Plug and Play Instrument Drivers

TestStand 2019 Help

Edition Date: May 2019

Part Number: 370052AA-01

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Plug and Play drivers simplify controlling and communicating with the instrument through a standard, straightforward programming model for all drivers. Plug and Play drivers exist for LabVIEW and LabWindows/CVI.

Using Plug and Play Drivers with LabVIEW

A LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument driver is a set of VIs. Each VI corresponds to a programmatic operation for the instrument. National Instruments distributes LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers with the block diagram source code so you can customize the VIs. You can create instrument control applications and systems by programmatically linking instrument driver VIs on the block diagram. LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers usually use Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA) functions to communicate with instruments.

In TestStand, you can call VIs that use LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers. When you return a VISA reference to TestStand and later pass the reference to a different VI code module that uses the same instrument driver, store the reference in a TestStand LabVIEWIOReference variable. You can also use the LabVIEW Adapter to directly call VIs in an instrument driver.

Using Plug and Play Drivers with LabWindows/CVI

A LabWindows/CVI Plug and Play instrument driver is a set of ANSI C software routines exported from a DLL. You can call these instrument drivers from any development environment that supports calls into DLLs. You can also use a LabWindows/CVI instrument driver in LabVIEW when you convert the instrument driver using the Create VI Interface to CVI Instrument Driver tool available from the Instrument Driver Network at ni.com/idnet. LabWindows/CVI Plug and Play instrument drivers are based on the VXI plug & play standard architecture and usually use VISA functions to communicate with instruments.

In TestStand, you can call code modules that use LabWindows/CVI Plug and Play instrument drivers. When you return a C-based reference to TestStand and later pass the reference to a different code module that uses the same instrument driver, store the reference in a TestStand numeric variable. You can also use the LabWindows/CVI or C/C++ DLL Adapter to directly call the functions in an instrument driver.

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