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Smarter Sequence file converter ...



I had recentlty to modify the public interface of one of my custom step.

The automatic type conflict detection diden't work ! I had to modify all my sequence file manually, by only launch the "reload prototype" !

(All versions of my custom step has been upgraded in order to generate a conflict !)

So, i thaught, i could use the "sequence file converter tool" to upgrade existing sequence files ...


But no ! 


The sequence file converter only converts the properties which cannot be modified by the final user. (The one who write sequences)

=> The NI Answer is : All properties that could be modified on a step instance, will not be upgraded by the sequence file converter.

So, neither the default action will never be upgraded, nor all properties ....


AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ! Smiley Frustrated What can i do for my customer hundred of sequenceFiles .... Smiley Sad


So, I had customized my custom step in order to lock all properties for the end user (Disable properties) ...

I thaught the Sequence file converter will detect that the step instances could not be modified ... and then it will do the right work !

Even with this lock, the sequence converter don't upgrade my existing sequences !


The NI answer to my problem is : You should do it right from the begining !

It is well known that the projects need didn't change during the software life cycle !!!!!!


So i decide to do my own sequence file converter for my application ... and it works fine ... but i think this need is general ... and could be integrated into TestStand.


I would like, in the sequenceFileConverter, to be abble to :


  1. Select a path which contains recursively many sequences
  2. Select a or multiple CustomSteps to upgrade
  3. And launch an automatic "Force upgrade"


The tool could ask other options like ...


  • Keep properties or apply default
  • Updgrade action interface or not
  • keep existing parameters, and initialize default parameters with default values
  • Apply default parameters


I know very well that the behaviour of such a tool would need many parameters in order to handle all needs.

But, this could be done in many times ...


The first need is something like an automatic prototype reload, with existing parameters reusing, and default values for type mismatch, or new parameters.


Thanks for help.


Trusted Enthusiast



It sounds like you might have encountered one of the common mistakes of step type development. Rather than using the Default module (which it sounds like what you are doing), you should probably designate the none-adapter for the default module of the step type and use a post-substep instead to implement the functionality of your step type. Post-substeps, only live in the step type, not the instances, so if you change the prototype to the post-substep, you only have to change the step type and all instances are immediately affected. As an example, you can look at some of our step types like the Message Popup step type which do this.


Hope this helps,


Trusted Enthusiast

You might find this article on step type development useful if you haven't already seen it:


Just want to add, I believe a tool like you are proposing could still be very useful in some cases. I'm just also trying to help you come up with a solution to avoid this problem in the future.



Active Participant

Hi doug,


I am not a new TestStand user ... i started using Teststand since 2001.

I already faced this problem for 5/6 year ago ... and then i created my steps using the substeps. (DotNet adapters)

I has already this kind of answer 5/6 year ago !


My need here, is to use "Sequence call adapters" without having to build my own edit dialog window. 

I want to use directlty the parameters of the sequences called !

Using de default module gives this ability ! 

Doing so give me the ability to use the power of TestStand expressions without having to build my own edit action.


I knew that it was a problem of sequence convertion ... but i thaught this was corrected !


You say the way i a m using custom steps is a "common mistakes  ..."

I think that if it is a mistake, the default module usage should be grayed or made invisible !!

The mistake is to let options available ... and to say afterwards, it's written in the XXXX document that it should not be used !


Thanks for your answer ... even if i don't agree with you.


Trusted Enthusiast

I meant that it's a mistake depending on your use case. There are legitimate reasons to use the default module, however people commonly use it in cases in which a substep would have been more appropriate. I agree the user-interface could do a better job of explaining the issues and steering people in the right direction depending on their use case.


I understand your frustration and use case better now and can see how a tool or feature such as you describe would be useful in this situation. Thanks for providing these additional details.



Active Participant

Hy doug,


My need here is to build rapidly a custom step without having to create an edit dialog box.

I would like to use the Teststand integrated parameter configurator with all the power of expression edit controls.

Creating an edit dialogBox ... with f(x) expressionEdit could be very long !


I would like to create rapidly a custom step without fields, which only calls a sequence, or dotnet assembly , labview Vi, cvi dll ... with an automatic edit dialog box.


Perhaps a solution to my need could be, to be abble to create an automatic edit dialog, by mapping adapter parameters.

The problem is, that for the moment, when you use substeps, you have to create an edit box !!!

An other solution could be to create a new action called something like "integrated edit" where we could define the prototype of what we want to view as parameter editor integrated in TestStand.


For some year ago, the need to create an edit dialog Box was normal, because even for the Teststand Steps, you needed to launch a modal editor. But yet, the STEP parameters configurator is integrated ! I would like to be abble to integrate may own edit dialog in Teststand. (In place of having to press the edit button) 


Thanks for you answer.


Trusted Enthusiast

Thanks for the info Manu. Your explanation is very clear. I can see how some sort of way of automatically updating module specifications when a prototype changes, both for step types and in steps in general would be very useful. And that having some sort of way to quickly create a step type without having to build a UI would also be very useful. And that the default module setting is currently what you are using to try to accomplish this, but it has the problem with updating when the prototype changes.