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Intaris

LTS (Long-term support) vewrsion of LabVIEW

Status: Declined
Thank you all for providing feedback on this idea. After carefully researching our options and talking to many customers about the possibilities, we have decided not to pursue a separate version of LabVIEW at this time. Instead, we have dedicated more resources to improving the stability and performance of our standard LabVIEW releases. The latest release, LabVIEW 2011, is an example of this emphasis, see here (http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/12890) for more details. We plan to continue this type of emphasis for future releases.

I want to be able to work on STABLE versions of LV.

 

The last great stable version I remember was 6.1 (I never had 7.1).

 

2009 and 8.5.1 were not bad but please give us a feature-fixed long-term support version of LabVIEW.

 

For anyone unfamiliar with the idea, many Linux distributions offer the same:  Here's a link to the Ubuntu webpage outlining THEIR LTS strategy.

 

Shane.

21 Comments
Dennis_Knutson
Knight of NI

Not sure that comparing LabVIEW to an open source project is at all fair. Would you still be willing to pay a yearly fee for support of a single version? What version should be used? If someone selected a fixed version, would you expect to pay full price for a newer version?

 

Unless NI makes some version open source, I would expect that a support program would still have to be paid for and that this special support program would not entitle the user to upgrade prices.

Intaris
Proven Zealot

I don't see why the updates to a LTS version shouldn't be included in the normal SSP if the person happens to currently own a license for that version.

 

At the end of the day, it helps to establish a more stable basis for those of us who end up picking a version to settle on anyway.  As to which version should be chosen, I think that's a NI choice to make.  Seeing as it'll get bugfixed for the next 3-5 years, it doesn't really matter does it?

 

I'd certainly pay a fee on top of my developer suite (not too much though) to have LTS updates.  I think others would too.

Dennis_Knutson
Knight of NI

I agree that LTS, if implemented would require a support fee but since the LTS would require additional manpower besides the manpower dedicated to fixing current bugs and adding new features, I think the LTS support would almost have to cost more or be completely separate.

 

We'll see how many are willing to pay more. I'm not opposed to the idea but recent comments in others posts seem to me that these 'others' would expect this support to be free.

JÞB
Knight of NI
I wouldn't expect it to be free, and I know my SSP would rise but..... I realy think NI dropped the ball by not maintaining bug fixes for 3 years on each product.  On the other hand, I tend to be an early adoptor when possible yet, I know of companies that have validated tests and validated test executives that greatly increase the costs of migrating.  At the least: a quarterly report on known issues and identified work-arounds as well as Help-file releases is needed to diseminate the body of knowledge gathered from the community to all users.  SSP shold cover this at the current level as I'd bet that have this knowledge organized into the latest help file would actually DECREASE NI's support costs.

"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
CharlieRodway
Active Participant

I agree that a LTS version for LabVIEW is important - in fact I'd like to see a LTS strategy for all NI software.

 

In the MilAero industry it is important that we have long term support - if we put a system together with LV6.1 it may have to run for 20 years plus.

 

A survey of the attendees at the UK AT-CAB in 2009 showed that long-term support / technical support are the two most important issues, whereas none of the attendees felt that new product features are key criteria for selecting a supplier.

 

AT-CAB 2009.gif 

 

I expect that LTS won't be free but it should be covered in our existing SSP.

 

I hope NI can address this issue.

Charlie Rodway | Principal Software Engineer | Certified TestStand Architect (CTA)

Computer Controlled Solutions Ltd | NI Silver Alliance Partner | GDevCon#1 Sponsor

rolfk
Knight of NI

I also would like an LTS version of LabVIEW where bug fixes from more recent versions are regularly backported to. And I understand that that would not be free but part of a paid SSP (which you need nowadays anyways with the current policies from NI). I would have expected that to happen to 7.1.1 for about as long as the 8.x versions were out. Now with 9.0 (ohh sorry 2009) out, this could be moved to for instance 8.6.1.

 

If you are working in regulated industries such an option is very important. Upgrading to a newer version in a project is usually not an option there. Yes even installing bug fixes is a hassle but if you run into a bug it can at least be fixed. Now you simply have to live with the bug.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
tstahl
Member

Regulated industry and selling of products certainly make it very difficult to always use the latest version of LabVIEW, especially now with the annual version update and patch release.  Lately I'm working with a version two or three old on active projects and trying to learn about the latest to determine if we migrate code.  (The version I'm working with gets older when building identical equipment or new equipment when a customer already has a version on the same assembly line.)

 

The other side of the coin is the drivers that work with a version of LabVIEW and supporting current products.  It would be great to have a known good, stable version of LabVIEW, but it's worthless to me if the hardware I need to use isn't supported by the drivers that work with that stable version.

 

Tim

Intaris
Proven Zealot

Plus I could imagine that at least some of the work for the bug-fixing will propagate into newer versions ov LV also meaning that the work put into maintaining an LTS version is not completely seperate to the "bleeding edge" versions.

 

At the end of the day NI profits by simply having higher quality software and we all benefit by having less problems with LV.

remhawk
Member

I would favor LV7.1 and then perhaps 2010 or so for the "modern" version.  Thanks for the idea.

GerardoG
Member

Hello all,

 

Thank you for the product suggestions. I have a few questions about the LTS idea.

 

Upgrading to a newer version in a project is usually not an option there. Yes even installing bug fixes is a hassle but if you run into a bug it can at least be fixed. 

 

Is it fair to say that it's acceptable to install a service pack but not a complete new version? If so, is this because you assume that a service pack introduces very few bugs but fixes a lot? 

 

When you install a service pack, does it force you to revalidate your code? 

 

Were you aware that our policy states we will patch previous versions to fix critical bugs?

 

The other side of the coin is the drivers that work with a version of LabVIEW and supporting current products.  It would be great to have a known good, stable version of LabVIEW, but it's worthless to me if the hardware I need to use isn't supported by the drivers that work with that stable version

 

Our driver policy is to support the last four versions of LabVIEW (except for RT and FPGA devices). Were you aware of this policy? Is this sufficient for your needs?

 

Does installing a new driver force you to revalidate the code? Is that an acceptable tradeoff for using new hardware?

 

Thanks,

 

Gerardo