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You might need to access external APIs from within LabVIEW code. Most often, you access external APIs to obtain functionality that the operating system provides. Normally, you can use the LabVIEW Call Library Function Node to accomplish this goal. You must provide the following information to the Call Library Function Node to access external APIs from within LabVIEW code:
|Caution Do not specify the location of a system shared library, such as kernel32.dll, by path. Because LabVIEW automatically includes by-path shared libraries in build specifications, you might distribute a system shared library to another computer inadvertently. Redistributing some shared libraries, such as kernel32.dll, might cause the target computer to crash. Therefore, always specify system shared libraries by name.|
The function reference documentation for any API should provide most of the information that the Call Library Function Node requires. However, you should keep in mind the common errors listed in this section.
|Note Configure the Call Library Function Node to return an error when some of the pitfalls described below occur by selecting the Maximum or Default control on the Error Checking tab of the Call Library Function dialog box.|
Your library call can fail when the name of the function as it appears in the library is different than is expected. Usually this error occurs due to function name redefinition, or to function name decoration, as in the following examples:
Your library call can fail when you do not use the correct data types. LabVIEW only supports basic numeric data types and C strings. Also, you can select Adapt to Type from the Type pull-down menu of the Call Library Function dialog box and direct LabVIEW to pass its own internal data types for a given parameter. You might encounter the following specific problems:
(Windows) Refer to the labview\examples\Connectivity\Libraries and Executables\Libraries and Executables.lvproj for an example of using data types in shared libraries.
Your library call can fail when your external code uses identifiers in place of constants. Many APIs define identifiers for constants to make the code easier to read. LabVIEW must receive the actual value of the constant rather than the identifier that a particular API uses. Constants are usually numeric, but they might also be strings or other values. To identify all constants, inspect the header file for the API to find the definitions. The definition might either be in #define statements or in enumerations, which use the enum keyword.
Your library call can fail when certain operating systems use calling conventions other than the C calling convention and the Standard (__stdcall) calling convention. The calling convention defines how data is passed to a function and how clean up occurs after the function call is complete. The documentation for the API should say which calling convention(s) you must use. The Standard (__stdcall) calling convention is also known as the WINAPI convention, or the Pascal convention.
Use of calling conventions other than the C or Standard calling conventions frequently causes the failure of library calls in LabVIEW because those other calling conventions use an incompatible method for maintaining the stack.