NI TestStand Idea Exchange

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Add an "Insert Folder From Disk (Auto-Populating)..." option to projects for Improved Deployment Experience

Status: New

It would be nice to have an Auto-populating folder option for TestStand projects much the same way that LabVIEW project do.  


Folders added to TestStand projects are snapshots of the folder's contents when added.  Any files added to the folder on disk afterwards are not marked for inclusion with the deployment at analysis time.  This behavior is fine as a default.


However, there are times when you do want to automatically include all files in a folder.  Having an auto-populating folder option would mark the folder and all its contents for inclusion automatically with the deployment at analysis time.  After analysis is over the user could still choose to uncheck any files they wish before selecting the build button.


From version to version, it's only natural that developers will be adding new files to established folders.  Since the TestStand project doesn't aid in development activities, it's easy for folks to forget to add files while they're developing.  We often have a faulty build or two with each release because necessary files aren't making it into the build.  We ultimately have to delete the folders in the project and re-add them, then go through the hassle of fixing the paths and included files. An auto-populating folder option that integrates with the build utility would save us time and headaches.


Active Participant


I agree having auto-populating folders will resolve the issue you have raised but causes other problems.


As an alternative, can you not use Deploy Files from Directory option in TSDU - System Source Tab - TestStand Deployment Utility - NI





You know, we've wanted to abandon the use of Workspaces and Projects but we've found that the deployment utility tries to load the entirety of the File directory defined.  If the source files are spread out, then you have to go higher and higher up the directory structure to bring in everything you need.

Which means if you have something similar to this:

  • C:\Development\ProjectCode\ for your test station software 
  • C:\ProgramData\Project\ for test station configuration files
  • C:\Users\Public\Documents\National Instruments\TestStand folder for a plugin

You have to specify your directory as C:\.  That usually causes a lockup (probably not a lockup but I'm definitely not patient enough to wait for it to complete an entire analysis of the disk). 


You might say, "Don't do that, consolidate your source files", but that's not always pragmatic.  These source might reside at their locations because a framework put them there, they might contain libraries that require the specific location (don't get me started), you got a deployment package from the DUT firmware team, really any number of reasons.


The solution to that above issue is to use workspaces is it not?


I'm curious what you feel the problems this idea might cause for TestStand given the LabVIEW side of the house has this feature.  Is it anything technical I'm not considering or is it just the concern that there is nuance with the feature and the user might shoot themselves in the foot.