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Advantages of Labview | Disadvantages of Labview

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Labview programming language. It mentions benefits or advantages of Labview and drawbacks or disadvantages of Labview.

What is Labview ?

Labview stands for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench. Labview 1.0 was launched in the year 1986. It is a graphical programming language which uses icons instead of lines of text to create applications. Labview programs are called VIs (Virtual Instruments). Labview contains set of VIs and functions for acquiring, analyzing, displaying and storing data. It also include tools to represent data on computers in the form of charts, graphs, tables, 3D controls, 3D graphs, picture control, gauges, meters etc.

It is a highly productive developement environment for creating custom applications which interact with real world data or signals in fields of engineering science. Labview contains numerous components which are required for test, measurement and control applications.

Labview is different from traditional programming like C#, VB, MATLAB, Mathscript, Maple etc. It is based on drag and drop concept. Hence it is easy for use by non-programmers.

Labview GUI application

Labview VIs are used to test, control and design applications which helps in accurate analog and digital measurements. It can also be used to control external hardware devices from desktop PCs and for display purpose. The figure depicts testing of WiFi DUT using NI hardware in realtime and custom developed labview application running on PC.

The VI has two panels viz. front panel and block diagram. Front panel provides controls and indicators used as inputs and outputs respectively. Block diagram is the place where components or icons are wired together for some purpose. This is the accompanying program for the front panel. Front panel is the user interface of the VI. Every control or indicator on the front panel has corresponding terminal on the block diagram. Refer Labview tutorial to learn labview programming.

Benefits or advantages of Labview

Following are the benefits or advantages of Labview:
➨It offers graphical user interface (GUI) so applications look good and easy to interact with user.
➨It offers drag and drop functions which helps to create quick simulation block diagram (i.e. VI). It reduces programming time compare to text based programming languages.
➨It supports modular design and multi platforms.
➨It is flexible and scalable language.
➨It helps in analyzing signals with built-in Math and signal processing functions.
➨User can create their own VI if it is not available as built-in function.
➨It facilitates data transfer over GPIB, USB, Ethernet, serial port etc.
➨It offers object oriented design and can be used for algorithm design. One can create "C DLL" from their C code and use it as VI.
➨User can easily create both offline and online applications and license them to different users as per supplied MAC addresses. Offline applications does not require any RF equipments. Online applications work in real time and require RF VSG (Vector Signal Generator) and RF VSA (Vector Signal Analyzer). The drivers for real time signal acquisition and signal generation are developed by NI (National Instruments).
➨It is widely used in industries for data acquistion, data analysis, data generation for test and measurement of transmitter and receiver functionalities of DUT.
➨It provides open connectivity with other tools such as Multisim, Excel, Mathcad, Mathematica etc.
➨It can communicate with wide variety of PLCs and automation devices. User can connect and use labview with different fieldbus such as TCP/IP, PROFIBUS, EtherNet/IP, OPC, Modbus and CANOpen.
➨It is available at affordable cost. The different add-ons can be purchased as per need which include Labview FPGA module, Labview NXG Web module, Labview Real time module and Vision Development module.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Labview

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Labview:
➨Labview is single sourced which is distributed and licensed by NI.
➨Text programmers require little time to familiarize its built-in functions.
➨The cost of labview should be considered before its introduction.
➨It requires good amount of training before it can be used comfortably.
➨The debugging is complex compare to text based programming languages.

Labview programming tutorial

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Useful Links to Labview Source codes

Refer following as well as links mentioned on left side panel for useful labview source codes.
Hex to Binary labview VI      Decimal to Binary labview VI
Number Generator labview VI      Binary to Decimal labview VI
Binary number generator     modulator-demodulator
FFT     up and down sample

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