April 26, 2019

The plan for Pathscape

 

 

Dear Valued Pathway Customer,

Last year we started the process of replacing Pathport Manager with Pathscape and we want to give you an update on the progress of this very large and necessary project.

 

Executive Summary

The Beta 1 release of PS2 was December 4, 2018. You received a letter similar to this on that date. This letter outlines changes that Beta 2 brings which mostly include VIA management.

Pathport Manager, originally designed to manage just Pathports, was actively developed since 2000 and ceased development at v5.3, which is still available on our website

With the advent of RDM, VIA switches, Choreo NSB and Vignette, the central architecture of Pathport Manager could no longer adequately manage all of our products. A few years back we started on the all-in-one configuration application called Pathscape. The latest released version is v1.2.4.

We received a lot of feedback on Pathscape and have taken a serious look at the bits under the hood in our first implementation. We’ve decided to fundamentally rework the underpinnings and incorporate this into a yet-to-be-released v2.x.

Before we get to a released version of v2.0 that incorporates all the functionality of Pathscape v1, we will be releasing a series of Beta versions with ever increasing functionality using the new unified backend.

 

 Only beta testers need to read beyond here

 

What you need to know

There are separate installs for Pathscape v1.2.3 and Pathscape v2.0 (Beta 2). You may have both versions installed at the same time. There will be different shortcuts to launch each version.

Beta 2 adds functionality for VIA management and VLAN support.

Beta 2 does not have Vignette functionality.

More advanced patching using a command line more akin to Pathport Manager v5 is available in Pathscape v2.0 (Beta 1).

There will be no show file format compatibility between Pathscape V1 and V2. Using the network, you can discover using V1.2.3 and save a show file, then load V2.0 (Beta 2) on the same network and save a V2 show file.

 

What has been added in Beta 2

VIA management

Global VIA properties for VLANs. Either every switch on the network supports the same number of VLANs or VLANs are disabled. VLAN naming is proliferated to every switch such that all switches have the same table of names. See VLAN Global Properties button in the VLAN tab.

VIAs that come on line with different VLAN names will invoke a resolution dialog to ensure that all VIAs use the same VLAN names.

VIA Subdevice (port order) column added

When working off-line on a saved show file, changes can be made, saved, and pushed when back on-line

Auto Identify is available in the Setting menu

Datascope supports all protocols

Datascope shows IP address and priority of sACN sources

 

Bugs fixed in Beta 2

MacOS down arrowing halted on some devices. You no longer need to re-click to get focus back.

Clicking on Patch column header sorts

Slow startup response on OSX

Firmware Upgrade modal dialog not showing correct versions after update

IP mode on new OCTOs now include Dynamic

 

What’s not in Beta 2

Updated manual

Vignette management must still be done using Pathscape v1.2.3.

LLDP Partner names not shown on VIAs with f/w below 4.1.2.7. Link Layer Partner MAC address are shown with all versions.

Support for RDM manufacturer specific, E1.37, sensors, and E1.20 comms PIDS

 

What’s different between Pathscape V1 and V2 – Why the big change?

Version 1 used a lot of the legacy communication methodology used in PM5. Patches were FTP’d (Send Patch button), Properties used the Pathport Protocol (Transaction Editor SEND button) and RDM was a tangential transaction system unto its own (changes happened immediately). A huge amount of work has been done under the hood to unify all edits to your network. What does this mean to you? Whenever you change anything, the new property will be highlit in yellow and the changes will appear in the Transaction Editor. From there, you can proof, edit or remove changes before sending them. Everything on your network will be updated by the same SEND button. No more wondering if and why things did or didn’t change.

Upon loading a show all differences between what is on disk and what is on the network will appear in the Transaction Editor for verification or correction.

Version 1’s file format had no method of storing patches correctly and had no method of saving Vignette Snapshots and Zones. These will eventually be in the main *.ps file and upon loading a file you will be able to tell if something is not as you’ve left it.

The Patch Map, although it looked very cool, was actually not that useful. Pathports are one of the most configurable DMX/RDM gateways supporting the most protocols on the market and allowing slot-by-slot patching with 8 different levels of priority as well as 200 levels of sACN priority. This was more difficult to represent graphically than we anticipated. Give us a bit more time to re-think this, but in the mean time we think you’ll appreciate the new Universe Wizard and the return of a patch table and command line for more complex patching.

Finally, RDM devices are not relegated to their own unique interface and view. Now everything is in the Device View and uses the same methodology of Property Set/Get and work through the Transaction Editor. Just because they use different wires doesn’t mean they needed to be treated differently.

The Device View now has many more columns. In fact, there is a column available for every property of every device discovered. Right Click on the column headers to show/hide columns. In Beta 1, the Column Picker is a huge list that is sorted alphabetically. This will improve with groupings, searching and filtering as well as the ability to save your favourite views.

We’ve removed the Network Setup. Devices are now discovered on every active NIC and you can filter these using the values in the Network Interface column.

The Property pane should be much better at hiding properties that are irrelevant based on current configuration. For example, you should not see DMX Output Speed if the port is configured as an Input. If you notice any of these that should not be there, it will be much easier for us to rectify these in future releases and ultimately lead to a much more pleasant experience when configuring what are in reality, very complex networks.

The Firmware Update dialog is more robust making sure if prerequisites are needed, they are installed on the device first. If you’ve had to tech support this, you may have heard the term ‘trampoline version’. We hope this significantly reduces the fear of ‘bricking’ a device in the field.

The manual for V2.0 has not been included in the (Beta 2) install. It’s still the V1.2.3 manual. Please bear with us.

Until V2.0 is released, you will be able to simultaneously run V1.2.4 and a beta of V2.0

We anticipate the next release of Pathscape to be a full PSv2.0. (non-beta) and will include Vignette support.

 

Thank you for your patience and expertise. Please keep giving us your invaluable feedback as we continue this very important transition. We are always available to assist you and listen to your thoughts on Pathscape. Please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. noting your version and OS details or call +1-403-243-8110.

 

Robert Bell

Director of Product Innovation