Agent upgrade doesn't work

Agent upgrade doesn't work

When I upgrade Mobicontrol to a newer version (on premise installation), I can't upgrade the agent via the webconsole (different devices).

I can enable the agent upgrade, the console shows "Agent Upgrade Enabled: Yes".

When I select upgrade agent now, the agen on the device exit, the device goes offline in the webconsole. After a few seconds the device is online again, with the same agent version.

Any suggestions?

 

Regards, Mark

8 Answers

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Saro | posted this 30 August 2018

I've never been able to successfully upgrade any device using the WebConsole's "Upgrade Agent" function. As far as I know, it doesn't work with Android Enterprise devices. You'd expect this to be written somewhere in the documentation (or perhaps just hidden from the user's view!) but alas, these idiosyncrasies are no longer a surprise when working with this platform.

There are two ways to upgrade Android Enterprise device agents:

  • Through the Play Store manually, since I've never seen ANY Android Enterprise device upgrade MobiControl on its own (even on WiFi or through a private Play Store). You will have to connect to every device 1 by 1, launch Play Store, hit the Update button... and get kicked off, since upgrading the agent kills existing Remote Control sessions.
  • Package Deployment via MobiControl's proprietary packaging system. You need to download MC Studio, download the latest agent APK, bundle it through Studio, build it, upload it to the console, create or update a profile, assign the profile to your Device Groups, and cross your fingers that nothing breaks. Any devices with an application on kiosk mode will momentarily lose the kiosk lock while the previous agent is killed, uninstalled and upgraded. Once the agent is reactivated, kiosk mode is turned back on.
    NOTE: do NOT reuse existing mcstudio.exe executables from previous MobiControl versions. Always download a fresh new copy when you upgrade the platform. Older versions might not package the APK correctly, resulting in corrupt PCGs getting uploaded to the platform and onto devices. I learned this the hard way after wasting 2 hours of my time wondering why a simple application upgrade didn't work. Getting calls at 1 AM from a dozen drivers isn't fun.

A third way might be to upload the agent APK directly without having to bundle it through MC Studio, but the remaining steps are just the same. You'll have to setup a private Play Store (Enterprise) if I am not mistaken.

Good luck!

p.s. if anyone knows a better way to do this, please let me know.

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Raymond Chan | posted this 30 August 2018

Hi Mark,

Could you please clarify your situation:

- What are your your original and upgraded MobiControl server version and build numbers? 

- Your device brand/model(s)?

- Device platform (Android or Android+ or Android Enterprise?), and  version/build numbers of existing device agent on the devices?  

-  Did you manage to get some agent of some device upgraded? Or did all devices fail?

 

 

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JMOD@SOTI | posted this 31 August 2018

Hi Mark,

 

Thank you for your question.

 

As mentioned by Raymond, it would be helpful to know the MobiControl Server Version, Device Make/Model, Type of Enrollment, and whether the issue is occurring on a limited number of devices or all devices.

 

Furthermore, it is also helpful to know the OS version of the device and whether the server is running a newly upgraded version of MobiControl.

 

As there are many factors which may be causing this behaviour, I would recommend you to create a case with SOTI support so that our team can assist you further in getting this issue resolved.

 

Once the case has been created, please feel free to message me the case number so that I may follow your query.

 

Kind regards,

Technical Support | SOTI Inc. |1.905.624.9828 | support@soti.net | www.soti.net |

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Mark | posted this 03 September 2018

The Soti is upgraded from 1.4.0.0.4905 to 14.1.6.1113. (installation was version 13)

In the past it also didn't work to upgrade client remotely.

I tried to upgrade the devices (Android+):
- Panasonic FZ-N1 (Android 6.0.1)
- Zebra TC8000 (Android 5.1.1)
- Zebra TC51 (Android 7.1.2)

None of them worked.

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Raymond Chan | posted this 03 September 2018

Thanks for your information.  Before talking about Android+ device agent update,  I just want to point out, with reference to  the first answer posted by Saro, that for Android Enterprise platform, the preferred way (based on what my Soti source told me a few months ago) to update AE agent is to use Managed-Google Play Store.  Saro seemed to talk about other approaches, which are actually not recommended.

 

Now, returning to Android+ agent upgrade,  my customers and I have successfully performed over-the-air device agent upgrade for countless Android+ phone/tablet devices of many brands (Samsung, Huawei, Sony, HTC, Lenovo, etc.) enrolled on many many tens of server of different versions/builds in the past few years.   OTA agent upgrade works perfectly out-of-the-box over 98% of the cases.    I think I tested one or two Panasonic tablets 2-3 years ago, but there was only one device agent version at that time and there was thus no agent upgrade test done.  If your Panasonic device agent upgrade fails,  the first step to do is probably to look into the MobiControl log file from your device to diagnose the possible cause(s).  Send the log file to Soti support and let them check the cause and propose solution.  If the problem is due to the device firmware,  I believe you can just wait for Panasonic to provide firmware upgrade first and there is nothing Soti can do.

   

Zebra devices are even more complicated.   I've only recently tested in detail one Zebra device for the first time in the last few months.  I personally think that Zebra devices actually belong to a special class of Android+ devices in MobiControl, because Zebra implemented many of its own enterprise-grade enhanced features (ZX, enterprise partition, etc.).  For examples,  after initiating a wipe on my Zebra test device from MobiControl web-console, I found that the device agent previously installed on the device was still installed.  Also, initiating a factory reset of the device locally from its "Settings" app actually still resulted in a device with the MobiControl agent installed and enrolled.   

I looked into Zebra documents and talked to Zebra engineer in Hong Kong, and found that files installed in the enterprise partition need special procedure to clean up.  I therefore conclude that Zebra device need special procedure for many operations.  Agent upgrade is definitely on the list.  As my friend on this forum, Matt Dermody, is much more familiar with various Zebra devices than I do,  I always refer people to get answers from him.

 

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Matt Dermody | posted this 04 September 2018

We almost exclusively leverage Android+ (DA) with the Zebra Android devices and have not had issues with OTA distribution of the Agent Upgrade. Have you found anything revealing in the DS logs? What do you observe happening at the device level?

As for reseting a Zebra device, there is a distinction between an "Enterprise Reset" and a "Factory Reset". Zebra devices contain their own unique partition called the Enterprise partition that is unaffected by an Enterprise Reset. A special Factory Reset ZIP update or an MX command must be used to Factory Reset a Zebra Android device. Both are possible through SOTI packages, just not through the default wipe or manual reset options.

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Saro | posted this 05 September 2018

Thanks for your information.  Before talking about Android+ device agent update,  I just want to point out, with reference to  the first answer posted by Saro, that for Android Enterprise platform, the preferred way (based on what my Soti source told me a few months ago) to update AE agent is to use Managed-Google Play Store.  Saro seemed to talk about other approaches, which are actually not recommended.

My first answer was "Play Store", and I wrote "private Play Store", which by its own nature is Managed. The Agent will NEVER automatically upgrade itself on the Play Store, Managed or not. I've seen every other application auto-update itself, but never MobiControl. Prove me wrong.

 

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Allen Gulbrand | posted this 09 September 2018

Did you go back into your device rules where the MobiControl agent was placed and update the version number field?

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