LabVIEW Installers Challenge - Azure Pipelines
Installers are a great way to package up your project artifacts so that your customer, or fellow devlopers, can have a seemless expereince when setting up the hardware for a project. We have histroically used the NI Package Builder and the installer creation tool built into LabVIEW the application builder within a project. We know there are many other options, so would love to hear about what you have used and why they worked well for you, get in touch, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recently needed to create an installer for a project that included an installer for 3rd party hardware. We took the LabVIEW application builder approach (Application builder installer approach is simpler process for the customer, no need to install NI Package Manager) and incorporated it into our Azure Pipeline, but came across a problem due to the size of the 3rd party installer. Azure would not allow files larger than a few 10s of MB to be added to the repository, even with Git LFS. Also, we did not want our developers to have to sync such large files when working on the project.
To get around these issues, we did the following:
- Created a second repository to store the large 3rd party installer files away from the development repository.
- Created a vi to split the files into "chunk" files so Azure would accept them.
- Split the files into chunks and committed them to the repository (a bit tedious)
- Amended our pipeline to pull in both the development repository and the 3rd party installer repository if building a release.
- Updated our installer to place the chunk files in the appropriate place on installation
- Created a vi to rebuild and run the installer files in a post installation step.
- Created a post installation vi (and exe) to sequentially build each installer and give the user feedback on the process:
- And added this as a post installation step for the installer:
It did the job, but seems like a quick and dirty solution 😊wondering if there is a better way to get around this issue. Have you got experience you can share dealing with large 3rd party installers when building project installers? Let us know, just drop us a message on LinkedIn or email email@example.com.
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