Biamp Canvas includes an Auto-Connect feature, which allows the application to be configured to automatically connect to a Tesira system when it is launched. One powerful option within Auto-Connect is the ability to launch Biamp Canvas from a command line, while specifying various parameters for Auto-Connect. This allows for the ability to create multiple shortcuts that launch Biamp Canvas and connect to different systems, using different usernames, and using different local files.
This feature is very useful for a few different situations:
- There are multiple Tesira systems on the network, and you want the ability to quickly connect to the desired Biamp Canvas layout simply by opening a shortcut.
- A single Tesira system is accessed by several different people, each of whom need different controls or different levels of access. Each person needs to connect to their own Biamp Canvas layout simply by opening a shortcut.
This article deals with using the command line to launch Biamp Canvas and auto-connect to a system. A full description of the Auto-Connect feature can be found here.
The first step to using command line arguments to launch Biamp Canvas is to create a shortcut and modify it. There are a few ways to create a shortcut:
- You can create a shortcut from Biamp Canvas software itself. Just go to Tools→Options→Auto-Connect, make sure the Enable Auto Connect checkbox is checked, and click the Add Shortcut button. Select the option for Add Auto-Connect Shortcut to the Windows Desktop and click OK.
- Alternately, you can create a shortcut by locating your BiampCanvas.exe executable file within Windows, right-clicking on it, and selecting Create Shortcut.
Once the shortcut is created, right-click on it and select Properties. In the Properties window, find the field labeled Target. It will most likely contain the file path to the Biamp Canvas executable, and it will look something like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" -AC
Command line options
There are several command line options available that allow you to customize the behavior of each Biamp Canvas shortcut.
The ‑AC command line option stands for Auto Connect. When ‑AC is appended to the end of the command line, then this shortcut will cause Biamp Canvas software to auto-connect using the settings provided within Biamp Canvas (in Tools→Options→Auto-Connect). In this case, the target of the shortcut would look like this, although the file path might be different on different computers:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" ‑AC
However, it is also possible to specify the System ID to connect to using the ‑AC option. This will override the System ID that is specified in Biamp Canvas software, and cause Biamp Canvas to auto-connect to a different system. The syntax for this option looks like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" ‑AC:2254147
In the example above, "2254147" is the System ID that you want to connect to. You can find the System ID of a system by going to File→Network→Connect To Network.
If ‑AC is not specific on the command line, and the Biamp Canvas Auto-Connect option for Auto-connect when ‑AC specified on command line is selected (in Tools→Options→Auto-Connect), then this shortcut will open Biamp Canvas without auto-connecting. This is useful as a quick way to bypass Auto-Connect when you don't want it.
If your Biamp Canvas layout is password-protected and requires users to login, it is possible to specify a default username in the command line options. This speeds up the process of logging in, since the user will only have to type their password. For this option, the target of the shortcut will look like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" ‑USER:johndoe
Control surface path
Finally, it is possible to include the file path to a Biamp Canvas file, to be used as a local control surface. This means that Biamp Canvas will launch and connect to the system, but use the local Biamp Canvas file instead of the one that is stored on the Tesira system. This allows different users to use customized control layouts. For this option, the target of the shortcut will look something like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Biamp\My Canvas File.bcv"
There are a couple of important notes about this option:
- In order for this option to work correctly, Biamp Canvas must be set up to use a local control surface. To do this, go to Tools→Options→Auto-Connect, ensure that the Enable Auto Connect checkbox is checked, and ensure that the Use Local Control Surface checkbox is checked.
- There is no need to precede this option with any kind of argument, in this case the target of the shortcut will simply be the file path to the Biamp Canvas executable, followed by a space, and then the file path to your Biamp Canvas file.
- If the file path to the Biamp Canvas file includes spaces, then the file path must be enclosed in double quotes.
- It is best to keep the Biamp Canvas file in a location where it won't be accidentally moved or deleted. If there is no Biamp Canvas file at the specified file path location, then this shortcut will not work correctly.
Putting it all together
These command line options can be used simultaneously in the same shortcut. For instance, to create a shortcut that launches Biamp Canvas, connects to a Tesira system with System ID 2254147, use a local control surface file, and use the "johndoe" user account, the target of the shortcut might look something like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\BiampCanvas\BiampCanvas.exe" ‑AC:2254147 ‑USER:johndoe "C:\Users\Public\Documents\Biamp\My Canvas File.bcv"