Sedona Device Simulator

A Sedona Device Simulator allows an app designed for a specific Sedona platform to run on another platform. The Simulator consists of a simulator Sedona VM plus a special scode file and platform manifest that allow the app to run as if it were on the original device.

In a simulator Sedona VM, the native methods for the original platform are replaced with functions compatible with the simulator platform. The new functions may supply functionality equivalent to the originals, or they may be stubs, depending on how the simulator SVM is built. The degree to which a given Device Simulator will mimic the actual device is largely a function of the effort level put into creating it.

The Sedona compiler sedonac provides some functionality to aid in the creation of a simulator SVM. In particular, it can automatically create empty stub functions for any native methods that have not already been supplied by the developer. These source stubs can then be edited to add the desired functionality, or can simply be left as-is to create a limited (but usable) simulator SVM.

Creating a device simulator SVM for your platform

The following instructions will help you create a Sedona device simulator SVM for your own device. (It is usually convenient to bundle these operations into a script that can be run as needed.)

  1. Step 1: Create a platform XML file for the simulator SVM
  2. Step 2: Stage the Device Simulator SVM source files
  3. Step 3: Build the simulator SVM
  4. Step 4: Build scode for the Device Simulator
  5. Step 5: Include an app for the Device Simulator
  6. Step 6: Package and install the Device Simulator
  7. Step 7: Run the Device Simulator

Step 1: Create a platform XML file for the simulator SVM

The first step in creating a Device Simulator is setting up a simulator version of the platform XML file. By convention, the new file should have the same name as the original, with "-sim" inserted just before the extension.

Platform ID

Inside the new XML file, the platform ID should be modified in the same way as the filename.

Simulator platform compile attributes

Next, the attributes of the <compile> tag should modified to match the simulator platform rather than the original target platform.

Native kits

The list of <nativeKit> tags requires no modification.

Native source paths

The list of <nativeSource> tags must be modified to reflect the location of the native method implementations for the simulator platform. If any native methods are not supplied in the paths provided here, sedonac will create empty stubs for them at staging time. This is also where any simulator-specific native method implementations will be included - just provide the path to the desired source code in a <nativeSource> tag like the others.

If there is a native method for the original platform that must return a specific value (or must not return 0), the developer can provide source code for a substitute that returns the desired value. The native source code file containing the substitute can be stored anywhere, as long as there is a <nativeSource> tag in the sim platform XML file that points to its location.

At the other end of the simplicity spectrum, it is also possible to develop a more elaborate Device Simulator. For example one could provide a graphical representation for digital outputs on the simulator platform. The native code that generates the graphics, as well as the native method implementations that control them, would similarly be located and staged via one or more <nativeSource> tags.

Native patches

Any native patches required for the Simulator SVM need to be accounted for in <nativePatch> tags. Note: The set of patches for the Device Simulator SVM may not be the same as the set for the original platform. In fact, since native patches are generally created only for SVMs that cannot be rebuilt easily, it is unlikely any will be needed in a simulator SVM.

Manifest includes

If the platform definition file uses the <manifestInclude> tag, the developer should judiciously consider whether it can remain as-is or needs to be modified for the simulator SVM. In particular, depending on how (or if) the original platform supports the Manifest Server feature then it may need to be omitted or re-implemented for the simulator.

Step 2: Stage the Device Simulator SVM source files

When the platform XML file for the simulator SVM is complete, run sedonac on the new file using the option -stageSim. Specify the location to be used for the staging area via the -outDir option.

Sedonac will collect the files from all the <nativeSource> paths and store them in the staging area, and then scan the source code to identify any missing native method implementations. It will then create empty stubs for the missing methods. It will also create a .par folder in the staging directory to hold the platform archive (generated later), and create the platform manifest file for the simulator platform.

At this time, the source code for the Simulator's SVM is ready for building. If desired, any stub functions created by sedonac may be edited now to add functionality.

Step 3: Build the simulator SVM

The next step is to compile the source code into an SVM executable. Use any toolchain that is appropriate for the simulator platform. When the executable has been created, copy it into the .par/svm folder inside the staging folder.

Step 4: Build scode for the Device Simulator

The Device Simulator requires a specially built scode file, so that the scode will run on the simulator platform. To do this, simply copy a basic scode XML file (such as one that is normally used for building scode for the original platform) and change the platform-specific parameters in the <sedonaCode> tag to match the simulator platform. This is the same as what was done earlier for the platform definition XML, e.g. to run on Windows set endian="little" and blockSize="4". The list of kits requires no modifications.

Run sedonac on the new scode file, and place it in .par/svm with the SVM executable. (Name it kits.scode for later convenience.)

Step 5: Include an app for the Device Simulator

Finally, find or create a basic app with a schema that matches the scode built in the previous step. It does not require any modification. Simply build it and place the .sab file into .par/svm with the SVM and scode files. (Name it app.sab for later convenience.)

Step 6: Package and install the Device Simulator

Install the simulator platform into the platform database using the platArchive tool, as follows:
platArchive --stage [path to .par folder] --svm --db

This will also package the .par folder into a zip archive (in this example, the archive would be named tridium-generic-unix-sim-1.2.2.par), which is a convenient way to distribute the Device Simulator with its associated files.

Step 7: Run the Device Simulator

To run the simulator SVM from the command line, simply navigate to the svm/ folder on the simulator host and run the SVM executable, e.g.

svm>svm --plat kits.scode app.sab

Sedona VM 2.1.28-sim
buildDate: Jan 14 2013 10:01:34
endian:    little
blockSize: 4
refSize:   4

Running SVM in Platform Mode
-- MESSAGE [sys::App] starting
-- MESSAGE [sox::SoxService] started port=1876
-- MESSAGE [sox::SoxService] DASP Discovery enabled
-- MESSAGE [sys::App] running

Make sure you are running the SVM executable in the svm/ folder, and not the one in {Sedona home}/bin. (You may need to modify your path variable to pick up the current directory first.)

The simulator SVM is now running on the simulator host. It is a real Sedona VM and can be discovered and connected to by any Sox client on the same network. Any Sedona app that was designed to run on the original hardware platform should run successfully on this SVM as well. The main difference is that any native methods that are stubbed out in the simulator SVM will offer only their stubbed behavior to the app. The simulator SVM will be as realistic as the implementations of its native methods will allow.

Note: The svm/ folder is probably not the best location for running the simulator SVM, since it is likely just a temporary directory. This example is just a way to demonstrate the simulator SVM functionality.