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Use the TestStand Deployment Utility and follow the same process National Instruments recommends for creating a full deployment to create cumulative or dependency patch deployments and to build installers for patch deployments from an existing TestStand 2013 or later deployment specification file (.tsd).
For MSI-based installer deployments, you can use patch deployments to update individual files, to add features and add components to features, to return files to a known state, and to include or exclude updates to National Instruments drivers or the TestStand Runtime in a deployed test system. You can also exclude new or modified files from a patch deployment, but you cannot remove files from a deployed system on a test station computer. Patch deployments typically are smaller in size than full deployments and might take less time to create on the development computer.
For package based deployments, you can use patches to include newly required drivers and components, and include updates to components in the deployment. Package based deployments do not support updating individual files through a patch deployment.
You can create a full deployment at any point during the patch deployment creation process. When you change to full deployment mode, options in the deployment utility might change as well. In most cases, the full deployment will be larger and take longer to download and install than a patch deployment.
By default, the deployment utility creates a cumulative patch deployment that depends on the previous full deployment and includes all the files that differ from the full deployment version of the file. If you make changes to the test system after you create and install a patch deployment on a test station computer, you can create a new patch deployment to include all the changes since the previous full deployment, including the changes in the first patch deployment you created. The newer installer for the patch deployment uses the same upgrade code but a later version number than the previous installer for the patch deployment to upgrade, or replace, the previous patch deployment on the test station computer. You can also create dependency patches to control the installation order of patch deployments and to include only files modified since a previous patch deployment. The following figure illustrates the process of creating replacement or dependency patch deployments that install serially.
You can create a new, dependency patch deployment from a previous, baseline patch deployment instead of from a full deployment to enforce the order in which to install patch deployments and to minimize the size of a new patch deployment by including only the files that differ from the previous baseline patch deployment version of the file, as shown in the previous figure. When you build an installer for a dependency patch deployment, the deployment utility adds installer launch conditions to enforce installing patch deployments in the correct order.
As the number of patch deployments you create grows, consider creating a new full deployment or a baseline patch deployment.
You must designate a patch deployment as a baseline patch deployment before you create a dependency patch deployment by clicking the Make Baseline Patch Deployment button on the Mode tab of the deployment utility. To create a dependency patch deployment, enable the Depend on previous Baseline Patch Deployment option on the Mode tab of the TestStand Deployment Utility.
Because the deployment utility discards old data after you create a deployment, TestStand supports only one baseline patch deployment at a time, and you can create a baseline patch deployment only from the most recent patch deployment you created. If you create another baseline patch deployment, you can no longer depend on the previous baseline patch deployment. Creating a new deployment also erases data of previous patch deployments that you do not designate as baseline patch deployments.