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LabVIEW vs. Teststand

Hey Folks,


I was just wondering what you all think about LabVIEW and Teststand.

what is the real deal with Teststand and what can I do with it that i cannot achieve with LabVIEW??

Is Teststand really worth its money?




LabVIEW Gretchin
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Message 1 of 5

You can certainly write a test executive in LabVIEW but having TestStand gives you already written code to launch parallel threads for executing tests, reports in html/xml/text, data base logging of results, the ability to load test parameters from external files, being able to call code written in a multiple of different languages, operator interfaces, and much more. If you have plenty of time to do all of that as well as write the actual tests, then perhaps you do not need TestStand.


I've used TestStand since version 1 and love it. My decision to use it has always been because the tests are required right NOW and it has saved me a great deal ot time.

Message 2 of 5

I would have to reluctantly agree with Dennis.  The answer to Your question "what can I do with it that i cannot achieve with LabVIEW??" is actually the reason. 


LabVIEW is great and I use it almost exclusively.  (I have taken the time to build the LV utilities that meet most of my needs and duplicatte some of the "power" functions in test stand.  Including a compare anything polymorphic vi that adds comparisons not available in TS without some serious expression writing that i'm especially proud of)  


TestStand, unlike LabVIEW allows direct calls to modules that are in diverse languages.  It makes strong use of a set of basic test models.  The test models add a layer of abstraction to test executions that enforce sound design of testing process and process integrity.  the construction of any sequence is based on a basic building block of the code module and this aids design and enforces that the various modules fit a better programming style more suitable for reuseability.  


You also asked if its worth the cost.  A much harder question.  If you have a small project the answer is usually no.  But, what factors do I consider when I propose a test solution to the customer?

  1. What does the system do?  (Is this a stand alone tester for only 1 rev of 1 model or is the system in a high mix envionment where a "standard hardware config supports interchangable tester-DUT  interfaces that support multiple products)
  2. What are the deployment desires? (one or two fixtures that anyone can operate.  or will there be 10 of them on three contenents)
  3. What reporting is required( I can do alot in LV but some customers just love a standardized report for all test lines for data mining )
  4. Access control (TestStand has some native log-in and privilage control that is VERY WELL thought-out.  If the customer knows and needs it I save a lot of programming time in LabVIEW) 
I've said it before and I'll say it again-  I MUST sell my customers a solution they need.  Any test enviornment that meets your needs is a valid solution for you.  BUT, you need to understand what the desired outcomes are for your business model.  A solution that ignores the best intrests of your business can ruin your company.  Your doing testing for a reason - One that is important to one degree or another for your company to stay in business.  How can your test enviornment help your employer?

"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
Message 3 of 5

Well, I am about to do my diploma thesis, which involves automated testing.


I just wanted to make sure that the money that flows into a Teststand license is worth it.

Especially as the use of LabVIEW and Teststand is likely to continue after the thesis is done.

Thank you for your positive replies so far 😉




LabVIEW Gretchin
Message 4 of 5
You can't really compare LabVIEW and TestStand directly with each other. They are really two different products. LabVIEW is a programming language. As such, you can implement anything you want using the language. TestStand is a test executive system, not a programming language. Yes, it does have some basic progamming constructs but I doubt anyone would implement an entire automation system entirely in TestStand. They will use TestStand to control the execution of the tests, authenticate users, log results, etc. However, the more complex actions will be implemented in some other programming language. TestStand will be used to invoke these modules and ensure the tests run in the proper sequence. As others have noted, you can create a system solely in LabVIEW. Large complex auatomation systems benefit greatly from using TestStand because all of the test executive functionality is already there and you simply need to concentrate on implementing the test steps. However I have never heard of anyone trying to implement an entire system using only TestStand.

Mark Yedinak
Certified LabVIEW Architect
LabVIEW Champion

"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?"
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
Message 5 of 5