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NI Tools Network Developer's FAQ

What are the technical requirements for selling software through the NI Tools Network?

 

To sell or host software on the NI Tools Network, you must meet or exceed the technical requirements laid out in the NI Tools Network Software RequirementsIn general, a software product is expected to have a good out of the box experience. It should be easily installed from a single installer, have an evaluation, with a simple customer-friendly activation scheme, be well documented, have examples and/or tutorials, and to run as expected without crashes or bugs. Note that the detailed requirements have separate sections for LabVIEW add-ons and for stand-alone applications, also separate requirements for VeriStand, TestStand.

  

What types of software can be listed on the NI Tools Network?

 

Just about any software related to an NI product can be hosted on the Tools Network. This includes add-ons, plug-ins, toolkits, APIs, re-use libraries, templates, frameworks, custom controls, UI objects, utilities, example code, and more for LabVIEW, TestStand, VeriStand, or any other NI platform. This also includes LabVIEW built executables, custom hardware drivers; non-LabVIEW executables that augment the NI platform; and more.

 

How do I submit software for inclusion on the NI Tools Network?

 

Submit software via the NI Tools Network Submission FormUse the above link for all Tools Network product submissions, including VeriStand or TestStand add-ons. Note that software is expected to meet the NI Tools Network Software Requirements when submitted.  No beta or pre-release software will be accepted.

 

How do I update my software once it has been published on the NI Tools Network?

 

Please submit update requests here. The request can be to review and publish a new version of the software, makes updates to your product's page on NI.com, or both.

 

In what different ways can I sell my software on the NI Tools Network?  Can I host my free software?

 

All products on the NI Tools Network fall into one of the following categories: sold through NI, sold by reference, or free.

 

Sold through NI products hosted on the Tools Network have a standard model page like any other Tools Network product, have an NI part number, and can be purchased through NI’s website. This allows the software to be added to any NI order, adding legitimacy, allowing NI’s sales force to sell the products, and enabling companies with limited approved suppliers lists to purchase your software (common in restricted industries like Mil/Aero). Refer to What benefits do NI Tools Network providers receive? for more information. 

 

Sold by reference products are listed on the NI Tools Network like any other product. They must have an evaluation version, but are paid products, requiring purchase for full functionality. When a customer is ready to purchase, they are linked from the Tools Network model page to the product provider’s website for completion of the sale.

 

Free products can be hosted on the Tools Network and must still meet the NI Tools Network Software Requirements. After review, free products are available for download on the NI Tools Network for unlimited use, free of charge. Free products can be open source but are not required to be.

 

More detailed information about available sales model on NI Tools Network can be found here.

 

What is the recommended solution for adding licensing & activation to my product?

 

You can use any licensing activation scheme as long as a customer can evaluate the software without purchase and can somehow activate their software after completing the sale. Our recommended licensing solution is NI License Manager, and NI has recently made its own licensing technology available for third party use via the NI License Manager (NILM) Third-Party SDK. By using NILM, a customer can activate third party software in the same way they activate NI software. Note that software licensed with NILM can only be sold through NI because activation will be done with Serial Numbers created by NI systems. We still support the Third Party Licensing and Activation Toolkit (TPLAT) which allows you to add licensing protection in a variety of different ways. Click here to determine which licensing method is right for you. When TPLAT-licensed software is sold through the NI Tools Network, the customer is automatically emailed a license ID and password to activate their purchased software. When using TPLAT you can sell the license directly to customers and also through NI - exclusivity is not required. Whether you choose one of these licensing methods, or your own, it is required that you use an activation scheme that allows customers to activate their software quickly and easily, such as through emailed license ID and password or Serial Number, rather than having to ship the customer physical media or dongles. 

 

What are the specific software activation requirements for selling software through NI?

 

It is required to use an activation scheme that allows fulfillment through our automated system. When software is sold through the NI Tools Network, the customer is automatically emailed an activation code to activate their purchased software. Both TPLAT and NILM are acceptable licensing solutions for selling through NI.

 

Can I still offer my software for sale on my own website if I choose to sell through NI?

 

Yes! The NI Tools Network is not mutually exclusive. You can still maintain your own online shop or sales channel.

Note that you’ll have to provide activation information and download fulfillment after purchases have been completed. Any sales through your own website cannot be fulfilled by NI’s automated system. Software that is licensed with NILM can only be fulfilled by NI.

 

What is the support policy for software available on the NI Tools Network?

 

The creator or provider of the product supports their software. All paid products must provide support contact information or somehow direct users to a product support channel. Free products may specify "not supported" or direct users to a community, forum, Github page, and so on. To determine how a particular product is supported, find the product’s model page on the NI Tools Network, click on the Overview tab, and find the Support Information section.

 

How long does the process take to get my software on the NI Tools Network?

 

The length of the process varies depending on time or year, current product backlog, and the quality of the software submitted. On average, for products that already comply with all NI Tools Network Software Requirements, the entire process of certifying the software, creating a model page on ni.com, and implementing various web features takes 4-6 weeks at most. Products that do not meet all of the requirements will need additional time to ensure they are brought to the quality standards of the NI Tools Network.

 

Any additional questions should be sent to toolsnetwork@ni.com

Patrick
CLA