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I would like to be able to have multiple and distant Labview development environments installed (e.g. Labview 7, 8.0.1,8.2 and 2010). As I understand it, this is mainly limited by the DAQmx drivers.
The problem I run into is that I need to support many applications beyond 5 years. We have some test equipment on our production line that has been running software since the 6.0 days. Management will come along and ask me to add one little feature to the software.
As it is now, I have to drag out my old computer with Labview 6.0 installed on it, develop on that, and then go back to my new development in LV 2010. I cannot just upgrade the application to 2010, for several reasons.
1) I can't have all the versions co-exist on one computer, so It needs to move from one machine to the next, upgrading along the way.
2) Different versions can change things in dramatic ways and break other pieces of code (e.g. Traditional DAQ vs DAQmx)
3) Because of #2, I need to do a full revalidation of the code, for what should be a minor change.
One thing that the NI architects do not seem to understand is that revalidation is not a trivial activity. This can interrupt the production schedule since I often cannot test on anything but the production equipment. This interruption can take days to weeks, even if no problems are uncovered, and much longer if we find that upgrading caused an issue. If I keep my old development environment, all I need to test is the changes to the code. If I change the compiler, I need to test ALL the code to be sure that the compiler change did not introduce any more bugs.
This is especially challenging in tightly controlled environments such as medical device manufacturing, where any change to the process requires a great deal of scrutiny.
Please make an effort to consider this in the future. Until then, I will be stuck with 4 computers under my desk all running different versions of Labview.