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Confused about and IVI versus plug and play instrument drivers

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I'm just getting in to LabVIEW and see that when I go to download instrument drivers, there are several listings.  One is Plug and Play and the other is typically IVI.  What is the difference?  So far I've been through the Lesson #1 and Lesson #2 Basic Developer courses, but we haven't touched on the use of downloaded drivers.

 

 

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Accepted by djpritchard

IVI: Interchangeable Virtual Instrument. Using this software layer enables the developer to work with a "generic instrument" independend of the manufacturer (e.g. Agilent DMM vx. NI DMM).

 

Plug'n'Play driver: The driver for the very instance of an instrument, needed for the OS to identify and drive the instrument. The driver is device specific.

 

hope this helps,

Norbert

Norbert
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You can also read Types of Instrument Drivers, though Norbert pretty much summed up the highlights.
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