10 Reasons to Use PAServer for Remote Windows Deployment

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Everyone knows PAServer (Platform Assist Server) is the easy way to deploy and debug multi device apps from Windows to Apple OS X and iOS. It handles all the bundling and deployment from your Windows development platform across the network, via a virtual machine, or even to the cloud.

Previously I showed you how to connect to a Android Emulator on another machine (or outside your VM), but did you know you can also use the PAServer to deploy and debug against a remote Windows machine? It isn’t required, so isn’t as immediately obvious, but it is supported and pretty easy to setup.

If you are already developing on a Windows machine, why us PAServer to test against a remote Windows machine? There are a lot of reasons, here are a few . . .

Testing on machine without IDE installed Windows tablets Different CPU architectures (64-bit vs 32-bit) Different numbers of cores Utilizing specialized hardware Running outside / inside a virtual machine Deployment on a server (remote, local, in the cloud) Debugging on more than one version of Windows Debugging issue that only occurs on one machine Bundled deployment options

Now that we see the need, how do we do it?

Install PAServer on the target Windows computer. You can find it at C:\Program Files (x86)\Embarcadero\Studio\17.0\PAServer if you used the default install location during your original install. When installing PAServer, you either need to use a different install location (to a user writable folder), or specify a custom scratch-directory, as the default is not writable (unless you run PAServer as Administrator) and will give you an E0009 PAClient Error. Once PAServer is setup just run it.

Custom PAServer Install Destination

Use the Connection Profile Manager to create a new Windows profile.

RAD Studio Connection Profile Manager

Instead of the default of OS X, choose either Windows 32-bit or 64-bit. The rest of the configuration is the same.

Create Windows 64-bit Profile Connection

Then form the Project Manager, right-click on the Windows platform you want to deploy remotely, and select properties.

Project Manager - Platform Properties

And then select the new connection you want.

Platform Properties - Select Profile

This works with any project type (FireMonkey, VCL, Console, etc.)

Profile Selected

Now you can also use the Deployment Manager for Windows apps as well.



Comments

  • Jim McKeeth
    Jim McKeeth Tuesday, 29 March 2016

    Submit a feature request at quality.embarcadero.com

  • Stephen  C2526
    Stephen C2526 Wednesday, 16 March 2016

    Using the PAServer is also useful when deploying .BPLs (packages). We use a third party set of components which require a whole heap of .BPLs to be deployed with our packages. When using the PAServer to deploy, it creates a directory for each package containing all the required .BPLs for that package. We then consolidate all of the files in these directories into a single directory which contains all the objects we need to create the installation object. This makes sure we don't miss deploying one of the third party .BPLs if we've used a new component. It would be nice if we could combine multiple .BPLs into a single .BPL though!

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