What Is Measurement Studio?

Publish Date: Jan 16, 2013 | 88 Ratings | 2.42 out of 5 |  PDF

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# 
  3. ASP.NET Web Development
  4. Development Tools
  5. Data Acquisition and Instrument Control
  6. Data Analysis
  7. Presentation
  8. NI Measurement Studio for Legacy Environments/Languages

1. Overview

National Instruments Measurement Studio is an integrated suite of tools and class libraries created specifically for .NET programmers. NI Measurement Studio is designed for engineers and scientists building test, measurement, and control applications using Visual Studio 2005/2008/2010. NI Measurement Studio increases developer productivity by extending the Microsoft .NET Framework and provides measurement and automation classes as well as Windows Forms and Web Forms controls for Visual Basic .NET and Visual C#. 

Building on more than 20 years of measurement programming expertise, National Instruments created Measurement Studio with tools designed specifically for Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# to bring you simplified integration with data acquisition and instrument control interfaces.  Additionally, Measurement Studio includes advanced analysis libraries, measurement data networking, wizards, and interactive code designers for test and measurement application design. With Measurement Studio, you use your Visual Studio programming knowledge to quickly create and deploy a complete measurement solution.

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2. Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# 

Measurement Studio provides a collection of managed .NET controls tightly integrated within the Visual Studio .NET environment that are designed specifically for engineers and scientists building virtual instrumentation systems. With Measurement Studio, you can configure plug-in data acquisition devices, GPIB instruments, and serial devices from interactive wizards that also generate Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# source code. With scientific user interface controls for Web and Windows Forms, you can interactively configure user interface controls from property pages or collection editors. In addition, Measurement Studio network variable and TDMS functionality deliver powerful networking components so you can easily share live measurement data between client applications on a network.

See Also:
Measurement Studio for Visual C# .NET Home Page
Measurement Studio for Visual Basic .NET Home Page

 

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3. ASP.NET Web Development

Measurement Studio provides a suite of ASP.NET Web controls designed specifically for use in Visual Studio, including the waveform graph, scatter graph, digital graph, complex graph, legend, LED, slide, meter, gauge, knob, numeric edit, tank, switch, and thermometer controls. These controls, which are compatible with Microsoft ASP .NET AJAX technology,  enable you to create interactive and dynamic Web pages, ideal for remote monitoring and control applications. Measurement Studio also includes an autorefresh control to automatically update the values of your Web controls. Since ASP.NET does not require any runtime engines on Web clients, your Web pages can be displayed from any browser or operating system.

See Also:
View the ASP.NET Demonstration Gallery

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4. Development Tools

Efficient Development

With shorter project development time and diverse developer skills, you often do not have time to train your team to learn a new development language. Measurement Studio provides the tools in one package to take advantage of existing programming knowledge and to target the language you know. Regardless of the language you choose, Visual Basic .NET or Visual C#, Measurement Studio provides the reusable tools to make your programming tasks easier.

Extensible Components and Classes

The architecture of off-the-shelf components is critical in determining the amount of customization possible with a control or class library. The Measurement Studio classes and user interface controls are designed to maximize their customization. By using the Measurement Studio component base classes as a foundation for extensibility, you can easily inherit from and extend the classes to create customized classes and controls, such as a custom graph or proprietary I/O bus communication.

For example, the user interface controls enable full customization of plot drawing, point and line styles, and graph borders. The Boolean controls allow style and behavior extensions. For hardware customization, you can easily derive from the NI-488.2, NI-VISA, or NI-DAQmx interfaces to create your own custom hardware interfaces while using the robust Measurement Studio hardware base classes.

Accurate Measurements

National Instruments software, including Measurement Studio, ensures accurate measurements through virtual instrumentation. By providing robust interfaces to hardware, you can use the full power of flexible, modular hardware devices that take advantage of the latest innovations in commercial technologies such as processors, memory, and A/Ds that deliver highly competitive price-to-performance gains. Using NI software with modular hardware devices, engineers can achieve higher performance and more accurate instrumentation than by using vendor-defined stand-alone instruments that are difficult or impossible to customize. Using flexible software such as Measurement Studio to define high-performance hardware helps engineers build extremely competitive solutions that not only cost less in the short term, but are flexible enough through software to adapt to changing needs for the long term.

The Measurement Studio data acquisition interface, for example, has an interactive interface, the DAQ Assistant, for selecting sampling rates, triggering, timing, clock selection, scaling, signal types, and other robust configurations, while at the same time providing optimal single-point acquisition and multithreaded performance. These new optimizations deliver 10 to 20 times greater performance than previous data acquisition interfaces. The tight integration between Measurement Studio and I/O hardware drivers yields the most efficient, productive way for engineers performing acquisition and instrumentation applications to take measurements and significantly decrease development time.

Interactive Configuration

Measurement Studio streamlines data acquisition and instrument connectivity capabilities with interactive measurement tools. The DAQ Assistant and Instrument I/O Assistant are .NET designers that include step-by-step guides for configuring, testing, and programming measurement tasks; they automatically generate code for low-level customization. With the DAQ Assistant, you can quickly configure your data acquisition tasks to include custom timing, scaling, and triggering with no programming. With the Instrument I/O Assistant, you can communicate directly with your GPIB, Ethernet, USB, serial, PXI, and VXI instruments. Use this interactive wizard to prototype your instrument control system, take quick measurements, automatically parse data, generate code, and even develop simple instrument drivers.

 

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5. Data Acquisition and Instrument Control

Whatever you use to acquire your data—a GPIB, Ethernet, or serial instrument; a plug-in DAQ device; a PXI measurement module; a programmable logic controller (PLC); a modular instrument; or an image acquisition device—Measurement Studio provides the high-level interface for your development language. You can build high-speed, device-independent measurement and automation applications and Measurement Studio delivers Windows Forms and Web Forms user interface controls, tools, and object-oriented classes to help you do it more efficiently.

Measurement Studio data acquisition functionality includes:

  • Built-in channel configuration for scaling raw data
  • High-speed waveform acquisition and generation for single shot and continuous
  • Accurate and fast single-point analog and digital I/O
  • Counter/timer I/O for pulse generation, event counting, and duration measurements

These I/O capabilities, combined with special data types and measurement analysis class libraries, are specifically designed to get the data or measurement you need from your physical sensors as quickly and easily as possible.

Measurement Studio simplifies the task of connecting to and communicating with a wide variety of instruments. With the Measurement Studio interfaces, you can quickly acquire data from GPIB, USB, serial, Ethernet, PXI, and VXI instruments using the built-in instrument I/O libraries or using built-in instrument drivers. Additionally, you can:

  • Easily integrate GPIB, serial, PXI, Ethernet, and VXI instruments into your test application;
  • Communicate with hundreds of instruments from more than 150 vendors with instrument drivers; and
  • Increase performance and portability with device driver software.

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6. Data Analysis

Measurement Studio delivers a full spectrum of analysis functions to convert raw data into meaningful information. With Measurement Studio analysis interfaces, you can employ a wide variety of signal processing and data analysis tools, such as curve fitting, spectral analysis, statistics, and visualization. Because you can perform analysis inside your application, you can integrate more intelligent data processing before storing or presenting the information.

 

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7. Presentation

Create professional measurement and automation graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Windows and Web applications without spending months on development. Measurement Studio delivers measurement-specific user interface components that you can drag, drop, and extend to create a custom interface to your measurement applications. These controls include buttons, knobs, slides, gauges, tanks, dials, and graphs. Because the Measurement Studio controls are extensible, the user interface components empower you to present data in a more informative manner than vendor-defined box instruments.


User Interface Design-Time Productivity

Whether you are using Windows Forms or Web Forms controls, Measure Studio includes productivity features that allow you to graphically interact with your user interfaces. The UI controls include auto format menus, editors, and property page enhancements. Auto format menus allow you to quickly choose from predefined property formats. Editors are included for components like plots, annotations, and axes, allowing you interactively add and edit your user interface controls. Property page enhancements include arc editors and graphical representations of user interface styles.

 


Networking/Internet Connectivity

Whether you are passing data between applications or passing data over the Internet, Measurement Studio makes sharing measurement data easy. With network variables, a programming tool designed specifically for publishing and subscribing to live data in measurement and automation applications, you can share live data with one or more client applications on a network without worrying about data formats or network protocols. Additionally, the TDMS (technical data management streaming) class libraries give you the ability to scale to your specific project requirements and to easily attach descriptive information to your measurements while streaming your data to disk.

See Also:
Webcast: Create Remote Monitoring Web Applications with Network Variables

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8. NI Measurement Studio for Legacy Environments/Languages

NI Measurement Studio for Legacy Environments/Languages delivers an interactive design approach for developing measurement and automation systems inside Visual C++ (Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2005, and Visual Studio .NET 2003) and offers ActiveX controls and class libraries for development in Visual C++ 6.0 and Visual Basic 6.0.

Note: Measurement Studio support for Visual C++ MFC and Visual Studio 6.0 are considered legacy and are not included in Measurement Studio 2010. NI Measurement Studio for Legacy Environments/Languages includes this support and is available upon request for qualifying Measurement Studio customers.

Related Links:

See the Latest Measurement Studio Pricing Information
Evaluate Measurement Studio
Measurement Studio Home Page
NI Measurement Studio for Legacy Environments/Languages

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