7 Essential Features of LabVIEW NXG for Automated Test
Updated Mar 5, 2019
LabVIEW NXG systems engineering software is the newest addition to the NI software portfolio. With it, you can configure, automate, and visualize your test results, all from within a single, efficient tool. You can reduce your time to measurement with automatic instrument driver identification for thousands of instruments, which then allows you to rapidly customize your system with an integrated drag-and-drop UI design. After your system is assembled, you can also view your results from anywhere, including tablet or smartphone access. Learn how to test smarter with LabVIEW NXG.
Applications developed in software are tightly coupled with the specific hardware setup, configuration, and topology of your system. After the hardware is set up, troubleshooting/validation and software management are significant and time-consuming parts of any test, measurement, or control project. SystemDesigner provides a graphical canvas for the visual configuration of physical systems, bringing hardware configuration, software deployment, diagnostics, and system documentation into the LabVIEW NXG environment. This maximizes your development productivity by enabling you to manage your hardware alongside software development in one environment from start to finish.
Figure 1. SystemDesigner provides a graphical representation of your hardware system.
You can launch an instrument’s soft front panel to make quick interactive measurements and also view device pinouts, specifications, calibration information, and installed driver versions all within this graphical tool. If a particular NI or third-party driver is not installed, LabVIEW NXG guides you to install the necessary driver through NI Package Manager, a new interface built on industry-standard package formats.
Figure 2. SystemDesigner’s design view is useful for creating, configuring, and documenting your system.
To let you focus on your unique test requirements, start from hundreds of instrument-specific example code modules that install alongside your NI or third-party instrument drivers. Access examples from either the Learning section of the LabVIEW NXG lobby screen or the universal search bar within the LabVIEW NXG environment to browse by task or instrument type. Driver shipping examples include annotations explaining the general functionality and provide a great starting point for your application.
Figure 3. Use driver shipping examples as a starting template for your automated application.
In LabVIEW NXG, you can combine multiple programming approaches alongside graphical data flow in a single application. Use this flexibility to select your tool of choice for creating device under test (DUT) control, configuration, or measurement libraries. LabVIEW NXG integrates multiple languages into your application and interoperates with other software running locally or on the network to reduce your team’s time to success. Call existing DLLs and integrate C code into an overarching LabVIEW NXG application.
Figure 4. Leverage existing work from other programming languages within an overarching LabVIEW NXG application.
LabVIEW NXG includes drag-and-drop vector-based user interface (UI) objects and design tools to help you quickly build professional UIs for sharing your measurement system with test operators, technicians, and engineers. NI develops LabVIEW NXG with technical use cases in mind, unlike most programming languages and environments, so engineering and scientific displays are included by default. Display your digital test vector with a digital waveform graph, and compare time and frequency domain information side by side. To best communicate your results, you can customize UI objects such as units, scale, and range directly on your panel with built-in visual style themes and colors. You can also take advantage of UI workflow enhancers like alignment tools, dynamic guides, and snap-to-grid, and easily zoom in and out with vector graphics without sacrificing resolution or quality.
Figure 5. Combine all the most important information from a test system into an application-specific GUI.
The goal of every measurement application is to collect data to make informed decisions. LabVIEW NXG integrates data capture and analysis into the development environment for instant insights. This new experience is built on the philosophy that if you can see data, then you can capture it in a single click. The data includes signals, configurations, analysis results, inputs, and outputs—virtually everything in the environment. LabVIEW NXG then helps you collect these project captures in a centralized data management pane so you can easily manage your engineering data interactively.
Use the Data Viewer in LabVIEW NXG to investigate captured data by sweeping through individual data points and zooming into a subset of the signal. In the Data Viewer, quickly make a data-driven decision by selecting from the 12 built-in analysis panels in LabVIEW NXG to apply analysis to previously captured data sets. Using an analysis panel, you can analyze your recorded signals by setting the parameters of the analysis function and viewing in real time the effect of the function input on your signal.
Figure 6. Capture data and perform interactive data analysis using the LabVIEW NXG Data Viewer and analysis panels.
Using LabVIEW NXG, you can create and build desktop applications, web applications, binary libraries, and reusable source libraries. Create a single document containing all the version and build settings for creating a new application or library, and define multiple namespaces to organize the source and support files. Distribute your software using industry-standard package building and package management technology enabling you to confidently replicate your systems.
Figure 7. LabVIEW NXG enables you to efficiently build and share modular applications and libraries to simplify application management.
For long-running tests, it can be convenient to monitor or even control tests remotely across various devices and operating systems, especially as systems scale or become geographically distributed. The LabVIEW NXG Web Module is an add-on to LabVIEW NXG that allows you to design and deploy web-based UIs. With this module, you take an abstracted approach to authoring VIs that can run in any modern web browser without plugins or installers, allowing them to augment existing applications and share status and analytics information with colleagues more easily.
Figure 8. The LabVIEW NXG Web Module is an add-on to LabVIEW NXG that allows engineers to design and deploy web-based UIs.