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LabVIEW Viewer

Status: New

The LabVIEW Viewer would be a stand-alone application that allows for the viewing on VIs for someone who doesn't have a full-blown LabVIEW installation.  It would function similar to how the development environment functions on a 'locked' VI.


I've used 'VI Documentation' in the past, but this viewer would allow for live navigation, context help, drilling-down into SubVIs, scrolling through case structures, etc.






Active Participant

The biggest difference I saw in your example is that viewer for text code is free. Is your suggestion to buy another copy of LabVIEW for each auditor even for read only access?

CLED (2016)
AristosQueue (NI)
NI Employee (retired)

InfiniteNothing: If they are full-time auditors, yes. The Base version will likely suffice since it can read any VIs written in the Full or Pro versions. If they are part time auditors, the evaluation license of LabVIEW may suffice, or you may be able to temporarily give your developer licenses to the auditors since, as you said, development is frozen at that point. If you find yourself doing this frequently, talk to your Field Sales Engineer about a volume license agreement. You may be able to negotiate for a set of cheap licenses used exclusively for auditing.


Different answers depending upon your development environment and process.

Active Participant

Not to draw this out but you'd also have to get the auditor a license for all your toolkits. Some of those toolkits are like $20k; FPGA and RT are 8K each. Evaluation licences might not be possible because the next version is half a year away and it will expire by then.

CLED (2016)
AristosQueue (NI)
NI Employee (retired)

InfiniteNothing: This is me speaking as an individual and NOT on behalf of NI.

You suggest auditors would need toolkit licenses. That is not how I would read the library license agreements from NI or from any third-party toolkit that I have looked at. But -- and this is important -- I am not a lawyer and you'd have to talk to someone who is and make your evaluation. I won't get into my reasoning for why I wouldn't think auditors need licenses as I don't want to encourage spurious legal logic if I am wrong, but I'd encourage you to meet with lawyers before concluding that.


Just to clarify,

In regulatory industries you have designs reviews, and then there are quality reviews (or design assurance reviews). Usually for production testing you will only have a design review. For anytype of software that may be seen by a customer we have a quality review.


During the design reviews your code is scrutinized by your peers. These are other programmers that are familiar with the programming language, the problem that you are solving, and the nature of the product. The peers will have LabVIEW installed. It must also be the exact version of LabVIEW that will be responsible for creating the deployable code. There is no getting around this.


The place where having a free viewer would be greatly beneficial would be for the quality reviews. The quality reviews are done by people who may or may not be technical. They are looking at stuff like ensuring the correct copyright notice, ensuring that we are following the cosmetic branding specifications of colors and logos, checking for documentation quality. They will also look at spelling issues, grammar, and even the fonts.


This is why a viewer is so necessary. Some of our quality engineers would not even know how to view a block diagram if I didn’t print out the HTML view of my code.


By having this feature you will also be positioning LabVIEW to take advantage of the next generation of product management tools such as Jira/Fisheye or one of the many IBM Rational plugins. The next generation of productivity, project management and, requirement capture tools are working on the philosophy of data is everywhere, so go link and use it.  When drilling down into large projects the project engineers and managers hit a wall when the Application lifecycle management (ALM) tools come to a VI.



I have looked into making my own viewer where the VI's are exported in much the same manner as the print HTML process, but instead of just making a simple HTML page a html script is also generated and there is only one image.


The image would have clickable zones in it, where if the user clicks on the zone it would invoke the script to pull up the equivalent image is if it was in the LabVIEW IDE. For example when clicking the left or right arrow of the select box, or looking at the context of a cluster. 


The print to HTML already creates most of the needed data for something like this to work.

The only thing missing is overlaying the images in a logical fashion.

I have successfully pulled all of the images into one HTML file using html img tag with data:image/png;base64 followed by the hexadecimal value of the images.  

(less files to manage the better)


Using VI scripting I have had some success with recreating the image position locations needed for the image overlay in the html VBScript.


If this is something that I can get my teeth into on my spare time, I would think it wouldn’t be a problem for NI.

Something clever such as embedding uncompressed html meta data into the VI binary file itself. And then making a small web browser plugin that would simple open the html meta data of any VI.  HTML 5 has many advance features where such a feature would be easy to implement. 




Engineering - The art of applied creativity  ~Theo Sutton
AristosQueue (NI)
NI Employee (retired)


This is the live version -- it makes a Flash-enabled HTML page for viewing the code. You might be able to update the code to use HTML5.


I've been hoping for one for years now.  It would be great, especially for older code that newer versions no longer will open.

Knight of NI

You could use the Version Conversion board to have the old code updated, or just use a version of LabVIEW that will open up the really old code (like 8.2).

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I have really old code going back to 5.0

The hardware is on the ISS so it's a little hard to change to a newer version.

Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

If you have older code which you need to support, you will definitely want to have an old machine with the correct LV+drivers (such as a virtual machine which is easy to back up) which allows you to also open, edit, run and rebuild the code and in that case, a viewer seems less needed.


That said, the ISS project sounds interesting. Any details you can share on that?

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