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      08-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
hmilycar
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Drives: BMW
Join Date: Jul 2013
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ISTA/D and ICOM emulator

Probably not too many people know what this is, but if you've delved much into the programming world with our cars, you've heard DIS, INPA, EDIABAS, NCSExpert, etc.

Borrowed from **************:


Dealership Level Software

3rd Generation

ISTA (Integrated Service Technical Application) - The dealership system used to diagnose and program cars, it's made up of many smaller parts outlined below.
ISTA/D (Integrated Service Technical Application - Diagnostics) - The diagnostics part of ISTA, used to perform diagnostics and service functions
ISTA/P (Integrated Service Technical Application - Programming) - The programming/coding part of ISTA, used to perform programming/coding of control units
ISID (Integrated Service Information Display) - Tablet-like computer which runs the ISTA/D application and is the gateway to the ISTA/P client application
ISSS (Integrated Service Software Station) - Server system (actually a desktop running as a server) which houses the ISTA/P server application and is responsible for programming and coding. It's controlled via the ISTA/P client application on the ISID.
ISIS (Integrated Service Information Server) - Server system which controls all other ISTA applications/hardware, it coordinates communication between all the parts of the ISTA system and is responsible for management of all ISTA software/hardware in the dealership network. Usually two are found at a dealership in a cluster configuration.
ISPS (Integrated Service Programming Server) - Successor to the ISSS starting with ISPI 3.0, BMW decided to make one of the ISIS servers a dedicated programming server since they saw no value with dual ISIS systems. Higher capacity than an ISSS system and will eventually phase out all ISSS systems in the future.
ISPI (Integrated Service Process Initiative) - Basically service packs to the ISTA infrastructure, currently at ISPI version 3.0.
ISAP (Integrated Service Access Point) - Managed wireless access point used by ICOM, ISID, IMIB systems to connect to the dealership network via wireless
IMIB (Integrated Measurement Interface Box) - Wireless system used to perform various measurements components of a vehicle, voltage, resistance, computerized oscilloscope.
ICOM (Integration Communication Optical Module) - ICOM is a communication device and constitutes the diagnostic interface to the vehicle. It is connected to the vehicle and can be linked to an ISID via a connection manager. Thus ISID can communicate with the vehicle, e.g. for automatic vehicle identification or for executing test programs.

1st and 2nd Generation

GT1 (Group Tester One) - Touchscreen computer used to run the DIS applications, hardware very similar to an IBM ThinkPad T30
DIS (Diagnostic Information System) - Software that runs on the GT1 hardware to perform diagnostics and programming. As part of the 1st generation system, DIS handled both diagnostics and programming up until DIS v44. Starting with DIS v45 programming was moved to the SSS, as part of the 2nd generation system.
SSS (Software Service Station) - Desktop computer used to run the Progman application, comes in various configurations with the most common being the SSSr5 and SSSr6 systems. r5 and r6 systems could also be upgraded to ISSS stations as part of the ISTA system. Usually the terms SSS and Progman are used interchangeably.
Progman - Programming software as part of the 2nd generation system which handles all programming and coding, known as CIP (Coding, Individualization and Programming). Last official version of Progman was v32, any version after that is a unofficial and known to cause issues.


Recently, someone figured out how to make an emulator for the ICOM hardware that would allow an ISTA/D or P installation to communicate to the car via a USB OBD II interface (such as this one) to be used. He sells the ISTA, ICOM, and ISIS installations as VMWare machines that will work with the ICOM emulator (he provides), an ENET cable (not sure what this one is yet), and of course any OEM BMW ICOM (if you have $7k to spend on one) or Chinese ICOM clone (such as this).

I just purchased from him via eBay and it works flawlessly. On a MacBook Air. That's right, BMW diagnostics, wiring diagrams, technical info, etc, right on my MacBook Air. The only problem I have is, the 11" screen doesn't allow all of the ISTA buttons to be shown, but just enough to use it.

He does not support Mac installations, so I had to figure out a little bit on my own, but with VMWare Fusion 5.02, it wasn't all that hard. Officially he supports PCs and overall, it might be easier, but I can't justify spending the money for one just to have this.

If you wonder what all of the codes mean when your car throws them, this is the exact software that the dealer will use to diagnose and repair your car when you take it to them.

I haven't done much with it yet, but will post some pics of the screenshots when I do.

For $100 (yes, an expensive, but well tested) USB OBD cable (with a D-CAN adapter) and $190, I can run my own SMG clutch teach-in, adaptation, etc.

Throttle actuator test? yep
Idle actuator test? yep
O2 sensor readings? yep
MAF intake volume? yep.

It has a bit of a learning curve, but I feel confident it will be far easier than INPA is and possible easier than using DIS.

***Disclaimer: Do not attempt to do any coding or programming without a power supply. Do NOT attempt to Program modules over an OBD cable, buy an ICOM for that if your car is newer than 3/2007 production date.***

Screw dealerships. This stuff isn't that hard and the more you get into it, the more fun you get to have with your car instead of someone else.