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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a new MilestonePSTools version on an old version of Milestone?

Yes. You can typically always use a newer "client" on an older VMS, however there is a limit to the backward compatibility testing performed by Milestone.

Since MilestonePSTools operates the same as a Milestone client application, you should expect to see a similar level of backward compatibility. However, it is possible that some features of this module will require a newer version of the Milestone XProtect Management Server. We will do our best to make it clear in the documentation, and error messages, when you might expect to find an incompatibility.

Can I use an older MilestonePSTools version on a newer version of Milestone?

Yes. Milestone Systems makes a significant effort to ensure a level of forward and backward compatibility, and most of the time you may use an older client application to connect to a newer server. Most of the time there is no change in user experience, though there have been a small number of exceptions.

One notable exception is when new encryption options were introduced for client communication with XProtect recording servers. If encryption was enabled on the recording server(s), client versions released prior to the introduction of this feature would be unable to communicate with those recording servers.

Since Milestone can not guarantee forward compatibility of client applications and the MIP SDK, neither can MilestonePSTools promise to always work against newer versions of the Milestone XProtect VMS.

Can I perform the "Replace Hardware" action?

As of Milestone XProtect VMS version 2023 R1 (23.1.1), Yes! Sometimes it's necessary to perform the Replace Hardware action in Management Client to either update the properties and features of a camera after a device pack or firmware upgrade, or change the driver used for the camera to take advantage of a new driver.

If you're running Milestone XProtect Management Server version 2023 R1 or later, and MilestonePSTools version 23.1.1 or later, then you can use the Set-VmsHardwareDriver command to run a simplified implementation of the replace-hardware wizard from Management Client.

If you're using a Milestone VMS version released prior to 2023, then as soon as you upgrade your Management Server to at least 2023 R1, you can take advantage of this feature.

Can I add cameras that are not on the network?

No. The MIP SDK, and really the core Milestone XProtect VMS platform does not support the ability to add devices unless network communication with the device is possible from the recording server service to which you are adding the camera. So even with MilestonePSTools, the device(s) must be online in order to add them to a recording server.

There are a few reasons this would be challenging to architect at this stage. One such reason is that the Milestone Device Pack drivers support the concept of "dynamic events" and "dynamic channels". This means that until we talk to the camera, we don't know all of the available edge-based events or the number of camera, microphone, and other device channels to expect.

One possible workaround for relatively basic use cases is to use the universal driver to add a non-existant camera. You could then configure the name of the hardware and channels, the permissions, and create views. Then, later, you could edit the IP address and credentials, then right-click on the hardware in Management Client and click "Replace hardware", or use the Set-VmsHardwareDriver command to change the hardware driver and optionally the address and credentials once the cameras are online.

Why are some commands prefixed with "VMS"?

The MilestonePSTools project began in 2019 by an engineer with no prior experience building PowerShell modules. Over time, it became clear that some command names had the potential to collide with commands available in other modules. For example, "Get-VmsHardware" is so generic that there could easily be another unrelated PowerShell module with the same command.

PowerShell module authors are recommended to prefix the "nouns" in their cmdlet names with a short string to minimize the chance of colliding with other modules. We chose to use "VMS", which is short for Video Management System, or Video Management Software.

All new commands should use the new "VMS" prefix. The future for old commands is not yet decided. We can't broadly apply the prefix to all commands due to the risk of breaking any automation setup by customers using the module. Perhaps we'll apply the prefix to all commands, and add aliases for the old command names? If you have suggestions for how to address this with minimal impact to current users, please feel free to contribute to a discussion on GitHub!