Introduction to Section 5

In the first instance this section will only cover how to distribute (sell) your product using a manual method. This is because you need to create a License ID and Password to submit your toolkit to the LVTN.

This section basically closes the loop on the “basic” process of creating and distributing an Add-On. It will be updated to include other methods at a later stage.


What is Meant by Distribution

As mentioned in Section 3, your product is “physically” distributed as a VI Package and will include a free trial period so that the end user can see if the product fits their needs.

After the free trial period has expired, the user will need to activate the product in some way if they wish to carry on using it.

If you have ever installed an application that you had to pay for then you will be familiar with at least one method of activating a product. Mostly is consists of entering a series of numbers and letters that is then verified somewhere and — if valid — allows you to use the software.

Activating an Add-On for LabVIEW works in exactly the same way. You need to provide a License ID and Password to your customer in order for them to activate the product. The License ID and Password are alphanumeric values, both 8 characters long and are automatically generated. [1]


Distributing the Activation Codes

There are several ways of generating the License ID and Password required for activating your product. For now, only the 2 methods relevant to a basic product are described as these are both required for submittal to the LVTN.


Add Single License

When you sell a copy of your program you will need to provide a single License ID and Password. The simplest and cheapest way to do this is to generate them manually in SOLO.

To do this simply follow these steps:

1 Log in to SOLO or create a new SOLO account

2 Select ‘Customers’ from the main menu and then select ‘Add a New Customer’



3 In the new window complete as many fields as you require, or that you have the information for. At the very minimum you should enter a Company Name and an email address. Make sure ‘Enabled’ is selected and then click ‘Save’.

4 The following screen should look something like this:



5 Click ‘Add License’ on the right hand side.

6 On the resulting screen select the product you wish to generate a license for. If you have more than one Option for a single product be sure to select the correct one.

7 At this point you will not have an eCommerce system set up, so click ‘Add new Prepaid License’ at the bottom of the screen. This assumes that you have received payment via some other method so you do not need to enter the built in eCommerce functionality of SOLO.



8 The next screen can be used for bookkeeping/admin information, but none of the fields are required. If you do not wish to change anything then click ‘Submit’ at the bottom.

9 When the License ID and Password have been generated you are returned to the ‘Customer Details’ window, but notice that there is now a license for the product added to the customer profile



10 Click on the license name (under ‘Details’) and this will open the properties of the license you have just generated.

11 This window shows the License ID and Activation Password that you need to send to your customer in order for them to activate the product.



In this window you can also add extra activations to this particular license, this can be done simply by clicking the ‘+’ button next to the ‘Activations Left’ on the right hand side.

Although this may seem like a lot of steps, once you have done it once it becomes a very quick process.

When you submit your product to the LVTN you will need to provide a License ID and Password, using this method is by far the easiest way to do this.


Add Multiple Licenses

If you choose to sell your product on the LVTN then you will need to generate a batch of License ID and Password pairs. This is so that when NI sell a copy of your product they can directly give the customer the required codes.

If your product is something that can be usefully demonstrated by NI sales guys then they may also use these codes to license a copy on their machine.


To create multiple licenses select ‘Customers’ form the main menu bar and then select ‘Add Multiple Licenses’ from the menu:



Select your product from the drop down menu and enter the number of licenses you wish to generate. The ‘Unit Price’ field is also required, but not really relevant.

The LVTN recommends generating 50 pairs of License ID and Password combinations.



One the next page you can verify that all the information is correct, and then click ‘Create Licenses’.

Once the codes are generated, you can select your required format (Text, CSV or XML) and copy/paste them into what ever program you require.


Important Information

If you are using SOLO then make sure you are on the correct plan. You want to be on the plan where there is no charge for generating the codes, and a charge is applied when they are activated. The other plan is the opposite way around, so generating the 50 codes will cost you, regardless of if they are ever activated. You can see which plan you are on by going to the Home screen in SOLO and looking under ‘Plan & Billing Information’.

When you create multiple licenses be sure to either keep the generated codes secure, or simply not store them at all. Keep in mind that if you generate 50 licenses and your product is for sale at $1000, then that is potentially $50k you could lose.


[1] If using the SOLO server


He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

– Chinese Proverb