Previous chapters describe the special characteristics of an embedded device from an internal perspective: You read about OS construction, device drivers and BSP development, real-time constraints, and heterogeneous application architectures. One other important aspect comes from an external perspective: How do I efficiently service my device when it is in the field?

Many devices are headless or their user interface cannot be used for service because it does not have the adapted input devices. Think of an ATM cash machine: You cannot easily navigate the file system or edit configuration files with a numeric keyboard and a few dedicated buttons. It is even worse when you know that the numeric keyboard does not belong to the embedded device by itself but to a specialized, secure microcontroller, which — for obvious security reasons — won’t let the embedded computer interact with its keyboard.

Servicing Embedded Devices

The Visual Studio 2008 and Platform Builder 7 IDEs offer a large panel of possibilities to interact with a Compact 7 target; they are dedicated to different categories of situations:

  • OS design and BSP development
  • Smart device application development
  • Factory tests and assessment
  • Field tests and maintenance after shipment (with technologies like Error Reporting or Passive KITL mode)

The first three items in this list occur in a controlled environment, usually the OEM integration platform. They are dedicated technical situations where ...

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