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Understanding Provisioning


You can manage a device by provisioning it. Provisioning is updating the device after manufacture. This may or may not include bootstrapping a device. When an OEM or mobile operator bootstraps a device after manufacture, or makes any other update (except a firmware update) it is provisioning the device. When an OEM bootstraps a device during manufacture it is not provisioning.

Provisioning a device involves creating a provisioning XML file that contains configuration information, and then sending the file to the device, Configuration Manager and Configuration Service Providers configure the device based on the contents of the provisioning XML file.

There are a number of options for delivering provisioning files to Windows Mobile devices. The following table shows various delivery methods.

Delivery Method Description

Send over the air (OTA)

A device can be provisioned OTA by either a one-time push, or by using a two-way communication between server and client called continuous provisioning. Windows Mobile uses Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) device management standards for OTA provisioning.

The form of the Provisioning file is dependent upon the protocol you use to manage devices. The following list shows the protocols used:

  • OMA Client Provisioning -- A one-way WAP push, typically used for bootstrapping.
  • OMA Device Management (DM) -- Continuous provisioning that modifies the device configuration settings when necessary and can be repeated on multiple occasions.

The provisioning file can be sent over the air from a provisioning server to the device over a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Short Message Service (SMS) wireless network that uses a WAP push gateway.

> [!NOTE] > Microsoft does not provide an OMA DM or an OMA Client Provisioning server. The OEM, operator, or a third party must create their own server. For information about server requirements, see Server Requirements for OMA Device Management or Server Requirements for OMA Client Provisioning.

Service Indication (SI) and Service Loading (SL) can also be used to send and load provisioning XML files. The provisioning file is downloaded in a Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file. For more information, see Over the Air Provisioning with SI and SL Messages.

A provisioning XML file in a .cpf file can also be pulled by the device using the following mechanisms:

  • Over HTTP or HTTPS (Internet Explorer Mobile)
  • Using a Secure Digital Multimedia Card (SD/MMC)

For more information about these methods for pulling a file, see Packaging the XML File for Delivery.

Download in a Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file

Provisioning XML can be downloaded in a Cab Provisioning Format (.cpf) file. For more information, see the How To Create a .cpf File.

Send through Remote API (RAPI)

Provisioning XML can be downloaded from the desktop, using the RAPI in ActiveSync to push the file to a device.

Send through DMProcessConfigXML API

OEMs and application developers can provision a device by using the DMProcessConfigXML function. For information, see DMProcessConfigXML.

Provision during manufacture

The OEM can burn the file in flash memory and configure the device such that the file is loaded during the cold or warm boot procedure. For more information, see Bootstrapping a Device.

For more information about the available options for delivering the XML files, see Options for Delivering Provisioning XML Files.

In This Section

  • General Provisioning Architecture
    Explains the overall architecture of provisioning, such as the Configuration Manager, Push and Short Message Service (SMS) routers. This section also describes the architecture and support of OMA Client Provisioning and OMA DM.
  • WBXML and Windows Mobile Devices
    Describes how WAP Binary XML (WBXML) Content Format can be used for OMA Client Provisioning and for OMA DM. WBXML is a compact binary representation of XML that retains functionality and semantic information while reducing transmission size.
  • OMA Client Provisioning
    Discusses support for managing Windows Mobile devices through the OMA Client Provisioning protocol.
  • OMA Device Management
    Discusses support for managing Windows Mobile devices through the OMA DM protocol v1.1.2 and OMA DM v1.2.
  • Provisioning XML Considerations
    Discusses considerations when initially configuring a device for each type of deployment scenario. Also discusses considerations when changing security settings.
  • Provisioning Concepts
    Describes the concept of provisioning, which is managing the device before and after deployment to your customers. This involves configuring device settings as well as installing and updating applications and device utilities.
  • Understanding OTA Firmware Update
    Describes how Windows Mobile handles OTA firmware update at the various component levels, and contains scenarios and FUMO result codes.
  • How To Topics for Managing Devices
    Describes some of the many settings that can be customized for branding, security, or convenience. The topics in this section will help you understand what can be configured and how to modify the configuration.