Qt partners can deliver support for Qt on their hardware boards a lot easier. We have improved and created features for Qt Board Support Package (QBSP) and ability to create Qt commercial builds on Yocto. The enablers will be part of both Qt 5.9 LTS and Qt 5.12 LTS.
As a partner, building and delivering open source versions of Qt under (L)GPL is a relatively simple affair: All the sources are available and the open source licensing allows the distribution of the assets as long as the open source licenses are attained with the packages.
Less so with a commercial license. If there was no out-of-box support as part of Qt for Device Creation partners or their customers have had to swap and add files manually. In addition, integrating developer tooling such as Qt Creator or Qt for Visual Studio had to be done manually with the help of documentation.
Sounds like a lot of hassle?
That's why we've been working hard to make it easier for Qt partners to create support for Qt embedded targets and test them as part of their own continuous integration and quality assurance processes.
QBSP for a super-easy developer tooling setup
The QBSP contains all the IDE configurations for deployment, debugging and profiling, as well as the toolchain and embedded target software required for embedded development. In other words, a developer can set up an embedded target on their IDE by simply installing a QBSP package instead of clicking around and manually configuring the environment.
QBSP has been out an about for some time but the feature hardening and documentation have been... <ahem>... fragmented. We spent a fair amount of time this summer to make the feature simple to use for external parties. We have done the initial documentation of QBSP with Yocto-based embedded Linux as a target, but it can just as easily be used with any other target OS.
In addition, we are also using the QBSP feature ourselves in order to deliver to a wider range of Qt for Device Creation embedded targets (but that is another blog post).
Building commercial Qt from Git
We have also enabled an easy way to create commercial Qt builds from Git. This is primarily an enabler intended for operating system and hardware vendors integrating Qt as part of their own continuous integration and testing. In all simplicity, one can now create Qt images with a -commercial switch.
For verification that the Qt build for the hardware was a success and QBSP for the tooling works, we will initially provide partner documentation. The further planned evolution is to provide partners with additional test applications and mechanisms to improve automated testing capability on partner side.
Partner agreement required
The Qt License Agreement 4 explicitly forbids the distribution of commercial Qt or parts of it without a valid license. The rights to distribute Commercial Qt require a partnership agreement between you and The Qt Company. If you are interested in such a partnership agreement, please get in touch with us through https://www.qt.io/contact-us/
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Qt 5.12 was developed with a strong focus on quality and is a long-term-supported (LTS) release that will be supported for 3 years.
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