Onboarding API Guide

Best Practices

Onboardee application

Perform a Wi-Fi scan prior to entering SoftAP mode

Prior to starting up as a SoftAP, the device should scan and store a list of the nearby APs. This allows for an Onboarder application to make an Onboarding service framework API call to GetScanInfo. This helps remove errors for the end user because both sides of the Onboarding service framework can validate that each device detects the personal AP.

Add "AJ_" as the prefix to the SoftAP SSID

When switching the device into a SoftAP (if it has not been previously onboarded), the SSID should contain a prefix of "AJ_". This prefix allows for Onboarder applications to show a shorter list of the nearby devices that are eligible to be onboarded to a user's AP.

This is not a hard requirement but a very strong recommendation to standardize the way that developers will build Onboarder applications to present a cleaner UI and fewer options for the end user.

Make use of Configuration service framework

For an end user who may have multiple devices in the home of the same type (such as a refrigerator), it is important to allow for a custom name to be entered (for example, "Kitchen Fridge" or "Garage Fridge"). Adding the Configuration service framework into the Onboardee applications allows for a few things.

  • As the creator of the device, it can expose a set of initial values that are customized to the device to allow any third-party application to discover these input options and show a UI for end users.
  • By default, it allows the users to set a "friendly name" which will be propagated to a third-party developer application so the end user can identify the device by a name that they entered.

Announce again after connecting to a personal AP

When connecting to a personal AP that the end user provided, the About feature should be used to execute an Announce API method. This will ensure that the applications on the new network are promptly notified of the existing onboarded device. If the Announce API method is not executed, the AboutData will eventually travel to the other applications; explicitly calling the method ensures prompt arrival.

Single Onboardee application

Since the Onboardee application makes changes to the device's Wi-Fi settings, only one Onboardee application should be running at any given time. Running multiple applications at the same time results in non-deterministic behavior as multiple applications will be attempting to modify the Wi-Fi settings.

Onboarder application

Allow Onboardee device to be configured with AP information

when AP is hidden

Since the platform Wi-Fi scan will not list APs that are hidden, the application should allow the end user to input the SSID and security information manually. The Onboardee will attempt to connect to the network and if it fails, will start back up in SoftAP mode and report the error condition to the Onboarder application.

Allow the Onboardee device to be customized by the user

The AllJoyn service frameworks are intended to be building blocks that can be used together. As such, many devices that support the Onboarding service framework also support the Configuration service framework.

The Onboarder application should leverage the information from the About feature (AboutData) to determine if the UI can support the Configuration service framework. From the About feature's Announce callback lists the supported interfaces. If org.alljoyn.Config is contained, then the Configuration service framework is supported, and the Configuration service framework APIs get a list of any device-specific fields that can be entered, and dynamically generate the UI input widgets to enter these values. At a minimum, allow for the text field of "Friendly Name" to be entered so end users can name the device that is being onboarded.