Wireless Applications

Custom Data Management Applications in LabVIEW

August 19, 2009

Software toolkit from National Instruments performs Internet-like search to find valued data faster and more effectively.

AUSTIN, TX /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI) announced the release of the NI LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit, an extension of the LabVIEW graphical system design platform that helps engineers and scientists search and find valued data faster. Engineers and scientists worldwide have adopted LabVIEW because of the ease of use of graphical programming as well as the performance it delivers. The toolkit further enhances LabVIEW by adding an Internet-like search functionality that indexes and stores the properties of time-based measurement files, making the process of finding data of interest more efficient than the traditional approach of loading all files into memory and manually scanning the results. The toolkit also can be combined with NI DataFinder Server Edition to extend the same search technology to servers so large groups or departments can easily share or analyze their data.

As more high-speed measurement devices, including RF instruments, digitizers and data acquisition, are integrated into test systems, engineers and scientists face larger amounts of data than ever before. When analyzing data, they traditionally must cull through millions of data points to find the results they need, which can be a timely and tedious process. The typical solution was to purchase high-cost data management packages or hire a database consultant to manage these mass amounts of data.

With the LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit, engineers and scientists can create custom, deployable data management applications using NI DataFinder, an off-the-shelf data index that stores metadata and properties stored in test files. Engineers and scientists then can search NI DataFinder using NI DIAdem software for interactive, offline post-processing or with their own custom applications built using the LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit. The toolkit can be used to perform simple keyword searches or advanced parametric searches such as finding channel data that exceeds a limit on a particular day or using a particular sensor. Using DataPlugin technology, the toolkit is compatible with any file format and works natively with Technical Data Management (TDM) and Technical Data Management Streaming (TDMS) files. With a low price and quick turnaround on results, the LabVIEW DataFinder Toolkit is a more cost-efficient alternative to other data management solutions.

"RF manufacturing applications are very data intensive, and we needed a fast and cost-efficient solution for analyzing and finding the results from within our Spartan Quality Management System," said Jim West, Senior Software Engineer at Summitek Instruments. "Using the NI LabVIEW Data Finder Toolkit, we were able to easily find the results we needed as well as uncover valuable statistical trends."

To provide data management functionality to large groups, the toolkit can be combined with NI DataFinder Server Edition software, which is loaded onto a server to index files for faster search. The ability to perform quick searches on data stored on servers makes the toolkit ideal for teams that are working on projects simultaneously or remotely.

About National Instruments
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,000 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 10 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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