UEI OOP Driver Creates Identical Code for Plug-in Cards, DAQ Devices

12/22/2004 - Programming data-acq hardware from UEI has never been easier thanks to a complete rewrite of the drivers for the PowerDAQ PCI and PXI cards as well as the Ethernet-based PowerDNA distributed networked automation system. Based on object-oriented programming (OOP) techniques, the UEIDAQ Framework library uses the same API to access any devices from the PowerDAQ and PowerDNA families. Further, the new library dramatically cuts the amount of code needed to perform data-acq and control tasks. The UEIDAQ Framework library comes with bindings for all major programming languages and test-programming environments including C, C++, C#, VB.NET as well as LabVIEW and Matlab.

"We are extremely proud of our developers' efforts in creating this library," remarks Shaun Miller, president of UEI. "In most conventional libraries, acquiring just one scan of data takes roughly a dozen function calls. Now, with the UEIDAQ Framework library, users can perform the same task with just two or three function calls or a single LabVIEW VI.

"Even better," Miller elaborates, "the new driver gives programmers hardware independence. Engineers can develop applications using our high-performance plug-in cards, and if they later determine that they would like to place DAQ hardware directly at sensors distributed around a factory or test bed, they can adapt the same program to run on our Ethernet-based PowerDNA networked system with almost no changes." Users simply change a resource string to indicate that the API should place calls to different hardware.

In addition, it's not necessary to have hardware installed to start developing applications. When programmers run the installer, it adds a simulation hardware device that reacts to the driver as would actual hardware. Then, when it's time to run it on an actual device, programmers simply modify the resource string. An example would be:

pwrdaq://Dev1/ai0:7 (analog-input channels 0 to 7 on PowerDAQ board #1).

Programmers then configure any further programming details in a session object, which aggregates objects describing the state and settings of the data-acq device and contains methods to control the device. This approach means that programmers must no longer deal with passing parameters to multiple function calls. Not only will users create applications more quickly, they will do so with far fewer syntax errors.

Price and Availability
The UEIDAQ Framework library is part of the Software Suite that ships with every PowerDAQ card or PowerDNA unit at no charge. The driver is also available for downloading on the UEI website (www.ueidaq.com/download). For more information about this or any other UEI hardware and software products, users can go to www.ueidaq.com or call 781-821-2890.

About United Electronic Industries, Inc
Known as "The High-Performance Alternative," UEI (Canton, MA, www.ueidaq.com) is a supplier of leading-edge PowerDAQ PCI- and PXI-based data acquisition cards, the PowerDNA Ethernet-based distributed data-acquisition and automation system, signal-conditioning accessories and software. In particular, it has emerged as a market leader in the field of hard realtime data acquisition on PCs through its support of realtime Linux implementations and commercial RTOSs. A proprietary protocol on the PowerDNA Cube gives Ethernet-based I/O systems true realtime performance, but the system also runs with conventional Ethernet protocols, as well. Among the firm's major markets are sophisticated production test systems, process monitoring and control as well as research/development.

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