LabVIEW ? Did you say LabVIEW ?!

NI LabVIEW, to give a first vision, is a tool that allows to realise software oriented on testing and measuring. It has multiple functionalities, can easily control multiple acquisition cards and instruments, filter and analyse signals, present and save data.


To be precise, the complete name is NI LabVIEW, the contraction of Laboratory Instrument Engineering Workbench, and it is an Integer Development Environment (Environnement de Développement Intégré) named EDI. This is a software to create application, that regroups all development tools that allow you to :

  • Create source code in a language named G to Graphic ;
  • Allow the source code compilation in computer code ;
  • Debug the code thanks to advances tools ;
  • Generate a binary format executable ;

NI LabVIEW is a complete, graphic, and compiled development environment, especially adapted for measurement and acquisition. His appearance is totally graphic, making it intuitive and flexible. Compared to textual language, it offers the same programming power without abstract aspects or complex syntax.

NI LabVIEW is one of the first graphic programming languages for instrument application developments. An instrumentation software could be defined as a program to control, from a computer, a system ranging from the sensor to the acquisition or control chain until the final report. The users have, with NI LabVIEW, a powerful acquisition, analysis, and data presentation tools, a solution to productivity similar to the introduction of spreadsheets in financial software. For that, the language uses his convivial and actual interface appearance to provide some items graphically similar to real items (lights, cursors, switches, buttons, graphs, etc.), but also system commands (for a more standard representation) and simple and familiar tools to code (program structures, arithmetic functions, logic functions, comparators, etc.).

The code is represented by a scheme composed of functions, structures, and wires that circulate data. The visual between the code and the development differs from the form and the philosophy of the textual language, as the C. LabVIEW has nothing to envy about the other languages.

One of the fundamental differences of LabVIEW (compared to the basic languages) is that it follows a model of data stream and not a model of instruction flow. This means that for the textual languages, the instructions are priority, but with LabVIEW, the data are priority. A function will be executed when all the necessary inputs are given. When a classical language is so sequential, LabVIEW is naturally predisposed to parallelism. That improves his power and execution speed.

To illustrate our points, the window just below contains the source code of an application named the diagram.


A program or VI, developed in the LabVIEW environment, is composed of two closely linked elements and renamed «» (the extension .vi allows immediate recognition in the LabVIEW environment). So we go :

· The « front panel » which is the program user interface : define accessible enters and exits data by the program user.


Example of a « front panel » realised with LabVIEW (application developed by Mesulog)

The « diagram » that is the application or source code programme. It takes in the form of a data stream diagram in G language : combine icons and links between used icons. This application part is named source code in opposition to the user interface.


This language is aimed at all engineers and technicians who desire to develop a measurement, test, supervision, or control user interface application. But more generally, to all developers who desire to use an intuitive, powerful language and is open to software engineering.

LabVIEW Developer's Ten Commandments


The LabVIEW developer must follow the command synthesis below to be sure the code is compliant with development rules.

1. On one screen your code will hold.
2. From left to right you will code.
3. The wires you will not cross.
4. Manage the errors you will not transgress.
5. The 4x4 connector you will always use.
6. The control, indicator and sub-VI judicious you will appoint.

7. The data flow you shall respect.
8. Your code always and immediately you will document.
9. You will make sub-VIs.
10. The stacked sequence structure you will refuse.

Contact a certified partner of the « Alliance Program »

For expertise, a specific need or to subcontract a development, you can make a call to « NI partners » (National Instruments) of the Alliance Program.

Mesulog is a partner of NI (Ex-National Instruments - Emerson), a member of the Alliance Program.

As a partner, we received, after an evaluation, a certification of our competence in programming and general knowledge of NI LabVIEW. The partner list is enabled on the National Instrument's website. You will have access to professionals with Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) levels.

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