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Installing VisualApplets#

Software Requirements#

VisualApplets and some additional software needs to be installed on the PC that you use for applet development. This is typically another PC than the PC that you use as the host PC within your image processing application.

Software Installations Required for Applet Development and Installations Required for Image Acquisition

You need to install the following software on the PC that you want to use for applet development:

The actual VisualApplets program (comes as an *.exe installer file)

  1. VisualApplets IDE license (on USB dongle)
  2. Xilinx Design Suite (ISE or Vivado), required for building the applet
  3. C++ Compiler (required for compiling the SDK examples)
  4. Basler Runtime Software

System Requirements for VisualApplets 3.3.0#

PC and Operating System#

  • OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 (64bit)
  • PC Memory: Minimum 4 GByte, recommended: 8 GByte or better
  • Minimum available hard disk space: 1 GByte

Third-Party Software#

  • For compiling the SDK examples, a C++ Compiler is necessary.
  • Depending on the target platform (FPGA type) of the applets designed with VisualApplets, Xilinx Vivado (WebPACK (free) or Design Suite) or Xilinx ISE (WebPACK (free) or Design Suite). For details, see below.

For a list of all Basler target hardware and the required Xilinx ISE and/or Vivado licenses, see section Which Xilinx Toolchain and Version for Which Frame Grabber Platform?

For building designs for mE5 marathon frame grabbers, it is strongly recommend to use Xilinx Vivado. Using Xilinx Vivado, the build process is much faster, and more complex designs can be fitted on the FPGA.

Firmware Versions and Runtime Requirements#

To use applets designed with VisualApplets 3.3.0, the minimum runtime version or higher (as specified below) must be installed on the target system.

To use the latest VisualApplets features, make sure the latest runtime version is installed on the target system.

For information since when a specific feature is supported, check the Release Notes for previous VisualApplets versions and the Release Notes for the Runtime Software.

In microEnable 5 and LightBridge applets, VisualApplets 3.3.0 incorporates the following firmware versions:

  • microEnable 5 marathon VCLx: 1.3 (minimum runtime: 5.6)
  • LightBridge 2 VCL: 1.10 (minimum runtime: 5.5.1)
  • microEnable 5 marathon VCX-QP: 1.6 (minimum runtime: 5.5)
  • microEnable 5 marathon VF2: 2.7 (minimum runtime: 5.4.2)
  • microEnable 5 marathon VCL: 1.10 (minimum runtime: 5.4.1)
  • microEnable 5 ironman VQ8-CXP6D: 2.11 (minimum runtime: 5.4.0)
  • microEnable 5 ironman VD8-PoCL: 1.6 (minimum runtime: 5.4.0)

Installing VisualApplets Step-by-Step#

For installing VisualApplets, you have to take the following steps (which are described in the sections below):

  • Install the VisualApplets software
  • Install the required Xilinx tools
  • Configure VisualApplets for accessing the Xilinx tools during Build

To install the VisualApplets Software:

  1. Run the installer that comes with the VisualApplets DVD or execute the VisualApplets installation file VAsetup3.x.exe by double-clicking the program icon.

    The Select Setup Language dialog opens up:

    Select Setup Language Dialog

  2. Select the desired language for the setup wizard and confirm with OK.

    In the following dialog you must accept the legal terms and conditions of using cryptographic software, like OpenSSL, to enable Basler's version control tool. This tool will create a SSL/TLS secured connection to the Basler server. As the export and use of cryptographic software is made illegal in some countries you have to be sure that you don't act against local law when accepting these terms. If you are unsure, please press Decline.

    • Accepting allows you to make use of the update feature. The Update feature allows you to check on new VisualApplets versions via mouse click (GUI: menu Help > Check for Updates), or to configure VisualApplets to automatically check for newer VisualApplets versions at each program start (GUI: menu Settings > System Settings > Common > Updates).
    • Accepting will start immediate download of two OpenSSL libraries that are used to open a SSL/TLS secured connection to the Basler server.

    Setup - Legal Disclaimer

    Prerequisites

    To use the update feature, you need to ensure

    • a working internet connection
    • an appropriate firewall exception.
  3. Check for your circumstances of use if you are allowed to use OpenSSL. If yes, select the Accept option and click on Next. (Otherwise, keep Decline activated. In this case, Basler's version control tool will not be enabled.)

    If you accepted the use of OpenSSL, the installer immediately checks if a newer version than the one you are about to install is available.

    • If you are already installing the latest version, you get an according message. Click Next to proceed.
    • If a newer VisualApplets version is available, you can decide if you want to
      • switch to installing this newer version (by clicking one of the links), or
      • proceed installing the version of the installer you just started (by clicking Skip).

    If you decide to install the newer version, the according installer is downloaded and started automatically.

  4. In the following dialog, select the installation directory. Confirm the default setting with Next or edit the path manually (via Browse button or directly in the input field).

    Setup - Select Destination Location

    Full Access Rights Required

    As destination directory for your VisualApplets installation, select

    • the user folder or
    • any other folder you have full access rights to.

    Alternatively, you are free to use any folder as your VisualApplets installation directory if you can start VisualApplets as administrator.

  5. Select the installation components by predefined installation profiles:

    Setup - Select Components

    • You can simply use the Full installation profile.
    • If you want to reduce the volume of the installation:
      • under Hardware platform, deselect the support for all platforms you are not planning to write applets for, and
      • under Target operating systems for applets, deselect all operating systems that you know will never be used on the host PCs of the image processing systems you are writing the applets for (Windows 32bit, Windows 64bit, Linux 32bit, or Linux 64bit).

    Setup - Select Components: Target OS

    Target OS for LightBridge 2 Platforms

    LightBridge 2 is a Thunderbolt certified product. This certification is for Windows operating systems only. Nevertheless, as support for Thunderbolt is given in the latest kernels from kernel.org, Lightbridge 2 may operate in a Linux environment. Please be aware that this will be at your own risk, as no support for Linux is given at the moment.

    MS Visual Studio Redistribution Package

    The installation of the Microsoft Visual Studio Redistribution Package is mandatory.

  6. Define a name for the group in the Start Menu folder:

    Setup - Select Start Menu Folder

  7. Click Next.

  8. Select further installation options:

    Setup - Select Additional Tasks

    Options:

    • All users/Current user: The file VisualApplets.ini will be written into the corresponding windows folder All Users or Current User, considering the windows system user accounts.
    • User-independent: The file VisualApplets.ini will be written into the VisualApplets installation folder. The installation is independent from the windows system user account management. This option allows the parallel installation of multiple VisualApplets versions.
    • If you want to have an icon of VisualApplets on your desktop, check the box Create a desktop icon.
  9. Confirm with Next. Your complete installation profile is listed:

    Setup - Ready to install

  10. If you want to edit the list, use the Back button to change the settings in the according dialog windows.

  11. To start the installation, click the Install button. The progress bar displays the status of the current installation:

    Setup - Installing

    The installation is completed when the following screen appears:

    Completing the VisualApplets Setup Wizard

  12. Click Finish.

Full Access Rights Required

To enjoy all features of VisualApplets, you need to have full access rights to the installation folder. Alternatively, you can start VisualApplets by right-clicking on the Start Menu entry and selecting the Run as administrator option in the context menu.

Installing the Xilinx Toolchain#

Before you can build your designs created in VisualApplets, i.e., before you can create hardware applets for your device, you need to install the Xilinx ISE or Xilinx Vivado toolchain.

Which tool and which tool version you need (and if the according license is free or not) depends on the target frame grabber you are developing for.

In addition, in most cases a 30-day evaluation license is available.

The table below lists all Basler target hardware and the required Xilinx ISE and/or Vivado licenses.

For building designs for mE5 marathon frame grabbers, Basler strongly recommends to use Xilinx Vivado. Using Xilinx Vivado, the build process is much faster, and more complex designs can be fitted on the FPGA.

Which Xilinx Toolchain and Version for Which Frame Grabber Platform?#

Basler Frame Grabber Model microEnable (mE) WebPACK (free license) ISE Design Suite Logic Edition
(Purchase Version)
Vivado Design Suite
(Purchase Version)
Xilinx ISE 30-Day Evaluation License Version 14.7 Vivado 30-Day Evaluation License
PixelPlant PX100,
PixelPlant PX100e
ISE version 9.2 or higher Recommended version: 9.2
PixelPlant PX200e Recommended version: 9.2
mE5 ironman VQ8 CXP6-D ISE version 14.7 Version 14.7 ISE 30-Day Eval,
version 14.7
mE5 ironman VD8-PoCL ISE version 14.7 Version 14.7 ISE 30-Day Eval,
version 14.7
mE5 marathon VF2 ISE version 14.7,
Vivado version 2016.1 or higherb
Version 14.7 Version 2016.1 or higherb
mE5 marathon VCX-QP ISE version 14.7,
Vivado version 2016.1 or higherb
Version 14.7 Version 2016.1 or higherb
LightBridge VCL ISE version 14.7,
Vivado version 2016.1 or higherb
Version 14.7 Version 2016.1 or higherb
mE5 marathon VCL ISE version 14.7,
Vivado version 2016.1 or higherb c
Version 14.7 Version 2016.1 or higherb
mE5 marathon VCLx ISE version 14.7 Version 2016.1 or higherc Vivado 30-Day Eval, version 2016.1 or higherb

Downloading the Xilinx Toolchain#

Select which package you want to install and download it from the Xilinx website.

Downloading Xilinx

Installing the Xilinx Toolchain#

Xilinx Installation Path

Make sure you install the Xilinx toolchain in a directory structure that does not contain any spaces in directory names, e.g., directly under C:\Xilinx. Do not install Xilinx under C:\Program Files\Xilinx.

Obtaining a License for the Xilinx Toolchain#

Vivado#

You can obtain a Xilinx Vivado license from the Xilinx Product Licensing Site. You can either purchase the Vivado Design Suite license or generate a free Vivado WebPACK license.

Vivado Design Suite License Contains the ISE Design Suite License

The Xilinx ISE Design Suite is the predecessor of the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite. ISE is distributed by Xilinx together with Vivado, so that if you purchase a Vivado Design Suite license, ISE is automatically licensed, too.

ISE#

ISE 30-Day Evaluation License

For generating applets for mE5 marathon VCLx, you can obtain a 30-day evaluation license from Basler. For this option, contact the Basler Support.

ISE WebPACK

ISE WebPACK is a free license.

Install Xilinx ISE and during installation, select ISE WebPack as product to be installed.

On the Xilinx Product Licensing Site, select ISE WebPACK License.

ISE Design Suite (Purchase License)

As ISE is a legacy product, the only way to purchase an ISE license is by purchasing a Vivado Design Suite license. The Vivado Design Suite license includes the ISE license. You can obtain a Vivado Design Suite license from the Xilinx Product Licensing Site.

Install Xilinx ISE and during installation, select ISE Design Suite Logic Edition as product to be installed.

If you have been provided by Basler with a license voucher for the Xilinx ISE Design Suite Logic Edition, either on paper (together with the DVD) or via e-mail, you need to generate a license key with this voucher. You can generate this license on the Xilinx Product Licensing Site.

Generating and Registering the License#

To use the Xilinx toolchain, you must generate and register your license on the Xilinx Product Licensing Site. Xilinx provides instructions for generating a license key and installing the license:

Configuring Build Settings in VisualApplets for the Xilinx Toolchain as Build Tool#

Before you build your first applet with the Xilinx toolchain, you should configure the VisualApplets Build Settings so that the tools are called as desired. Instructions for setting the build settings are available in the VisualApplets User's Guide.

Installing the Runtime Software#

The Frame Grabber Runtime Software needs to be installed on the host PC in order to run VisualApplets.

Minimum runtime version for using VisualApplets: version 5.95.5.1

Prior Installations

Basler recommends you uninstall all Frame Grabber Runtime Software installations on your PC before you start installing the current version.

Instructions for installing the Basler Frame Grabber Runtime Software are available at Installing the Runtime Software.

VisualApplets Licensing#

To run VisualApplets, you need to

  • install the software on your computer
  • use a dongle holding the VisualApplets license(s) you have purchased.

For VisualApplets licenses, you need to use a CodeMeter (Wibu Systems AG) as a dongle.

CodeMeter (Wibu Systems AG) Dongle

You can either use a CodeMeter dongle you order together with your VisualApplets license, or a CodeMeter dongle you already possess and also use for other licenses. If you use a CodeMeter dongle already in your possession, or if you have purchased additional licenses for your VisualApplets installation, you have to add the appropriate license file to the CodeMeter dongle (see Adding/Updating Licenses).

You use always one license file for VisualApplets. If you purchase VisualApplets extensions, you will be provided with a new license file that contains the original VisualApplets license and the licenses for the extensions you purchased. How to flash your CodeMeter dongle with the new license file, see Adding/Updating Licenses.

Info

Without access to a dongle with the VisualApplets IDE Software License, your VisualApplets installation works in demo mode only.

Available Licenses#

VisualApplets 3 IDE Software License#

For using VisualApplets, you need the VisualApplets 3 IDE Software License. This license contains the features VA Core and VA Gui.

Extension Modules for VisualApplets 3#

In addition to the VisualApplets 3 IDE Software License, various extension modules are available which you can purchase separately. Upon purchase of an extension, you receive a new license file for your individual dongle. The new license file includes not only the license for VisualApplets, but also the license(s) for the extension(s) you have purchased. You need to update your dongle with the new license file to use the extensions you purchased. (See Adding/Updating Licenses.)

The following extension modules are available:

  • VisualApplets 3 Embedder
  • VisualApplets 3 Expert, containing
    • Debugging Module (Library Debugging)
    • Parameters Translation Module (Library Parameters)
    • Custom Operators Feature
    • TCL Scripting Feature (automatization of design creation and simulation)
  • Debugging Module (Library Debugging) (individual library license)
  • Parameters Translation Module (Library Parameters) (individual library license)
  • Segmentation and Classification Library (Blob) (individual library license)
  • JPEG Compression Library (individual library license)

Mode of Use#

There are two ways of licensing your software:

Using the Stand-Alone License#

Requirements:

  • Dongle: Make sure you have a CodeMeter (Wibu Systems AG) available that contains your VisualApplets license.
  • Installation: VisualApplets is installed on the PC.

To use VisualApplets with a local license:

  1. Put the CodeMeter dongle containing your VisualApplets license into a free USB slot of your PC.
  2. You don't need to restart your PC. Just (re)start VisualApplets. Without any additional entries you are able to start working with VisualApplets.

How to update your dongle with a new (extended) license, containing, for example, additional libraries or VisualApplets Embedder, see Adding/Updating Licenses.

Using the Floating License#

Requirements:

  • Dongle: Make sure you have a CodeMeter (Wibu Systems AG) available that contains your VisualApplets license.
  • License File: Make sure you have the VisualApplets license also available in *.txt format.
  • Installation: VisualApplets is installed on the PCs on which it is intended to be used.

To use VisualApplets with floating license:

  1. Put the CodeMeter dongle that contains your VisualApplets floating license into a free USB slot of your network server.
  2. Install the CodeMeter User Runtime software to this network server. You can download the software from www.wibu.com.
  3. Save the license file *.txt to a place that is available from the local VisualApplets installation. (Save it either to a network server, or to the file system of each local machine.)
  4. On each local machine, set the following environment variables:

    VA_LICENSE_SERVER: Specify here the name of you network server.

    VA_LICENSE_FILE: Specify here the path to and the name of the license file *.txt.

Now, you can use the floating licenses on all local machines on which you have set the environment variables and that have access to the network server and to the license file *.txt.

If you want to enlarge the number of users contained in your floating license, or if you want to upgrade from a local (node-locked) license to a floating license, contact Basler Support.

How to update your dongle with a new (extended) license, containing, for example, additional libraries or VisualApplets Embedder, see Adding/Updating Licenses.

Adding/Updating Licenses#

If you have purchased VisualApplets Extensions, or if you come from VisualApplets 2 and want to use VisualApplets 3, you need to update your VisualApplets license on the dongle hardware.

To update your license, proceed the following steps:

  1. Request your license file from Basler. Communicate your dongle number in your request message. Also communicate if you have purchased any VisualApplets Extensions.
  2. Store your individual license file on your file system.
  3. Insert the VisualApplets dongle into a free USB slot on your PC.
  4. Open VisualApplets 3 (in demo mode) and from the Tools menu, select menu item License Manager.

    Open License Manager

  5. The License Manager window opens:

VisualApplets License Manager

The components of the license stored on your dongle are displayed.
  1. Option: You may want to save a backup file of the license currently active on your dongle. To do so, use the Backup Dongle License button.
  2. Select the number of the dongle that is used for the VisualApplets license (the number of the dongle you find directly on the dongle hardware item).

  3. Select the new License file from your file system.

    Selecting License File for VisualApplets

  4. Use option Show features of this license file. Now, the components which are part of the new license are displayed. You can switch between the two radio buttons to compare the new license with the license that is currently active on your dongle.

  5. If you are satisfied with the contents of the new license file, click button Flash License to Dongle.

Library Licenses#

With VisualApplets 3, there are no runtime licenses required anymore. Starting with the release of VisualApplets 3, Blob library and Compression library are provided to you as VisualApplets 3 extensions. Since VisualApplets release 3.1, also the Debugging library and the Parameters library are available as VisualApplets 3 extensions. For using these libraries in VisualApplets 3 designs, a one-time licensing is necessary. After purchase, you get a new VisualApplets license file that contains the library license as a component.

VisualApplets License Manager with Components

For further information about VisualApplets licenses, contact Basler Support.


  1. When the applet contains triggers for action commands via firmware, runtime version 5.4.3 or higher is required.

  2. Basler recommends to use Vivado 2017.4. Basler only tested until and including Vivado 2020.2 and thus recommends to use a version between 2016.1 and 2020.2.

  3. In VisualApplets 3.2.1, applets for the platforms mE5-MA-VCL and mE5-MA-VCLx cannot be built with Vivado 2020.2. For further information, see Known Issues VisualApplets Release 3.2.1, entry 28., issue n° 9848.

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