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From Bram de Kruijff <>
Subject Re: Questions on ACE
Date Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:55:14 GMT
Hello Phillipp,

welcome to ACE :)

On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Philipp Buluschek <> wrote:
> Dear all
> Initiated with my question on SO
> (, I have tried the ACE demo and
> have found it very good. I would like to clarify whether the following
> things are possible with it, and if not whether you think that a
> modification of the sources could (easily) be done to support that.
> My use case: I will have several hundred embedded systems running Felix
> which must be kept up to date. I will probably have few (maybe 4) different
> "distributions" (ie. applications), each on many of those systems. Here are
> my questions:
> Can I put targets (ie. the machines to be updated) into groups, so that I
> can easily deploy a new version of a distribution to a large group of
> targets?

Yes, you can. The standard model uses 4 columns
(artifact,features,distributions,targets) and indeed you can define
your applications as 'distributions' and then freely associate any
number of targets with it. Once you update and (auto)approve the
distribution it will be provisioned to all those targets. Also note,
that associating can also be done through scripting and matching. You
do not need to do it by hand!

> Can I configure when the update takes place - ideally some time in the night
> (when the users don't use the system) with a large jitter (so the server is
> not overloaded all at once).

Yes, you can (with custom scripting). You can do this by timing the
approval on the server side and/or by controlling the agent behavior.
The former can be done using some form of externally timed scripting
(eg. a cron job) to execute approval at a preset time (with some
jitter) through a scripted client. The latter can be done by
implementing a custom controller that manages agent behavior (and
introduces jitter).

> Can I configure locally (on the agent) whether it should update?

Yes, you can (with custom controller). The management agent uses a
'default' controller that you can easily override with a custom
implementation to enforce any kind of custom behavior.

> Can I update the OSGI framework itself from ACE?

Yes, you can (with some effort). You can leverage the provisioning
mechanisms to deploy the framework (felix x.y.z) artifacts to the
target. Either as a special resource type with a custom processor or
as part of a special bundle that stores it at a defined place. All you
need then is a way to detect the update and restart the agent through
some external process (eg. System.exit() && watchdog).

> Thanks & regards
>   Philipp

Hope that helps!


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