Wireless Access

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VisualRF Woes



My company uses VisualRF Plan (stand-alone, although we also use the full AirWave/VisualRF suite on our server) for wifi planning. I've used it for the past couple of months. All of these are found to occur in the latest version of Firefox, as well as in the latest version of IE:


  • Regions will randomly reposition themselves. If I add a planning region overtop of a "location probability" region, and then go ahead provisioning APs and moving them around in this region, occasionally (once every hour or so) the software will decide to place my location probability region overtop of my planning region, making it impossible to edit, remove, or rearrange my planning region to be underneath the (larger) location probability region. This bug likes to happen when I hit "reprovision APs" to delete all my old ones and change some configurations. Thus, I cannot delete the planning region or select "reprovision APs" without removing my entire building region. If I do delete the building region, this has occasionally resulted in a stream of bugs whereby all copies of the region above the one I am currently on are removed as well.
  • When this (or any) region is removed, the walls I have placed around it stay behind! And since there is no way to remove these walls besides one at a time (not even shift-clicking), I am forced to waste endless time right-clicking on individual walls to delete them.
  • Once I delete the location probability region that has migrated on top of the planning region, I cannot draw a new location probability region overtop of the planning region, or I will encounter the same problem as before whereby I cannot right-click on the planning region to reprovision APs or edit region settings. I must delete ALL my regions and draw them again in order.
  • When re-scaling a building using the ruler tool, no regions/walls/anything scale with it. My whole layout is instantly broken if I happen to realize I got the wrong size when I first set up the floor, and must be manually deleted and re-added.
  • Mousewheel scrolling only works in the standalone version. Not in the server-driven one.
  • The only property that is changable in the "Edit region" right-click menu is the region name. No, I cannot change a "Location Probability" region to a "Planning" region. No, I cannot change the general properties of the planning location in this menu ("Concrete"? "Cubicles"? "Glass?").
  • There is no way to move a region. If a region placed by "copy this region to floors above" is placed just a foot or two off from where it should be, I cannot relocate it. I must draw a new one.
  • There is no way to copy a region to floors below. Only above. There is absolutely no meaningful reason for this. If I happened to draw a region on the second floor originally, I cannot copy it to the floor below it.
  • When copying a region to floors above, there is no way to copy walls generated by it along with the region. If I want my region to be surrounded by walls, then this makes the entire "copy region to floors above" feature pointless.
  • When I click "add origin" to add an origin to my building, it resets my zoom to all-the-way-out. If I happen to want to place an origin in one particular place on the building, then I have to manually zoom-in again (if on the server-driven version, without the mousewheel) and find the right spot. If, then, I'd like to make a minor adjustment, clicking "set origin" zooms me out again, and the process must be repeated.
  • Sometimes regions will decide they like to resize themselves as I zoom in and out on the page. This is highly unusual considering there is no user-driven tool to let me do this myself. Since my scrolling steps are never perfectly aligned with where the region was in the first place, this breaks all my regions and placements on a floor and everything must be deleted and added again.
  • When I move an access point in the plan, the process for getting it to update the projected heatmap is save -> refresh icon -> see if it worked -> if it didn't, then hit the "refresh" text link above the refresh icon. Why are there two refresh buttons? Why do they both only work sometimes? Occasionally, neither will work and I'll have to close out to building-level and load the whole floor again to see an update.
  • Airwave VisualRF offers no means by which I may export my buildings. There is no way to (easily) save backups of a plan this way in case any of the above bugs occur, and worse yet, no way to restore them besides manual rebuilding unless I had previously designed everything in VisualRF Plan beforehand.

This is VisualRF version 7.6.0. The quality of the software I am using is not deserving of a first version number: or would be much more accurate. I do not feel as if I am using software that was professionally designed. These are not tiny inconveniences that mean complex work is a little more difficult to accomplish. They are major, game-breaking software bugs and huge holes where there should be basic features (like rearranging regions). It is pathetic.


We have hundreds of Aruba APs deployed. They are of reasonable quality, and the hardware is good. But I really can't call VisualRF anything short of abysmal.

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