NI-VISA 17.0 for Windows Readme

March 2017

This file contains important information about NI-VISA, including supported platforms, new features, and information about bugs fixes and known issues for NI-VISA 17.0.

Note: The Measurement Studio VisaNS .NET class library is being deprecated and superseded by an IVI-compliant NI-VISA .NET API. Refer to the New Features section for more information.


Supported Operating Systems

Application Software Support

Installation Instructions

Product Security and Critical Updates

New Features

Known Issues

Bug Fixes

Accessing the Help

Finding Examples

Automating the Installation of NI Products

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1

LabVIEW NXG Support and Considerations

Legal Information


NI-VISA is the NI implementation of the Virtual Instrument Software Architecture (VISA), a standard for configuring, programming, and troubleshooting instrumentation systems comprising GPIB, VXI, PXI, Serial, Ethernet, and/or USB interfaces.

Supported Operating Systems

NI-VISA for Windows supports the following platforms:

  • Windows 10 x86, x64
  • Windows 8.11 x86, x64
  • Windows 7 SP12 x86, x64
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit version only)3
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (64-bit)1, 3
  • NI Real-Time VxWorks
  • NI Real-Time Phar Lap ETS
  • NI Linux® Real-Time
  • LabVIEW Touch Panel Module 2013/2012

While this distribution targets all of these platforms, you can run setup.exe only on the Windows variants.

Note  In 2016 NI-VISA dropped support for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and installations of Windows 7 without any service packs. NI-VISA will not install or run on an unsupported OS. You cannot deploy or distribute applications that use NI-VISA to an unsupported OS. Additionally, after installing NI-VISA, you cannot use any installers built on this computer with any version of LabVIEW, LabWindows™/CVI™, NI TestStand™, or Measurement Studio on an unsupported OS.

For more information about the changes to our OS support for 2016, refer to KB 79UC78LS, Why Does my LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, Measurement Studio, or TestStand Built Installer Fail on Windows XP/Vista and Server 2003?.

1 NI software installs VC2015 Runtime and .NET 4.6.2. Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 require Microsoft updates to support these items. Refer to Microsoft KB2919442 and KB2919355 for more information about how to install these updates.

2 NI software is signed with a SHA-256 certificate. Windows 7 SP1, Windows Embedded Standard 7 SP1, and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 require Microsoft updates to support SHA-256. Refer to Microsoft KB3033929 for more information about how to install this security update.

3 NI-VISA does not support the Windows Server non-R2 editions.

Application Software Support

NI-VISA supports the following application software versions, including service packs. If you are not using NI application software, refer to Microsoft Visual Studio Support.

Application Software Versions Supported by NI-VISA
LabVIEW 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
LabWindows/CVI 2012, 2013, 2015
Measurement Studio 2013

Microsoft Visual Studio Support for the IVI-Compliant NI-VISA .NET Class Library

If you are using the IVI-compliant NI-VISA .NET Class Library, the .NET 4.6.2 Framework (minimum) is required. You can use the NI-VISA .NET Class Library with the Visual C# or Visual Basic .NET programming languages in any Visual Studio version that can target the .NET 4.0 Framework or later. You can use the NI-VISA .NET Class Library in 32-bit or 64-bit applications.

Microsoft Visual Studio Support for the VisaNS .NET Class Library

Note: The Measurement Studio VisaNS .NET Class Library is being deprecated and superseded by an IVI-compliant NI-VISA .NET Class Library. Refer to the New Features section for more information.

The following table lists the programming languages and Microsoft Visual Studio versions supported by this version of the VisaNS .NET Class Library. Earlier versions of NI-VISA support other application software and language versions. For more information on Visual Studio compatibility with earlier versions of VISA, refer to and enter the info code NETlegacydrivers. To find and download an earlier version of a driver, refer to

Programming Language Visual Studio Versions Supported by VisaNS
.NET Framework 4.0 Languages
(Visual C# and Visual Basic .NET)
.NET Framework 4.5 Languages
(Visual C# and Visual Basic .NET)
.NET Framework 4.5.1 Languages
(Visual C# and Visual Basic .NET)

Installation Instructions

Installing NI-VISA for LabVIEW

You can install all of your LabVIEW products—including NI-VISA—using the LabVIEW 2017 Platform media.

To request additional LabVIEW Platform media, refer to the NI website.


  • If Windows Update is enabled, the installation process might hang if Windows Update interferes with the installation of Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Run-Time. Visit and enter the Info Code exjq43 for more information and steps to resolve this issue.
  • If you purchased this product with an NI Software Suite or NI Product Bundle, use the installation media that shipped with your purchase to install this product.

Before you install NI-VISA 17.0, NI recommends that you uninstall any versions of VISA prior to NI-VISA 2.0.1.

After uninstalling NI-VISA, some DLLs and executables may remain in the NI-VISA directories. To complete the uninstall process, you must restart your machine.

Note: The uninstaller application does not notify you when rebooting is necessary. If you plan to reinstall NI-VISA, you always should reboot the machine after running the uninstaller.

Agilent/HP Controller Support

NI-VISA now works with Agilent/HP GPIB and VXI controller cards. To use this feature, go into MAX, select Tools»NI-VISA»VISA Options, choose the Passports tab, and enable the NiVisaTulip.dll Passport. NI-VISA automatically finds and accesses any GPIB or VXI devices. However, NI-VISA does not configure the Agilent/HP hardware; you still must do that with the Agilent/HP I/O Config utility.

If you have both NI and Agilent/HP controllers in the same system, you must configure the cards at different system addresses, such as GPIB0 and GPIB1. If both vendors try to use the same interface address, NI-VISA reports an error from viFindRsrc or VISA Find Resources.

Creating and Digitally Signing Catalog Files

(Windows 8.1, Windows 10) If you generate an INF file using the NI-VISA Driver Wizard, you must create and digitally sign a Windows Catalog (.cat) file before you can install the INF file on a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 machine. For more information about digitally signing a .cat file for Windows 8.1 or later, visit and enter the Info Code INFWin8.

For more information about creating and signing catalog files, Microsoft has a Kernel-Mode Code Signing Walkthrough whitepaper that describes the details of this process. The generated catalog file should reference only the INF file.

Product Security and Critical Updates

Visit to view and subscribe to receive security notifications about NI products. Visit for information about critical updates from NI.

New Features

NI-VISA 17.0

Dropped support for GPIB-VXI controllers.

NI-VISA 15.5

Updated documentation for NI-VISA .NET API, available in your Users/Public/Documents/National Instruments/NI-VISA/Documentation directory.

Improved performance of viInXX and viOutXX functions.

NI-VISA 15.0

Added support for the industry standard API for VISA .NET as specified by the IVI Foundation in VPP 4.3.6. NI recommends this API for developing new .NET applications using NI-VISA. Support for the legacy VisaNS API will be removed in a future release. For more information about upgrading from VisaNS to the new VISA .NET API, visit and enter the Info Code VISANETUpgrade.

NI-VISA 14.0

Added support for NI Linux Real-Time x64.

Added support for viMapTrigger and viAssertTrigger on PXI resources to use PXI-9 compliant trigger managers if available.

Added support for viGpibControlREN on TCPIP resources that use the VXI-11 protocol.


Added support for NI Linux Real-Time.


Improved performance of viRead for a HiSLIP resource.


Added support for IVI VISA Plug-in specification. NI-VISA 5.2 can enumerate and communicate with third-party PCI/PXI devices with specification-compliant plug-ins that are installed on the system.

Improved performance of viWrite for a HiSLIP resource.


Added support for HiSLIP.

Added support for USB resources on PharLap-based LabVIEW RT targets.

Updated the VISA Interactive Control stand-alone application. Refer to the NI-VISA Help for more information on the updates to VISAIC.

NI-VISA 5.0.3

Added support for .NET Framework 4.0

NI-VISA 5.0.1

Added support for IPxi interface in VISA-COM layer.


Added the ability to launch Instrument Driver Finder from MAX.

Added a page in the Driver Development Wizard to auto-detect USB devices and auto-populate device info.

Added the ability to custom install VISA passports on Real-Time targets.

Added support for 64-bit formatted I/O.

Added the ability to configure IEEE 1588-2008 clocks on networks.

NI-VISA 4.6.2

Added support for Windows 7 (32-bit version), Windows 7 x64 Edition (64-bit version), Windows Server 2003 R2 (32-bit version only), and Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit version only).

NI-VISA 4.5.1

Added support for 64-bit user mode in .NET 3.5 Framework. You can now create 64-bit applications with .NET Framework 3.5. For additional information, refer to Working with 64-bit .NET Support for NI-VISA in the NI-VISA .NET Framework 3.5 Help. This help file is installed by default at Start»All Programs»National Instruments»VISA»Documentation»NI-VISA .NET Framework 3.5 Help.


Added a page in MAX to allow viewing and changing the Conflict Resolution Manager settings.


Added support for using NI-VISA with 64-bit applications on Windows Vista x64 Edition. VXI, GPIB-VXI, and FireWire resources are not currently supported for 64-bit applications.

Added automatic detection of LXI (TCP/IP) devices that support the mDNS and DNS-SD technologies.

Added support for USB and TCP/IP resources on VxWorks-based LabVIEW RT targets.


When using the MAX Copy Configuration API, you can now specify "ni-visa" as the product. All documented modes are supported.


The default installation directory has changed from "C:\VXIPNP" to "C:\Program Files\IVI Foundation\VISA". Upgrades over previous versions of NI-VISA use the previous installation directory.

The default path to the configuration file visaconf.ini has changed to "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\National Instruments\NIvisa" on Windows XP/2000 and to "C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\NIvisa" on Windows Vista.

Added support for Windows Mobile 5.0 on x86 processors.


The NI-VISA Driver Wizard generates new INF files that work on Vista. If you want to run your VISA based drivers on Vista that previously required an INF file, you will need to regenerate a new INF file using the new Driver Wizard.

On Pocket PC 2003/Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, the NI-VISA configuration file visaconf.ini was installed as read-only. This caused problems with serial port detection. Now it is writable.

In MAX, the IP address of TCPIP INSTR and SOCKET resources was not shown when the resource was configuring using a hostname. This IP address is now shown.

NI-VISA Server now warns if it is launched and there are no permissions set to allow clients to connect.

The NI-VISA Driver Wizard now has an option for PXI Express devices that provide a way to read the slot number using a sequence of register-level accesses.

The enabled/disabled state of Passports is preserved across upgrades of NI-VISA.


Added support for 64-bit data transfers in register-based operations, to support the VISA 4.0 specification.

Known Issues

You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. For a list of known issues with NI-VISA 17.0, visit and enter the Info Code NIVISA170KnownIssues.

Bug Fixes

For a list of bug fixes for NI-VISA, visit and enter the Info Code NIVISAFixList.

Accessing the Help

Refer to the NI-VISA Help, accessible from LabVIEW by selecting Help>>LabVIEW Help, for information about NI-VISA.

Finding Examples

Select Help�Find Examples from LabVIEW to launch the NI Example Finder. LabVIEW examples for NI-VISA are located in the labview\examples\Instrument IO\VISA directory. You can modify an example VI to fit an application, or you can copy and paste from one or more examples into a VI that you create.

Automating the Installation of NI Products

You can automate the installation of most NI products using command-line arguments to suppress some or all of the installer user interface and dialog boxes. However, starting with the August 2012 releases (products using NI Installers version 3.1 or later), you may need to perform additional steps before or during a silent installation of NI software.

If the NI product you are installing uses Microsoft .NET 4.0, the .NET installer may run before any NI software installs and may require a reboot before the installation of NI software begins. To avoid a .NET reboot, install .NET 4.0 separately before you install NI software.

For more information about automating the installation of NI products, refer to the following KnowledgeBase articles:

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 10 is the latest version of the Windows operating system and features significant changes compared to previous versions. Windows 10 introduces several new capabilities and also combines features from both Windows 7 and Windows 8. For more information about NI support for Windows 10, visit

Using NI Software with Microsoft Windows 8.1

When you install NI software on Microsoft Windows 8.1, you will notice a few additional tiles in the Apps view, including shortcuts to NI application software products such as NI LabVIEW, Measurement & Automation Explorer (NI MAX), and NI Launcher. For more information about NI support for Windows 8.1, visit

LabVIEW NXG Support and Considerations

The following sections detail considerations for using LabVIEW NXG with NI-VISA.

LabVIEW NXG Operating Systems and System Requirements

Software support for LabVIEW NXG differs in the following ways:

  • System requirements—Only 64-bit (x64) processors are supported.
  • Operating system—Only 64-bit operating systems are supported. Refer to the Supported Operating Systems section for more information.

Installing NI-VISA

NI automates LabVIEW NXG installation using a package manager. Complete the following steps to install NI-VISA for LabVIEW NXG.

  1. Visit and enter the info code NXGDownload to access the LabVIEW NXG download page.
  2. Click Download LabVIEW NXG 1.0.
  3. NI Package Manager installs, then automatically opens a download window.
  4. Select LabVIEW NXG Suite and click the green Install button.
  5. Select LabVIEW NXG 1.0 and NI-VISA.
  6. Complete the installer instructions to download LabVIEW NXG 1.0 and NI-VISA.


View context help in LabVIEW by pressing <Ctrl-H> and hovering over an object.

Search for items using the search bar in the upper right corner of the LabVIEW window. You can also view context help for the search results.

Additional documentation is available online at

LabVIEW NXG Examples

Launch LabVIEW and click the Learning tab.

LabVIEW lessons are located in the Lessons tab, and LabVIEW Examples are located in the Examples tab. Follow the instructions in the lessons and examples.

Legal Information


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End-User License Agreements and Third-Party Legal Notices

You can find end-user license agreements (EULAs) and third-party legal notices in the following locations after installation:

  • Notices are located in the <National Instruments>\_Legal Information and <National Instruments> directories.
  • EULAs are located in the <National Instruments>\Shared\MDF\Legal\license directory.
  • Review <National Instruments>\_Legal Information.txt for information on including legal information in installers built with NI products.

U.S. Government Restricted Rights

If you are an agency, department, or other entity of the United States Government ("Government"), the use, duplication, reproduction, release, modification, disclosure or transfer of the technical data included in this manual is governed by the Restricted Rights provisions under Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.227-14 for civilian agencies and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement Section 252.227-7014 and 252.227-7015 for military agencies.

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