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Quick Start

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In this quick start I will demonstrate how to install the system and show some basic features.

Installation

System Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows XP, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 (32bit or 64bit)

  • Hardware:
    • CPU: A 1GHz processor is recommended, however the system will run with slower processors.
    • RAM: 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended
    • Hard Drive: 20 megabytes is required for a full single machine installation. More space is needed when adding graphics for touch screens and media files.
    • Some device drivers require a serial port, usb port, or network card.
    • It is highly recommended that the use of USB to Serial port adapters be avoided when connecting automation hardware to a computer. A Serial Port Expansion card with permanent physical serial ports is recommended. There is further information on this in the Elve FAQ document.


If the .Net Framework 3.5 is not installed you may see something similar to the following when you run the setup application:

Missing .Net Framework Error


Example System Diagrams

Please review the the example system diagrams below to see how Elve may be configured on a single machine or over a network on multiple machines.

It is recommended that first time users install all the Elve components on a single machine.

Single Server Install

Single Server Install

Multi-Server Install

Multi-Server Install

Server Details

Server Details

System Example

System Example


Installing

Execute the Setup.exe file (usually by double clicking on it in Windows Explorer). You may be prompted to allow execution of the application.

Single Machine Installation (recommended for first time users)

For the simplest single pc installation just accept all the default settings. This will install all the applications and services on the pc and will start the services.

Multiple Machine Installation (not available with all licenses)

The system is fully network distributed so feel free to install any of the components on any other computer. So for example if you have devices connected to several computers, install the driver service on each of those computers to add them to the system. You may need to review your firewall settings. Installing applications on different different LANS may require additional configuration. Multi-machine installation requires an Elve Professional license after the trial period.

During installation of client applications on any machine without the Master Service, the installer will ask for the hostname or IP address of the Master Service machine and will verify that a connection can be established.

  • Simple Single Network Installations:

Installing Elve applications and services within the same network as the Master Service machine (such as on a home network) usually require no additional configuration unless the local machine is connected to multiple networks using multiple network interface cards (physical and/or virtual) or multiple ip addresses.

When entering the Master Service hostname, if the machine running the Master Service has a static IP address you may enter it. Do not enter the master service server's IP address if it is assigned via DHCP or if the IP address is dynamic. You may also enter the NetBIOS name of the computer, or if you use a DNS server in your LAN you may enter the fully qualified domain name.

  • Advanced Network Installations:

Installing Elve applications and services to communicate between different networks or to run on machines with multiple network interface cards (physical and/or virtual) or multiple ip addresses may require additional installation steps.

When entering the Master Service hostname, if the machine running the Master Service has a static public IP address you may enter it. Do not enter the Master Service machine's IP address if it is not a public IP address, or it is assigned via DHCP, or if the IP address is dynamic. If you have assigned a well known fully qualified domain name that is resolvable via DNS you may enter it (such as mynetwork.com), or if you subscribe to a DYDNS service you may enter the domain name.

The applications and services require two-way communication so please review the advanced settings in the Machine Settings to see if they are applicable for your installation.

  • Firewall Considerations:

The installer will automatically open the appropriate ports on the pc if you are using the Windows Firewall. If you are using a software firewall other than the Windows Firewall or a hardware firewall please review the firewall ports section of this document and ensure the appropriate firewall ports are open.

There is usually a hardware firewall between the machine running the Master Service and the internet, such as a router or dedicated firewall device.

  • Security:

It is recommended that if you intend to expose the web server to a public network, that for better security you use IIS instead of the built in web server. Refer to the Configuring IIS for J9SP document.

Uninstalling or Upgrading

To uninstall the software, simply run setup.exe again and choose the Uninstall option.

To upgrade the software, download the latest version, run setup.exe and choose the Upgrade option.

Windows Start Menu

The following image shows the Start Menu (on Windows 7) after the installation.

Start Menu

For information on each of these components, please visit the Elve Online Manual.

Getting Started Basics

When getting started, the typical steps are:

  1. Run the Elve Management Studio application from the Windows Start menu for configuration and diagnostics.
    • Sign In with username 'Admin' and password 'admin'.
    • Add your automation devices to the configuration.
    • Test your devices using the Device Properties and Device Methods tab to ensure proper setup.
    • Add reusable scenes to be used in rules and touch screen interface events.
    • Add rules to take automated actions when device events occur. (optional)
  2. User Accounts (optional)
    • Change the Admin user's password.
    • Add user accounts to limit user access and features.
  3. Touch Screen Interfaces (optional)
    • Several touch screen interface samples are available for download.
    • Create custom touch screen interfaces using the Touch Screen Builder application.
  4. Web Site Interface (optional)
    • The built in web site provides basic functionality and is optimized for basic mobile web browsers.
    • Create custom web pages using J9SP including graphics and web form controls.

Configuration

Devices

Devices - Click to Zoom

Devices - Click to Zoom

The installation pre-configures a variety of common device types so you have a working system as soon as you install. After you get familiar with the system you will want to update the device list to fit your specific needs.

Several of the pre-configured devices are simulator devices which simulate a real automation device such as a lighting system. These simulator devices are installed with the installation to give you a better idea of how the system works without actually having to configure your real devices. You will want to replace the simulator entries and probably others with your real devices later.

To take a look at the device configuration for these, start the Elve Management Studio application from the start menu. Then click the 'Devices' button.

You will see the following window (click the image to see a larger version).

The top grid shows all the devices currently installed.

The bottom portion of the window contains four tabs, each showing information about the device selected in the top grid. The tabs are as follows:

  • Device Configuration Tab

This contains all the information needed to connect to and run the device.

You may want to change the device settings for a couple of the pre-configured devices. For example:

* Set your appropriate longitude and latitude in the Date & Time driver so it will accurately calculate the sunrise and sunset.
* Set the Music Folder setting for the Music File System Media Library device. It defaults to the public music folder on a Windows Vista and Windows 7 machine.
* Set the appropriate location in the weather device.

  • Device Properties Tab

This tab is generally only used for diagnostics and testing.

A device property is a named attribute associated with a device. Each device can have it's own set of properties and associated property values, for instance a noaa weather device has a Temperature property as well as many other weather related properties. The Temperature property could for example have a value of 75, meaning 75 degrees. Double clicking any writable property allows you to change it's value. (All the Noaa Weather driver properties are read-only, so you can not change any of them.)

  • Device Methods Tab

This tab is generally only used for diagnostics and testing.

Device methods consist of the computations and actions that the device can perform. Each device can have a list of methods that are used to control the device. A noaa weather device has no methods, but a SqueezeCenter device for example has Play, Stop, Pause and other methods. Use this tab to test invoking methods on the device.

  • Associated Rules Tab

This tab shows a view only view of all the user defined rules that are associated with the selected device. To edit rules, use the Rule Editor.

* The NOAA weather driver is used for demonstration purposes here because it does not require a user account, but it is recommended that you choose a different weather driver since NOAA does not have the most relaible online weather service.

Scenes

A scene is a reusable list of actions that can be run from multiple rules and/or touch screen builder events.

For example you could create a 'Thermostat Comfort Mode' scene that sets your thermostat set point. You could then create a rule to run the scene when the security system is disarmed, another rule that runs at 4:30pm and you could create a touch screen button to run the scene.

If you want to change a scene's action list you only need to change the scene and not any of the rules or touch screen events which run the scene.

The base installation does not have any automation scenes configured.

Rules

A rule is an association between an event that occurs in a device and a list of actions to take when the event occurs. Rules can be added to the system by the user from the Elve Management Studio application.

Each device driver watches it's hardware or virtual device for state changes known as events. When an event occurs it scans all associated rules for eligibility based on the rule's whenever filter and then executes the rule's action list (or script) if it is eligible.

The base installation does not have any automation rules configured. You'll want to add your devices and create rules based on events that occur in your devices.

User Interfaces

Touch Screen Viewer

Image
Image
There are four touch screen viewer applications included with the software.

  • Touch Screen Viewer
    This is a high performance viewer for use on the same network as the Master Service installation.

  • Touch Screen Viewer Lite
    This is a small portable thin client viewer for use over the internet using Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

  • PocketPC Touch Screen Viewer
    This is the viewer for Microsoft PocketPC devices.

  • iPhone, iPod Touch, & iPad Viewer
    This is the viewer for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices.

For more details on the viewer application see Touch Screen Viewer Applications.

The Download page provides several sample touch screen interfaces that you can import into the system.

Built In Web Site

Web Site Weather Page - Click to Zoom

Web Site Weather Page - Click to Zoom

If you installed the web server and web site, click the 'My Web Site' start menu item.

If you already have Microsoft IIS installed on your computer, the installer will choose port 33904 for the web site (to avoid conflicting with the standard www port 80).

The built in web site contains dynamic web pages for each of the following types of devices:

  • Climate Control: View current settings and change set points.
  • Lighting: View light names and levels. Turn on/off or dim/brighten lights.
  • Security: View all area and zone statuses.
  • Media players: View currently playing tracks and control the player(s).
  • Tasks: Activate named tasks.
  • Outputs: View and control output/relay states.
  • Weather: View weather conditions.

Each page will display information for all devices of the given type. So for example if you have more than one NOAA Weather device configured, each will be displayed on the weather page.

The dynamic pages are all created using J9SP and can altered/skinned/and extended by the user as desired.

Using J9SP you can create powerful dynamic web pages containing any device properties, graphics, html form controls (such as buttons, text fields, etc) allowing the page to update device properties and invoke device methods.

If you prefer to use IIS 5.0+, please review the Configuring IIS for J9SP page.


Help and Support

Please feel free to browse the Elve Online Manual or visit our Community Forum with any questions, comments, or suggestions.
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