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NI-VISA Licensing: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freely distribute NI-VISA with my source code?
You do not have the right to distribute NI-VISA with source code distributions. This applies to instrument drivers, toolkits, example programs, and other applications distributed in source code. In the case of source code distribution, you can either purchase NI-VISA Deployment Licenses for the recipients of your software or leave it up to those recipients to obtain a valid deployment license of NI-VISA.

What licensing rights do I have with 3rd party hardware?
NI-VISA uses a plug-in model to support bus communication. Some 3rd party companies have developed such plug-ins to support their controller hardware or their custom communication protocols (e.g., proprietary protocol for Ethernet communication). If you are using such a plug-in, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid NI-VISA license (same licensing rules apply). In some cases you may obtain such a license from the 3rd party company directly if they have an OEM agreement with National Instruments.

How can I upgrade an existing development versions of NI-VISA?
If you have a legally licensed copy of NI-VISA that was installed through another NI hardware or software product or purchased separately, you may upgrade to the latest version of NI-VISA for development purposes only by downloading it from

What version of NI-VISA do I have the right to use for deployment?
If you purchase a license to deploy NI-VISA, you only have the right to distribute the same version of NI-VISA that was originally used for application development. If in the future you would like to distribute a newer version of NI-VISA, a new deployment license needs to be purchased. If your deployment license for NI-VISA was included through the use of other NI hardware or software, you may upgrade NI-VISA at any time so long as the NI hardware or software is still in use.

Can I use NI-VISA with the LabVIEW Student Edition?
Students using the LabVIEW SE can use NI-VISA to develop applications however they may not distribute NI-VISA if they share those applications with others.

How can I get OEM pricing for large quantities of NI-VISA?
For NI-VISA OEM pricing, terms, and conditions, both for application development and deployment, please contact your local NI sales representative.