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Vision / Labview. Questions about RunTime license, possible implementation and co

Hello all,


I am still a newbie but I have already dealt with the topic.


Briefly about my idea, I want to write programs with which I take pictures from an industrial camera / industrial webcam of an area, in this lies a note with numbers on it. From there I want to read a job number and then save the file in the correct directory under this number. The slip of paper has a distinctive feature, a black stripe, where you could have this slip of paper found. That is the minimum application. In a further step, a quality control would be thought of, where for example a screw is checked to see if it is sitting as it should and a diameter of a round object is measured as soon as it is placed in a defined area. But that would be the second and third step.


Now to my questions:


1. can I implement these applications under LabView with Vision Module?


2. i have read that you need a vision runtime for each computer once you use a vision module. Is it possible to implement one or even more steps without using the vision module. I am not talking about the question if it is possible, but if it is relatively easy, without programming week-layers.


3. is there such a thing as volume licenses, where you then have e.g. for 10 devices the same license and it is therefore cheaper (for the runtime of Vision)?


4. can I theoretically do everything with the Vision module, what this Vision Builder can do? I know this comparison page but can not really read from it whether the functions are all given and these are just a little harder to integrate than in the Vision Builder, where apparently some simpler can be marked directly on the image?

I plan to use and test different cameras. I had read something about a vision acquisition software. Do I need a runtime for it and does it cost something? I mean of course then for the computers on which the exe should be executed.


Thanks for the help!


Kind regards


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Message 1 of 8

1. It's hard to be too specific without some sample images but this should be possible. You can do OCR using the Vision Development Module and it does sound like there is some defining feature which would let you create a region of interest.


2. There are two parts to this. For acquiring the image it's not uncommon (from what I remember) for camera manufacturers to have some driver API to control the camera. How good the driver is will depend on the camera/manufacturer. For the analysis portion you can look at something like OpenCV which likely has the capability though I can't speak to how easy it is to use.


3. You'll have to reach out to someone in sales.


4. VBAI and the Vision Development Module can, or the most part, perform the same acquisition and analysis tasks. VBAI can run simple state machines and save/output information to a few different sources but it's very focused on automated inspection. It's a good tool and easy to configure but, as with most configuration-based software, once you do something that isn't an "expected use case" you start running into problems. The Vision Development Module is just a LabVIEW module so it tends to fit better into applications where acquisition/analysis is only a small portion of your overall requirements.

Matt J | National Instruments | CLA
Message 2 of 8

Thanks you for your answer. 

question to Point 2. If i would Go with NI Vision and the Vision runtime and use different Cameras, do i Need to get the Acquision runtime too? One of my Camera uses USB Vision, maybe its easier to include this Camera? 

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Message 3 of 8

This document answers your question:

Licensing NI Vision Software


If I understand correctly, VAS is free if you use any NI Vision hardware or Vision Software (VDM).


George Zou
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Message 4 of 8

I think i found the answer here ( )


“Run-Time Engine for Vision Development Module (VDM RTE)

A license for the Run-Time Engine for Vision Development Module from NI is required to provide executable program files that contain the VDM VIs and functions.

The VDM Run-Time Engine license includes the following:


A (single) license for VDM RTE for use on a single computer.
A (single) license for VAS for use on the same computer“


So when i buy a NI Visual Run Time engine, the VAS License is included 🙂 


So is my opinion Right that as i use a live picture from a camera (wich is Not a ni Hardware) i Need at least a VAS license Right? 

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Message 5 of 8

Some comments (based on my experience):

  • I was a reasonably good (3-4 years of experience) LabVIEW programmer before I encountered NI Vision (by working with a colleague who had several years acquiring images, but fewer years learning how to write good LabVIEW code).  NI Vision was significantly more challenging than DAQmx (which was way simpler than "Traditional DAQ").
  • To use LabVIEW to work with Images, you need VDM and the VDM license.  As noted, as the Developer, you get one VAS license so you can test your code on your Development system.
  • To acquire Images, you need VAS and the VAS License.  If you are developing a Product that uses NI Vision, that means a VAS license for each Executable using the VAS software.
  • VDM works reasonably well for some cameras (Web cams, say, and cameras that NI says they support).  It can be a challenge to work with modern "industrial" cameras.

Bob Schor

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Message 6 of 8

Thanks for your answer! So am i right?:


- for me as the Developer i need LabView and the Vision Development Module.


- for the users that will just use the .exe i made, they need a Vision Runtime Licence (round about 560€) which includes the VAS and the Vision Runtime?


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Message 7 of 8

@P4iN15 wrote:

Thanks for your answer! So am i right?:


- for me as the Developer i need LabView and the Vision Development Module.


- for the users that will just use the .exe i made, they need a Vision Runtime Licence (round about 560€) which includes the VAS and the Vision Runtime?

Before the change to Subscription Licenses, the above summary is, I believe, correct.  Purchasing VDM, needed to create "Vision Applications", includes a single license for VAS so you can also write the code to acquire images from a camera.  When you build an Executable and want to provide it to a client, if the client also needs to acquire images from a camera, they also need a VAS license for that.  [I'm writing in the present tense, here, but this really means "This was the situation before the Subscription model for LabVIEW".  I suspect that this is largely still true, but probably the Run-Time VAS license doesn't expire, but first, this is a "logical guess" on my part, and, second, if you supply an update created with a later release of your LabVIEW Development system, this might also impact the Run-Time License.


See your friendly LabVIEW Sales Person for clarification.


Bob Schor

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Message 8 of 8