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15 Posts tagged with the product_partner tag
0

Your website is an important vehicle to help generate leads for your business and to create awareness for your products and solutions. This section covers the following:

 

  1. Things to Consider When Creating Your Website
  2. Making Your Website Search Engine-Friendly
  3. Linking to ni.com from Your Website

 

 

1. Things to Consider When Creating Your Website

  • Clearly define the strategy for your site and decide on the primary goals and objectives.
    It is important to establish what you are trying to accomplish in each area of your site. Having clearly identified objectives (i.e.collecting leads, driving e-commerce, generating inbound calls, educating users) helps you prioritize which content to include on your pages. When adding content to an area of your web site, always ask yourself, "Does this content match my objective?"

  • Create compelling content and present it clearly on your site.
    When writing content for your website, keep your users in mind. Address their needs, pain points, and concerns and explain how your products and solutions alleviate those problems. They care about how your system benefits them. Having useful content is crucial, but it doesn’t help anyone if users cannot find it on your site. Think about how to most logically group your content and organize it on your site. Clearly label sections of information and pieces of content so that users can skim the page and find what they’re looking for. Based on your experience with your customers, highlight their most typical key points of interest.

  • Check to make sure you have a clear user experience and friendly interface.
    Make sure that your site is easy to use and to navigate for your users. If it’s hard for them to find what they’re looking for, they might give up and leave. It is tempting to try to cram a bunch of content and calls to action on one page, but that often clutters the experience and potentially confuses the user. If in doubt, keep things simple, and refer to your primary objectives to decide what to prioritize and present on the page. When you are working with customers, feel free to request their feedback on your website, and what they would like to add or change.

2. Make Your Website Search Engine-Friendly

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps increase traffic, and therefore leads, to your website. This section covers the following: understanding how search works, understanding the user, optimizing content on the page, and promoting content off the page. This is intended as a basic introduction. There is much more you can learn about SEO. It is recommended that you continue pursuing this topic as it can directly impact the performance of your website.

 

Understanding How Search Works

Search engines feature four main functions:

  1. Finding content: Search engines use software (bots) that move from page to page through links to find your content.
  2. Indexing content: This is the process of bots parsing through the HTML on a page and storing it in a file for the search engine to reference when a user searches for a term.
  3. Returning results to the user based on relevancy: The main way that search engines determine relevancy to a page is through something called anchor text or link text. Anchor text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. You want this anchor text to match as closely as possible to the keyword you are trying to optimize.
  4. Ranking those results based on importance: Search engines determine importance based on popularity and the quality of your popularity (for example, who is deeming your content popular). Search engines are trying to reward good content, so it assumes that popular content is deemed good by users.

Understanding the User

The way the user interacts with a search engine is by inputting keywords. It’s important to understand the language users use to describe their applications and your products and services. That way, you can get the right people to your site. By using these keywords in your web site content, search engines will associate your web site with these keywords and direct users to it.

 

Brainstorming Keywords

  • Ask yourself/sales team
  • Search the keyword
  • Use your web analytics tool
  • Look it up on the Google keyword tool
  • Test it with Google AdWords

Selecting Keywords

  • Narrow your list of keywords down to 1-3 per page
  • Think about long tail SEO. That is the distribution of search terms from broad to niche. Which 20% of keywords gives you 80% of the correct traffic?
  • Broad terms: A very broad word such as “daq” is going to get a lot of search traffic, have a lot of competition, and have a lower probability of converting.
  • More niche terms: These phrases have less competition and less search volume, meaning you could potentially get less traffic to your site. But these terms also convert better, meaning the customers that get to your site are more likely to continue shopping and browsing because your site applies to them well.
  • When selecting a particular keyword for one page, think about your goals. Are you trying to build awareness that you are a DAQ vendor but are less concerned with converting people to leads or sales? Then a broad term might be a good decision.

 

Optimizing Content on the Page

Search engines view certain content on the page as more important based on where you place it. The items with a higher weight are page title, headings, and URL, so you want to make sure that your keywords are included at this level.

  • HTML tag: This is a code surrounded by brackets (<>) that denotes format, hyperlinks, or information for the bot.
  • Page title: The page title or title tag shows up in a few places. It is visible at the top of the browser. It is also the clickable link in the search engine results.
  • Meta tag: This is a type of HTML tag that gives information about the page. The bot can see this information in the HTML, but the user can’t see it on the page. Users can see it on the search engine results page below the clickable link. It is not a factor in determining your rankings, but it can help persuade users to click on your link versus another one on the first page.
  • Heading: This is recognized by the HTML tag “H” and then the number, such as H1 or H2 as the heading tag.
  • Keyword at the page level: Sprinkle the keyword throughout the body content, with a few variations to allow for user variations in the query and for natural writing in the content. At the page level, it’s really important to remember your users. If they type in a search term, get to a page, and find out it’s not about that keyword, they’re going to leave.

Promoting Content off the Page

Of all the things you can do to optimize your content for search, this is the most important. The search engine determines your popularity and relevence at the top of the results page largely based on which external sites link to yours.

  • Get links from trusted, relevant sites. Examples include:
    • Credible institutions: .edu, .gov
    • User-generated: blogs, forums
  • Focus more on external links than internal
  • Get links from multiple unique domains

 

Build links to your site by

  1. Creating exciting content: If people are really excited about what you do as a company, they are naturally going to talk about you and link back to your site.
  2. Building relationships: Build relationships with editors to get them to write articles for you; build relationships with bloggers in your industry to get them to write posts about you.
  3. Taking advantage of social media: Post comments on blogs and forums related to your industry. Social media is a great way to get links back to your site.
  4. Participating: Make sure you are participating in the forums, conferences, and communities that contain your target audience. This helps you spread the word, forge relationships, build credibility, and much more.

 

3. Linking to ni.com from Your Website

Cross-linking between relevant and content-rich sites is important for driving traffic. Your company can greatly benefit from linking to our site. For example, by linking between sites, you improve your ranking in web search engines, as we just discussed above. Higher rankings mean better chances that customers will come to both ni.com and your websites looking for your services and solutions.

 

As a contributor to the LabVIEW Tools Network, take advantage of the Related Links section of your model page to link back to important documentation and demos on your own website. Link back to your model page on ni.com and the LabVIEW Tools Network to strengthen the link connection.

 

As always, feel free to post your own ideas below.

 

Will Schoettler

LabVIEW Tools Network Product Manager

2

Design and Implementation

 

In Tools For Developing Tools, Part 1 we looked at a variety of tools that improve the process of creating detailed documentation that meets the Compatible with LabVIEW standard.  In order to utilize tools for documentation, you must have code worth documenting.  Fortunately, there are a wide array of different tools available on the LabVIEW Tools Network that assist in the the actual design and implementation of a large application.  Many of the tools on the LabVIEW Tools Network are extremely useful for specific applications, such as the set of VIs used to program KUKA Robots.  The focus of this post will be on more generic tools that are useful in a wider variety of applications.

 

 

General Purpose Toolkits

openg_libraries_l.jpg

 

OpenG Libraries

 

The OpenG community has built and shared hundreds of open-source VIs that cover a wide variety of different functions.  There are additional palettes with advanced functions for working with arrays, strings, application control, file handling, and more.  If you aren't already using OpenG, you probably should be.

 

 

GPower Toolsets

 

Another set of useful functions, the GPower Toolsets include functionality for advanced error handling, timing functions, overflow arithmetic, dynamic VIs, and more.  They also introduce the concept of VI Registers, which are extremely useful for global access throughout your application.

 

 

MGI Library - Moore Good Ideas

 

Moore Good Ideas employees consolidated a free set of VIs created by MGI over time.  This toolkit includes functions for most of the categories in the default LabVIEW Programming palette, expanding on built-in functionality with advanced re-usable VIs.

 

 

NI Labs: LabVIEW VI Scripting

 

VI scripting allows you to programmatically generate, run, inspect, and modify LabVIEW code.  These tools are indispensable when working with large sets of code, and can significantly decrease the amount of time needed to generate large libraries.

 

 

EasyGIO Tools

 

EasyGIO Tools is an add-on that addresses a wide variety of new functionality.  It includes VIs to create HTML help files automatically, set help options programmatically, modify VI descriptions, update front panel tip strips, and more.  In fact, this tool addresses much more than just documentation.  It includes functions that manipulate controls on your front panel, easily create FGVs, rename and save VIs without conflicts, and create a top-level VI with project.  The EasyGIO Tools are exceptionaly useful utility VIs that assist in many phases of development.

 

 

Third-Party Licensing and Activation Toolkit

 

Properly licensing code for distribution to customers presents a number of challenges, such as managing activations and preventing fraud.  Implementing custom licensing can be very time consuming, especially when maintaining a positive end-user experience.  The Third-Party Licensing and Activation Toolkit is an out-of-the-box solution that takes care of licensing, activation, evaluation, and more.  It supports development and deployment licensing and is highly recommended for use with any code that needs to be licensed.

 

 

Source Code Control


tsvntoolbar_l.jpgTSVN Toolkit

 

Source code control allows teams of developers to ensure easy access to shared code while mitigating conflicting changes, allowing check outs of code, merging versions, and more.  Tortoise SVN is a very popular free set of code that performs source code control from a file browser.  Viewpoint Systems' TSVN Toolkit integrates the functionality of source code control programs directly into LabVIEW, extending the native source code control of LabVIEW with an intuitive interface that overlays directly on a LabVIEW project.

 

 

TortoiseSVN Tool for LabVIEW

 

Similar to TSVN, this toolkit incorporates source code control into the LabVIEW Tools menu.  Created by JKI, this full-featured toolkit saves time for developers, accessing common TortoiseSVN operations without leaving LabVIEW, allowing them to focus on their work rather than source code control.

 

 

Clusters and OOP

 

Cluster_Toolkit_l.jpg

 

Cluster Toolkit

 

Clusters are an extremely powerful way to manage elements in LabVIEW.  This set of VIs simplifies a number of different operations related to working with clusters.  You can easily obtain individual or sets of elements, manipulate elements, split or index cluster subsets, convert clusters to other data structures, and sort clusters programmatically.  The Cluster Toolkit also works with clusters in the form of variant data, further increasing the flexibility of this powerful toolkit.

 

 

Cluster Tools

 

Cluster Tools by IMS builds on the native LabVIEW cluster functions by allowing programmatic indexing, register reference, recursive operations, and more.  Allowing direct access to cluster element references means you can perform manipulation of those elements without bundling values with references.  Overall, Cluster Tools is extremely useful when working with code that is heavily dependent on clusters as a data structure.

 

 

GOOP Development Suite

 

Object oriented programming in LabVIEW has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.  Object data is stored in wires that are accessed via cluster tools.  There also exists a series of tools designed to extend LabVIEW's OOP feature set.  The GOOP Development Suite simplifies management of classes, allows automatic code generation, and incorporates Unified Modeling Language support into LabVIEW. 

 

 

G# Framework

 

This toolkit adds reference-based object oriented support, includes a debugger for tracing object instantiation, and adds automated garbage collection to remove the need to manually destroy objects.  The toolkit's object oriented support makes LabVIEW as powerful as any object oriented language.

 

 

UI Customization

 

ProgressBar_screenshot_l.jpg

 

WF ProgressBar

 

The WireFlow WF ProgressBar module is a simple, easy way to add progress bars into your application.  It allows full customization of the appearance, giving you control over the user interface and allowing the end user to potentially cancel longer operations.  For more progress bar functionality, check out the LabVIEW Taskbar Progress Bar API, which allows you to use the progress bar embedded in Windows 7 by leveraging very simple VIs.

 

 

VI Box XControls

 

One of my personal favorites, this XControl allows you to create a tab control on your LabVIEW front panel that performs similarly to a browser.  You can create additional tabs, manipulate their locations, pop them into separate windows, and more - all during run-time.  The ability to provide users an intuitive tabbed experience similar to what they are used to from internet browsers increases the usability of a wide variety of applications.

 

 

UI Control Suite

 

The UI Control Suite adds controls and indicators that differ aesthetically from the built-in LabVIEW UI objects.  Available in Metallic Theme, NI Theme, and System Controls, the UI Control Suites offer the ability to make engaging, coherently styled UIs for a variety of desired looks.

 

 

UI Tools

 

The UI Tools palette, created by LAVA, allows the LabVIEW front panel to fade in or out, smoothly move objects programmatically, override generic dialog boxes, and more.  This powerful toolset also incorporates functionality to improve the usability of front panels of LabVIEW OOP VIs.

 

 

 

 

There are many more tools available on the LabVIEW Tools Network that facilitate productivity, expand built-in functionality, and incorporate specific applications to save you and your developers time and effort during the Design and Implementation phase of your project.  In Part 3 of this series, we will take a look at a number of tools that simplify the Deployment process in a variety of different ways.

 

Patrick Simmons

LabVIEW Tools Network Engineer

0

Case studies document how our customers use our products and services to develop innovative solutions, optimize existing applications, or perform cutting-edge research. They are excellent tools for demonstrating the capabilities of your products and building credibility in industry. This post will cover how to write an effective case study. We will cover:

 

  1. Type of content you want to include
  2. How to structure your case study
  3. Important details

 

Type of Content you Want to Include

Case studies are inherently about projects that your customers have created. So typically you will work directly with your customers to obtain content and review the messaging that is used. When obtaining content for your case study, be sure to cover the following points:

 

  • Demonstrate how your application met the customer’s challenges better than any other company and include examples of other options the customer may have chosen.
  • Communicate the challenge clearly and include the “pain points” the customer was trying to alleviate.
  • Highlight all of the software, hardware, and services used to develop the solution.
  • Quantify the results. Include phrases such as, “We helped the customer increase efficiency by X percent, decrease costs by X dollars, and decrease test time by X minutes/hours.” The more specific you can be, the better.

 

How to Structure Your Case Study

Now that you have your content, how do you present it to the reader? You want to make it as easy as possible for your reader to get a snapshot of the solution. You should also have more detailed supporting content so they can learn more if they are interested.

 

  1. Provide a conside but descriptive Title. 60 characters maximum.

  2. Start by crediting the Author(s), including the company name that created the solution. This helps you gain credibility in the eyes of the reader. A recognized name that uses your products will have the most weight in the eyes of the reader.

  3. State your Products used in this case study. Simply state them - description will come later.

  4. Next, mention the Industry and Application Area that the solution pertains to. This allows readers to self-select by their interest area.

  5. Now it's time to describe the Challenge your customer needed to overcome. This is the reason they needed your product. Make this 25-50 words.

  6. Follow the Challege by the Solution. Describe how your customer solved the problem using your products. This should also be 25-50 words.

This completes your snapshot of the solution. You have given the reader enough information to decide if this fits their interests and if they want to learn more. The next step is to provide more details on the customer, the solution, and reasoning why your product was chosen for the solution. This is the main Body of the case study. It should be 800-1200 words.

 

  1. First paragraphs should be a Brief Description of the Customer. Specifically who they are, what they do, and who they serve. Elaborate on the engineering problem they were trying to solve and why it was important.

  2. The next few paragraphs should describe the Project itself that was used to solve the challenge. This is a high-level description of how the system works. Be sure to describe:
    • Other options besides your own, that could have solved the problem.
    • Why the customer chose your product over the other options.
    • The specific features of your product that were most utilitized and why they were important for the success of the solution.
    • Mention any additional services you provided that were helpful for the project.

  3. Now explain the Benefits of the Solution. Provide detail, and give quantifiable measures of the benefits. Specifically:
    • Practical benefits (Increased efficiency, ability to reuse or scale, etc)
    • Business benefits (Cost savings, time savings, meeting more customer needs)
    • Any benefits your or your customer did not expect

  4. The Final Paragraph should discuss how this solution and specifically your products met the customer's objective for their project.

  5. Follow the body with Contact Information to learn more about your products and the solution as well as any Additional Materials you may want to include like code or supplemental technical documents.

 

Once complete, your case study should have the following structure:

 

Case Study Title

 

Author(s):

 

Products Used:

 

Industry:

 

Application Area:

 

The Challenge (25-50 words)

 

The Solution (25-50 words)

 

Body (800-1200 words)

    • Brief Description of the Customer
    • Project Itself
    • Benefits of the Solution
    • Final Paragraph

 

Contact Information

 

Additional Information

 

Important Details

There are a few details that help to make a case study particularly engaging and effective. Always do the following:

 

  1. Include links or methods for readers to learn more about your product and get in contact with you. They should always have a next step.

  2. Choose a solution that is either attention grabbing or solves a very common problem in the industry you serve. This will help get people interested and give the case study more mileage.

  3. When possible, include pictures. Graphics and photographs immediately add a new element and sense of reality to your case study. People will be able to understand the case study more effectively. It also adds additional credibility.

  4. When possible, include video of the solution or concepts applied in the solution. Videos are one of the most effective methods to gain attention and get important messages across to the viewer.

 

Final Thoughts

Case studies can be a very effective addition to your overall marketing strategy. They give you the opportunity to demonstrate your technical aptitude while quickly showing others how people are effectively using your products. One of the best ways to gain exposure and increase sales is by demonstrating that respected organizations in your industry are happily using your product.

 

For example case studies, take a look at ni.com/casestudies. As always, free to post questions or your own examples below.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Will Schoettler

LabVIEW Tools Network Product Manager

0

After spending all the time and effort to create a top-notch product in LabVIEW, it's extremely important to accompany that product with high-quality marketing material. Although a high quality product can speak for itself once it is in a user's hands, the marketing material will put it there and show off the best parts to the user. One key part of your marketing material is your Model Page on the LabVIEW Tools Network.

 

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

You designed your product to satisfy a need in industry. That need was created by a specific user base that you are familiar with. The features you implemented keep that user base in mind so that it is intuitive and effective for them to use. By keeping this user base, or target audience, in mind when you create your model page you can simultaneously demonstrate your industry expertise and relate to your potential customers. This is done by using technical language understood by your target audience and by highlighting the features that fulfill their needs most effectively. If you have correctly interpreted their needs and speak to them in their industry language you will build credibility and interest in your product.

 

Avoid This Pitfall:

Many developers encounter this issue: "My product has many great features that fulfill the needs of many different target audiences. I should market to all of these audiences."  Unfortunately, in reality, this approach typically results in marketing material that is confusing due to mixed industry terminology and does not effectively engage the customer's interest. It makes it difficult to speak to the product's strengths and can result in a loss of company focus as there is no clear definition of which type of customer should be prioritized.

 

For example, assume your product, T1D, is a table with a drawer.  It has good features like strength, stability, a high-quality smooth hard surface, and the drawer can be used to keep commonly-used items on hand. The T1D can also be used as a chair. Its features of strength and stability to support objects makes it an effective solution. However, key features you developed like the smooth hard surface and convenient drawer are not good selling points for a comfortable chair. In addition, a chair has a backrest which immediately makes it better suited for longterm sitting. Therefore, although the T1D has the functionality that could allow it to be marketed and sold to the Chair Buyer audience, you would find much more success by targeting the Table Buyer audience.

 

By selecting one primary target audience you can focus your energy and resources to reach your customers most effectively. Once you have established success with one audience you can consider reaching out to additional audiences. With your target audience in mind, you can begin crafting the model page content.

 

Step 2: Product Subtitle

Your product subtitle is the 1-sentence description all customers will see. It shows up on the product tile when browsing the LabVIEW Tools Network, and appears directly beneath the product name on the Model Page. The product subtitle is used to grab attention and describe your product at the same time. A good subtitle brings in potential customers. A poor one can cause them to pass your product by. Click the images below for examples.

 

Chameleon Tile.jpgChameleon Model page.jpg

 

The example above include three main components:

  1. Key Differentiating Product Feature ("Configurable")
  2. Primary Product Function ("DAQ Software")
  3. Target Audience ("Structural Test and Monitoring")

 

By including these three components in the Product Subtitle, you can make your initial pitch to your potential customers. You tell the potential customer if they are the right type of user, what the product does, and what makes it stand out.

 

Step 3: Product Feature Bullets

When a potential customer clicks through to your model page, the first thing they will see is the Feature Bullets at the top of the page. Click the image below for an example.

CertTech Bullets.jpg

 

In general, feature bullets should provide the following:

  1. Brief description of what the product will do for the user
  2. Key differentiating features that make it stand out over other similar products
  3. Benefits of those features

 

When selecting your bullets, always keep your target audience in mind. Choose features and benefits that best apply to them.

 

Step 4: Product Overview

The product overview section is where you can provide an in-depth description of your product. Click the image below for an exmaple.

 

SCCT Overview Small.jpg

 

A good product overview will describe the functionality of the product using terminology and features that are pertinent to the target audience. It will also include key decision information such as supported hardware and system requirements, if applicable.  Additional features and a description of package contents can also provide helpful insight into what your product offers.

 

Step 5: Related Links

Often overlooked, the Related Links section is the perfect location to send your customer to additional information like case studies, video demos, documentation, and more. All of this supporting marketing material can be used to gain credibility with customers and help them make the decision to evaluate your product. Click the image below for an example of Related Links.

 

NeuralID Related Links.jpg

 

At a minimum, you should provide a pathway for your customers to learn more about the product. It is highly recommended to include demos and case studies. If you do, create them such that they cover topics applicable to your target audience.

 

Step 6: Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews are a highly beneficial mechanism for both gaining credibility in the eyes of potential customers and for gathering feedback from your existing users. Click the image below for an example of Ratings & Reviews.

 

ltk reviews.jpgBy encouraging your user-base to return to the model page and contribute ratings and reviews you can find some invaluable feedback. Potential customers are also typically more likely to evaluate or purchase a product that they can verify others have had success with.

 

Step 7: Spread the Word

A model page is a great first step to getting your product into the market. However, it is just a small part of the entire marketing effort. The most success comes from a combination of marketing efforts including case studies, press wires, participation in interest groups, and any other sort of communication you can have with your target audience. Always include a call to action to evaluate or purchase the product. Use your model page as the link point. By reaching out to your target audience and establishing yourself as a credible source of expertise in their industry you can develop a reputation for quality products that could translate in good sales.

 

Best of luck with your marketing efforts and feel free to comment below.

 

Will Schoettler

LabVIEW Tools Network Product Manager

0

Register for the LabVIEW Beta!

Posted by RDR Mar 8, 2013

Enrollment for the LabVIEW beta program is now open and you can enroll by going to http://www.ni.com/beta.  We encourage you to test your products with the new beta build to ensure compatibility with the new version of LabVIEW - beta testing also helps to prepare for the yearly Compatible with LabVIEW Recertification conducted by our engineering team.

 

Please contact the Tools Network team at labviewpartnerprogram@ni.com if you have any questions or concerns.

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niweek2012.png

NIWeek is just around the corner! It'll be another week of great sessions and opportunities. Here are some sessions you don't want to miss:

 

TS8166 - Do Real-Time Right with the NI Jitter Benchmarking Framework

Robert Des Rosier, Partner Program Engineer, National Instruments

Troy Troshynski, Vice-President, Avionics Interface Technologies

One of the most important -- and often challenging -- aspects of any real-time system is the characterization of jitter.  In this session, learn how you can improve and document the performance of your real time system with the NI Jitter Benchmarking Framework for LabVIEW Real-Time. Using Avionics Interface Technologies as a case study, we will explore how this benchmarking helped them get an edge on their competition.

 

TS8526 - Introduction to LabVIEW Scripting

David Ladolcetta, Partner Program Engineer, National Instruments

Gain an introduction to programmatically creating, modifying, and inspecting G code. Familiarity with VI Server is recommended but not required.

 

TS8527: Hands-On: Build a VI Package with VI Package Manager

Stephen Roso, Partner Program Engineer, National Instruments

 

TS8528: Explore Tools to Customize LabVIEW

David Ladolcetta, Partner Program Engineer, National Instruments

 

LabVIEW Tools Network Awards


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We are changing the re-certification process for the Compatible with LabVIEW program this year and I have a few deadlines for you to meet in order to be eligible for awards at NIWeek 2012!

 

As many of you know, the Compatible with LabVIEW program we rebuilt in 2009 requires a yearly review, or re-certification, by our engineers to ensure products are maintaining compatibility with the latest LabVIEW release.  We also use this yearly review to hit upon any tests or requirements we've added to the program during the course of the year -- in doing so, we hope to continue to add value by ensuring your products are up to date with new features and entry points in the LabVIEW platform.

 

Changes for Re-Certification

We are no longer expecting you to submit an application to trigger the re-certification process.  All products on the LabVIEW Tools Network will be re-certified by our engineers for each LabVIEW release and a report delivered to you for your Compatible with LabVIEW level.  If product updates are required, we expect you to submit an installer with updates identified in the re-certification report to maintain your status on the LabVIEW Tools Network.

 

*Note: If you intend to achieve a higher level in the Compatible with LabVIEW program, please fill out the Compatible with LabVIEW Application and include the customer references and CLD/CLA information required for the Silver and Gold levels.  Submitting an application will notify our team that you're requesting a product to be reviewed for a higher Compatible with LabVIEW level.  Please submit 2 customer references we can survey for the Silver level and a total of 5 customer references for the Gold level (if you're already certified for Silver, we need 3 additional customer references).

 

**Also Note: If you ever have an updated installer for the LabVIEW Tools Network, please send an email to labviewpartnerprogram@ni.com with details for obtaining your new VI Package or installer and we will ensure your Tools Network product page is updated as soon as possible!

 

Important Dates

  • Compatible with LabVIEW recognition at NIWeek
    Partners who achieve either the Silver or Gold level during the previous calendar year are recognized with a plaque during the LabVIEW Tools Network Awards at NIWeek.  If you have not achieved a higher level this year and are interested in moving to the Silver or Gold level, the following deadline applies for notifying our team to have your product reviewed in time for NIWeek 2012:

    • May 15, 2012 -- Notify the LabVIEW Partner Program Team by this date if you intend to re-certify for a higher Compatible with LabVIEW level so we can prioritize your re-certification in time for NIWeek.  Use this application to submit a notification to our team and be sure to include the customer references required for your desired Compatible with LabVIEW Level:
      http://zone.ni.com/devzone/cda/tut/p/id/12901  (2 references for Silver, 5 references for Gold.  If you are moving from Silver to Gold, we need 3 additional references)

    • May 15, 2012 -- If you have not already registered for the LabVIEW 2012 Beta Program, you will also need to register in order to test your products in the new version and apply updates required to be compatible with the new version.  The beta application process is simple; go to http://www.ni.com/beta to apply and enter 'robert.des.rosier@ni.com' as the email of the person who invited you.

    • June 30, 2012 -- Once you submit for re-certifying your product for Silver or Gold, the Compatible with LabVIEW process must then be completed by June 30 so the awards to be ordered in time for NIWeek.

  • LabVIEW Tools Network Awards
    The 2012 Tools Network Awards are now open for submission!

 

Contact Us

If you have questions or feedback, please contact the LabVIEW Partner Program team by sending us an email at labviewpartnerprogram@ni.com

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lvtn_medium.pngHello!

 

As you know, the Add-On Dev Center is a location dedicated to providing resources for developing LabVIEW tools and full products. One common goal is to take those finished products and put them on the LabVIEW Tools Network. This allows us to grow the LabVIEW ecosystem, provide LabVIEW users with a single location to find high quality LabVIEW-based software, and helps our product partners gain access to new markets. But there has been some confusion from the many names we have for our resources and programs. So in an effort to clarify the connection between our programs, we are bringing them all under the LabVIEW Tools Network name. So from now on, the Add-On Dev Center will be known as the LabVIEW Tools Network Developer Center.

 

A couple things to note:

 

  1. All of your links are preserved. The rename should not affect the location of our online resources. Your bookmarks are still accurate.
  2. You can now reach the LabVIEW Tools Network Developer Center at a new simpler URL: ni.com/devcenter.


We are always looking for ways to improve the LabVIEW Tools Network experience. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know! This includes requests for additional technical documents on the LabVIEW Tools Network Developer Center or even if you would like to get more involved and contribute something yourself. You can reach us at labviewpartnerprogram@ni.com.

 

Regards and happy coding,

 

Will Schoettler

LabVIEW Tools Network Product Manager

0

LabVIEW 2012 Beta is OPEN!

Posted by RDR Feb 9, 2012

The LabVIEW 2012 platform beta program is open for enrollment and there are some exciting features for partners to check out!  I encourage you to follow-up on the invitation below:

 

You are invited to register for participation in the LabVIEW 2012 Platform beta program.

 

You can register by visiting http://www.ni.com/beta and selecting "LabVIEW 2012 Platform" from the list of beta programs.  Please be sure and enter your complete address information in Western characters.  All customers outside the United States will have to pass Export Compliance as defined here.

 

Please complete the profile questions to help us understand your experience and use cases with LabVIEW.  Make sure you agree to the T&C of the beta program so that you can complete your registration.

 

After you register, please be patient for the beta coordinators to process your application.  You will be notified once you have been approved. Registration does not necessarily guarantee you a position in the beta program.  Determination of acceptance into the program is up to the sole discretion of National Instruments.

 

We will have a private section of the Discussion Forums on NI Developer's Exchange set up for beta users to discuss the beta version of the LabVIEW 2012 Platform.

 

We eagerly await your registration.  Thank you for your invaluable help in assisting us design and test LabVIEW.

 

(http://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/Announcing-the-LabVIEW-2012-Platform-Beta-Progra m/td-p/1859557)

 

-bob

0

Can your add-on do this?

Posted by Sumedha Aug 15, 2011

There is a way to build add-ons that plug directly into the LabVIEW project window. Using LabVIEW Project Providers, your add-on can integrate into the project and add new menus, toolbars, right click menus and do much more:

 

1. Add new menu options

Add New Menu Items.png

 

2. Add new toolbar buttons to Project Explorer window

Add New Toolbar Items.png

 

3. Add right click pop-up menu options

Add pop-up menu options.png

 

4. Modify the icons in the project tree

Modify icons.png

5. Customize the double-click behavior of any item in the LabVIEW project

 

html_screencast.png


6. Add new items to the project tree

Add new items to project.png

html_screencast.png

 

 


To get a better idea of what YOUR add-on can do with project providers look at some existing project providers from National Instruments:


1. LabVIEW Source Control

2. LabVIEW VI Analyzer Toolkit

3. Build Specifications: Application Builder, Source Distribution, and Web Services

 

For more information on building provider based add-ons, please contact the LabVIEW Partner Program Team

1

Congratulations to the 2011 Add-on of the Year Award Winners! The Add-on of the Year Awards recognize top 3rd-party add-ons and apps based on LabVIEW. They have demonstrated high quality, excellent integration, and filling a key business need.

 

These awards were presented during the Add-on Developer Luncheon at NI Week 2011. It featured a recognition speech from Ray Almgren, VP of Marketing, Award Hand-off by NI Fellow and co-founder Jeff Kodosky, and the opportunity to network with various members of NI R&D and Marketing.

 

Please join us in congratulating these Product Partners for creating such top-notch products!

 

CategoryCompanyProduct
Test CIM Industrial SystemsFlexSTAND Operator Interface
Industrial and EmbeddedCal-Bay SystemsvibDaq
Community AddQ ConsultingG# Framework and StarUML Plug-in
VI LibraryJKIEasyXML
Platform ExtensionMentor GraphicsSystemVision conneXion
InnovationSAPHIRmySQLView

 

LVAwards_Winners_Cropped.jpg

0

FAQs: Supporting Your Add-on

Posted by Chris Bolin Apr 29, 2011

I've had a few partners who are applying for Compatible with LabVIEW ask me various questions about "supporting" their add-on and what that means for them...

 

"My product is free. Do I have to provide support to users?"

 

Silver Compatible with LabVIEW products must have a "documented support policy." This means that you should set the correct expectations with your users. Let the user know how to get support for the product, whether it is through email, phone, or online forums (see next question). If your add-on is not supported by you or anyone else, mention that; however, I would strongly encourage you to provide some contact information for your users.

 

Gold products must have an "available 2-day response time." This support and response time can be an extra paid service, but it must be available. Add-on products can be used in system critical applications, and users expect the same response for a Gold LabVIEW add-on as they do for LabVIEW itself.

 

"I don't have a website, but I'd like to provide a forum for support questions. Is there any way I can do this?"

 

Definitely. Just sign into the NI Community, and create a new group. A few add-on developers have already done this for their products, for example AddQ, SAPHIR, and JKI.

 

"I've tested my add-on on LabVIEW 8.2 and 2010. How do I test on other LabVIEW versions I don't own?"

 

Enlist your users! Some of them may even be able to help you test on other operating systems, like Mac OS or Linux. Also, if you are an Alliance Member, you may already have rights to previous versions of LabVIEW. If you're not sure, just ask us.

 

Do you have any other questions on supporting your product? Let us know.

0

One of the most important steps in developing a LabVIEW add-on is creating an effective way to distribute and install the add-on.  However this is also one of the most overlooked steps in the process. Fortunately, distributing your add-on is extremely easy with the free VI Package Manager (VIPM) by JKI.

 

vipm.png

 

A VI Package is the file format (.vip) used for add-ons built by VIPM.  You can think of a package as a smart zip file: the package contains all the VIs and resources for a specific LabVIEW add-on, as well as instructions that enable VIPM to install, remove, and manage the add-on. Here are some more of the benefits of using VIPM as a distribution method:

 

Single File Installation

When you create a VI Package, all parts of your add-on are bundled into a single file (known as a package) including VIs, examples, documentation, palettes, etc.  This allows you to easily distribute your code to users without the chance of forgetting files.  Also, if your add-on is part of the LabVIEW Tools Network and you use VIPM for packaging, the add-on will automatically be included in the LabVIEW Tools Network VIPM repository. This means that customers will not even need a file to install your add-on.  All they need to do is open VIPM and browse to the add-on, or navigate to an install link that will automatically open VIPM and start the installation.

 

Multiple Version Support

If you need to distribute your toolkit for multiple versions of LabVIEW, you only need to develop it in one. During installation, VIPM will detect what versions of LabVIEW are installed and automatically compile the toolkit for that version of LabVIEW.  This means only one version of the installer is needed for all versions of LabVIEW.

 

File destinations

When VIPM installs an add-on, it places all of the different files into exactly the correct location that they need to be installed in.  This way your entire toolkit will plug into LabVIEW with the same user experience on every computer.  VIs, Examples, help documents and more will all seamlessly plug into LabVIEW without the customer having to know the details of where they should go.  Plus, the VI Package Manager will detect where LabVIEW is installed in case customers have LabVIEW installed in a non-default location.

 

Palettes

If your add-on has VIs or custom controls that need to be added to the functions or controls palette, you can use VIPM to automatically create custom palettes for your add-on. These palettes will then show up in the main functions/controls palette so the user can easily access and search all of the VIs in your add-on. 

 

Dependencies

If your add-on depends on other VIs or controls that are available on the LabVIEW Tools Network, you can use VIPM to automatically install required dependencies when your add-on is installed.  This way you do not have to explicitly include the necessary files that are already available on VIPM such as OpenG Libraries or the UI Control Suite.

 

Licensing

If you use the Third Party Licensing and Activation Toolkit for creating licensing and evaluation versions of your add-on, you can use VIPM to automatically license your library at build time and place the library and license file in the correct location at installation.  Note: build-time licensing requires the VIPM Professional Edition

 

Getting Started is Simple

Building your toolkit into a package using VIPM is easy.  For a step by step tutorial on how to build your first package, see the following video on the VIPM community portal:

Video Tutorial: How to Build Your First LabVIEW Add-on / VI Package

https://decibel.ni.com/content/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/102-15633-5-18006/310-221/VIPB%2BVideo.png

 

Useful Links

Download VI Package Manager

LabVIEW Add-on Dev Center

LabVIEW Tools Network

Contribute an Add-On to the Tools Network

Third Party Licensing & Activation Toolkit

JKI - VI Package Manager Community

0

Teach Customers with Examples

I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide examples for your customers!  As an engineer, I’ve taught myself dozens of concepts by first working through examples and then applying what I learned through practice.  Taking this approach to other challenges, I’m sure all of you will agree instructions are always important when you purchase a new desk, printer, automobile, or some other product which requires a bit of a learning curve on your end before you’re successful with it.  Think of example code, walk-throughs, and getting started guides as instructions for using your software products.  Let’s take a look at how this applies to a LabVIEW toolkit…

Getting Started

When I install a new LabVIEW toolkit, the first thing I’lldo is look for a “Getting Started” guide or some documentation catered towards a new user of the product.  This guide should begin by providing me with general setup or installation steps – even if I ignore the guide until after installation, I’ll often review the installation steps to see if I’ve overlooked anything important.

Product Overview

Next, I expect to see an overview of the product – for LabVIEW toolkits this could include an overview of where the palette is located and how it is organized, whether or not context help is available for the toolkit, how to find a more detailed help document, the location of example VIs, etc.

Context Help

Then, as a user, my next steps would be to explore the palette, open the help document, and eventually open and run example code.  How can you ensure I am successful once I go off on my own?  Direct me to your detailed help document for your VI’s context help and perhaps documentation to accompany your LabVIEW example VIs. 

Example VIs

What should you include in your example VIs themselves?  Examples should demonstrate how to use your toolkit in typical use cases – take NI’s DAQmx driver for example, there are a seemingly endless number of examples in the NI Example finder for a wide variety of data acquisition tasks.  While you probably won’t need as many examples as DAQmx provides, at least provide examples for common use cases for your customers.  These examples should demonstrate how you believe your toolkit should be used in a clean and easy to follow programming style, and with detailed supporting documentation (use free labels!).  Customers will then review this code and reuse the concepts they’ve learned in their own applications.  Good example code can help the success of your product by increasing the confidence of customers in your products, reducing the amount of support you must provide for new users (wouldn’t it be nice to just point someone to an example and have them off and running?), and reducing the amount of support for advanced users as they quickly become experts on using your product!

More Information

Please refer to the following document on the LabVIEW Add-on Dev Center for more information about creating examples: http://decibel.ni.com/content/docs/DOC-13544

 

http://decibel.ni.com/content/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/102-13544-6-14896/620-396/Display+VI+BD.png

http://decibel.ni.com/content/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/102-13544-6-14897/620-374/DAQmx+Example+BD+Cont+Gen+Current+Updates+Wfm-Int+Clk.png

2

Prepare for NIWeek 2011

Posted by RDR Mar 15, 2011


NIWeek 2011

This NIWeek marks the 20th anniversary of the NI Alliance Program and we’re planning to make this year special for our partners!  Registration details can befound on the NIWeek page here (http://www.ni.com/niweek/).  We encourage you to join us!

 

 

LabVIEW 2011 Beta Program

To begin preparing for NIWeek 2011, you will want to register for the LabVIEW 2011 Platform Beta program and begin testing your products in the new version in order to prepare for Compatible with LabVIEW 2011 Re-Certification.  The beta application process is simple; go to http://www.ni.com/beta to apply and enter robert.des.rosier@ni.com as the email of the person who invited you.  Applications for the program close May 15th, so register soon to participate!

 

Third Party Licensing and Activation Toolkit 2011 Beta

If your product uses the Third Party Licensing & Activation Toolkit, you will also want to test out it's new features in the 2011 Beta.  After you join the LabVIEW Beta following the above intructions, check out the detailed download information for this toolkit.

 

 

Compatible with LabVIEW 2011 Re-Certification Process

Partners are required to re-certify their Gold and Silver Compatible with LabVIEW products for the Compatible with LabVIEW Program each year in order to maintain compatibility with the latest LabVIEW version.  We are accepting re-certification applications now and have the following deadlines:

 

  • July 16, 2011 – Deadline for re-certification prior to NIWeek
    - You will need to submit prior to this date in order to launch with us at NIWeek 2011.
  • December 31, 2011 – Deadline for re-certification
    - You will need to submit prior to this date in order to maintain your Compatible with LabVIEW status and listing on the LabVIEW Tools Network

 

In order to re-certify your product, complete the Compatible with LabVIEW Re-Certification Checklist using LabVIEW 2011 Beta 2: https://www.jotform.com/form/10721003790

 

The following two additional items can be submitted through the form linked to above, or you can email them separately:

    • A list of new features or a ‘Change List’ to describe changes and updates to your product
    • Submit a new version of your installer or VIPM package for testing by Partner Program team

 

If you’re not already participating in the Compatible with LabVIEW Program, be sure to submit your product as soon as possible to allow our engineers time to perform testing and create a listing on the LabVIEW Tools Network.  Details for applying for the Compatible with LabVIEW Program can be found on the Add-on Developer Center here: http://www.ni.com/compatiblewithlabview

Get the Most out of NIWeek

We will send out further details regarding the Add-on of the Year Awards and other NIWeek events for Partners.  Continue to look for our updates through email and on the Add-on Developer Center in order to get the most out of NIWeek 2011!

 

 

Contact Us

If you have questions or feedback, please contact the LabVIEW Partner Program team by sending us an email at labviewpartnerprogram@ni.com