ASAM/ROD updates through the USB utility

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jyoung8607

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Jake and I have been having a spirited discussion about this, and we can't seem to get to the bottom of it.

  • FW, CB, and DS updates can be applied either OTA or USB. Fine and good.
  • CFB and BL updates can only be applied via USB, but those are almost never needed. Also fine and good.
  • ... but what exactly is a ROD update from the USB utility?
I thought ASAM/ROD data was either dynamically downloaded during Mobile Auto-Scans, or packaged as part of a DS update. I'm fairly sure I saw ROD files being extracted in DS 29. What's the separate ROD update stage about, and why might the USB updater show it out-of-date when your other software modules are up-to-date?

Let me ask the same question in a slightly different way:

Let's say I own, oh I dunno... a 2012 Audi A8L. I have a HEX-NET interface, and an Android phone with a hotspot. My HEX-NET is successfully hooked up to my Android hotspot and OTA updates are working for me. I don't own a PC or laptop of any sort. No USB updates will ever be performed. Am I going to have a happy HEX-NET experience, or am I going to have problems for lack of this ROD data update?

Jason
 
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Uwe

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Let's say I own, oh I dunno... a 2012 Audi A8L. I have a HEX-NET interface, and an Android phone with a hotspot. My HEX-NET is successfully hooked up to my Android hotspot and OTA updates are working for me. I don't own a PC or laptop of any sort. No USB updates will ever be performed. Am I going to have a happy HEX-NET experience, or am I going to have problems for lack of this ROD data update?
In principle, you should have a happy HEX-NET experience. But whether it actually works as intended 100% reliably, well, I'm not totally confident in that just yet.

Does anyone seriously not own (or have access to) a PC (whether running Linux or Windows or Max OS)? Mobile devices are cool, but I can't imagine not having a real computer around somewhere too.

The ability to update via USB is both a backup for those who primarily use mobile devices, and a convenience to who will primarily use the HEX-NET as an interface for the Windows version of VCDS. Some of those guys simply aren't going to want to be bothered trying to get their HEX-NET itself on-line.

-Uwe-
 
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jyoung8607

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In principle, you should have a happy HEX-NET experience. But whether it actually works as intended 100% reliably, well, I'm not totally confident in that just yet.
Sure, the utility has a backup/rescue role to play. We were trying to settle whether it's necessary to use by design, under ideal conditions.

Does anyone seriously not own (or have access to) a PC (whether running Linux or Windows or Max OS)? Mobile devices are cool, but I can't imagine not having a real computer around somewhere too.
It's an extreme example. Jake and I were continuing this discussion via PM. Jake asked a question about ROD updates a while back, which Shaun answered. Jake reads Shaun's answer (and your follow-up) to mean those ROD updates aren't available OTA, thus he now has a PC dependency that didn't exist before. I don't think that's correct, but I also don't know what exactly a ROD update is in this context, so we're asking for clarification.

Jason
 
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jakematic

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Does anyone seriously not own (or have access to) a PC (whether running Linux or Windows or Max OS)?
Yes. It is the trend and it's a very strong trend.
It's also a huge [read: the MAIN] selling point for HN.


a convenience to who will primarily use the HEX-NET as an interface for the Windows version of VCDS
Why would anyone do that unless you plan to stop selling the other models ?


And now back to our original question:
thus he now has a PC dependency that didn't exist before. I don't think that's correct, but I also don't know what exactly a ROD update is in this context, so we're asking for clarification.
 
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jyoung8607

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Why would anyone do that unless you plan to stop selling the other models ?
Now that one I have an answer for.

I just had to solder a new cable assembly into my HUC because of wear and tear. It's been tripped over about 16,384 times, pinched in car doors, etc. At the best of times you have trouble getting in/out of the car holding a connected laptop, or you're having to balance a laptop over the center console or twist around to use it on the passenger seat.

Now unless I really need it inside the car, my laptop usually sits on my workbench. It's at a comfortable access angle either sitting or standing. It's out of physical danger. It's on AC power so I'm not working against a clock. Getting in and out of the car is easy, no tangles, no balancing act. No worries about breaking or denting stuff when opening and closing doors. I can walk all the way around the car without tripping. I can see the laptop display while I'm working under the hood.

Seriously, screw cables. HEX-NET would be worth the $50 uplift over HUC even if Mobile didn't exist. This is the only way to fly.

Jason
 
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jakematic

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Seriously, screw cables. HEX-NET would be worth the $50 uplift over HUC even if Mobile didn't exist. This is the only way to fly.
You mean $150... for equivalent functionality.
Have a look around all the forums and you'll see people asking about compatibility - so they can buy the least expensive interface that will do the job.

Your argument is precisely why so many are licking their chops looking at a standalone solution like HN.

Unless I'm reading this wrongly, people with laptops ALWAYS want to be cabled:
a convenience to who will primarily use the HEX-NET as an interface for the Windows version of VCDS. Some of those guys simply aren't going to want to be bothered trying to get their HEX-NET itself on-line.

-Uwe-




And now back to our original question:
thus he now has a PC dependency that didn't exist before. I don't think that's correct, but I also don't know what exactly a ROD update is in this context, so we're asking for clarification.
 
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Many of the professionals I talked to over the last years indicated that they are eager to get their hands on the HEX-NET, not because of VCDS-Mobile but because of the wireless solution for their existing VCDS. No more tripping over cables bundled with higher speeds and of course, the cable is still there as a backup if needed. Those guys will not use VCDS-Mobile much in the first place and updates are likely be run via USB anyway.

I believe the guys kicked around some ideas about the OTA updates before, maybe the whole process will get some major overhauling once the other things settle a bit? :)
 
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Uwe

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It's an extreme example. Jake and I were continuing this discussion via PM. Jake asked a question about ROD updates a while back, which Shaun answered. Jake reads Shaun's answer (and your follow-up) to mean those ROD updates aren't available OTA, thus he now has a PC dependency that didn't exist before. I don't think that's correct, but I also don't know what exactly a ROD update is in this context, so we're asking for clarification.
Right, there is no new PC dependency that didn't exist before.

Why would anyone do that [use a HEX-NET primarily with a PC] unless you plan to stop selling the other models ?
Because it's wireless. Because it's faster. Because it should be more reliable with certain "difficult" modules and cantankerous PCs. Although we don't plan to stop selling the HEX-USB+CAN in the near term, it is now an 11 year old design. It's not very intelligent; it has room for a whopping 16 kB of code in it, and it's dang close to full. It forces the PC to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of the real-time response that certain "difficult" modules require (which is why running VCDS in a VM is "unsupported"). One possibility is that we will eventually replace it with a HEX-NET derived wired interface; basically a HEX-NET that doesn't have the (expensive) WiFi module or the on-board data storage. Obviously, OTA updates would not be possible for such an interface. ;)

-Uwe-
 
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jakematic

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Many of the professionals I talked to over the last years indicated that they are eager to get their hands on the HEX-NET, not because of VCDS-Mobile but because of the wireless solution for their existing VCDS.
I can absolutely see that - we all know how much fun a laptop in a vehicle can be :)
I'd lose my mind doing that for a living with a cable.


Right, there is no new PC dependency that didn't exist before.
So the update Shaun mentioned (and I was able to get on 1 HN but not the other) that is only available via the USB utility was one-off and will be fixed later ?
Edit: Or are you saying a dependency existed already ?

When I posed the question due to my own concern I immediately got PMs asking "What? I need a computer now?"
I need to make sure I'm giving your current and prospective customer the correct information.
 
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jyoung8607

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Right, there is no new PC dependency that didn't exist before.
Okay, that's good.

So what exactly is this, and why do we need it, and what are the consequences of not having it?



I have been discussing theories with Jake, but it would be useful to know the facts.

Jason
 
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Uwe

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It's the "ODX" data for modules using the data-driven UDS/ODX protocol. There's some base data on each HEX-NET, but extended, module-specific data must be downloaded based on the modules VCDS-Mobile actually finds in the car(s) being scanned in order to give the HEX-NET stand-alone capabilities on those modules. Bear in mind that modules using the UDS/ODX protocol do not have measuring value or basic setting group numbers, adaptation channel numbers, etc. This stuff is all done using identifiers that correspond back to names, and in many of these modules, even fault codes have to be run through a module-specific look-up table before we can find meaningful text for them. There's an insane amount of indirection in this data. Its' a total PITA for us compared to VWAG's old scheme, and we put a lot of effort into de-bloating it.

-Uwe-
 
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jyoung8607

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It's the "ODX" data for modules using the data-driven UDS/ODX protocol. There's some base data on each HEX-NET, but extended, module-specific data must be downloaded based on the modules VCDS-Mobile actually finds in the car(s) being scanned in order to give the HEX-NET stand-alone capabilities on those modules.
I think we understand, at least at an abstract level, that you need that data for UDS cars. We're good there. The fact that we need the bulk dataset plus the individual module updates does clarify things. I had seen a bunch of ASAM/ROD stuff come down in DS 29 and wondered if Mobile dynamic download of that stuff was going away.

We can't figure out for sure how you get those ROD data updates OTA, without the Java utility.

My personal theory is it's updating Mobile's module data wish-list... modules it's seen in an Auto-Scan and attempted to do ASAM/ROD download for, but couldn't do so at the time (for instance, if it was in standalone AP mode). Is that accurate?

Jason
 
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Shaun

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Guys let me attempt to clarify a couple of things here.

I'm fairly sure I saw ROD files being extracted in DS 29
This is base data that is not specific to a particular module.

When talking to a specific module that needs UDS data, the HEX-NET will remember this. It will prompt you to download this data either when talking to the module with VCDS Mobile, when checking for other updates, or when checking for updates over USB. The rod data needed message in the USB utility means that the HEX-NET needs asam data for a module it has not downloaded yet.

At least in principle, that is how it works. In practice, if the server is unable to locate the proper data for a module (because it is new, or there is a redirect error, for example) then you may get in a case were the HEX-NET is not able to download the data it needs. In this case, it will try again later. If you suspect a case like this, it is helpful to tell us so that we can look into what is missing.

Best,
--Shaun
 
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jakematic

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The rod data needed message in the USB utility means that the HEX-NET needs asam data for a module it has not downloaded yet.
But can only get them when using the USB utility ?
Or will it try to download this when doing a Mobile scan ?

The perplexing part is why the USB utility knows about it but the web interface does not... hence my concern.

Ideally any time it sees a hot infrastructure connection (e.g. at my desk) it would get these updates by itself, or at least do so when you hit 'check for updates' in Mobile.
Trying to get ASAM data when tethered is an adventure to say the least.

I know it's already phoning home after seeing "HEX-NET is busy with the cloud" several times in VCDS Classic....
 
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Shaun

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But can only get them when using the USB utility ?
Or will it try to download this when doing a Mobile scan ?
There is no difference between checking with the usb utility or talking to the module directly and being prompted to download the data. At least in theory.

There were however a couple of redirects that were fixed recently, so if you tried with VCDS Mobile a while ago and then tried via USB recently, you may have seen different results. If you are still actively seeing different behavior between the two then it would be great if you could give us some more info on what exactly you are seeing and what modules are having the issue.

--Shaun
 
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jakematic

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There is no difference between checking with the usb utility or talking to the module directly and being prompted to download the data. At least in theory.
Excellent. This clarifies the USB functionality.
I don't have a specific issue right now, but wanted to understand the differences.


Will this eventually get rolled into the 'check for updates' in the web interface ? [the original question]

Scenarios:
1] Getting ready to go on an 1,100 mile trip, I update via the web interface before leaving instead of hoping there is decent cellular coverage in BFE should my vehicle have problems somewhere on the trip.
2] I know I'll be early for a meeting so I update via the web interface before leaving instead of hoping OTA updates work and don't make me late if I decide to do a quick checkup scan at the destination
Both of these would be while HN is in my office or on the known to work home network
 
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Will this eventually get rolled into the 'check for updates' in the web interface ?
In principle, it's already in there. If it's not working for you, we need specifics. ;)

Having it all current before leaving on a long trip is A Good Thing. :D

If it completes and Auto-Scan without complaining that it's missing data, you should be Good To Go. If not, please let us know what it's missing.

-Uwe-
 
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I can confirm that after scanning my 2015 GTI (which is all UDS) with a relatively-virgin HEX-NET in AP mode, it encountered several missing ROD files. I was able to come inside, check for updates using VCDS-Mobile in Infrastructure Mode and it fetched the files needed. It took a few iterations of this so repeat as needed. If you are going on a trip without interwebz and need to make sure you have all of the files, make sure to do a complete AutoScan using VCDS-Mobile while still at home and check to make sure there are no missing ROD files.
 
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In principle, it's already in there. If it's not working for you, we need specifics. ;)
Ummm.... I did... some time ago...:
Interestingly neither HN thinks it needs and update via the web interface but the utility does, with two different results.
Haven't done any updates in case you need additional information.




I can confirm that after scanning my 2015 GTI (which is all UDS) with a relatively-virgin HEX-NET in AP mode, it encountered several missing ROD files. I was able to come inside, check for updates using VCDS-Mobile in Infrastructure Mode and it fetched the files needed. It took a few iterations of this so repeat as needed. If you are going on a trip without interwebz and need to make sure you have all of the files, make sure to do a complete AutoScan using VCDS-Mobile while still at home and check to make sure there are no missing ROD files.
Assuming I've scanned it in the past, no modules got their module sex on and made new baby modules... shouldn't an update at my desk [edit: via the web interface] do just that ?
 
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Uwe

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Jake, can we see what it currently says please? Does it still claim "Updated ROD data needed"? Looking at those screen-shots, I'm sorta wondering if that's simply the wrong string being displayed there, 'cause it looks like it's about to get a new CFB, not new ROD data. :confused:

-Uwe-
 
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