For larger projects, where many cameras need to be commissioned, the question might come up on how to tackle it in the most efficient way using the Project Assistant. In the end, a Project Assistant file can comprise up to 500 cameras. Especially if multiple contributors perform the commissioning step in parallel, you need an appropriate approach.
For visualization reasons, let's use a simple example. Let's imagine we have a project that comprises 500 new cameras in total. 250 cameras for building A and another 250 cameras for building B.
Here are two options:
Creating multiple (sub-) projects and merge them in Configuation Manager If you cannot use Dropbox for synchronisation via the cloud, you can simply create 2 projects - one for building A and one for building B. Both projects can be prepared ahead of time, e.g. in the office, and exported in order to share them. Sharing the exported as well as encrypted project files can be done via E-mail, thumb drive, any of the major cloud storage services, etc.*. Now let's assume that there is one contributor working on building A and one working on building B. After each contributor has commissioned his or her 250 cameras each, they can themselves export the project files. To re-combine or merge both sub-projects, we have introduced a Project Assistant project file import feature in our Bosch Configuration Manager 6.10. This feature allows you to conveniently import multiple project files at once and to easily integrate them into your existing system structure. Please, check out the corresponding "How to import project files into Configuration Manager 6.10" article in this community. * Restrictions due to project file size might apply depending on the sharing medium. The synchronization functionality is only available for Dropbox.
Using the Dropbox Synchronization feature This feature let's you plan and preprare a project ahead of time, e.g. in the office, which can then be shared via Dropbox with multiple other contributors as needed. That means everyone that was "invited" to work on this project has access to the same project file, where there is only one "master" version residing in the cloud that is accessed and synchronized via Dropbox. Consequently, you can avoid managing multiple versions of the same project file. Therefore, depending on the internet connectivity of all contributor's devices, you can see the real-time progress of the project, no matter if you are in building A, building B or even in the office. All updates to the project are immediately synced via Dropbox among all contributors. If you want to know how to setup it up, please check out the following videos:
Of course, the Project Assistant project file import feature in our Bosch Configuration Manager 6.10 is also available for futher configuration and system integration for this option, as well.
With the introduction of the Configuration Manager 6.10, we will make the transition from one tool to the other smoother by offering an import feature, which allows you to import all cameras from a .bpassist project file without having to re-enter the individual credentials of each device.
The feature allows you to:
import one or multiple encrypted .bpassist project files at once
automatic integration of device credentials
check the software seal information to make sure configuration of each device has not been tampered with
integrate the project file grouping into your existing structure
create a backup of your system configuration after a successful import
Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Import Project Assistant File..."
Select one or more .bpassist files that you want to import
After entering the project file passwords, the Configuration Manager can decypt the files and you will then be prompted with an overview of the project file content
Choose where in your existing structure you want to integrate the new devices ("Import to group" section)
Verify project file content
Select, whether you want to create a backup after import
Select, whether you want to keep the project file groups after import
After successful import, you can find all newly added devices in your target directory
What's new in version 1.2?
Next to general stability improvements and bug fixes, version 1.2 of the Project Assistant introduces the following new features:
Support of Flexidome IP 8000i Wi-Fi camera with regard to wireless commissioning
.txt file import now supports tags to be somewhere in the column header, e.g. “IP address [ip]”, where for version 1.1 only the [ip] tag was allowed in the column header exclusively
Software sealing support for cameras with firmware 6.60+
Extended report information
Project Assistant project file import functionality in Configuration Manager 6.10
Bosch portable camera installation tool is available and can be used in combination with the Project Assistant (check out the corresponding how-to video in this community)
PS: For detailed information, please refer to the release letter attached.
In August 2018 (10-08-2018) the VRM version 03.71.0029 was released.
The Video Recording Manager 03.71.0029 is fully supported with BVMS 8.0 and Product Management of BVMS and VRM recommend to use this VRM version instead of the former Release version of VRM 03.70.0056.
Changes / Bug Fixes:
One of the main bugfix reasons to use VRM 03.71.0029 is a fix in regards to correct display and replay of recorded clips in continous and alarm recording mode. This fix is listed on page 2 of hte attached Relase Letter.
For Troubleshooting and support reasons it is essential to double-check a reported gap in recording and to analyze on Level 2 and Level 3 support side what circoumstanced could lead to a video gap. See in the following chapter what kind of data a trained BOSCH partner, Installer or Video expert should provide to the BOSCH Technical Support to advise on next steps. The data described here below can and should be collected before the software VRM is changed and updated to a latger version. Note: Video Recording Manager version 03.71.0029 is not the latest available version of VRM, but in combination with other 3rd party implemantation or usage of special BOSCH VMS software version (e.g. BVMS 8.0) this VRM version 03.71.0029 may be required.
VRM logging to collect for in depth expert troubleshooting
In certain situations and troubleshooting scenarios extended logfiles might be required. The BOSCH Level 1 and BOSCH Level 2 team will assist all users on how to collect these data and cooperate with the BOSCH Level 3 Support where needed.
Backup the configuration of BVMS and VRM (BVMS elements and VRM config.xml file)
Enable debug logging of the VRM Depending on the used Configuraiton Software the debug logging need to be enabled to get an extended logging informaiton. In case a gap in recording happened in the past it is anyhow helpful to enable the debug logging for a defined time for future incidents. To analyze the already occured video recording gap the available VRM logging must be collected.
Depending on 32-Bit or 64-Bit version of the VRM software, the loggings are found in the "primary" or "secondary" sub-directory structure. Surch for ...\Bosch\Video Recording Manager\VRM Server folder at your VRM server to find a similar directory view like shown in the screenshot here below:
Inside the directory "log" the standard logging data of the VRM are found and need to bre collected. In addition to the standard logfiles of the relevant day, the debug logging from a defined time period need to be provided in case debug logging was enabled prior to an incident.
Here the "debug" logfiles are found: The debug loggins are saved in a special directory "debug".
The Spanhistory logging does provide details of the storage usage. It describes which internal "storage block" was used. It describes the IP of the target, the LUN and the block used for a recording. The Spanhistory of the day where the recording was done and shows issues (e.g. the video reocriding gap), the related spanhistory logfiles is required.
As seen in an earlier screenshot above the VRM configuration file is found in the directory: ...\Bosch\Video Recording Manager\VRM Server\primaryAll versions of the config.xml need to be provided to the Technical Support.
The Bosch VRM Monitor page does not open correctly, but instead displays an Error.
Any Replay client requesting video from the Bosch Video Recording Manager service, only receives the Time-Line but the video is alway Black.
Bosch VRM by default uses Ports 80 & 443.
In most cases the problem is caused by another web server (e.g. IIS) that is installed on the same machine and is also making use of the default web ports 80 & 443.
Bosch Video Recording Manager (VRM)
Bosch Video Managment System (BVMS)
Bosch Video Client (BVC)
Bosch Video Security Client (VSC)
Any Replay Client/ Managment System which accesses recorded video data via HTTP/HTTPS
Disable any of the other web services or change the default Ports they are using.
The name that you assign to a camera in the Project Assistant is currently not displayed in the Configuration Manager device list. This will be fixed with the next version of the Project Assistant, which is planned to be released in November 2018.
Setting camera name in Project Assistant
Current Configuration Manager view (based on Project Assistant version 1.1)
Camera name is only displayed in the "Camera name" section on the right-hand side, not in the device list on the left. You only see the camera's IP address.
+++ Update: new Excel template file with detailed explanations of all parameters +++
Intro: The Project Assistant offers two ways of importing existing project data:
Option 1) Importing a .bpassist file, which was exported from the app at some point and which contains all information and data ever created/entered inside the app for that specific project. Simply select the "Project Assistant" mode >> click "continue" >> and press "import".
Option 2) Importing from a tab-separated text file. This option may be useful, if you have existing project data, e.g. in an Excel spreadsheet, which you want to transfer into the Project Assistant for further use.
This article deals with option 2 and explains the steps potentially needed before you can refer to the steps explained in the following Youtube video ("Import from file").
Let's assume you already have existing project data prepared in an Excel spreadsheet and you want to transfer that data into a format that can be imported to the Project Assistant
Go to the Bosch Security Systems DownloadStore and download the provided template file "example_project_import_report_template.txt" or the NEW Excel file " 2019_02_20_example_project_IMPORT_template.xlsx" , which also includes detailed instructions and explanations on each parameter.
Import the .txt template file into Excel by opening the template file with Excel and following these steps:
Select "delimited" as well as "My data has headers."
Select "Tab" in the Delimiters section and finish up the Excel import by pressing "Finish".
INSTEAD, you can also use the NEW Excel file, where you can avoid the above described initial import step of the .txt file.
[Option A] According to the provided data columns, copy and paste your existing data from your initial spreadsheet file into the template file (you do not need to populate every column of the template) [Option B] This option works the other way around. Use the Project Assistant header tags, e.g. [ip], [mac], etc., which you can find in the template file and add these tags to the column headers in your initial Excel spreadsheet (cf. screenshot below). The Project Assistant is capable of searching the .txt import file for these tags and of filtering out the corresponding columns (no matter the order of the columns).
Go to "Save As" in Excel and save the newly populated template file as a "Unicode Text (*.txt")" file
Transfer the file to where you can find it with the Project Assistant and start the app
Create a new project
Set a password for the project itself as well as default passwords for the cameras that you would like to assign
That's it - Now it is time to refer to the Youtube video mentioned above
Enjoy using the Project Assistant and feel free to share your feedback with us!
Firmware The table below lists the firmware versions which are used in the BVMS 8.0 system test. Bosch Video Stitcher 18.104.22.168 VideoSDK 6.12.0078 Firmware MPEG-4 4.15.0002 Firmware CPP3 5.74.0004 Firmware CPP4 6.41.0037 Firmware CPP5 6.30.0047 Firmware CPP6 6.41.0037 Firmware CPP7 6.41.0037 Firmware CPP7.3 6.41.0037 Firmware CPP-ENC 5.53.0004 (for VIP X1600 XFM4) Firmware CPP-ENC 5.97.0005 (for VJT XF E family, VIDEOJETdecoder 3000) Firmware X1/X2 2.53.0005 VIP XD HD 1.8 VJD 7000 54.8.2 VJD 8000 9.00.0134 VRM 3.70.0056 VSG 6.42.0010 iOS 9.0.2 / 9.3.5 / 10.3.1 Web Client 11.0.96 Software The table below lists the software versions which are used in the BVMS 8.0 system test. BIS 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 DiBos 8.7 BRS 8.10/8.11 Allegiant MCS 2.94 / 2.95 Intuikey Keyboard 1.96 DVR FW Version 2.3.2 (DVR400 / 600) 3.61 (DIVAR 700) 2.5.0 (Divar AN 3000/5000) 1.2.1 (Divar Network/Hybrid) SQL Server 2014 Operating systems Operator Client Windows 8.1 64-bit; Windows 10 64-bit creators update (1703) Config Client Windows 8.1 64-bit; Windows 10 64-bit; Windows Server2012 R2 64-bit; Windows Server 2016 64-bit. Management Server, Mobile Video Service Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64-bit; Windows Server2012 R2 64-bit; Windows Server 2016 64-bit. Cameo SDK 22.214.171.124 BVMS SDK 126.96.36.199 RCPP 188.8.131.52 Hardware drivers NVIDIA Quadro Quadro Pro Driver for Microsoft Windows 7/8.1 (64-Bit) 385.08 (28.June 2017) Quadro Pro Driver for Microsoft Windows 10 (64-Bit) 385.69 (21.September 2017) AMD FirePro Unified Graphics Driver for Windows 8.1/10 (64- bit) 17.Q3 (27.July 2017) Bosch strongly urges customers to use the driver and software versions mentioned above. This ensures that the software can perform its task reliably.
In many cases a minimum and maximum retention time needs to be defined in a video surveillance systems due to legal requirements. While the minimum retention time defines the time period for how long video recordings need to be stored, the maximum retention time defines after which period of time the recordings have to be deleted. Thus, the minimum retention time is going to influence the amount of storage needed. The higher the minimum retention time the more storage space is required.
Hence, the storage space needs to be large enough to store the recordings for the minimum retention. For the maximum retention time this doesn’t have to be the case. Still users might be confused why recordings gaps might appear sort-of randomly, if the system does not have enough storage space to keep all recordings until the maximum retention time is reached. To understand what is going on we have to remember the principle of the VRM block assignment first.
For each camera in the system the BOSCH Video Recording Manager (VRM) generates a list of recording blocks (LUNs) on which the camera can next record. Therefore, the VRM makes an estimation based on the data rate and the amount of data of each camera in the system (global optimization). Basically, the VRM predicts when which camera needs a new block and always lists the block which will be the oldest block at the time the camera needs to record on the next block. One could think of it as a “next oldest block” estimation done by the VRM. But the prediction of the VRM might differ from the reality (mainly because of variance in recording bitrate) and this can cause recording gaps if the storage space is not large enough to support the maximum retention time.
Let’s have a closer look on the following two cases:
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case of sufficient storage space to fulfill the maximum retention time for every camera in the system no random recording gaps will appear, because the VRM will always assign a block containing recordings, which are older than the maximum retention time. Thus, for each camera the recording blocks will be kept until the maximum retention time is reached as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Enough storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case the system is designed such that the storage space is not large enough to store all recordings from all cameras until the maximum retention time is reached, the VRM will of course still do its estimation and predict the oldest recording block when a camera will ask for a new block. Assuming an ideal setup (with ideal network connection where each camera has the same data rate and all cameras record the same amount of video data simultaneously), the oldest block would always be assigned by the VRM. Hence, no recordings gaps should appear for recordings older than the minimum retention time, compare Figure 2. This is was most customers falsely assume or expect.
Figure 2: Customer expectation of the system behaviour in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
However, in reality the stated assumptions do not apply. Network connection, data rate, amount of recorded video data, etc. varies. Thus, the “next oldest block” estimation of the VRM can differ from reality. Since each camera already got its block list from the VRM and records according to this block list, it can happen that not the truly oldest block is used and recording gaps appear as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: System behaviour in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
How to avoid or minimize this effect
To avoid this effect of random recording gaps simply add enough storage to your system. To get the best out of your system in terms of storage usage, the optimum would be to set the maximum retention time to storage limit, see Figure 4, but that is almost impossible to realize in practice.
Figure 4: In principle a maximum retention time set to the storage limit would avoid random recording gaps
Option 1 to minimize the effect in practice is to estimate the maximum retention time so that it will not exceed the storage limit of the system as illustrated in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Maximum retention very close to the storage limit will minimize the random recording gaps
Another less recommended option is to set a smaller time difference between the minimum and maximum retention time. But especially when the minimum retention time is shifted closer to the maximum retention time that introduces the risk that the VRM cannot free up storage space in case the minimum retention time is reached, which might result in a recording stop. Thus, we recommend to go for the first option.
One last hint: Changing the retention time on a running system is not going to influence the retention time of already recorded blocks. but will of cousre only be applied to new recorded video footage. Hence, changing the retention time is no option for an immediate change of required storage.