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NI RELEASES LATEST EDITION OF LABVIEW
It took four years in the making, but National Instruments has released its latest version of the LabVIEW family of graphical developments products. LabVIEW 7 Express now extends to embedded FPGAs and Palm OS and Microsoft Pocket PC PDAs.
While developing LabVIEW 7 Express, NI brought in focus groups from various industries and asked for their input. "In the four years we were developing LabVIEW 7 Express, we actually took into account a lot of user feedback," said Gricha Raether, LabVIEW product manager, adding that it took "300 man-years of development."
LabVIEW 7 Express features two new modules-LabVIEW 7 FPGA and LabVIEW 7 PDA-both of which have been targeted for embedded devices. The LabVIEW 7 Real-Time module and the LabVIEW 7 Datalogging and Supervisory Control (DLSC) module have also been upgraded.
"The Real-Time module adds a wizard-like functionality to create real-time applications and download them in a way that you don't have to worry about the communication with your host application anymore," Raether said. The DLSC module features an enhanced historical database for easier access to the network, and is compliant with SQL 92 and ODBC 2.5, as well as other industry standards.
Raether said this version is more interactive and user-friendly than the previous one (v6.1) for such things as creating and changing flowcharts. "You double-click on each of these boxes and it brings up a dialog where users don't have to wire everything, but they can do it in an interactive, wizard-like approach. It opens a configuration-based window, you click on and can change the values; you can actually see the results of what the functions are going to do."