NETMF Version 4.2 Beta now available

Today, we have posted the Beta bits for the NETMF version 4.2 release to CodePlex

There are some great additional features beyond what we announced for the 4.2 Alpha release (cryptographic primitives, PWM, FTP,…).  These include:

  • ·  the preliminary object model, samples and infrastructure to support Remote Firmware Update,

  • · the object model for A/D conversion,

  • · the support for VB.NET.   

  • · Alexandr Surkov and Igor Kiselev contribute PKStudio as a future replacement for SolutionWizard. 

  • · Julius Friedman has contributed StringBuilder and plans to add RegEx by the 4.2 release.  Thanks also to Michael Schwarz for helping with this effort.

The previous Cryptographic APIs are not included in 4.2 and are deprecated going forward.  You should work with your hardware vendor to understand their plans for support for deprecated interfaces in their future releases.   

More Detail on the New Features

The MFUpdate feature provides a framework for enabling software updates (remotely or locally).  The update framework provides storage, backup and installation facilities that are configurable from the porting kit.  A porting kit developer can either use some of our sample facility providers like the BlockStorageUpdate storage provider or the MicroBooter installation provider, or they can provide their own facilities.  This way both the download application and the update facilities are configurable, thus giving the user the most flexibility while at the same time limiting what they need to implement.  The managed developer simply needs to create an application using their preferred transport and communication protocol to receive the update packets.  Then they will use the update facilities to validate, store and eventually install the packets.   When you combine this functionality with the Cryptographic framework that was added to .Net MF for v4.2, we enable the developers to create a secure remote update story.  In the porting kit we have one platform (iMXS_net_open) and two samples firmware upload mechanisms: MFDeploy and HttpServer.  MFDeploy and the HttpServer sample transfer .nmf flies (compress firmware binaries) packet by packet to the iMXS_net_open platform.   The emulator has the capability to upload firmware but it will obviously not be able to do an install.  This provides an easy sample for testing custom update applications.

MFUpdate will be completed in the RC with the ability to do targeted updates like replacing just the application and some added security. 

The A/D conversion object model is engineered to be as fast as possible and support up to 8 channels.

The support for VB.NET includes templates for the VS2010 project system.

PKStudio provides all features for easy .Net Micro Framework port development in an IDE.  PKStudio extends the functionality of SolutionWizard by supporting exploration of the Porting Kit components,  analysis of component's references, create and compile solutions and projects, edit source code, and do many other tasks. One of the main features is the uVision converter, which is allows the user to get compilable and debuggable Keil uVision projects.  As a result there is no more needed to use command line and edit solutions manually.

StringBuilder and Regex are standard implementations.  Regex will have its own assembly.  StringBuilder is now part of mscorlib.


Next Steps

We are still planning an RC in mid-late July which will contain all the expected features in their final form.  We really encourage you to:

1) Review the features and give us any feedback that you have on that.

2) Try out things that you are interested in the emulator

3) If you have a hardware platform, decide  what parts of 4.2 you will support and start of try out the transition work. 

Please post any feedback on the CodePlex issue tracker for the project.

The release is found on CodePlex as change 11779.


Technorati Tags: NETMF,.NET Micro Framework,Version 4.2,VB,VB.NET,Firmware update,Device Update.