Introduction to Virtual Instruments

LabVIEW 2013 Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 371361K-01

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LabVIEW programs are called virtual instruments, or VIs, because their appearance and operation imitate physical instruments, such as oscilloscopes and multimeters. Every VI uses functions that manipulate input from the user interface or other sources and display that information or move it to other files or other computers.

A VI contains the following three components:

  • Front panel—Serves as the user interface.
  • Block diagram—Contains the graphical source code that defines the functionality of the VI.
  • Icon and connector pane—Identifies the interface to the VI so that you can use the VI in another VI. A VI within another VI is called a subVI. A subVI corresponds to a subroutine in text-based programming languages.


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