NI LabVIEW Advisory Board Reveals Updated Instrument Driver Standards

6/2/2004 - To simplify development of certified LabVIEW instrument drivers, the National Instruments LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board released updated standards for the development of certified, plug-and-play LabVIEW instrument drivers. These standards address the latest technologies and LabVIEW features to help developers easily create quality instrument drivers with a consistent architecture, proper error handling and optimized performance.

The board updated the LabVIEW instrument driver standards to incorporate the latest NI-VISA instrument driver technology, USB capabilities and execution control functions now available in LabVIEW. In addition, they created an icon glossary that developers can use to easily integrate meaningful, consistent function palette icons into their drivers. This glossary speeds development of instrument drivers while making them easier to use.

“These new standards provide developers with a step-by-step checklist for creating plug-and-play LabVIEW instrument drivers and include tools and tips for streamlining the development process,” said Dennis Knutson, LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board member and senior software test development engineer at Carrier Access. “This is the first of many resources we are working on to simplify LabVIEW connectivity to thousands of instruments from hundreds of vendors.”

To further streamline LabVIEW instrument driver configuration and development, the LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board also is developing native LabVIEW instrument driver templates for common instruments and custom instrument driver controls. The templates provide developers with a framework for creating digital multimeter, oscilloscope and function generator drivers that comply with LabVIEW certification guidelines and encourage a standard structure for similar instruments. The custom instrument driver controls use Merge VI technology in LabVIEW to automatically include appropriate formatting and logic for common instrument driver functionality such as numeric, ring and Booleans controls. Both of these new tools will be available from the advisory board later this year.

For more information on the latest standards, guidelines and resources for effectively creating instrument drivers, readers can visit the NI Instrument Driver Network at The industry’s largest source for instrument drivers, the Instrument Driver Network features more than 3,000 instrument drivers from more than 170 vendors.

About the LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board
National Instruments established the LabVIEW Instrument Driver Advisory Board in November 2003 to guide the architectural and development standards of instrument connectivity and instrument drivers for NI LabVIEW users. The nine-company board, which includes Flextronics, Royal Philips Electronics and Rockwell Collins, supplies and interprets customer feedback to focus on usability, flexibility and performance of LabVIEW instrument drivers.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,100 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2003, the company sold products to more than 25,000 companies in 90 countries. For the past five years, FORTUNE magazine named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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