CA as the only Connection Manager
The default installation for the CA is for the CA to take complete responsibility for the internet connection state on the device. On startup, the CA scans for Wi-Fi networks and decides which network to join, giving precedence to any configured private network. If it cannot join a private network, the CA will join a nearby ZipKey network if available. When the CA is running in this configuration, you should disable any other connection manager on the product so it will not interfere with the CA. There is no need for an alternative connection manager. The CA is a robust connection manager that can ensure that the product stays connected to the best available network at all times.
CA co-existing with other Connection Manager
Having the WCM as the only connection manager is the best configuration for most connected products. There are some connected products, however, where having the CA manage the connection at all times may not be appropriate. If the connected product has an ethernet connection, then it may be preferable to not join a nearby Wi-Fi network when the ethernet connection is active. The CA does not actively manage the ethernet connection. There may also be products, such as Wi-Fi extenders, where the CA may not have visibility to the connection state within the mesh, and thus should not manage the Wi-Fi connection. For these products, the CA can be configured to run in Unmanaged mode, where it does not manage the internet connection. A typical configuration would be:
- On initial startup, if there is no private network configured, bring CA up in managed mode.
- The CA will try to join a ZipKey network, and download network credentials.
- When the CA has successfully joined the private network, it will call the registered callback to notify it of the connection status.
- Change the CA to unmanaged mode.
- When in unmanaged mode, the CA will do basic housekeeping, such as performing periodic upkeep (Upload logs, get network config, get action, put status, etc), but will not try to reconnect if it detects a loss of connectivity.
- If the CA needs to actively manage the connection (e.g. after a factory reset), change the CA to managed mode.
If your product requires the CA to run in unmanaged mode at times, please contact Cirrent so that we can review the design to ensure that the CA and your connection manager will co-exist well under all circumstances.