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Complete installer for Labview RT Targets ...

Status: In Development

It should be nice to add a new "Build specification" in Labview RT which could generated something like a RT Target installer.


This installer could contain ...


  • The application to download
  • The drivers required
  • Additionnal custom files and directories
  • The default setting of the target ( Like the MAX target configuration)


When the installer is executed, it should be nice to show all the available targets ( Like in Max ).

The user should have to select the destination Target in this list.

Then it should be nice to show the target configuration (like in Max), initialized with the setting contained in the installer.


An installation could be like this ...


  1. Launching the installer
  2. The installer lists all available (and compatible) targets
  3. The user has to choose a target
  4. After target selection, the installer should view the target configuration ( as defined in the Labview project Build specification properties )
  5. The user could then modify some parameters (like IP address)
  6. After validating the configuration, the installer should
  7. Install the drivers ... and perhaps the OS itself (as required by the project)
  8. Modify the target parameters 
  9. Install the application
  10. Set Time/hour according to host target
  11. Download custom files and directories ..
  12. ...
  13. And restart the target

This feature could be an easy way to deploy RT application without having a Labview RT installed on the host computer.

A RT application could be installed completely by a final customer of the application, without having to install the Target, drivers ...

This could also be nice to clone many times a RT application.




I would really appreciate a feature like described above! That would save me lots of time and would make deploying updates on remote targets (e.g. at customer site) much more easier!


In my opinion a good solution would be if i can make i bootable usb stick with a Build Specification.

When i boot the RT-Target with the USB-Stick the VIs and all Dependencies and Pakets are installed.

NI Employee

Since this is a heavily kudoed idea, I'd like to ask for everyone to post some more information about your day-to-day usage of LabVIEW Real-Time.


- What do you currently do to deploy LabVIEW Real-Time applications? Are you deploying applications for yourself, or developing RT applications for an end client. What are the pain points?


- What would your ideal experience be?


Best Regards,


Casey Weltzin

Product Manager, LabVIEW Real-Time

National Instruments



All my real-time applications are for an end client.  MAX is never installed for the end client. MAX is bloated and confusing for an end user who has no idea his PC or cRIO is running Labview RT.


I heavily depend on the replication tools for everything.  The replication tools were used to create a custom application to support the end user in format, setup, installation, backup, & updates.  Updates are not patches, they must be the entire file set because replication tools does not support patches.  The creation of the bootable USB for ETS is included in my custom replication tool application.  This works well at the moment but the ability to apply individual files (i.e. patch) with the replication tools would be nice.



Active Participant

Would it help if you could use MAX and the NI System Configuration API to install/uninstall customer startup applications? 


This would enable you to use MAX to easily deployment startup applications to multiple systems and ease the task of switching between different applications or application versions.  The NI System Configuration API support would enable anyone to build a custom application (with no dependency on MAX) capable of deploying startup applications to multiple systems.


Also, would it help if you could specify your startup application dependencies on NI components in your build specification?


Instead of having to remember which NI components and versions are required for you startup application, you would specify them once when you build your application and anytime MAX or the NI System Configuration install your component they would automatically install the dependencies or error out tell the user which required dependencies are missing and not available for installation.


I know this isn't the end all solution you described, but it may be a step in the right direction and it would provide you an API to create the application you described.


If this sounds good please let us know.


Josh Prewitt

Group Manager, Systems Software

National Instruments


Here is a very similar sugestion:

Offline Distribution for Real-Time Application


also Kudos from me


My company will be using cFP-2200 modules with an embedded application at customer sites all over the world. We currently ship the various equipment we need to various customer sites direct from the various vendors we use including National Instruments. This means that the modules are fresh out of the box and with all default settings accorded to them. We are planning but have not yet developed, an installer using system replication tools since it is the only option available.


However, it appears that using the system replication requires that we maintain an RT module at our own site only for the purpose of providing us with a source for creating a disc image for use with the system replication tools whenever we make even the smallest version change! This is not really ideal nor is it an efficient use of our resources. While we will usually have a module for testing, we shouldn't have to disrupt that testing just to install the latest version we're about to deploy so we can create an image for system replication nor should we have to have an otherwise unused cFP-2200 sitting around just so we can create occassional images. 


We would much rather have a pre-built installation utility available which allows us to create an installer which can install the latest version of our software and the required components from national instruments on an RT target which is unconfigured and fresh out of the box. We'd also rather bypass having to use MAX since whatever configuration is needed should be a part of the installation process. There may even be times when a more naive user than our own trained installers may be putting software on these units such as cases when their unit breaks and they have to get a new one. We need an installer that looks just like any other windows installer in order to be as user friendly as possible.


To sum up my 'wish list' for an RT Target application installer,  it should:


1. dynamically detect all fieldpoints on the network

2. configure everything that can be configured in max,

3. install the desired software and required components on one or more selected real time targets at a time.

4. It should be built in/added to the existing Realtime Toolkit.




Kelsey Golden

Software Architect

Materials Transportation Company

Ebatt Division



I like this idea.  I've had difficulty in the past duplicating an RT system that was using an Ethercat module.  There was a file that contained the MAC address of the Ethercat module and this needed to be edited for each new install.  I'm only mentioning this to ensure a utilty like proposed would handle cases like this.

Active Participant

For those who are interest the LabVIEW 2011 beta 2 has been posted and includes support for deploying LabVIEW RT 2011 startup applications from MAX or the NI System Configuration API.  You can find out more inforamtion about the beta at the link below.


Active Participant

Hello JoshuaP,


The distribution of RT application using MAX is a first way to a usable RT target deployer ...


But i think the idea of including all the deployement processes in an RT installer would be much easier for final customers which are often not computer specialists.


My problem is that whe are developping RT applications for customers which don't want to install any NI tools in order to install their RT applications. The problem of installing MAx and other drivers is that it polutes the customer PC, or it modify the behaviour of already installed applications. (New NI product installation can cause conflicts) 


A standalone RT installer/wizard would be more easy ... without side effect ...