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Downloading the LabVIEW run-time engine should not require a NI profile

Status: Declined

National Instruments will not be implementing this idea. NI has no plans at this time to change the policy requiring an ni.com profile for downloading the run-time engine. The current workaround is to create an installer for your LabVIEW executable that includes the installer for the appropriate LabVIEW run-time engine.

This is not directly a LabVIEW idea, but it is still an idea that impacts many LabVIEW programmers.

 

To keep my distribution small, I distribute my installers without run-time engine and instruct the users to download and install the relevant run-time engine. I provide a link to the run-time download page.

 

Note that these users are NOT NI customers and not interested in any NI products. They are my customers (well, my programs are free) and are only interested getting my programs to work on their PC. They don't even care what was used to develop the program. There is no extra hardware involved. If they already use NI hardware, chances are they already have a profile.

 

My users don't need a NI profile and don't need the follow-up phone call or e-mail from NI, etc.

 

Typical phone exchange yesterday:

 

me: "just click my installer and install the program"

him: "OK, done."

me: "now run it."

him: "OK, ...... error about 2013 run-time engine".

me: "OK, install the run-time engine using the link I sent you in the same e-mail".

him: "clicking the link to go to the run time engine page....

        (..30 second discussion to decide between downloader and direct download...)"

him: "click..(wait for it!)... .it wants me to register..."

me: "OK, let's forget about that. come down to the lab and I will do it for you."

 

End result: more delays (it was late Friday and I was ready to leave), more work for me, more hassle.

 

While gazillions (:D) of registered users sounds good on paper for NI, these are false numbers because many profiles are one-time use and quickly forgotten.

 

I think downloading a run-time engine should NOT require a NI profile. Maybe it should still offer to log in or create a profile, but there should also be a bail-out option similar to "[] I don't want to register at this time, just download the run-time!".

 

 

Note that even better long term solutions have been proposed, but this idea could be implemented quickly and does not even need to involve any LabVIEW developers. 😄


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??
14 Comments
Trusted Enthusiast

Couldn't agree more. I don't see how anyone who downloads the run-time engine could be a useful registrant for NI. There's nothing more disappointing and worrisome than exposing your details to a company when you want something quickly from their website (technical manual, product specification, drivers etc.), because you know your inbox will get more mail, you'll get called up etc. All unwanted hassle. Smiley Very Happy

Thoric (CLA, CLED, CTD and LabVIEW Champion)


Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

I agree, but it should probably be pointed out that the FTP folder appears to be completely open. You could just give a direct link to the EXE - http://ftp.ni.com/support/softlib/labview/labview_runtime/2013/Windows/


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Knight of NI

Last time I tried to find it, I ended up here, where things seem quite incomplete. 😄 (why all these duplicate locations???)

 

I strongly prefer to link to a web page that describes what the download is, etc. I think the web page might also update whenever a patch is released (f1, f2, f3, etc...), while a direct ftp link might get stale over time.


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??
Member

What about to add the Downloader to your setup, e.g. for LV2012 SP1 Runtime f5

http://download.ni.com/support/softlib/labview/labview_runtime/2012%20SP1/Windows/LVRTE2012SP1_f5Pat...

 

It is only 150kB and will download the Run-time. That is available for every Run-Time...

Knight of NI

> What about to add the Downloader to your setup...

 

Does downloading the downloader work without NI profile? Is there a downloader that always gets the newest patch (e.g. f6 after the next update) or would I constantly need to change the link?


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??
Member

A downloader that always get the newest version of a specific run time engine sounds like it deserves its own idea.

Member

> Does downloading the downloader work without NI profile?

 

Yes, because it is on the FTP server from NI.

 

>Is there a downloader that always gets the newest patch (e.g. f6 after the next update) or would I constantly >need to change the link?

 

There is no permalink (i think)... but for me it doesn't make sense. You compile an EXE with, lets say, LV2013, the VIs that are compiled into your EXE are also from that version.

 

What if the patch f1 changes VIs that are compiled into your EXE? Isn't it necessary to compile your EXE also? So from my point of view it is not necessary to update a run-time at a customer if the EXE isn't compiled again with the patch installed onto your development system. I would say it is mandatory to

recompile an EXE after a patch has been released, but maybe i'm wrong. If so please let me know why.

 

Considering this i would download the specific run-time downloader that actually fits to your development system and build an installer where the downloader automatically starts after the setup (or manually).

 

Can say much on the integrated installer from LV, we build our own company setup using INNO Setup to publish and distribute our software.

 

Knight of NI

Giving a direct ftp link is not a desirable option, simply because it is too opaque. I want to link to a web page that has a full description of what the download is, as well as details on OS and language support, for example. This way the user can make an informed decision if he even wants that. The will be fully aware that he is dealing with a NI software product, and if e.g. the run-time keeps crashing the computer or interferes with some other software or hardware, I can simply blame NI. 😉

 

Any savvy internet user knows better than to simply click on a direct ftp link from an e-mail. Just because the e-mail appears to come from altenbach, does not mean it is genuine or trustworthy. 😄


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??
Proven Zealot

> Any savvy internet user knows better than to simply click on a direct ftp link from an e-mail

 

Luckily, most Internet users aren't savvy, so you'll be fine. 😉

 

But more than that, you wouldn't be giving them the FTP URL ever. Somehow you are giving them your EXE. However it is that you give them the EXE, use that same mechanism to give them the Downloader, which you have already FTP'd from NI and put next to your EXE.

Knight of NI

Yes, giving the ftp link in an e-mail is probably OK. However, I also have links to the correct run-time engine listed on my web page, which is a bit more static.. It would be tedious to update the ftp link whenever a new patch comes out (I might not even know about it!).

 

Or could link to the root of the ftp folder, but that increases the chance that users download the wrong thing (std vs min, 32 bit vs 64 bit, plain vs SP1, 2012 vs 2013, etc.).

 

Yes, I try to be as clear as possible, but I've seen plenty of cases in the past where it apparently wasn't clear enough. 😮

 

There are users that download 2013, because they think it is an upgrade an will run all older programs. They will install the 64bit version because ther OS is 64bit. I've had a few cases where they installed the "min" version. 😞 


LabVIEW Champion. It all comes together in GCentral GCentral
What does "Engineering Redefined" mean??