Archive for the ‘labview_2014’ Category

In every LabVIEW release, the LabVIEW team works to address pain points and areas of confusion in LabVIEW. One change you might have missed in LabVIEW 2014 is improving the handling of default values in type definitions. Type definitions allow you to save a custom control so that it can be reused in multiple places in an application. When changes are made to the type definition, all instances of the control will automatically update to reflect those changes. In addition to data representation and appearance, type definitions also keep track of a set of default values.

LabVIEW 2013 and previous versions of LabVIEW were inconsistent in what happened to the default value of an instance when changes were made to its type definition – sometimes the default value of an instance was overwritten and sometimes it was preserved.

In LabVIEW 2014, in most cases the default values of each instance of a type definition are automatically preserved. When an instance can’t be automatically updated (for example, when a type-defined string control is changed to an enum), LabVIEW breaks the VI and dims the instance so you can right click on the element and open the new “Review and Update from Type Def.” dialog box. This will allow you to make sure you don’t lose track of a default value you have already customized.



Hopefully this new dialog and behavior will help you keep track of the default values in your type-defined instances and avoid a potentially frustrating debugging situation.

>> Learn more about new features and changes in LabVIEW 2014.

LabVIEW users, there’s a keyboard shortcut that might help you with object movement.  By holding down Shift while dragging any object, you can resize objects proportionally in both directions. This resize shortcut allows users to keep the original height and width ratio of the object. If you want to keep an object centered and circular, hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys while dragging the object. And yes, this also includes objects on the block diagram.



>> Get more LabVIEW tips.

You spoke. We listened. This August, we introduced a new LabVIEW offering designed to directly address your feedback about our portfolio. The new LabVIEW Suites feature LabVIEW and NI's most popular application software and add-ons to help you build your system with confidence. Each LabVIEW Suite is customized for an application area and designed to make you successful.

The suites include related NI device drivers and are shipped on USB 3.0 media to speed up your installation. When you combine our new USB 3.0 media with a solid state hard drive, you can install a LabVIEW suite and all the relevant drivers in under twenty minutes.



The LabVIEW Automated Test Suite offers the power of LabVIEW combined with the ready-to-run, customizable test executive, NI TestStand, and the intelligent switch management and routing application, NI Switch Executive.

The LabVIEW Embedded Control and Monitoring Suite features LabVIEW and the recommended add-ons specifically for building embedded control and monitoring systems on NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) hardware. The LabVIEW FPGA Module extends the LabVIEW graphical development platform to target FPGAs on NI RIO hardware, and the LabVIEW Real-Time Module builds on LabVIEW to deliver a programming environment for creating reliable, deterministic, and stand-alone embedded systems.

The LabVIEW HIL and Real-Time Test Suite combines LabVIEW with NI VeriStand, a configuration-based software environment for efficiently creating real-time testing applications. It also includes the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation, LabVIEW Real-Time, and LabVIEW FPGA modules.

>> Learn more about the new LabVIEW Suites.

We’re excited to announce LabVIEW 2014, the latest version of our graphical system design software. It features system upgrades to help users acquire, analyze, and visualize data to enhance decision-making.


LabVIEW 2014 also simplifies purchasing through the LabVIEW suites, which offer relevant, essential LabVIEW add-ons and complementary software specific to automated test, embedded control and monitoring, and hardware-in-the-loop and real-time test.



“Using LabVIEW and CompactRIO hardware from NI enabled one of the largest municipal distribution utilities in North America to implement decentralized and distributed solutions at lower deployment costs with reduced risk and time to market,” said Bob Leigh, president and CEO of LocalGrid Technologies.


LabVIEW 2014 includes new capabilities such as:

  • DataFinder Federation technology—Users can intuitively search data on a local drive, network, or around the world
  • New built-in algorithms—Users can enjoy richer deployment of analysis including .m files to NI Linux Real-Time and vision functions to FPGAs
  • Data Dashboard for LabVIEW—Users can easily and securely create mobile interfaces to visualize acquired data and make informed decisions on-the-go without the expertise of a mobile developer

>> See what else is new in LabVIEW 2014.

With NIWeek less than one month away, you’re probably eager to learn how LabVIEW 2014 will make your life better as a LabVIEW developer. Here’s a preview of three new features of LabVIEW 2014.

1. New Icon

At NI, we’re committed to making LabVIEW as visually intuitive as possible. As LabVIEW has improved over the years, it has become increasingly common for developers to have multiple versions of LabVIEW installed on one machine. To prevent confusion and make the LabVIEW version more transparent, we’ve created a beautiful new taskbar icon. In addition to making your taskbar look great, it will also help you keep track of which LabVIEW is which.




2. Guided Error Debugging

LabVIEW is designed to accelerate the rapid iterations that are part of the engineering process. Error dialogs are one way that underlying problems are exposed to the developer so they can be addressed. When you see an error dialog, what is the first thing you want to do?



You want to search for more information to explain what is happening and learn how to fix it. That’s why in LabVIEW 2014, every error dialog will include a link to search for the error code to uncover KnowledgeBase articles and forum threads that can help you finish your program even faster.




3. Auto-Wire Quick Drop Shortcut

The only thing more fun than wiring a block diagram is letting LabVIEW do it for you.

As we mentioned last November, the World's Fastest LabVIEW Programmer Darren Nattinger created a Quick Drop shortcut that allows LabVIEW to automatically connect references and error clusters between functions in a way that makes sense.


To save you development time, this functionality is included in LabVIEW 2014. You'll find it especially useful with standardized APIs like DAQmx - watch out, express VIs!



These three features are just a small sample of how LabVIEW 2014 will improve your development experience. To be ready to download and install LabVIEW 2014 as soon as it releases, be sure to renew your membership to the Standard Service Program (SSP) so that you can have immediate download access to LabVIEW 2014 when it releases on August 2.

Your assignment: Write a UI that controls multiple separate pieces of hardware. Users will click buttons to start ongoing processes on the various hardware targets. The UI needs to display ongoing status updates from the hardware as it works. The UI must also be able to interrupt the current task to send new instructions. New hardware may be added dynamically. An emergency stop button needs to quickly shut down the whole system. Make it fault tolerant, free of race conditions, and easy to document.


Many LabVIEW users with multiple parallel test benches or complex industrial control systems must complete that assignment. LabVIEW is up to the challenge, but it is not an easy challenge in any language. The Actor Framework, first included with LabVIEW 2012, aims to make a really hard problem merely difficult. The Actor Framework template projects in LabVIEW 2013 aim to give even a novice a roadmap, somewhat long, to fulfilling the assignment.


The Actor Framework was designed with lots of feedback from LabVIEW users. It takes the general idea of parallel queued message handlers (QMH) and hides all the implementation details, reducing the interface down to this idea: Write a LabVIEW class that defines your actor and all the operations it can do, then launch a VI that manages an instance of that actor class and talk to/from the actor by sending messages (defined by additional classes) via a pair of priority queues.




The framework handles queue shutdown order, checks for message type safety and encourages an architecture that avoids common deadlocks and race conditions. It lets you reuse more code than typical QMH setups.


In LabVIEW 2013, create a new project using the Actor Framework template and read the documentation in your new project to learn how the Actor Framework works. Like all templates, use the Bookmark Manager (View >> Bookmark Manager) to find all instances of #CodeNeeded and #CodeRecommended to fill in the template. With patience, you can join the ranks of the many programmers who have used AF to conquer this difficult challenge.


It’s not a silver bullet. It’s a tool to make a hard job manageable. The framework continues to evolve through community participation. In LabVIEW 2014, look for small changes aimed specifically at making the Actor Framework even easier to learn.


If you have questions or wish to share your story of massively parallel development, find the community online at

The LabVIEW 2014 beta program is now live! Join the beta program today to test out the new features and functionality coming in LabVIEW 2014. By providing feedback directly to LabVIEW R&D through a private forum, you’ll help the entire LabVIEW community of developers. Go to and choose LabVIEW 2014 from the menu of beta programs to join.




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