Additional NI Software Idea Exchange

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Hi, a few suggestions related to software deployment.

1) Separate out the Volume License Installer from the Volume License Manager. These should be two separate programs. Having the VLI separate allows other admins in other departments to create VL installer files for their own area without having to have an agreement file for the volume license server (which would be running on another machine and one which the other admins may not have access to). 

2) Have the NI License Manager client require elevated (i.e. admin) privileges to change the settings. This will prevent unauthorised users from changing the network license server which affects all users of the system. This is necessary in a classroom environment.

3) Have as an option whether things like the Package Manager/Registration wizard/Update service etc get installed.

NOTE: My role is only IT sysadmin support at my university. I'm not familiar with NI's individual products. I help run the servers supporting the NI-VLM and have previously helped package LabVIEW for automated deployment.

 

I know the NI-VLM tracks usage of the individual "paid" software products like LabVIEW/Multisim that are part of software site licenses. I'm trying to determine if the NI-VLM can tell me if a user has used *any* part the NI solution on a client computer--even if it is a "free" product included with it such DAQmx, MAX, ELVISmx Instrument Launcher, etc. I'm trying to determine NI software usage as a whole to gauge whether or not the usage is enough to justify installing this large software suite into specific locations on our campus, to stop installing it into lesser or non-used locations, move the installations elsewhere, etc.

 

thanks!
Scott

 

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強制ドットは意図的でないデータ型式の変換を警告するが、データ形式が同じでもタイプ定義の有り無しが異なると強制ドットが付く。

これは疑似エラーであり、データ形式が異なる真性エラーをマスクしてしまい、強制ドット警告の品質を劣化させている。

従って単にタイプ定義有り無しの違いに対しては強制ドットの色をオレンジ色にするなどしてエラーレベルを落とす方が良いと思います。

 

また、ブロックダイアグラム中の強制ドットの検索方法が提案されているが、強制ドットは常にバックグラウンドで検索して欲しい。ちなみにプログラム実行に支障が有るときは実行指示のボタンの形が変わり実行出来なくなるが、強制ドットなどがある場合にはボタンの色が変わり、右クリックなどで警告の一覧表が出て、それぞれを確認できる仕組みが欲しい。

特にタイプ定義を使っているとタイプ定義の修正の結果、意図しない場所で、新たな警告が誕生する可能性があり、毎回意図的に強制ドットの探索を掛けるのは非常に煩わしく、失念する要因となる。前記の機能があれば、修正直後に副作用を確認できる。

As of today, the newest version of the NI Volume License Manager 3.1.2 supports following OS; Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 R2 64-​bit, Windows Server 2008 R2 64-​bit.

It would be more convenient if it supports Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019.

 

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Hi,

 

For a reason I don't know, NI Softmotion team remove the function "write position setpoint" to all 951x axis. I'm using four (4) 9514 axis right now that all need to use this function at sometime in my code.

 

This function is really useful when design a motion tracking system and also for PID tuning to check step response.

 

I can't upgrade to LabVIEW 2018 for this reason without non-desired work-around.

 

Please work on reenabling this fonction on all 951x axis.

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Is there a technical reason why DAQmx Scales can't be added to VeriStand waveform channels?  My understanding is that the logging mechanism is just the shipping NI-DAQmx Configure Logging function, which supports logging channels with applied DAQmx scales.  I'd like to see the same right click menu "Select Scale" option that you have for single point channels to enable it.

 

Right now I'm looking into how to apply these scales.  It looks like I could either add a custom device or post-process the TDMS file, neither of which is a terribly elegant solution, especially since what I'm trying to enable is a shipping feature of the underlying driver and would be annoying to have to replicate.

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The new compactRIOs come with a very useful USB-ethernet interface. I would like to access this on systems without the full driver set for low power hosts where we don't want to fill the system with a full driver install.


For example, I have a surface go which would be great if I can just plug it in to access the web interface for debugging.

 

It's not just me either: https://forums.ni.com/t5/Real-Time-Measurement-and/How-to-include-the-usb-lan-driver-with-an-install...

 

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Hi there,

 

as my volume license manager is not able to handle more than ~850 registered computers, I need the creation date or register date of a computer to run a proper inventory every month (no usage AND present also last month -> deletion of computer).

 

I need this function urgently to have a stable service and license allocation.

 

BR
Lennart

Right now through SystemLink when you go to the server to approve a new system, you get a listing with the Minion IDs of all the systems waiting for approval.  The problem is that the minion ID is made up of the computer type, serial number and MAC address.  As a production line manager person, I don't know the hardware serial numbers of computers, or MAC addresses of systems.  Yes they are great unique identifiers, but it's kinda like having a conversation about people by only using their social security numbers (instead of calling them by Jane, John, Marry or Harry). 

What it comes down to is I've got a list of systems that I don't know what they are, and to be able to make a reasonable decision about the security of my process I need to do a large amount of research to decide whether it is an appropriate system.  I wish the list included the system HostName too.  With that I could decide quicker and easier if it was a valid system to approve.

 

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Systemlink seems unaware of software changes deployed to a Managed System outside of the SystemLink Systems Manager.  If I install a software package using Systems Manager to an RT client, then install something else on the same client directly from LabView, Systems Manager will continue to show the original package as the Installed Software.  Ideally the SystemLink client on the RT target should recognize the difference and report to Systems Manager that an unknown package is installed.  Additionally, Systems Manager should have a Reinstall option on its installed software tab.  The current procedure is to uninstall the currently installed version, then install it from the Available software tab.

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We request "Disable Licensing Wizard" function.

This request from my customer.

The customer is managing a bunch of software licenses with Flexnet.

If the client user try to use some software when there are no available licenses, only NI software pops up the licensing wizard.

On the wizard, there is "Evaluation" button and once the client user mistakenly click the button, the software launches as a evaluation for around month and the Flexnet cannot detect the evaluation software, the customer cannot count the number of clients who is using the software.

If there is "disable licensing wizard" function, the issue never happens. 

Many folks have huge trouble with building extra packages for the cRIOs (that are either missing or outdated), not to mention reproducible deployment and configuration management.

 

In industrial environments, we need a very high degree of customizability and reproducability, which the current nilrt distro just cannot provide. Setting up such an environment from scratch is a huge work for users, which usually aren't Linux embedded expert.

 

Therefore I'd suggest an fully automatized deployment of development environments, which are also easily customizable for the user. Major keypoints are:

 

a) development environment setup:

* container-based solution that can put together an environment automatically, using well-proven standard technology (eg. docker, ansible, ...)

* executable documentation: use declarative approaches, that are easy to understand and allow automatic documentation (eg. for verification / validation)

* use a recent, well-maintained standard distro (inside the container), and use off-the-shelf standard tools where possible

* fully tracable source control via git

* easily customizable: the user can fork off his own configuration from the appropriate upstream release, customize to his needs and later rebase to newer upstream releases if wanted

* automatic setup of package mirrors, binary repositories, product specific local deployment and HIL environments, etc.

b) target build environment:

* highly reproducable - even after very long time (eg. also allows automatic source code mirrors, etc)

* executable documentation - the configuration can be easily understood and used for generating documentation

* based on a Linux embedded experts community

* supports building for several (including customer-specific) target platforms

* supports easy configuration / customization of installed packages, as well as features selection and tuning of individual packages

* supports easily adding own software

* supports maintaining customized system configuration with image building

* fully tracable source control via git

--> the natural choice is using PTXDist (fast, reliable, reproducable, excellent expert community)

 

I'd estimate about 6 man-month (for a lone developer) for the initial stable release of the core system, plus another 6 mm for additional tasks like user documentation, examples, target specific configurations, etc.

 

Costs: about 200k $ (including extra buffer)

Equals sales price of about 25..30 avg. cRIO units. (RIO break even likely at about 50 units).

 

First time poster here so please excuse my ignorance if I am posting incorrectly.

 

I know NI supports CentOS and SUSE GNU/Linux distributions, but Debian distros are the most popular according to distrowatch.  I would like NI to consider creating 488.2 driver support for Debian based distros.  Specifically Linux Mint and Ubuntu.  I have been using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and recently switched to Linux Mint 18.3.  Mint 18.3 works so well, I abandoned Windows 7 on my personal computer and only use Windows 7 at work (because I must).  I can use NI USB devices on Mint (and Ubuntu) by installing the driver in a Windows 7 virtual machine and passing through the USB in VirtualBox.  However this does not work for PCI cards.  Drivers are a big roadblock to migrating our test equipment off Windows so I am hoping NI considers better GNU/Linux development in the future.  Thank you.

Write clean IIO drivers for the NI DAQ cards and bringt them to mainline.

 

Pro:

* full Linux-support via standard APIs out of the box (without extra sw installations)

* very high quality by community driven maintenance

* directly supporting for standard applications by standard APIs, w/o any hw-specific modifications

* easy integration in / customization for complex scenarios

 

* increased sales volume by opening a completely new market (Linux/FOSS world)

 

Costs:

* avg. 4..8 man-weeks per device type

* usually less than 1kLOC per device

 

For example, the - currently completely unsupported NI-600x - can be easily integrated into IIO as well as GPIO and PWM subsystems (driver can provide several interfaces in parallel, so users can pick the appropriate one for their applications).

 

NI could open up a new market - the Linux/FOSS world - which is currently completely unavailable to them right no, due to lack of usable drivers.

The current situation w/ homebrewn installers is really ugly - see tons of forum posts.

 

We have decent package management technologies like APT, which industry-grade proven for over two decades, that handles all the usual aspects of software deployment - downloads, installations, dependency management, fully automatic upgrades, inventory, clean removal, etc, etc. This also includes post-installation steps like database updates, automatically building OOT kernel modules, etc. Such technology has also been ported to esoteric and very operator-unfriendly platforms like Windows.

 

The key point here is the Distribution: software has to be compiled and packaged for a particular distribution and target architecture, so everything (including ABIs) really fit together and the software is neatly integrated into the ecosystem.

 

There are two major package manager stacks: dpkg/apt and rpm/yum, each used for dozens of different distros/platforms. Once the build process is set up (est. just several man-days initially), dozens of distros can be easily supported w/ neglectable effort. With an CI, the whole build/packaging/deployment process can easily run completely automatically.

 

Once packages are available that way, operators just have to add the vendor's package repository once to their system and then everything - including updates - can run automatically. Operators also can easily mirror repos, eg. for offline deployment, additional QA+approval, etc.

 

Since 20+ years there is no need for homebrewn installers whatsoever. They're just an extreme waste of resources - on both vendor and user side.

 

Properly packaging directly to certain distros and using only the native package managers for deployment would make the tons of operating/deployment problems (as seen here in the forum) go away - they're basically but problems w/ the distro-incompatible homebewn installers.

 

--mtx

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I frequently switch between developing at my desk, and debugging in the lab. After I switch work areas, I sometimes find that LabVIEW is still open on the other machine (usually just the annoying splash screen for LabVIEW projects). It would be nice if the NI License Manager allowed a force-check-in of remote Network Licenses so I could reclaim my seat without walking back to close an application.

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We have VLA Named-User licenses hosted from our NI VLM server. If there are no Network License seats available, LabVIEW should notify the user. Instead, it opens the Activation Wizard and starts prompting for serial numbers like a standard non-VLA install. It's not intuitive, especially to new LabVIEW users, or new members of a VLA.

Currently, in the RT Utilities - Software palette, we find the Format.VI, but it would be useful to be able to specify which partition/drive to do it for. 

This way, even systems running in (RAM) memory (for example, by taking advantage of the PXE boot) could be formatted easily. 

 

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I am also a Keysight IO libs user and was disappointed to find NI-MAX does not have the ability to add instruments manually? (Instruments are populated via scan only.) I am trying to quickly communicate with an instrument without scanning and resetting older equipment...

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I realize this is a smallish use case, but I am posting here for future interweb queriers.

I have several functional, yet discontinued, HP8970B Noise Figure Meters that preset whenever NI-MAX performs a 'scan for instruments' or when I attempt a 'communicate with instrument' on them. Using IO Trace, I found the culprit is 'ibclr'.

Given this instrument predates SCPI, it does not understand '*idn?', and will reply with an error code. That is fine, but presetting is not. This clears my calibration and other settings. Smiley Sad