Typical TestStand development systems have a TestStand Development license which includes the TestStand Sequence Editor to write test sequences in, as well as the LabVIEW development environment to develop code modules with.
When deploying a test system, the Deployment Systems (the computers that you are deploying to) typically will not have the LabVIEW development environment installed. In order to run LabVIEW VIs (code modules) from TestStand on these machines, you need to have the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine installed. With the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine installed, TestStand is capable of running LabVIEW VIs without having the LabVIEW development environment installed.
In addition, the deployment system typically has a TestStand Deployment license which only includes the TestStand Engine and not the Sequence Editor. Test sequences are executed from an Operator Interface, which is basically a TestStand User Interface.
TestStand ships with several example Operator Interfaces written in a variety of languages. Operator Interfaces can be written in any language that can interface with .NET or ActiveX in order to communicate with TestStand.
Typical TestStand Deployment Systems use the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine to execute VIs and do not have the LabVIEW Development Environment installed. This means that you must configure TestStand to use the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine instead of the LabVIEW Development Environment on the Deployment System. Refer to the section titled 'Configuring Adapter Settings: LabVIEW Run-Time Engine' for more details.
If you are running VIs with the Run-Time Engine, you should keep a few extra considerations in mind. The LabVIEW Development Environment allows you to create, edit, and debug VIs. The LabVIEW Development Environment is also backwards compatible, meaning that it can open and run VIs written in previous versions of LabVIEW.
The LabVIEW Run-Time Engine can only execute VIs that were saved in the same version of the LabVIEW Development Environment. It is neither forwards nor backwards compatible. This means that if you have code modules written in multiple versions of LabVIEW, you should specify in the LabVIEW Adapter Settings to 'Auto detect using VI Version' in the Run-Time Engine selection. You should then include the TestExec.ini file in your deployment. Sections 1 and 2 detail how this is done. you should Mass Compile them to the latest version of LabVIEW. See the section titled 'Managing LabVIEW Code Modules Written In Multiple Versions of LabVIEW' for more details.
In order to create an installer for a TestStand Deployment, there are a couple of steps that must be completed. The steps are listed briefly below and detailed in the sections that follow.
Note: This section describes these steps specifically for deploying LabVIEW Code Modules as part of a TestStand Deployment. For a general introduction to creating a TestStand Deployment, refer to the Deploying TestStand Systems in the NI TestStand Help.
TestStand stores its adapter settings as part of a TestStand configuration file, TestExec.ini. When you deploy your system, it is recommended that you deploy TestExec.ini as part of your deployment because it contains various additional settings like your Station Options and Search Directories.
If the Deployment System does not have the LabVIEW Development Environment, you must configure TestStand to use the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine on the Deployment System. You have three options to do this:
The TestStand workspace file forms the basis of your deployment in regards to file distribution. In order to successfully deploy and run test sequences that contain code modules, your workspace file should contain:
The TestStand Deployment Utility automatically puts all the subVIs that your code modules call in a folder called “SupportVIs”. You can modify the name of the folder where the TestStand Deployment Utility places these subVIs through the LabVIEW Options dialog box of the Deployment Utility.The TestStand Deployment Utility allows you to individually modify where the top-level code modules (as well as any other file listed on the Distributed Files tab, including dependent sequence files and files included in the workspace) are placed through the Installation Destination and Installation Destination Subdirectory options on the Distributed Files tab.
This level of granularity is sufficient for most deployments. However, there are situations where you might want to have a directory hierarchy for your subVIs rather than placing them all in a flat hierarchy in a single folder.
In order to do this, you must add these subVIs to your workspace. This will then allow you to specify the destination path for each of these files on the Distributed Files tab of the TestStand Deployment Utility.
The Deployment System requires the TestStand Engine in order to execute test sequences. Follow the steps below in order to include the TestStand Engine as part of the deployment installer.
The Deployment System requires the LabVIEW Development Environment or the correct version of LabVIEW Run-Time Engine in order to execute LabVIEW code modules. If the Deployment System does not already have either of these, you can include the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine as part of the deployment installer:
In order to reflect any updates or changes made in the code modules on the deployment system, these VIs must be re-deployed to the deployment systems by creating a new TestStand deployment. It is not possible to simply copy over the new VI from the Development System and overwrite the VI on the Deployment Systems.
It is common to work with VIs written in multiple versions of LabVIEW and call code modules written in multiple versions of LabVIEW from TestStand. On a development computer, this will typically work fine because the LabVIEW Development System is backwards compatible and can run VIs written in previous versions of LabVIEW.
When you run a sequence that calls such a LabVIEW code module, what the TestStand Engine typically does under the hood is:
TestStand now supports automatic selection of the appropriate LabVIEW Run-Time Engine depending on the VI properties of the VI executed in the code module. You can configure the sequence to use the appropriate version of the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine in the Adapter Settings (see Section 1. Configure Adapter Settings). Select Auto detect using VI Version to achieve this.
The NI TestStand Help has a section devoted to in general. Navigate to the help which includes hyperlinks to specific deployment subtopics.
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