Since not every path on the hard drive can be in the drop down list, and some may be higher up in the tree from paths that are in the drop down list (and some may not be there at all) it would be great if we could specify relative paths and/or environment variables.
TestStand Application Data (for Windows 7) = "C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\TestStand". But, I want to install a file structure starting at "C:\ProgramData". Currently, my only options are to write a custom command to copy the files over after install to some other directory that's in the combo box. But this isn't great because things can be easily left behind on uninstall.
With a relative path, I could specify the subdirectory of to be "..\.." and with Windows environment variable support, I could specify %ALLUSERSPROFILE%. Either would take me to "C:\ProgramData".
Having tried both of these in TS2010sp1 installer builds, neither of these seem to be supported, and it would be awesome if they were in the future.
It isn't uncommon to deploy customized TestStand options, such as search directories, on a deployment computer. It would be much easier to do this if the search directories in TestStand were stored in their own .ini file rather than in TestExec.ini. You can obviously set the search directories in TestExec.ini quickly using the built-in search directories GUI, but when distributing the TestExec.ini file to the deployment computer, you have to be careful that none of the other options contained in the file don't inadvertently cause problems when executing TestStand deployments. A separate .ini file for search directories would clearly remedy this situation.
Although BuildTSD allows for builds from the command line, they are still not automatable because someone must be logged in for the run to work. All of our other build tools (Visual Studio, Eclipse, MPLAB, Quartus, NIOS, Matlab, etc.) allow for headless, remote, automated builds which support our move toward continuous integration, continuous deployment, and agile development.
Recently I have been involved in 2 Projects which deployed the test solution to PCs with disconnected deploy licenses
On both projects it was very labour intensive, there were some strange failures that were seen , related to the different licences and which were only highlighted when running with LVRTE and Teststand base deployment license. On each occasion it felt that even though the development machine had proven the solution it still required significant effort to prove and integrate the deployment image
My suggestion is to allow the developer to configure their development PC NI licence manager to replicate the PC that will run the deployment.
The Development machine would obviously need to have the development suite licences, all child licences related to the development licence would be available in the NI Licence manager . The developer would then have the option, to configure the licence manager to use the desired licenses. Ie TestStand Base deployment & switch executive deployment.
With a TestStand solution on a development machine the deployed image could then be tested before its deployed to its destination PC
1.The adaptor settings can be changed for the code modules to Run Time
2.The TestStand Search directories can be configured to use the deployment target image
3.And the licencing could be changed to replicate the deployment PC
Realise that points 1 & 2 above should iron out most of the issues with the deployment licence and its mainly on new deploys that the integration is painful, but having the option to select the licence to test on the development PC will help a lot to speed up the integration.
Currently, to export properties which are part of an array, such as the limits of a multiple numeric limit test, you have to specify each index of the array separately, like in the first screen shot, or else you get all of the raw XML, which is difficult to interpret and use.
This is both labor intensive and unituitive. . If instead we had the option to export the array with the "?" and have it parse the information out like in picture 1, it would be much simpler to use.
For the moment Localization files are to be placed in TestStand public or TestStand user paths.
It should be interesting to move them in a custom directory, which could be configured in the stations options.
(Or defined somewhere in a TestStand project)
Doing so, would simplify the deployment processus ... and Localization files would not be treated as global files, but project files.
=> When you have to handle with many TestStand project, you could have a directory for each project ... with multiple localizations files different by project !
I think the mechanism of file managment of TestStand should be modified, in order ...
Doind so, would simplify the deployment process ... to a simple directory copy !
It is common to want to place a shortcut to a TestStand User Interface or even a TestStand sequence file on the Windows Desktop for each user of a computer. This is done by placing a shortcut in the Windows All Users Desktop directory. Currently, the TestStand Deployment Utility only allows you to create a shortcut on the current user's Desktop. It would be really nice if the TestStand Deployment Utility allowed you to also create shortcuts on the Windows All Users Desktop so that everyone using the computer could see this shortcut on his or her Desktop.
It would be great to have the ability to create an independent TestStand configuration that is valid in a workspace context. That would allow project specific search directories, StationGlobals an several other configuration items you normally don't want to share across projects on the same test station.
I know that I can deploy station globals by adding the ini file to my workspace but when deploying them I want the Station Globals to be merged with the existing station globals on the deployed machine. Please add this as a feature to the deploy utility.
It would be nice to be able to create installers from existing images that were created previously using the TestStand Deployment Utility. It would also be nice to be able to pause the TestStand Deployment Utility between the image creation and the installer creation.
Currently, the Installation Destionation options are as follows:
There is no way to install files to the root directory, or its subdirectories, with the exception of those already present in the Installation Destination. For instance, make it possible to install a file to the following directory: C:\ProgramData\IVI Foundation\IVI
I have seen multiple customers who have encounter the following error:
Error: The following VIs or Project Libraries have duplicate names
You must change the names or add them to project libraries:
The issue sources from installing a TS deployment onto your development machine. It is not recommended. And though the deployment will be able to execute, it can also cause undesired linking errors, as shown in these cases. As a result, some of the VIs called are looking to SupportVIs (even in your development sequence), and other VIs called are looking for the same named VI in vi.lib. There can't be two different VIs with the same name, unless they are in two different libraries.
I suggest that we implement a warning when such an installation is started or even an error which prohibits installation fo the deployment.
* Why not include Configuration files, such as TestExec.ini by default in Deployment Utility?
* Also using default settings, nothing appears in the Start Menu/All Programs menu on the target machine. Why not have the main sequence file to be installed so that it appears in the Start Menu/All Programs menu on the target machine?
Often, multiple sequence files are deployed on the same test computer. A convenient way of differentiating between them is by changing their icons. Although this can be accomplished through custom commands invoking VBScript, it would be nice if the TestStand Deployment Utility provided native support for customizing the icon of a deployed sequence file.
I use the Stationglobals.ini to define my hardware settings on the test PC, like comport number and so on. It is running Teststand Base Deployment.
If I want to edit the settings it's only possible if I copy the stationglobals.ini to my development PC which has the full license, edits the settings, and then copies the file back to the test PC. Before I copy the file to my development PC I need to make a backup of the original file, so I don't get the settings on the development PC overwritten. Then afterwards I have to re-establish the backup.
This is a lot of copying back and forth, which is quite annoying.
Please make it possible to edit the Stationglobals.ini directly on the test PC with the Base Deployment Engine.
Simulated Devices in LabVIEW projects
Project and Workspace Context in MAX
Link to those ideas in next post
We can already create tasks, channels and scales in a LabVIEW project but, We cannot then use MAX to run those Tasks and we must use MAX to create a simulated device on a development machine. After a few projects the Max configuration becomes cluttered. Deployment and importing of the hardware configuration can get problematic to say the least!
On the other hand- if the Hardware, Data neighborhood and IVI session set-ups could be added to the workspace, deployment would be a snap! just import the *.nce from the workspace without having to create one from MAX and exclude items not concerned for the deployment.
For integration and station troubleshooting the Sessions, Aliases, Tasks et al would be organized by deployment in MAX and fault identification has all the "tools" any repair tech could want to isolate a failure.
Even though we already have an About box for TestStand, it would also be nice to have one for the active TestSequence file as well. The Help menu would have a new item called "About MySequenceFile ...".
MySequenceFile About box splash screen:
The information in this screen should be loaded directly from a single FileGlobal string whenever a sequence file is made active. This can probably be done already by those that know how, but it should be already part of TestStand by default.
The TestStand Deployment Utility lets you select the following locations for the installation destinations of individual files:
However, you can select the following for the default installation base directory:
It would be really nice if both lists of available installation locations were the same, both in terms of locations and naming conventions. The most glaring omission in the file installation destination list is the Windows Volume location.
We work with Teststand and Visual Studio 2012.
We would like to have an option to switch between the use of the debug dll or the release dll.
Now we have to change this step by step and that's a lot of work.
When deploying from a workspace file, TestStand analyses the VIs it has to include in the deployment package. However, when working with plug-in classes, TestStand will add the parent of a plug-in class, but not its children. Possibly because these are not directly used (they are included at runtime), and thus not recognised during analysis.
I would like to see that TestStand recognises a parent class it includes in the deployment, and then:
The TestStand R&D team is committed to reviewing every idea submitted via the TestStand Idea Exchange. However, we cannot guarantee the implementation of any TestStand Idea Exchange submission until further documented.