deployment Servers view (tab), right-click on the Deployment Server icon for a particular server, and select Properties.
  2. In the Deployment Server Properties dialog box, enter the external IP address and port and click OK.

If you have multiple Deployment Servers, you need to configure a different external address for each server. Once you have configured external addresses, you need to generate new MobiControl Device Agents and install them on your mobile devices. The Device Agents will now use the external addresses to connect to Deployment Servers. To be able to establish remote control sessions to external mobile devices or devices whose IP addresses are not public, you need to set the MobiControl remote control profile for your devices to TCP/IP (SERVER). (The default remote control connection profile setting is just TCP(IP).) You can set the default remote control connection profile when creating device configuration rules or by right-clicking on a device group or device in the MobiControl Manager device tree and selecting the Configure Device(s) menu option.

Note:

MobiControl Deployment Servers always listen for connections on TCP/IP port 5494; this "internal" port is currently fixed. The Deployment Server properties dialog box in MobiControl Manager allows you to change both the external IP address and the external port for Deployment Servers. If you do assign external IP addresses and ports for your servers, you must create a firewall/proxy server rule to map the external address to the internal IP address and port (5494) of your Deployment Server computers.

Example:

If you have configured a Deployment Server as follows:

Deployment Server External IP:Port = 209.151.100.111:2000
Deployment Server Internal IP:Port = 192.168.1.11:5494

You will need to configure a firewall rule to map the external TCP/IP address 209.151.100.111:2000 to the internal TCP/IP address 192.168.1.11:5494 of the Deployment Server computer.

C2. Is there a way to troubleshoot or test to see if my devices can successfully connect to Deployment Servers?

Here is how to test if the MobiControl Device Agent that is installed on a device can connect to a MobiControl Deployment Server:

  1. Click on the MobiControl icon in the system tray of the device (in the bottom, right-hand corner of the home screen).
  2. From the displayed menu, select the Configure menu item.
  3. In the Configuration tool, select the Sync tab.
  4. In the Deployment Server(s) section of the Sync tab, select the address of a server (i.e. tap on the address) and then click the Test button. A dialog box will be displayed that shows the status of the connection test as it proceeds.

If you have multiple Deployment Servers configured, you can repeat the above test for each Deployment Server in the list.

C3. What settings should I use for slow connections?

You can set the device connection sensitivity Send Test Message to Devices Every value to 60 seconds in the Deployment Server tray applet. This setting is used to control how often the Deployment Server is to check connections to devices to see if they are working properly. The Deployment Server does this by sending a test message to the device. When the device receives the test message, it sends the message back to the server. If the server does not receive the test message back within a certain time, it will terminate the connection to the device.

Another setting that will help slow connections is one that reduces the colors sent in images, which consequently reduces the amount of data that needs to be sent. You can change the remote control connection settings to view the device display in 16-color grayscale or 4-color grayscale instead of the default full-color display. Please see R1. What settings should I use to remotely manage and establish remote control sessions to devices over cellular (e.g. GPRS) or dial-up connections? below for more details.

C4. Do dynamic IP addresses present a problem for MobiControl?

A dynamic IP address automatically assigned to a host by a DHCP server is not a problem for MobiControl.


Device Agent

A1. I installed the Device Agent on my device but it is not showing up in the device tree. How can I make it appear?

Once the MobiControl Device Agent has been installed on your mobile device, click the MobiControl Device Agenticon on your mobile device. In the pop-up menu, select Configure. When the Device Agent menu comes up, on the General tab, you will see the Status field. If it says disconnected, click the Connect button to establish a connection with the MobiControl Deployment Server.

If the status shows "Connected," check MobiControl Manager to see if your mobile device is showing up or not. Once the connection is made, it can take a few minutes for the mobile device to show up in MobiControl Manager.

If the status shows "Disconnected" and nothing happens after clicking the Connect button, then the mobile device is not being able to connect with the Deployment Server. Click the Servers tab to verify that the server information is correct. If it is correct, select that entry and click Test. The test should complete successfully. If it does, go back to the General tab and click Connect. If the Deployment Server test fails, verify the Deployment Server information and make sure that the Deployment Server is running. If the Deployment Server information is not correct, please correct it.

A2. How can I make sure that the clocks on my mobile devices have the proper time?

MobiControl supports two forms of time synchronization: Sync Time with MobiControl Deployment Server and Sync with SNTP/NTP Time Server.

Sync Time with MobiControl Deployment Server: When you enable this option, the MobiControl Device Agent will synchronize the device clock with the Deployment Server clock each time it connects to a Deployment Server. To use this option, you must enable the device time synchronization settings for a device (or group of devices). In the device tree, select the device or group, then select Configure Device(s) from the Device menu, and then select Time Synchronization.

Device Time Synchronization Settings

Sync with SNTP/NTP Time Server: This option uses the SNTP/NTP time synchronization protocol to synchronize the clock on your mobile devices with a public or private SNTP/NTP time server. You can configure this option using the MobiControl Manager. The most common problem with this form of time synchronization occurs when there is a personal or corporate firewall between your mobile device(s) and the time server. To correct this problem, please make sure that connections from your mobile device(s) through UDP port 123 are not being blocked by a firewall. Please see the Device Time Synchronization page for more information on this topic.

A3. Why is the MobiControl Device Agent changing the server host name/IP address information that I am configuring on the device?

The Device Agent is not changing the host name/IP address information on its own. It is the MobiControl Deployment Server that is sending what it believes is the correct address information to the device and asking the Device Agent to update its address information.

When a device connects to a server, the server sends the device what it believes to be the addresses of MobiControl Deployment Servers. The MobiControl Device Agent then stores the server address information it receives and overwrites the previously configured address information. In order for changes to the host name/IP information to stay, you need to configure this with MobiControl Manager:

  1. In MobiControl Manager, go to the Deployment Servers view (tab).
  2. Right-click the icon of the Deployment Server whose address information you want to change, and select the Server Properties menu item.
  3. On the Server Properties dialog box, set the host name/IP address information as needed in the Primary or Secondary External IP Address fields.
  4. Click OK to save the changes. MobiControl Deployment Servers will now send the updated information to devices when they connect.

A4. Can I use MobiControl to manage my Windows-based computers, laptops, tablet PCs? If so, how can I create the agent?

You can use MobiControl to manage your laptops, tablet PCs, and even your workstations. You can have the Device Agent installed on these devices and manage them as you would manage your other mobile devices with MobiControl Manager.

You can create the Device Agent using the Device Agent Manager as you would for any other mobile device. When you are creating the Device Agent, select Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/ Embedded (computers/laptops/thin clients)as the device manufacturer.

Microsoft Windows-based Device Agent

Once this is selected, you will notice that you have now skipped some steps in the Device Agent Manager. The next screen will ask you for various software settings.

Microsoft Windows-based Device Agent

Follow the remaining steps and once the Device Agent has been created, you are now ready to have it pushed out to your computer, laptop, or tablet PC.

Important:

The MobiControl Device Agent for Microsoft Windows PC's cannot be installed on the same machine as the MobiControl Deployment Server.

The Device Agent and Deployment Server processes (McAgent and McDeplSvr) both listen on port 5494 for activity. This will cause a constant conflict as each process attempts to use the port.


Remote Control

R1. What settings should I use to remotely manage and establish remote control sessions to devices over cellular (e.g. GPRS) or dial-up connections?

Cellular and dial-up connections are typically low bandwidth (slow) connections. The information in this section applies to low bandwidth connections but also to other forms of connections such as Wi-Fi.

Two of the main factors that affect battery consumption on mobile devices are the device screen and the device radio. Most devices include a control panel applet to adjust screen power consumption. We recommend that you adjust the screen settings to minimize power consumption based on your usage patterns. To limit the amount of power consumed by Wi-Fi and/or cellular radios, you need to minimize the amount of data sent and received by radio(s). The information in this section describes how to minimize the amount of data sent and received by MobiControl Device Agents.

Carrier charges can also be an issue. If you are using a cellular connection (e.g. GPRS/EDGE), your carrier may be billing you based on the amount of data that you send or receive through their network. The information provided below describes various MobiControl settings that can be tuned to minimize the data transmitted on cellular networks.

Device to Server Connectivity Settings

For remotely controlling devices over slow networks, MobiControl provides options to reduce the amount of data that is sent over these networks. A second characteristic of these sorts of connections is that the IP address of the device is often private, meaning that MobiControl remote control desktop software will not be able to initiate a TCP/IP connection to the device. To deal with the private device IP address issue MobiControl has a TCP/IP(SERVER) setting which allows MobiControl to use a connection initiated by the mobile device for remote control purposes.

The following table summarizes the various options available for establishing remote control sessions to mobile devices over slow connections and also devices that have private IP addresses:

Field Name Recommended Setting Description
Type TCP/IP (SERVER) GPRS or dial-up connections often have private addresses for mobile devices connected over these networks. When the addresses for devices are private you need to set the Connection Type field to "TCP/IP(SERVER)" in the remote control profile you are using.
Broken Connection Sensitivity Low This field reflects the responsiveness of the connection. Setting the field to "Low" indicates to the software that the connection is generally slow and to expect lags in waiting for responses. Since GPRS and dial-up connections are generally slow, setting the value of this field to "Low" is usually appropriate. The software will in this case wait extra long periods of time waiting for responses.
Connect Timeout 45 Since GPRS and dial-up connections are generally slow, setting the value of this field to 45 seconds allows extra time for a connection attempt to complete.
Color Reduction 2 bit (4-shade grayscale) Reducing the colors sent in images further reduces the size of the data that needs to be sent on slow networks. You can change the remote control connection settings to view the device display in 16-color grayscale or 4-color grayscale instead of the default full-color display. Although the amount of data transferred will be reduced, CPU usage on the device will increase.

You can edit one of the existing remote control profiles and make the changes listed above or create a new profile. The MobiControl installation software creates a remote control profile called TCP/IP (SERVER) by default. It can be edited.

Once the changes have been made, right-click on the device or device group (if you want to use the profile for a group of devices) in MobiControl Manager and make sure that the remote control profile you just edited is configured for use.

Note:

When attempting remote control sessions to devices from outside a firewall (i.e. device located on the inside) or to devices on cellular networks that assign devices with private IP addresses, the MobiControl TCP/IP (SERVER) connection type must be used. The TCP/IP (SERVER) connection type allows devices with private IP addresses to be remote controlled by using connections initiated by mobile devices for remote control purposes. If the devices and the MobiControl Manager console are both on the same network the TCP/IP (DIRECT) remote control profile can be used.

R2. How can I use MobiControl to manage and/or remote control devices whose IP address is not reachable or not public (i.e. external or private addresses) as is often the case for GPRS connections?

The MobiControl desktop software does not need to initiate connections to devices, instead the MobiControl device software connects to servers. If the MobiControl Device Agent software is installed on a mobile device, it will attempt to connect to a Deployment Server and maintain that connection. In this way the desktop software does not need to connect to the device, it just uses the connection that the device software maintains to the server. Since the desktop software does not need to initiate connections to devices, dynamic device addresses are also not a problem.

MobiControl also allows external IP addresses and ports to be assigned to Deployment Servers. In this way devices can connect to external addresses that then get mapped to internal addresses and ports by firewall or proxy software. When initiating remote control sessions to devices with private addresses you need to use the TCP/IP (SERVER) connection profile. TCP/IP (SERVER) remote control sessions use device-initiated connections to provide remote control, in this way remote control sessions go through an intermediate MobiControl Deployment Server. In situations where devices do not have private addresses, using regular TCP/IP remote control profiles allows direct connections to devices with no intermediate servers. If a regular TCP/IP remote control profile is used, the connection is initiated from the desktop software.

R3. I need to remote control a device that is in the sleep or standby mode and is currently offline. How can I wake up the device and force it to connect to MobiControl?

If your mobile device is not showing up as online in MobiControl Manager and you want to establish a connection, you can do so with MobiControl's Send SMS (to initiate connection to MobiControl) feature. (Please see the Sending Messages / Scripts page.) It may be that your mobile device is in a suspended state (sleeping), or the data connection is not active. With the Send SMS (to initiate connection to MobiControl) feature, you can wake up the mobile device, activate the data connection, and have the mobile device connect to MobiControl.

R4. Why do I get a Rapi initialization timeout error when I try to remote control my mobile device?

Rapi Connection Error

When you receive the connection error "Rapi initialization timeout error" while trying to connect to your mobile device, it means MobiControl cannot communicate with Microsoft ActiveSync or WMDC and your mobile device. To resolve this error make sure you have your mobile device properly connected to your computer and to ActiveSync or WMDC.


Security

S1. How do I put pictures into my lockdown menu?

Lockdown menus are based on HTML template files. When you install MobiControl several sample template files are installed into the system. To create a lockdown menu screen with your own custom look and feel, open up one of the existing template files, and save it to a different file name. You can then edit the saved HTML template file and give it your own style. If you want to display images in the menu, then you need to make sure that the image files are located in stable storage on your mobile device. MobiControl does not automatically copy images referenced in template files to mobile devices. You can copy the images to your mobile devices either manually via a File Explorer tool, or you can get the images to your devices by using deployment rules or file sync rules. The destination location for images needs to be in stable storage. The image files can be referenced by their absolute path on the mobile devices that they reside on. Once you have finished creating your HTML template file, add the new template to MobiControl and then use it to configure lockdown rules. Please see the Device Lockdown page and the Customizing Lockdown Program Menu Templates page for more information about creating and customizing template files.

S2. How can I restrict what a user of the MobiControl Manager console can do?

MobiControl includes a security system that integrates with your existing Windows Domain security system (Microsoft Active Directory). You can configure permissions for your domain users, and MobiControl will allow or disallow access to specific functionality based on the permissions configured for the currently logged in user. Please see the Manager Console User Security page for more information.


Package Creation and Deployment

PD1. How do I deploy registry settings?

To deploy software, data or settings to your mobile devices, you need to create a package and then create a MobiControl deployment rule to send the package to your devices. To create a package, to use the MobiControl Package Studio tool, accessible from the Tools menu in MobiControl Manager. (Please see the MobiControl Package Studio page.) To initially generate the registry file that you want to deploy, open a MobiControl Remote Control session to a device that has the proper registry settings, then, using the remote control Registry tool, export the registry settings to a .reg file. Once the .reg file has been created, create a package using Package Studio, browse to your registry file and add it to your package, and then build the package using the Package Studio Build menu open. Package Studio recognizes certain file types such as registry files and sets these files to auto-execute by default when they are installed onto mobile devices. Once the package is built, in MobiControl Manager create a deployment rule to deploy the package to your mobile devices.

PD2. Do I need a second Deployment Server?

There are three reasons why you may want to add an additional MobiControl Deployment Server:

  1. Scalability

    When you are running multiple Deployment Servers, MobiControl will distribute the load among functioning servers. This means that if your existing server(s) are getting too loaded down, you can add additional servers to distribute the load amongst the servers. When connecting to servers, devices will distribute themselves amongst servers in order to balance the load across the servers.

  2. Fault Tolerance

    When you are running multiple Deployment Servers, if a particular server fails, or a server is down for maintenance, MobiControl will automatically move devices that were connected to the disabled server onto other functioning servers. When the server is available again, the system will start balancing the load to move load off other servers onto the available server. This feature means that all devices can be fully manageable even while one or more servers are not operating.

  3. Bandwidth Management

    In situations where an organization has remote sites, each of which has several mobile devices, placing Deployment Servers at each site can mean less bandwidth consumption between the head office and the remote sites and an overall increase in performance of the system. If there is only one centrally-located Deployment Server, each package delivery must be sent from the central server over the slow connection to each remote mobile device.

    Imagine a company with ten remote sites, each with one hundred devices, and the connections between the central office and the sites being very slow or having limited bandwidth availability. To deliver a package, there would be 1000 deliveries from the central location to the remote devices over the slow connection. This would be very slow and would consume available bandwidth between the sites and the central location. However, if there is a server at each site, the package will be sent once to each site (i.e. 10 deliveries over the slow connection instead of 1000). Then, the Deployment Server at each site will cache the package and transmit it to each of its local devices over the fast local network.

Our general recommendation is that you do not need to run more than one Deployment Server if you are managing less than 1500 devices, but you need to consider the information provided above, as well as any other network, infrastructure or other requirements your organization may have.

PD3. I am running my application on all my devices. From time to time I have to update some settings in my applications .ini file. I don't want to send the entire .ini file each time, is there a better way?

When you deploy packages with MobiControl, you can insert scripts into your packages. The MobiControl scripting language contains commands that allow you edit .ini files. So instead of sending an entire .ini file, you can just put in script commands to edit an existing .ini file and add or remove entries as needed.

Example:

The following command will edit the mov.ini file and set the Color value to "Red" in the "Video" section of the file:
writeprofstring \Movie\mov.ini Video Color Red
Please see the Script Command Set page for more information about MobiControl script commands.

PD4. I need to create a script that I will use in the package I deploy to my devices. Is there a way to test the script before I deploy it to my devices?

To test your scripts before putting them into a package, open a remote control session to your mobile device, and then click on the DOS Screen tab on the right edge of the remote control session window. If you copy your script to the mobile device file system you can run it by typing in the name of the script file at the prompt. When the script is executed you will see each line of the script execute in the DOS window. You can also test out individual script commands by typing them at the prompt.

PD5. Does MobiControl support a fault tolerance Deployment Server?

For added fault tolerance, MobiControl provides the capability to add multiple Deployment Servers to ensure high availability and minimize downtime. With multiple Deployment Servers, you can set different Deployment Server priorities for your devices. If the priority 1 server is down, the devices would automatically connect to the priority 2 server. The multiple Deployment Servers can run in an Active/Active or Active/Standby mode, configurable from within MobiControl. You can even specify multiple external IP addresses for the devices to connect to. If the devices are not able to connect to the first IP, they would try to connect to another IP where a backup Deployment Server can service the requests. An additional server license is required for Deployment Server fault tolerance.


Scripts

SC1. Are there any APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available so that I can call and execute a MobiControl scripts from a custom application?

Yes, you can call a MobiControl script from a custom application; you need to use Commloader.exe with a switch to execute scripts. Please see the Tips and Tricks page for more information.


Database

D1. What are recommendations for doing backups?

We recommend that you do a backup as often as possible. If you are running MobiControl v2.06 or earlier, you need to back up your file store and your database. If you are using MobiControl v3 or later, you only need to back up your database. To back up your file store, use the Microsoft File Explorer to copy the contents of the file store to a backup folder. To back up your database, if you are using the lightweight Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE), you may need to purchase a third-party tool. If you are running the full Microsoft SQL Server, you can back up your database using the back up tool provided with Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Most database back up tools provide an automated backup system so that your database will be automatically backed up at regular intervals.

D2. Can I use a third-party reporting tool to generate my own custom reports?

Yes, we can make the schema available. Please contact us for additional information.

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