One of the greatest advantages of USB compared to other buses is its support of plug-and-play connectivity. Using tools such as the NI Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX), USBTMC instruments are automatically detected and configured for the system. Unlike Ethernet/LAN, there is no need to enter IP addresses or hassle with company firewalls to connect to your instrumentation.
USB plug-and-play connectivity also has led to the development of interactive tools that can instantly load when you connect a USB instrument. One example is the National Instruments SignalExpress Tektronix Edition. Immediately after you connect a compatible Tektronix instrument to the PC via USB, the PC detects the connected instrument and shows an autoplay dialog. With a single mouse click, NI SignalExpress Tektronix Edition connects to the instrument, begins displaying live data acquisition, and provides remote instrument control.
Figure 2. Windows XP automatically detects specific USBTMC Tektronix instrumentation, which NI SignalExpress Tektronix Edition can then control.