Large Scale Software Installation

Updated Mar 30, 2018

Reported In

Software

  • Volume License Manager

Issue Details

How can I automate the installation of different sets of NI software products across different groups of computers at my facility?
 

Solution

Software Organization

NI recommends creating one folder on a shared network drive that contains all your National Instruments software installers, such as LabVIEW, TestStand, LabWindows/CVI, device drivers, and the necessary toolkits.  

Creating a Batch File

Since one copy of each product is now stored on the network, you can use a batch file to automate installation of a group of NI software products such as Developer Suite Core.  The beginning of the batch file should invoke the core software installers, such as LabVIEW, TestStand, and LabWindows/CVI.  These items should be followed by the desired toolkits, and then the drivers. 

Note:  Order of installation is important.  Each line in the batch file invokes the installer (setup.exe) of one software product from the network location.  An example batch file for installing Developer Suite Core, DevSuiteCore.bat, is shown and attached below.  You should create a separate batch file for each group of software you would like to install on a set of computers.  You can use command line arguments to modify the installation behavior.


 

Advanced Feature:  Customizing an Individual Software Product's Installation

A spec file allows you to customize an individual software product's installation without user interaction.  For example, you can specify the serial number, user information, individual components of the software to install, and the installation directory.  You can also generate spec files according to your needs. Notice that in the first line of the batch file above that LV_85.txt is a spec file. 

Requesting Permission for Software Licenses
Customers using Volume License Manager should now configure end-users' computers to check-out licenses from the server, instead of a local license file, and to request permission from the server for their specific licenses.  This can also be done from the batch file (notice the last two lines of the batch file above). NI VLM offers solutions to manage activation and permissions during mass software installations
 

Additional Information

Warning:  You should not invoke MSI components individually from an NI Installer.  The NI Installer framework, called from setup.exe handles:

  • dependencies - each MSI component can have hundreds of dependencies
  • installation order of MSIs - each group of MSIs has a specific installation order
  • bookkeeping for software functionality such as LabVIEW Application Builder
  • maintaining MSI installations when multiple NI software products are installed on the same computer

Installing MSIs individually will likely break functionality of NI software on the Windows installation.

This method of software installation is intended for automation of the installation process.  If end-users will initiate installation of each individual software product, NI recommends building Volume License Installers for each software product. 

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