NI Package Manager (NIPM)

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Browse Products tab gone after update

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Hi All,

 

First, I want to acknowledge that we should have gotten out ahead of this change to provide some context around this change. We will make sure to be more proactive next time. Hopefully I can provide some of that context now.

 

As you may have noticed, ni.com has undergone some changes over the past several months. Improvements like these will continue in the coming months, particularly in the way users find and download software. As such, we want to direct users to ni.com to take advantage of these improvements and to utilize existing automated mechanisms that manage the transactional aspects of the download that are only available via the software download process at ni.com vs. the Browse Product tab in NIPM.

 

In general, we never want to remove functionality from a product and it is completely understandable for users who had learned a specific workflow to be upset when that workflow is disrupted. However, in this case we ultimately felt it was prudent to guide users toward a singular experience whose improvements will benefit the most users.

 

All of that being said, definitely please continue to provide your feedback, both here and using the Site Feedback feature at the bottom of every page on ni.com. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and important to helping us drive future direction.

 

Thanks.

 

Aaron Peña

Product Owner, Package Management

National Instruments

Message 11 of 52
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@APena wrote:

As such, we want to direct users to ni.com to take advantage of these improvements and to utilize existing automated mechanisms that manage the transactional aspects of the download that are only available via the software download process at ni.com vs. the Browse Product tab in NIPM.


Such as?

 

...and it is completely understandable for users who had learned a specific workflow to be upset when that workflow is disrupted.

Maybe I misunderstand the intent of the explanation, but in my mind this misses the mark completely. The cheer you heard when NI announced that you were working toward all of your software being available via packages weren’t because we were excited to learn a new workflow. It was because NI was finally waking up to configuration management. Now discovery of software and their interdependencies would be centralized, and package configurations were suddenly possible to compile. Not through a bunch of ever changing and unrelated bookmarks to URLs and proprietary web forms and buttons, but through a consistent versioning scheme and an API.


In your opinion, should we all abandon software packages and NIPM, and pull all of our software back to thousands of individual websites? Are you planning on discontinuing NIPM?


(You can skip the next part, it’s not really constructive but more of a rambling 😉

 

If all the latest endeavors in de-branding are to consolidate finances, I would suggest instead to improve future bottom line by directing funding towards:

 

ni.com

NIPM

LabVIEW

Web Module (it actually makes a big difference)

Academia

Local presence (brand or partners)

 

and stop all funding of:

 

NXG

Third-party handling of sales and leasing (it dilutes the NI brand)

 

We are operating in an engineering reality. To improve revenue we must make truly great products that make our customers *want* to buy them above all else. Our products must be developed intelligently (e.g modular HW and SW design) so they are inexpensive enough to always be the obvious choice. There are no shortcuts to greatness. We can’t bluff with marketing and feelings and psychology. That works with fashion and cooking, not with physics. That’s just my 2 cents.

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Message 12 of 52
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@SteenSchmidt wrote:

In your opinion, should we all abandon software packages and NIPM, and pull all of our software back to thousands of individual websites? Are you planning on discontinuing NIPM?

Hi Steen,

 

No, I do not think you should abandon software packages and NIPM. We have no plans to discontinue NIPM or move away from using packages to distribute/install/manage our software and I hope you will too. We are continuing to invest in the technology. We are only changing where and how to find software. Installation will still happen through NIPM and the ability to distribute your own packages will remain the same as it was before.

 

Thanks.

 - Aaron

 

 

Message 13 of 52
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@APena wrote:
 

As you may have noticed, ni.com has undergone some changes over the past several months. Improvements like these will continue in the coming months, particularly in the way users find and download software. As such, we want to direct users to ni.com to take advantage of these improvements and to utilize existing automated mechanisms that manage the transactional aspects of the download that are only available via the software download process at ni.com vs. the Browse Product tab in NIPM.

 

 


How can you call this an improvement? The website still doesn't work correctly. I was really happy with the products page on the NIPM because I could finally find software and select versions and update other software from a program without having to start my browser.

 


@APena wrote:

All of that being said, definitely please continue to provide your feedback, both here and using the Site Feedback feature at the bottom of every page on ni.com. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and important to helping us drive future direction.

 


And when is NI going to take the feedback of the community seriously? We are your costumers, not guinea pigs where you can experiment on with half baked software.

Message 14 of 52
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@APena wrote:

@SteenSchmidt wrote:

In your opinion, should we all abandon software packages and NIPM, and pull all of our software back to thousands of individual websites? Are you planning on discontinuing NIPM?

No, I do not think you should abandon software packages and NIPM. We have no plans to discontinue NIPM or move away from using packages to distribute/install/manage our software and I hope you will too. We are continuing to invest in the technology. We are only changing where and how to find software.


I think that the removal of core features from a software product, and an emphasis on doing that same work on the web, is good reason to ask if that software product is being taken seriously.  I've said VIPM does it well pretty often, and encouraged NI to make NIPM work similar to VIPM many times, with this just another instance where it would benefit from that advice.  VIPM does have a web portal, and has been working on it for years.  You can now post and find content over on VIPM.IO.  The difference here is that JKI didn't remove features from VIPM pushing users to the web.  Instead they left the current features the same, and asked the community to go to VIPM.IO if they want a public repository of tools.  Enthusiasts have a new space, casual users don't need to know anything has changed.

 

NI's web site has ranged from being fine, to being really terrible in various aspects over the years.  Search has been complained about often since at least 2005.  NI.com has had many redesigns, removal of content, a push to use an external tool instead of posting PDFs, copious amounts of wasted white space, and poor usability overall.  That's why it is confusing to me that NI is pushing users to a site to find content, before having the platform be ready.  I do hope we see some improvements.

Message 15 of 52
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@Hooovahh wrote:
I think that the removal of core features from a software product, and an emphasis on doing that same work on the web, is good reason to ask if that software product is being taken seriously.  I've said VIPM does it well pretty often, and encouraged NI to make NIPM work similar to VIPM many times, with this just another instance where it would benefit from that advice.  VIPM does have a web portal, and has been working on it for years.  You can now post and find content over on VIPM.IO.  The difference here is that JKI didn't remove features from VIPM pushing users to the web.  Instead they left the current features the same, and asked the community to go to VIPM.IO if they want a public repository of tools.  Enthusiasts have a new space, casual users don't need to know anything has changed.

Also, both the VIPM application and vipm.io hosts packages from "all" repos. I don't expect NI will allow us to submit our own NI packages to ni.com? Hence my question of "a thousand web pages". If it is a better idea for NI to move their package distribution/product discovery to their personal website, why is that not a good idea for all of us?

 

I agree there may be additional options available to present products on a website, but one doesn't exclude the other. Keeping NI products also in NIPM would offer a one-stop-shop for configuration management for the proper versions of packages that we already know of, and would allow for a simple avenue to upgrades of a particular product or component.

CLA, CTA, CLED & LabVIEW Champion
Message 16 of 52
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I fully support that the "Browse Products" experience should NOT have been removed. It should actually have been improved so we could add our own product pages there. In my company we have many tools and softwares (developed in NI IDE's off course) that could be of general interest - and getting those to pop up in the "Browse Products" section would have made it easier for novice users (something I mentioned to NI years ago)

 

Come on NI - you can do better!

CLA, Teststand and advanced SQL
Message 17 of 52
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AreYouFuKiddingMe.png

That's just great... I have no words.

 

First make the tool ***, then force people to use it. Great job!

 

[moderator note: removed potentially offensive language.]

Michał Bieńkowski
CLA, CTA
Averna
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Message 18 of 52
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Are the products still being hosted via NIPM feeds?

As in, if I programmatically add a feed and use the CLI to install a package, will it work? Or is the web link now a download for a package that has to be downloaded separately but still installed using NIPM?

 

Either case still leaves users with the question "but how do I find the feed without first installing the product", but if it's not possible then Steen's comment about control of packages is even more problematic.


GCentral
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Message 19 of 52
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From my experience, yes the NI package feeds still work. So you can manual or via CLI add the feed to NIPM and install. So for example I needed to install LabVIEW to a new PC, I added the feed:

 

 
Which I got from my nipkg.ini file in C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\NI Package Manager\Settings folder.
 
This is a workaround for now but does still need you to know the feed URL so somewhat still useless.

 

  

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