Components of a Project

NI VeriStand 2018 Help

Edition Date: May 2018

Part Number: 372846M-01

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At minimum, an NI VeriStand project consists of the following files that you use to configure, deploy, and interact with your system:

  • One project file (.nivsproj)
  • One system definition file (.nivssdf)
  • One screen file (.nivsscr or .nivsscreen)

The following illustration and sections describe the roles and locations of these files and major components of an NI VeriStand project. Some components operate internally in the system when you run a project. Other components are user-visible features you create and configure in the NI VeriStand environment.

Note  Other components not pictured are described in the sections after this illustration.

Note  The host computer and target can be the same desktop PC. In this situation, you deploy a system definition file to host desktop PC like you would deploy the file to a remote target.

Host Computer

A host computer hosts the screen files that serve as the user interface for operators. This computer also runs the VeriStand Gateway. The host computer must be a PC running a supported version of Windows.

Internal Features

  • VeriStand Gateway—Creates a TCP/IP communication channel that facilitates communication with the VeriStand Engine over the network. The VeriStand Gateway receives channel values from the VeriStand Engine and stores them in a table. You can view these values using the Channel Data Viewer tab in UI Manager or the Channel Data Viewer workspace tool.

    If you run a project on a desktop PC, the VeriStand Gateway initiates the VeriStand Engine. If you run a project on an RT target, the VeriStand Gateway synchronizes with the system definition file that is running on the RT target. If the system definition file currently running on the VeriStand Engine does not match the system definition file that the VeriStand Gateway expects, then the VeriStand Gateway does not synchronize with the system definition file running on the RT target.

Features You Interact With

  • Project File—The .nivsproj file that defines high-level settings, such as:
    • The screen and system definition files to run
    • Available users and their permissions for the project
    • The list of tools you can launch from the Tools menu of the Workspace window
    • Which services run when you deploy a project to the target
    • The IP address of the VeriStand Gateway
    • Stimulus profiles and real-time sequences
  • Screen File—The .nivsscr or .nivsscreen files that define the configuration and settings for the screens and display items you view in the UI Manager or Workspace window, respectively.
  • Stimulus profile—A test executive that can call real-time sequences, open and close NI VeriStand projects, and perform data-logging and pass/fail analysis. It also connects real-time sequences to system definition files to bind channel data within the system definition file to variables in the real-time sequence. Stimulus profiles execute on the host computer. You create and run a stimulus profile using the Stimulus Profile Editor.
  • National Instruments Driver Software—You need the appropriate National Instruments driver software to communicate with hardware installed on a target. For a list of the required driver software, see the NI VeriStand Readme located at <Program Files>\National Instruments\NI VeriStand\readme\readme.html. If you installed NI VeriStand to a different location, locate the readme directory in the install location you specified.

Deployment Target

The target in an NI VeriStand system is a desktop PC or RT target on which you run the system definition file and VeriStand Engine.

Internal Features

VeriStand Engine—The non-visible execution mechanism that controls the timing of the entire system as well as the communication between the target and the host computer. The VeriStand Engine consists of multiple timed loops that use RT FIFOs to transfer data between the loops.

Note  To deploy a system definition file to an RT target, you must first download support files for NI VeriStand to the target.

Features You Interact With

  • System Definition File—The .nivssdf file you configure in the System Explorer window. A system definition file contains the configuration settings of the VeriStand Engine, including:

    • The rate at which the system runs.
    • DAQ devices, NI-XNET devices, FPGA targets, or reflective memory devices and the task and channel configurations for each.
    • Simulation models to execute, and the rate at which they execute.
    • The list of active alarms. You can use alarms to trigger actions on the target, such as procedures, or to display dialog boxes that alert the user of an event.
    • The list of procedures that can execute on the target. A procedure is a script of commands that define a set of actions in the VeriStand Engine.
    • The list of channels for data objects in the system. Channel types include:
      • Hardware I/O channels (DAQ, FPGA, etc.)
      • Model channels (inputs, outputs, parameters, signals)
      • User channels (used to store or map user-defined values in the system)
      • Calculated channels (channels that represent the result of a user-defined calculation of other channels in the system)
    • The system mappings that determine how channels are connected.
  • Model—A mathematical representation of a real-world system. A model responds to stimuli by producing outputs in a way that emulates the behavior of the modeled item. Models contain inputs and outputs, called inports and outports, that communicate with other parts of the control system.

    You can build models using several different modeling environments, and then integrate the model into a system definition file.

Development Computer

The computer on which you develop an NI VeriStand project might be different from the host computer in the system. The development computer contains the NI VeriStand software. To extend the functionality of NI VeriStand, you might also use the following NI products on the development computer:

  • LabVIEW Development System—If you want to create custom devices, workspace controls/indicators, timing devices, and/or Tools menu utilities, you need the LabVIEW Development System.
  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module—You need this module to use RT functions in custom device VIs.
  • LabVIEW FPGA Module—If you add a National Instruments FPGA target to a project, it must have an associated FPGA bitfile. NI VeriStand provides FPGA bitfiles for certain FPGA devices. If you want to customize these FPGA bitfiles or create a custom FPGA bitfile for another FPGA target, you need the FPGA Module.


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