See the following recommendations for when to use NIPM (NI Package Manager) and when to VIPM (VI Package Manager).
For LabVIEW 20xx:
Continue using VIPM for distributing source/development code (e.g. reuse libraries, development tools, Tools Network, ...)
Use NIPM for distributing and updating deployed applications (e.g. componentized applications, application EXE, PPLs, application plug-ins, NI drivers and software, LabVIEW Run-Time Engine, …).
Note: You can use NIPM to distribute LabVIEW 20xx source/development code by creating a Source Distribution build specification and creating a Package build specification that includes the Source Distribution buildspec. Then you can configure the Package buildspec to install the Source Distribution to a specific location (e.g. <Program Files>\...\LabVIEW 2017\user.lib\acme).
However, the Package buildspec 1) does not include a palette building tool, and 2) the built package will not automatically install to later versions of LabVIEW (e.g. 2018, 2019, 2020). VIPM does include these capabilities, which is why VIPM is the recommended tool for distributing source/development code for LabVIEW 20xx. For more information on building packages using VIPM, click here.
For LabVIEW NXG:
Use NIPM for distributing and updating deployed applications (e.g. application EXE, NI drivers and software, LabVIEW Run-Time Engine, installer, …)
In the future, you will be able to use NIPM to also distribute source/development code (reuse libraries, development tools, etc)