Am I Qualified to Create a Custom Device?

NI VeriStand 2018 Help

Edition Date: May 2018

Part Number: 372846M-01

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Parent Topic: Creating Custom Devices

Note  This topic is part of the Process for Developing a Custom Device, and it assumes familiarity with that process and the Creating Custom Devices introduction.

Creating a custom device requires specific knowledge and skills. Before beginning a custom device, National Instruments recommends any custom device developer has experience in all the following specialized areas.

LabVIEW Application Development

To develop a custom device, you must possess a thorough understanding of LabVIEW programming and application architectures. NI recommends a NI Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) level of expertise before beginning development of a custom device. You can learn more about this certification and the skills required to earn it on NI Training and Certification at ni.com/training.

LabVIEW Real-Time Application Development

As custom devices execute within real-time systems, you must be familiar with programming for real-time operating systems (RTOS) and specialized LabVIEW development techniques for developing real-time applications. You can gain this knowledge through the Real-Time Application Development course offered by National Instruments.

NI VeriStand Background

To develop a custom device, you must also fully understand the NI VeriStand Engine. For example, you cannot select the correct type of custom device in the Custom Device Template Tool without understanding the different ways in which each one operates within the NI VeriStand Engine. For more information about this course, visit the NI Training and Certification at ni.com/training.

Related Links

Understanding the NI VeriStand Engine

Considerations for Hardware Custom Devices

Before you begin developing a custom device to interact with unsupported or third-party hardware, National Instruments recommends you evaluate the availability of device drivers and APIs, as well as the data requirements of the device itself. To support third-party hardware, a custom device must call a hardware or instrument driver. If a hardware or instrument driver does not exist, you will need to either create the driver yourself or ask the vendor for that device for a driver. Answering the following questions can help you determine whether a custom device is feasible for a specific hardware device:

  • Does a LabVIEW instrument driver exist for the device?
    Tip  You can search for instrument drivers on the Instrument Driver Network and NI Hardware Drivers pages at ni.com/downloads/instrument-drivers and ni.com/downloads/ni-drivers, respectively.
  • Is a hardware driver/API available for the device? If so, is it well-documented and easy to use?
  • If necessary, is the hardware driver executable in LabVIEW Real-Time Module? Refer to the National Instruments website for more information about testing DLLs for real-time support.
  • Can you meet the hardware requirements by passing LabVIEW 64-bit double-precision floating point numbers to and from the custom device during steady state operation? If the hardware driver returns a vector, structure, or any non-DBL data, you cannot pass the data directly from the custom device to the rest of the NI VeriStand system. You must coerce the data or design an alternative communication mechanism to pass data from the custom device to the rest of the system.

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