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impCentral FAQs

 

Where do I access impCentral?

Electric Imp now maintains two Public ImpClouds™: one hosted on Microsoft Azure, the other on Amazon Web Services (AWS). All existing accounts (to March 2018) are hosted on AWS, but new accounts may be created on either impCloud. Accounts on the two impClouds are not linked in any way: even if you possess the same username on both impClouds, you will not be able to access one account’s Products and devices from the other account. Owning a given username on one impCloud does not guarantee you the right to have the same username on the other.

Note Devices are impCloud-specific: a device intended for the AWS impCloud cannot be used with the Azure impCloud, and vice versa.

impCentral and the impCentral API are identical in operation on both impClouds.

I have an existing account — which impCloud should I use?

All Public impCloud accounts created before March 2018 are hosted on the AWS impCloud.

I have an existing account — should I create a second one on the Azure impCloud?

This is not necessary. Both impClouds are fully capable of hosting all of your connected products and can scale as they do. You only need an Azure impCloud account if you have a business requirement to do so.

I am about to create my account — which impCloud should I choose?

The choice should be determined by your business logic. For example, if your company has a purchasing preference for Microsoft products and services, you may wish to use the Azure impCloud. Other than hosting infrastructure, both impClouds are identical in terms of the capabilities, security and scalability they provide, and the tools they use.

However, please note that devices are impCloud-specific: a device intended for the AWS impCloud, such as many development products currently offered by Electric Imp, cannot be used with the Azure impCloud, and vice versa. Azure impCloud-oriented hardware can be purchased now from the Electric Imp Store and from other suppliers shortly.

How do I navigate around impCentral?

impCentral provides a ‘breadcrumb’ navigation bar which lists (left to right) the account you have logged in to (or selected, if you are collaborating on accounts other than your own), your selected product, and your selected Device Group. Each item in the sequence indicates its type, and Product entries feature a switch which allows you to flip between Development and Production zones. Each item in the chain also has a menu arrow: click on this to pop up a list of other items (Accounts, Products, Device Groups, etc.) which you can select to navigate to.

Navigation Bar: Accounts

What is a Product?

A Product embodies a single Electric Imp-based product or product family. As such, it encompass all of the many combinations of application and factory firmware that are required to develop a product, put it into production and to make it successfully perform its role in the field. That can include the many versions of an application as it evolves, along with all the variants of each of those versions for the different SKUs within the product line. Please see the impCentral User Guide for more information.

What is a Device Group?

A Device Group brings together development code with the development devices to which that code will be deployed. There are different types of Device Group: Development, which is used to develop and test application firmware, and Test Factory, which is used to test factory firmware on both BlinkUp fixtures and Devices Under Test (DUTs). Production Device Groups organize Production Devices (DUTs that have been blessed) and are assigned application firmware promoted from a Development Device Group. Please see the impCentral User Guide for more information.

What is the minimum I need to do to begin development?

  1. Create a Product and a Development Device Group.
  2. Using BlinkUp, add a Development Device to your account.
  3. Assign that device to your new Product’s Development Device Group.
  4. Enter some code in the Development Device Group’s code editor.
  5. Click the code editor’s Build and Force Restart button and power-cycle your device.

How do I create a Product?

When you log into impCentral, you will have no Products. Click the Create New Product button to set up your first Product: impCentral will ask you for a name for the new Product and invite you to name the Product’s first Development Device Group. All Products need at least one Development Device Group in which you create the Product’s application firmware. Click on the selected account in the navigation bar to get a list of the account’s Products and to show the Create New Product button.

How do I create Development Device Groups?

If you need further Development Device Groups, you can create them at any time by selecting a Product’s Development Zone from the Products list presented by impCentral, and then clicking the Create New Device Group button.

How do I create Test Factory Device Groups?

If you are the holder of a free Electric Imp account, you will not be able to view or access factory- and production-oriented functionality unless you have been granted access to these features as a collaborator by another account holder who has these privileges.

If you are able to work with Test Factory Device Groups, you can create them at any time by selecting a Product’s Development Zone from the Products list presented by impCentral, clicking on the Factory Code icon (</>F) in the left-side panel, and then clicking Create New Device Group.

What is ‘Promotion’?

Promotion is the act of making a development code deployment available for use in the production environment. For example, if updated application firmware is to be deployed to Production Devices in the field, once development work on it has been completed in a Development Device Group, it must first be promoted. This makes it available to be deployed (via the Production Zone) to the Production Device Group(s) which hold the target Production Devices.

I can’t see the Promote button — how do I promote my code?

If you are the holder of a free Electric Imp account, you will not be able to view or access factory- and production-oriented functionality, including the Promote button, unless you have been granted access to these features as a collaborator by another account holder who has these privileges. The Promote button is a production feature.

If you are not a collaborator, as a free account holder you will only be able to create Products and Development Device Groups for work with development code and development devices.

Where can I find earlier versions of my code?

Every Device Group has a Deployments list. Every time you click Build and Force Restart in a Device Group’s code editor, the compiled code (assuming it passes a syntax check) becomes a new deployment; it is deployed to the Device Group’s assigned devices and added to the Deployments list. Click on the Deployments side panel icon (Code History Icon) to view the list of Deployments made to the Device Group. Earlier versions of your code are made available in read-only form — click on a SHA to show the code in the code editor. Now click on the Edit button to make a copy of the earlier version as a new code editor draft.

Do I need to click on Build to save my code between sessions?

No. impCentral always saves the code in the code editor so that it’s available the next time you log back in. However, until you click Build and Force Restart, the code will not be deployed to Device Group’s assigned devices, or be available to be promoted for production use if you have production privileges.

If I update my development code, will all of my development devices receive that code?

Only if they are all in the same Device Group. You always deploy development code to a specific Device Group — by clicking on Build and Force Restart. To deploy the same code to Pre-Production, Production or Factory Device Groups, you will need to promote the code first.

I clicked on Build, but my devices are still running my old code — why?

Build checks the code syntax and if there are no issues, compiles the code and stages it in the impCloud. The Device Group’s devices will not receive the code until they restart — which does not happen when you click Build. To trigger a restart, click on the triangle to the right of Build and select either ‘Build and Force Restart or Build and Conditional Restart — these options will build the code and trigger device restarts.

To discover the different between forced and conditional restarts, please see ‘Polite Squirrel Deployment’.

I have spotted an error in my production code — how do I fix it?

Note the deployed production code’s SHA and locate that SHA in the appropriate Development or Test Factory Device Group’s Deployments list. You can then click in the listed SHA to open the code in the code editor; click Edit to create a new draft based on the viewed code. Apply your fix, and click Build and Force Restart to deploy the updated code to your test devices. If the fix is good, click on Promote to make the new deployment (indicated by a new SHA, which you should note) available for deployment to your Production Devices or BlinkUp Fixtures. In the Production Zone, locate the original Production or Factory Device Group and click Deployments* under the **MANAGE column. The Deployments list will appear; click the New Deployment button, then select the updated code’s SHA, enter a description and click the Deploy button to release the new code.

Alternatively, you might create a new Production Device Group, move some production devices to that group and then deploy the updated code to then, allowing you to test the update on selected field devices before deploying it to all production devices.

If I update the code on my Development Devices, will my Production Devices be updated too?

No. When you deploy code to a Development Device Group, no Production Device Group’s devices are updated — they will need to be updated separately by first promoting the updated code and then deploying the promoted deployment to the chosen Production Device Group.

How do I deploy updated development code to my production devices?

Assuming you are viewing the newly built code in the code editor, click on the Promote button. This will make the code available to be deployed to the devices in any of your other Device Groups. If the code is in a draft form, ie. it has not been compiled in the Electric Imp impCloud, you will need to run it on the Device Group’s devices first: click on Build and Force Restart button in the code editor. Now it can be promoted. Promoted application firmware can be deployed to Production Device Groups and to Test Blessed Devices; promoted factory firmware can be deployed to Factory Device Groups. Production deployments are made in the Product’s Production Zone.

How do I re-use a BlinkUp Fixture with another Product?

Just re-assign the fixture to one of the second Product’s Factory Device Groups or, for testing, any of its Test Factory Device Groups.

How do I view production logs?

You will need a device’s ID, MAC address or agent URL. Enter this information into the Device Lookup field in the devices menu (). This will call up a device information view for the specified device. Now click the LOGS tab to view new log entries for that device.

How do I unbless a Production Device ?

Go to the Product’s Production Zone and locate the Production Device Group to which the blessed device has been assigned. Click Devices under MANAGE. In the list of Production Devices which now appears, locate the device you wish to unbless and then click Delete under MANAGE for that device. It will now be unblessed and removed from your account.

If you already know the blessed device’s ID, MAC address or agent URL, you can enter that information into the Device Lookup field in the devices menu (). This will call up a device information view for the specified device. Look for the Actions menu at the top right of view: select Delete from this menu to unbless the device.

Where do I set Webhooks in impCentral?

Webhooks are now specific to a given Production Device Group or Test Factory Device Group each Device Group can have it’s own set of Blessing and BlinkUp webhooks. After you have created a Production Device Group or Test Factory Device Group, click Settings under the MANAGE column to call up the settings for the specified group. Here you can enter the webhook URL and the Content Type by which the data will be sent.

Production Device Group Settings

You can get more information on webhooks, here.

Can I view a report showing devices activated?

Not at this time; this is a feature on the impCentral roadmap. For the time being, you can get this information by locating a Production Device Group in the Product’s Production Zone. Click Devices under the MANAGE column to call up a list of all the devices assigned to the specified Production Device Group. Look at this list’s LAST ENROLLED column: ‘unenrolled’ devices are those which have been blessed but not yet activated. Those devices with a last enrolled date have been activated. Click on the column title to sort the list by these types.

Will impCentral replace the legacy IDE?

Yes. impCentral is a much more powerful tool than the legacy IDE, and offers more features, greater flexibility and improved control over your IoT products, so we expect it to fully replace the legacy IDE in August 2018.

How do I move a model to impCentral?

In impCentral, click on impCentral Migration in the Electric Imp bar and then select impCentral Migration Wizard. This will guide you through the process of migrating your models to Products and Device Groups. Note This will be done automatically for you in the week commencing July 30, 2018.

When a model becomes a Product, what will happen to its code?

This depends on the type of device running the model’s code:

  • Development devices and their agents will continue to run the latest build of the model’s code, which will be accessible as an automatically created Development Device Group’s initial deployment. This will not cause devices to restart.
  • Production Devices and their agents will continue to run the latest build of the production model’s code, which will be accessible as an automatically created Production Device Group’s first deployment.
  • BlinkUp Fixtures and their agents will continue to run the latest promoted and deployed build of the factory model’s associated factory firmware, which will be accessible as the automatically created Factory Device Group’s first deployment.

Do devices assigned to a model restart when the model becomes a Product?

No. Devices will continue to run the code that has already been deployed to them and do so uninterrupted. This code becomes the Product’s Development Device Group’s latest deployment, identified by a SHA value, but it is not re-sent to those Groups’ devices.

Where do I find my models in impCentral?

Models are not a feature of impCentral. Instead, the features of models have been divided between impCentral’s new entities: Products and Device Groups. Products define Electric Imp-based applications, just as models did. But Products don’t combine code and devices — their Device Groups do.

Can I migrate my models to impCentral?

In impCentral, click on impCentral Migration in the Electric Imp bar and then select impCentral Migration Wizard. This will guide you through the process of migrating your models to Products and Device Groups. Note This will be done automatically for you in the week commencing July 30, 2018.

Do I use my Build API Key with the impCentral API?

No. Build API keys — which were made available via the legacy IDE — were used solely with the Build API, which has now been deprecated and will be removed in August 2018. The impCentral API does not use Build API keys. Instead, you use either your Electric Imp username and password, or a login key, to access the API. Tools which make use of the impCentral API, such as Electric Imp’s impWorks™ tools, therefore also use username/password authentication.