Before You Begin

TestStand 2019 Help

Edition Date: May 2019

Part Number: 370052AA-01

»View Product Info
Download Help (Windows Only)

Before you start developing a test system, you must understand the concepts in this help file so you can make appropriate design decisions that affect deployment as you complete development tasks.

TestStand systems typically run on test station computers used exclusively for testing devices during the design validation or manufacturing process. Test system developers use separate development computers to create and modify code modules, test sequences, user interfaces, and process models without affecting tests that run on test station computers. In most cases, development computers contain the complete test system, including National Instruments drivers and components and any required third-party components and installers.

Typically, developers manually configure test systems on development computers by running multiple installers, copying files, and changing settings as required. However, using a manual technique might not be efficient or reliable when you must move a test system from a development computer to multiple test station computers.

Deployment

Deployment is the process of moving software components a TestStand-based test system requires for successful execution from a development computer to one or more test station computers. Using a well-designed and robust deployment process, you can more easily accomplish the following tasks:

  • Increase the number of test station computers, such as adding test station computers to a production line
  • Update deployed test systems to correct issues or add support to test new products or product lines
  • Develop new test systems that reuse existing components

National Instruments provides two applications you can use to deploy TestStand systems:

  • TestStand Deployment Utility – Allows you to create MSI-based distributions and patches, create simple package-based distributions and patch installers, and create deployable images shared via network drive or source code control system.
  • NI Package Builder – Allows you to create multiple top-level packages from a single TestStand project and build multiple distributions.

Use the appropriate application to complete the following common tasks:

Note Note  The first build of NI Package Builder, 19.0, is included with TestStand 2019. Package Builder 19.0 is missing some features that the TestStand Deployment Utility supports. National Instruments plans to continuously develop new features in Package Builder so that it can eventually replace the TestStand Deployment Utility. New releases of Package Builder will be made available through NI Package Manager.

If your deployment applications require any missing features of NI Package Builder, you can continue to use the TestStand Deployment Utility until the features are added to Package Builder. Refer to NI Package Builder Help (if installed) for a comparison of features in TestStand Deployment Utility versus Package Builder.

Using MSI-Based Installers to Deploy Test Systems

For MSI-based deployments, you must use the TestStand Deployment Utility. You can use the deployment utility to accomplish the following installer-related tasks:

  • Build a single, custom installer to redistribute only the National Instruments drivers and software components that the test system requires and that you have installed on the development computer.
    Note Note  You must install the TestStand Runtime for TestStand-based test systems to function correctly. You must also install the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine on the test station computer to execute VIs and any required National Instruments hardware devices drivers, such as NI-DAQmx.
  • Build multiple installers for the test system to reduce the time required to create the deployment, to reduce the size of the installer, and to more easily perform frequent updates for the test system you deploy.
  • Install multiple test systems on a single test station computer.
  • Build patch deployment installers that contain only the files and software components that differ from the previous deployment.
Note Note  Refer to <National Instruments>\_Legal Information for information about including legal information in installers built with NI products.

Using Package-Based Distributions to Deploy Test Systems

You can use a package based distribution to distribute as a package visible from NI Package Management tools, including NI Package Manager. You can use the package distribution capability of the TestStand Deployment Utility or NI Package Builder to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Build a single package file, which you can distribute by copying directly to a test station computer, or using NI package sharing tools.
    Note Note  You must install the TestStand Runtime for TestStand-based test systems to function correctly. You must also install the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine on the test station computer to execute VIs and any required National Instruments hardware devices drivers, such as NI-DAQmx.
  • Create a repository or package installer, which includes required run-time and driver dependencies in the distribution in addition to the single package file.
  • Build a patch deployment which includes only updated packages for drivers and run-time software that were not present in the previous deployment.

Note Note  To create multiple top-level packages from a single TestStand project, NI recommends using NI Package Builder. Refer to Building a Distribution with NI Package Builder and the NI Package Builder Help (if installed) for more information.


See Also

Deploying 32-bit TestStand and 64-bit TestStand Systems

Installer Issues for 32-bit TestStand and 64-bit TestStand

WAS THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

Not Helpful