Dameon Welch Abernathy

A Brief History of Demo Mode for Policy Editor and SmartDashboard

Discussion created by Dameon Welch Abernathy Employee on Aug 9, 2017
Latest reply on Aug 9, 2017 by Dameon Welch Abernathy

Consider this a bit of a Throwback Thursday post.


How many of you remember logging to Policy Editor as follows:



This was the way you activated Demo Mode before it was even exposed in Policy Editor (precursor to SmartDashboard) in NG FP2.

Here's a snapshot from R55:



Anyone happen to remember the first version this was added to? 

And did anyone realize that *local continued to work until R80?


One thing that was nice about demo mode pre-R80 was that you could run it on your local PC with no network connectivity.

Some features were not available as a result of that, but it was enough to show basic configuration and usability.

If you wanted, you could even edit a few of the files, such as:


  • rules.fws : Contains all defined rulebases. It is exactly the same format as $FWDIR/conf/rulebases.fws on the management console.

  • objects.fws : Contains all users and services. It is exactly the same format as $FWDIR/conf/objects.C on the management console.

  • users.fws : Contains users and groups for the demo rulebases. Note that this file is of a different format than $FWDIR/conf/fwauth.NDB. To get a feel for the format, create some users in *local mode and view the file.

  • lv_recs.fws : Contains demonstration log entries.

I used Demo Mode for a lot of the screenshots in my books


Due to the significant changes in the management backend on R80, a local demo now requires a full VM of Gaia running.

As that can be resource-intensive, there is also a Cloud Demo for R80.10 where you connect to a VM hosted in the cloud versus on a local machine.

More details here: Cool Feature in R80.10: Cloud-Based Demo Mode

On the plus side, this means almost all features can be demonstrated short of a full policy installation.