VastServer Developer Edition RTW

Today marks the release to web of a new flavour of VastServer, known as VastServer Developer Edition.

As the name implies, this version of the server is targeted at developers and aims to provide more information on the framework’s behaviour, a little closer to the metal than has been possible in the past.

The user interface for the server is written with WPF and looks like this:

Click for larger view

Some of the more interesting features are covered in detail below.

Server Usage History

Many of the factors that contribute to server load such as send/receive rates, send/receive queues and client connections, are visible at a glance, with a rolling 60 second view of activity graphed:

It’s likely additional metrics will be made available in future releases, such as dynamic element counts, owned element counts, mutex holders, etc along with the ability to filter and manipulate the usage history graph.


Each world maintains it’s own log that displays IMML notifications such as those related to scene.ui:writeline, along with any world related notices, errors and warnings that the framework associates with that context.

A system log is also available via the View -> Log menu. It contains log information related to the networking infrastructure.

File Hosting Support

One nice new feature is the ability to host assets along side client IMML, meaning that IMML can be coded with relative URIs.

This supports the use case where a team wants to avoid setting up a web server or using a public storage provider such as Amazon S3 and is a convenient way to consider developing worlds.

For example, the model in this IMML:

<IMML xmlns="">
  <Model Source="models/ground_path1.model" />

Is resolved to the client folder of the hosted context via the HostingRoot:

In the above example, the HostingRoot is at My Documents\VastPark\Server\ and the hosted context is called “sanctuary” (for some live shots of sanctuary in action, see here) .

Client Metrics

The client tab displays the behaviour of all clients connected to a specific world.

Information on user alias, connection time, framework version, ping, message resends, and time since last message provide the ability to troubleshoot scenarios where certain clients are experiencing difficulty with the system.

Both v1.3 and v1.5 clients are supported by this release of the server, the network stack has remained compatible between these versions of the framework.


VastServer Developer Edition is freely available to developers for download with a limitation of 10 concurrent user connections across all hosted worlds. It’s built for windows and requires .NET Framework 4.0

License keys are available to partners and enterprise customers to remove the concurrent user limitation.



3 Responses to “VastServer Developer Edition RTW”

  1. Bruce Joy on November 6th, 2010 5:47 pm

    Great, Craig. I played around with the interface for an hour this morning and found it was terrific. Immediately helps clarify what’s going on in the networking. This is definitely going to help developers. NICE!

  2. craigomatic on November 8th, 2010 8:06 pm

    Glad you enjoyed using it Bruce 🙂

    It definitely makes it easier to see the impact certain functions in world have on network load.

  3. Joshua Hayes on November 9th, 2010 4:56 pm

    This is a really nice addition Craig. I’m especially excited about bringing some of this information, where appropriate, into VastServer Enterprise so that it’s possible to see what live worlds are doing.

    Whilst some of the information presented here is already in VastServer Enterprise (client info etc) and some of it doesn’t need to be (as it’s targeted at developers), some bits of information would be fantastic to have on live servers (such as the server usage graph).

    All an all very exciting. For both developer and enterprise editions.

    VastServer Developer is light weight, easy to fire up and get started with. Exactly what virtual world developers have been missing, and needed!