National Instruments unveils LabView 6.1

Austin, Tex. - To help users instantly enable web-based measurements, National Instruments (NI) launched LabView 6.1 on Jan. 15.


Austin, Tex. - To help users instantly enable web-based measurements, National Instruments (NI) launched LabView 6.1 on Jan. 15. This is latest release of NI's widely used graphical development environment for test, monitoring and control applications from the research lab to the plant floor.

LabView 6.1 builds on the web capabilities of LabView 6i by simplifying the creation of remote applications, as well as integrating the latest technologies for XML and wireless communications. As a result, LabView 6.1 makes it easier for engineers to control their applications in seconds from any commonly used web browser located anywhere.

In just two mouse clicks, engineers can instantly embed their application's front panel in a web browser, reducing the time and costs typically associated with developing remote applications. Using this feature, colleagues across an office or worldwide can connect to the same system to view an application in real-time, and engineers can easily control hardware from a separate office or from home, again increasing efficiency and reducing development costs.

'My client has an application that takes 12 hours to run. At the conclusion of the test, the operator makes minor changes and starts a new run,' says Allan Pakett, a consultant at AGP Engineering (San Diego, Calif.) and a LabView programmer since 1992. 'With the new remote panel feature in LabView 6.1, my client can control the application remotely, and change test parameters via a web browser at his home, which minimizes travel time and costs.'

Besides delivering new tools to maximize web-based advantages, NI reports that LabView 6.1 uses commercial technologies to expand networking capabilities. The newest version works seamlessly with Windows XP, delivering the operating system's increased networking features and enhanced stability. LabView 6.1 also includes wireless, infrared data communications protocols that allow users to create applications that communicate via wireless devices, such as PDAs. Engineers also can import and export XML-formatted data with LabView to rapidly integrate VIs with other web or database applications in their enterprises.

LabView 6.1 also expands on LabView 6i's existing measurement capabilities with features that further increase accuracy, efficiency and speed of measurement and analysis. LabView's new, patent-pending, point-by-point analysis libraries increase application performance, and enhance real-time response for engineers acquiring and processing data a single point at a time at relatively high speeds, such as in a closed-loop control application. NI adds that LabView 6.1 further includes functions that increase fast fourier transform (FFT) analysis speed by as much as 10 times over LabView 6i and as much as 100 times over LabView 5.1.

In addition, LabView 6.1 now takes advantage of event-driven programming to simplify the development of sophisticated user interfaces. With this new event structure, engineers can use the most efficient method for programming user interfaces, while retaining LabView's intuitive data flow development paradigm, which is best suited for measurement applications.

NI is also releasing the latest versions of LabView's Real-Time Module and its Datalogging and Supervisory Control Module. Using this integrated family of LabView products, engineers can easily build targeted applications for measurement, monitoring and control. The Real-Time Module extends LabView's graphical development to enable creation of deterministic, real-time applications. The newest Real-Time Module features improved networking bandwidth and enhanced real-time performance. The Datalogging and Supervisory Control Module is the ideal tool for distributed monitoring applications, and it now offers enhanced historical data management tools, in addition to built-in features for monitoring applications, such as automatic data logging, full alarm and event management, security, and real-time and historical trending.

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