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Include additional installers or not


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Hi all!

I have an application that uses both VISA and DAQmx. I often email new releases of the application to the "customers" around the world. The built exe-file is around 10MB, so it can be emailed quite easially.

The zipped file size with all installer included (LabVIEW runtime, VISA and DAQmx) is around 210MB. The additonal installer are only required at the first installation, so I don't want distribute them outside the office.

The problem is that not all "new cutomers" read the instructions that they should download and install VISA and DAQmx(and, of course, LabVIEW runtime) manually from NI.

Is there a way to look in the main code(from the "splash" starter) and look if anything is missing(in this case VISA or DAQmx) and then show a dialog or perhaps, try to download the missing driver. Another way is perhaps to look in the registry after DAQmx or VISA?

How do you distibute your applications?

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A side note: when I'm in this situation, I create two installers: one base installer for new users, and an upgrade installer, and put them side-by-side on the download page, with the full one first - and I make sure I name them so it's obvious which one's which, as well as list the file size (so those with the full are generally forced to look twice). This means that people that don't read the instructions most often download the first one (the full), so even if they already have it installed, there's no harm done (other than them having a larger download).

As for your actual question: Sure, you can create a launcher that looks for the essential components then error out and close should they not be there, or dynamically load the main app if all is well. It's a good place to put custom license control stuff too.

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Have a look at this. It is an API to interact with MAX.

I like the idea of pinging the system to see if the needed drivers are installed. Then prompting the user to download.

I have used installers. I find them very large and they take time to set up. However customers are familiar with installers and they do have their place.

There are also core versions of DAQmx that are smaller file size. These look to be promising. However in my experience there seems to be always one little feature I use that is not supported in the core and I need the full.

Good Luck!

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A side note: when I'm in this situation, I create two installers:.....

Do you make sure that both installers have the same component code (unique installer ID)?

If I would make two of these installers I would make the full version one version higher than the base light installer.

This makes sure that if the user installed base light but needed full can use the upgrade method to get the full with all the additional components.

Base Ligth 1.2.3

Full 1.2.4

Greetings,

Ton

Edited by Ton Plomp
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If I would make two of these installers I would make the full version one version higher than the base installer.

Ok, we're confusing terms: "Base" = Full (it's got everything including all the other installers), then "Upgrade". Can you repost using those terms, because I' mnot understanding what you're trying to say when we mix the terms.

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Have a look at this. It is an API to interact with MAX.

I like the idea of pinging the system to see if the needed drivers are installed. Then prompting the user to download.

I have used installers. I find them very large and they take time to set up. However customers are familiar with installers and they do have their place.

There are also core versions of DAQmx that are smaller file size. These look to be promising. However in my experience there seems to be always one little feature I use that is not supported in the core and I need the full.

Good Luck!

The problem with MAX API-functions is that you have to have MAX installed first... Catch 22 :). The API was 155MB to install as well...

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The problem with MAX API-functions is that you have to have MAX installed first... Catch 22 :). The API was 155MB to install as well...

Right you are...

I just include a readme text file with a list of supporting software (i.e. runtimes, drivers, etc). I am usually doing the initial system setup for my customers. I install all the necessary hardware.

I have had customers where the program will be distributed around. In that case I make an installer. I have had good luck with batch files. They are handy when you need to do something outside the LV environmet. I am wondering if you could create a batch file that could check to see if the necessary drivers are installed. If drivers are present run the installer Else display a message.

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If you knew specific files to look for on the hard drive, it'd be very easy to use a batch file. However, if you need to check versions, or something in the registry, it gets more complicated. Actually, I don't know an elegant way to check file version information (ala the Properties dialog) from the command line, and I'd be surprised if it's that easy in every case for NI software.

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I have found some entries in regedit that I probably can use. Currently I'm only interested in two driver VISA and DAQ and I've to verify that the entries are created when the drivers are installed (for both 32 and 64 bit OS).

- VISA: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\National Instruments\NI-VISA

- NI- DAQ: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\National Instruments\NI-DAQ\CurrentVersion

(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\National Instruments\LabVIEW Run-Time)

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