Seamless Platform Updates In Simumatik
What is a seamless update?
Seamless updates keep your software up-to-date without the headache of manual installation. Furthermore, it means that once you install a piece of software it takes care of future updates by itself. As a result, this removes the need to keep an eye on potential new software versions, downloading any files, and going through the installation/update process.
Organization IT challenges
In many organizations, not all users have privileges to install software. This is quite common in educational institutions for example. As a result, traditional updates are a big headache for System Administrators.
In Simumatik, we have worked with industry and education customers closely for many years. Because of this, it was clear to us early on that it would be valuable to provide a solution that had seamless updates.
In Simumatik, the challenge is that we have new features (projects) deployed regularly, while our users interact with the Simumatik Platform (the app), the emulation server (server), and the gateway. However, while all three are deployed using different technologies, we have still managed to provide a seamless update experience for them all. The next section talks about how we achieved this.
Creating a seamless update
When we decided to develop the Simumatik Platform as a web application, we knew that we wanted a flexible, multiplatform solution. A contributing factor in this decision was the fact that seamless updates are a natural feature of web applications. Also, we could deploy an update of the application at any time, and users could start using the latest version immediately.
When it came to the emulation server (where your models are executed) we offered two versions, online and local. The online server is embedded in a docker container and executed in the cloud, so updating the docker image is enough for us to deploy an update. Any user that launches an online server after our update will get the latest version without even noticing it.
In the case of the local server, (only available for Windows at the moment), we have developed a launcher that is installed once and it’s role is to download and execute the latest version of the source code to the user’s folder. This doesn’t require admin permissions.
As we recently announced in our last blog post, we made our Gateway open-source. Following this, we are excited to announce that we have just updated its installer too. It follows the same principle as the emulation server. From now on, every time you start your computer, the gateway is launched as a background process and it checks for any updates in the GitHub repository. If there are any updates, it downloads the latest release and executes the latest version including all new drivers.
To summarize, with Simumatik you don’t have to worry about updating after installing our software. Just install it once and it will take care of any updates and patches automatically, with no hassle and for free of course!
Questions about this blog article? Contact us and we’d be happy to chat!