Blue BMW vehicleBMW’s factory tool is the PC based Online Service System (O.S.S.). O.S.S. includes a number of components and provides extensive service functionalities. Integrated into BMW’s O.S.S. are software modules for both diagnostic work (aka: ISTA-D) and for module reprogramming (aka: ISTA-P).
ISTA-D, once properly installed, provides the technician with the ability to do full diagnostic functions; read codes/clear codes, display all data PIDs, activate bi-directional functions and perform BMW’s ‘Automated Tests’. Additionally, this OEM system provides real time on-line access to the full BMW Service Information (SI) database. SI database information includes such items as BMW’s Code Descriptions (Both SAE and BMW specific), Repair Procedures, Wiring Diagrams, Pin Assignments, Connector Views and Installation locations.
The ISTA-P software module provides the technician with the ability to program or re-flash all modules. Whether the technician is replacing a defective module or simply wishing to update an existing working module, ISTA-P enables this to be performed. As an added note, BMW TSB’s are also integrated into this OEM scan tool package.
A BMW ‘OEM’ package can be ordered in two different configurations. The first configuration, which BMW recommends, includes all the BMW OEM interface cables (BMW ICOM A2+B+C) and the BMW ICOM NEXT interface device. This package provides vehicle coverage from the late 80’s right up to the current model year and it covers all BMW models/chassis’. A second package, which utilizes a less expensive J-2534 Pass Through Tool (PTT) interface device is also available. This lower priced PTT package does not provide full model year coverage and is limited in how far back the coverage goes. Additionally, using the PTT interface can result in longer reprogramming times. (In some cases up to 1.5 hours longer.)
It should be noted that in typical German engineering fashion, the specifications for the PC platform and various operating system environments are very specific to ensure the BMW O.S.S. system will operate properly. PC processor clock speed, monitor resolution, HDD space and network connections must all be correct. Additionally, Operating System and Runtime Environments (Windows O/S, JAVA, Internet Explorer, Net Framework) must be as specified. At OEMTools, we offer a number of complete BMW ‘TurnKey Packages’ that can include either a properly configured Dell or Panasonic laptop along with either the BMW recommended interface or a BMW recognized PTT interface.