When you use a PC to automate a test system, you are not limited to the type of instrument you can control. You can mix and match instruments from various categories. The most common categories of instrument interfaces are GPIB, serial, and modular instruments. Additional types of instruments include image acquisition, motion control, USB, Ethernet, parallel port, NI-CAN, and other devices.
When you use PCs to control instruments, you need to understand properties of the instrument, such as the communication protocols to use. Refer to the instrument documentation for information about the properties of an instrument.