NI LabView 8 debuts

Nov. 3, 2005
LabView creator National Instruments Corp., Austin, recently unveiled the eighth version of its premier software suite.

LabView's PDA module creates custom applications for use on personal digital assistants using Palm and Windows Mobile software as well as select Windows CE devices.

LabView Project streamlines application development and device management. Teams may now work collaboratively with system-file management and source-code control.

The datalogging and supervisory-control module (DSC) implements alarms, events, and user-level security. Data acquired is logged directly to SQL 92 and ODBC 2.5-compliant databases for enterprise level access using standard data-extraction tools.

LabView creator National Instruments Corp., Austin, recently unveiled the eighth version of its premier software suite. Well known for its graphical-user interface for test instruments, the latest version of LabView shifts its focus to manufacturing, distributed intelligence, and collaborative processes. Four new modules from NI cover datalogging and supervisory control, real-time applications, FPGAs, and PDA interfaces.

LabView DSC provides utilities for data logging, with real-time and historical trending, and supervisory control functions including alarm management. The module gets information from a wide range of data-acquisition products. An intuitive wizard provides guidance and suggestions to develop full data-logging applications. The software holds historical data in SQL 92 and ODBC 2.5-compliant formats, making it available to other applications with standard data-extraction tools. Programmable alarms and events can adjust system values, send e-mail to designated operators, or even shut down entire systems. A trends function lets operators compare current real-time data to historical data. The entire history of each I/O point rather than just a brief instant in time is accessible to system developers.

The Real-Time Module delivers deterministic, real-time performance from the LabView environment. Applications developed using it can be downloaded to independent hardware targets running a real-time OS or deployed to distributed, stand-alone, autonomous, or embedded systems. RTOS applications work with analog and digital I/O, counters, CANbus, GPIB, serial communications, vision, and motion systems.

An FPGA module extends LabView to field-programmable gate arrays on RIO hardware. The combination lets developers generate and prototype FPGA code and download that code to embedded applications.

A PDA module lets LabView run with handheld devices. Applications developed under the PDA module run on Palm, Windows Mobile, and select Windows CE devices. The module lets designers display and control data on personalcomputing devices by providing links to transmit data via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (802.11), or SMS text-messaging services.

For large projects with teams of programmers, LabView Project adds system-file management, source-code control integration, and code-management utilities. In addition, Project adds test-specific features for hardware such as real-time target configurations, virtual channel definitions, and remote code deployment and management tools.

An instrument-driver finder searches more than 4,000 instrument drivers in NI's instrument driver network. With the proper driver located, the finder downloads, installs, and configures it for operation. An Instrument Driver Project Wizard helps developers generate programming interfaces for common instrument types where drivers do not yet exist. Driver and source code are based on the standard SCPI protocol.

National Instruments Corp.
, (800) 813-3693,

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