Tab controls are useful when you have several panel objects that are used together or during a specific phase of operation. For example, you might have a VI that requires the user to first configure several settings before a test can start, then allows the user to modify aspects of the test as it progresses, and finally allows the user to display and store only pertinent data.
Panel containers display the panel of a running VI in the panel of the current VI. To access the panel container on the diagram, you must create a panel container reference. To create a reference, right-click the panel container and select Create reference. Place the panel container reference on the diagram and use the reference with the Panel Container nodes.