Data logging Options Using the LabVIEW DSC Module


A fundamental feature of the LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DSC) Module is the ability to log data from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and high-channel-count systems. The DSC Module includes the Citadel database and allows for integration with existing relational database infrastructures. The needs of a specific application determine the database solution. This document discusses the strengths of each database option to help you determine the database to use.



Citadel is a historical database that enables you to create, manage, and visualize I/O data collected through the DSC Module. Citadel also enables you to execute common database tasks in the DSC Module.

Rapid Logging of Data, Alarms and Events

A single configuration dialog box in LabVIEW enables data logging of I/O channels, alarms, and events to Citadel. When you complete the configuration and deploy the library of channels, Citadel automatically logs data for you to use.

Figure 1: You can quickly start logging I/O data in LabVIEW DSC by selecting the check box in DSC Settings: Database dialog box and configuring the properties of a library of channels.

Flexible Data Retrieval

National Instruments provides tools for accessing data logged in Citadel to share and visualize data. You can use the data in the following ways:

    • View the data interactively by using the Historical Data Viewer in Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)
    • Access the data programmatically by using the DSC Module VIs and functions
    • Import data into NI DIAdem for configuration-based analysis and reporting
    • Retrieve the data with other software products, such as Microsoft Excel, by using the Citadel Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

Refer to Retrieving Data from a Citadel Database for more information about accessing data in the Citadel database.

Database Replication Tools

Citadel and the DSC Module enable you to manually or programmatically archive data and to create redundancy systems that provide long-term data integrity. You can perform archiving by using the following tools:

    • Historical Data Viewer – Manually archive data on active databases
    • Database Management VIs – Automatically archive data on a regular basis

In addition, if redundancy systems are already in place, Citadel has an ODBC interface which enables data transfer to common enterprise databases such as Oracle. Learn more about the Archiving Options for Citadel Historical Databases.

Relational Databases

If you need integration with existing hardware and logging systems, the DSC Module enables you to directly log the data to existing relational database infrastructures. Because the database may be part of a larger established enterprise system, you must be familiar with the tools and processes available for a relational database before logging data to the database.

Utilize Enterprise Data Management

Existing company-wide relational databases, such as Oracle, are often operated by a company’s IT group. This group is responsible for data integrity, regular data replication, and maintenance of the hardware and software platforms. The relational database logging option of the DSC Module allows you to directly log to those existing company-wide databases and saves development and maintenance costs.

Refer to LabVIEW Help for more information about logging data to relational databases.

Analytical Tools Reuse

Another benefit of working with existing relational databases is that you can reuse the library of existing analytical tools based on SQL or other common database query languages. If an application requires more customized queries, IT groups are able to provide knowledgeable resources to develop and implement these programs.


The DSC Module provides tools to log data, alarms, and events either to a Citadel database or to a user-created relational database. Logging to a relational database requires knowledge of the tools available to manage a database effectively. If a company-wide database management group does not support the data needs of an application, you can use the Citadel database to help accelerate the development of the data logging system.