‘NI Week’ Category Archives


NIWeek 2017

by Christina in LabVIEW, NI Week

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It feels strange to be saying this in May, but it’s almost time for NIWeek 2017!

For those of you attending NIWeek, please stop by the UX (User Experience) feedback area in the Expo. My teammates and I will be gathering feedback on a variety of topics. Come prepared to tell us what you would change about LabVIEW if you had a magic wand that could grant any wish!

And if you can’t join us in Austin for this event, be sure to check out the livestream of the keynotes so that you don’t miss all the exciting LabVIEW news!



LabVIEW 2016 and NI Technology Preview

by Christina in LabVIEW, NI Week

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NIWeek 2016 was awesome and inspiring. Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, or worked on the logistics of this amazing event!

The big news for LabVIEW was the release of LabVIEW 2016 with a new addition to the G language. (We don’t get to say that very often.) Jeff Kodosky, the Father of LabVIEW himself, presented on Channels (also known as Channel Wires). I wish everyone could have attended these sessions to see Jeff’s enthusiasm for this language construct, which makes communication between parallel loops easier to configure and more recognizable on block diagrams. And his plans to extend their capabilities could make them even more powerful in the future!

The most exciting aspect of NIWeek for me personally was the official launch of the NI Technology Preview. If you participate in the program, you’ll be able to see some of the things that I’ve been working on in recent years and provide feedback to shape the future of NI’s software platform.

Finally, the big news for NIWeek itself is that NIWeek 2017 will be held May 22 to 25, so attendees won’t have to endure sweltering Texas heat! I hope to see you there!


LabVIEW 2015

by Christina in "Hidden" Features, LabVIEW, NI Week

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It’s NIWeek 2015, and NI has announced LabVIEW 2015!

Check out the press release, watch the What’s New in LabVIEW video, and read about the new features in the Upgrade Notes.

The biggest “new feature” isn’t really a feature… it’s improved performance and stability. Customers have told us how important these are, and NI has continued to prioritize these enhancements.

But there are plenty of other enhancements as well. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Easy hyperlinks in free labels. Just type a URL (http://ni.com) into a free label and it automatically becomes an active hyperlink. Here’s a secret trick that we’re not publishing in the documentation yet: if you put text in angle brackets after the URL, it will become the display text. Try it out by putting http://ni.com<National Instruments> into a free label and then committing the edit.
  • Right-click (shortcut) menu plug-ins. Not only does LabVIEW 2015 include a set of handy additional shortcut menus, it contains a mechanism so that you can write your own!
  • Add and remove space. You’ve been able to Ctrl+drag to add space to diagrams for some time, but now you can also Ctrl+Alt+drag to remove space. And the results are “live” in both directions! Try it out to see how great it looks.
  • Array probes show multiple elements. This is so nice when debugging. Array probes “size to fit” their panes.
  • No prompts for subVIs from missing components. If you’re opening a VI that uses a toolkit, module, driver, or third-party add-on that you don’t have on your machine, LabVIEW won’t stop the load process to ask you to locate it. When the VI finishes loading, LabVIEW will tell you which components were missing.

If you can’t join us at NIWeek this year, be sure to check out the live stream of the keynotes at http://www.ni.com/niweek/livestream/

Darren Nattinger of LabVIEW R&D will be onstage on Tuesday (August 4, 2015) to show some of the LabVIEW 2015 features!


NIWeek 2013

by Christina in NI Week

It’s almost time for NIWeek 2013!

This year I will be presenting Bookmark API in LabVIEW 2013 on Wednesday, August 7, at 1:00PM in Room 16A. Bookmarks are a new feature in the next release of LabVIEW. In this session you will learn how to integrate bookmarks into your own tools or create your own Bookmark Manager. (Session ID: TS2171)

I’ve looked over the NIWeek session list and there are so many great presentations that I’m not going to be able to see all the ones I want!

Here are some of the sessions that I’m most excited to see:

  • LabVIEW GUI Design: Moving Beyond the Palettes
    – Jon McBee, Bloomy Controls, INC., Senior Project Engineer
    A successful GUI is intuitive and user friendly, and it makes users more efficient when interacting with the system. At this session, learn how to use third-party tools to design professional GUI elements as well as how to import these elements into the LabVIEW environment. Study real-world examples and discuss the methods used to create them. Also explore the techniques you need to create streamlined, intuitive, and elegant LabVIEW user interfaces. (Session ID: TS1684)
  • Designing a Framework in LabVIEW: Borrow or Build?
    – Nancy Hollenback, National Instruments, Field Architect
    With larger and more complex applications using LabVIEW, designing a scalable framework that simplifies modification and facilitates team development is important. Many frameworks are emerging in the LabVIEW community. In this session, consider several aspects of framework design to help you decide between using an existing framework or building one. Also review some of the popular options you can choose from now. (Session ID: TS2209)
  • How to Polish Your Software and Development Process to Wow Your End Users
    – Fabiola De la Cueva, Delacor, LabVIEW Consultant
    Hear from LabVIEW Champion and LabVIEW Architects Forum Founder Fabiola De la Cueva about five “little things” that can improve your application’s usability and create happier, more productive end users. From easy ways for your app to look and feel like a “real Windows application” to subtle features that can make every application template easier for developers to use, explore the secrets that professional LabVIEW developers use to make their lives, and their users’ lives, easier. (Session ID: TS1765)
  • User Events, Tips, Tricks, and Sundry
    – Jack Dunaway, Wirebird Labs, Founder
    Didn’t make it to Paris for the European Certified LabVIEW Architect Summit this year? Catch the domestic reprise of this session to hear from a LabVIEW Champion about the key principles that make Events the primary transport mechanism for product design and application architecture at Wirebird Labs. Leave with nearly a dozen downloadable code snippets, featuring practical event-driven design patterns, and focus on the powerful yet simple semantics of the Events API. (Session ID: TS1691)
  • Making the Most of New User Event Features in LabVIEW 2013
    – Michael Aivaliotis, JKI, Product Manager
    Event-based programming is a recognized best practice in software development, and it is particularly important in LabVIEW, where nearly every significant application uses multiple loops and multiple pieces of hardware. Watch a Certified LabVIEW Architect and LabVIEW Champion demonstrate how User Events work, how JKI uses them in every project, and how they are even better in LabVIEW 2013. Also explore Version 2 of the famous JKI State Machine featuring dynamic event registration. (Session ID: TS1761)
  • Queued Message Handler: Caveats and Design Decisions
    – Darren Nattinger, National Instruments, Senior Software Engineer
    The Queued Message Handler (QMH) project template is an architecture used in many different LabVIEW applications and is one of the easiest starting points when developing a multiloop application. Get a detailed look at all of the design decisions, like handling errors and maintaining state between loops, that went into the QMH project template updated in LabVIEW 2013. (Session ID: TS2104)
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Functional Global Variables
    –  Nancy Hollenback, National Instruments, Field Architect
    As a longtime foundational design pattern in the LabVIEW community, the functional global variable (FGV) meets many common challenges but can also be overused. Join this discussion of best practices for global data storage and the transition from FGVs to data value references. (Session ID: TS2147)
  • Tips and Tricks to Speed LabVIEW Development
    – Darren Nattinger, National Instruments, Senior Software Engineer
    Hear from Darren Nattinger, world’s fastest LabVIEW programmer and NI senior software engineer, about some simple techniques that can help you code more quickly. Learn about little known LabVIEW features, advanced functions, and other tools that can help you save development time. (Session ID: TS2122)

And NIWeek is more than just great technical sessions. The keynotes rock. I’m also looking forward to these events:

  • LAVA BBQ – This is not an NI-sponsored event but rather a gathering of LabVIEW enthusiasts organized by the LAVA and OpenG groups. Tickets are limited so I recommend buying in advance!
  • NIWeek Conference Party – Wednesday night at Brazos Hall.
  • LabVIEW Coding Challenge Finals – Thursday at noon in the Expo Hall (Technology Theater). See the World’s Fastest LabVIEW Programmer, Darren Nattinger, defend his title.

I hope to see you at NIWeek! If it’s your first time, I have two bits of fashion advice:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes!
  2. Layer your clothes – the inside of the Convention Center is frigid and outside it’s like an oven.

Do you have more NIWeek advice or sessions you want to recommend? Leave a comment!


NIWeek 2012 Session Picks

by Christina in NI Week

NIWeek 2012 is almost here!

There are many excellent sessions planned. You can see the complete list at ni.com/niweek, but here are the ones that I’m most excited about. Obviously I can’t attend them all, though, since some of them are at the same time! I need clones…


A Scalable Plug-In Architecture for Monitoring Distributed Real-Time Applications
Thursday, August 9 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Room 16A
Fabiola De la Cueva, Delacor
Watch LabVIEW Champion and LabVIEW Architects Forum Founder Fabiola De la Cueva demonstrate a scalable, configurable plug-in-based architecture for monitoring multiple distributed targets even if the targets are different system types. Examine advanced techniques like LabVIEW object-oriented programming and subpanelling and take the code home with you.

Actor Framework
Wednesday, August 8 > 3:30–5:30 p.m. > Room 18C
Stephen Mercer and Allen Smith, NI
Explore how the Actor Framework (AF), part of LabVIEW 2012, helps you build LabVIEW applications involving multiple parallel tasks that must communicate with each other. With AF, you can reuse more code and avoid many of the common deadlock and race conditions of parallel systems. Some knowledge of AF and LabVIEW object-oriented programming is helpful for this session. See ni.com/actorframework.

Build a VI Package With VI Package Manager
Tuesday, August 7 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Room 18C
Robert Des Rosier, NI
Learn how to set up the most efficient processes to build and distribute VIs and utilities for free. This session includes tips on how to package your LabVIEW code in reusable components that are easy to track and share with other users. In addition, see how to easily install VIs on multiple computers and versions of LabVIEW as well as license your LabVIEW packages to quickly turn your code into a commercial product.

Code Review Best Practices
Tuesday, August 7 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Room 18B
Nancy Hollenback and Brian Powell, NI LabVIEW R&D engineers review all (yes, ALL) code that goes into the product and encourage you to do the same. In this session, examine best practices and learn how your team can use these ideas.

Custom Code Deserves Custom Analysis
Thursday, August 9 > 1:00–2:00 p.m. > Ballroom G
Elaine Ramundo, Bloomy Controls, Inc., and Ellen Zhang, NI
Examine how to use the LabVIEW VI Analyzer Toolkit to help automate large project code reviews, especially when creating custom rules for specific code base/project needs. This session includes a demo and tutorial worksheet.

Data Communication With LabVIEW
Tuesday, August 7 > 3:30–4:30 p.m. > Room 12B
Grant Heimbach, NI
Get an overview of some of the most effective techniques for sending and receiving data and commands within a LabVIEW application. See how to stop multiple loops, send messages to an undefined number of plug-ins, set up two-way communication, communicate in a distributed embedded system, and address other common challenges.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Functional Global Variables
Wednesday, August 8 > 3:30–4:30 p.m. > Room 19B
Nancy Hollenback, NI
As a longtime foundational design pattern in the LabVIEW community, the functional global variable (FGV) meets many common challenges but can also be overused. Join this discussion of best practices for global data storage and the transition from FGVs to data value references.

Explore Tools to Customize LabVIEW
Wednesday, August 8 > 2:15–3:15 p.m. > Room 18D
David Ladolcetta, NI
Customize LabVIEW by adding functions to the LabVIEW Project Explorer. Also learn to access additional resources and tools to improve the LabVIEW development environment.

Forget-Me-Not Seat Sensor Protects Children
Thursday, August 9 > 2:15–3:15 p.m. > Room 19A
Keith Schaub, Wireless SOC Test
Learn how Wireless SOC Test used LabVIEW and other tools to develop an inexpensive and highly reliable safety system to protect infants and children in car seats. This system, called Forget-Me-Not, alerts you if a child is placed in the seat, becomes unrestrained, or is inadvertently left in the vehicle.

Inside the LabVIEW 2012 Core Templates
Thursday, August 9 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Room 18D
Elijah Kerry, NI
Spend time with the new templates and sample projects in LabVIEW 2012 with technical experts in the room who can answer questions.

LabVIEW 2012 Advanced Design Templates and Sample Projects
Tuesday, August 7 > 3:30–4:30 p.m. > Room 19A
Elijah Kerry, NI
Focus on the more complex templates and sample projects in LabVIEW 2012 and explore concepts like how to create and add your own.

LabVIEW Classes: The State of the Art
Tuesday, August 7 > 2:15–3:15 p.m. > Room 19A
Stephen Mercer, NI
Review LabVIEW object-oriented programming (OOP) trends over the last year with LabVIEW OOP Lead Developer Stephen Mercer. This session includes interesting tricks and tips, new 2012 features, and tales from other users to educate and entertain.

Parallelizing the Unparallelizable
Wednesday, August 8 > 2:15–3:15 p.m. > Room 16A
Christian Altenbach, UCLA
LabVIEW is well suited for parallelization, but fully using a large number of cores requires smart code design. LabVIEW Champion Christian Altenbach shows you how to design code to automatically scale as more cores become available, even if the important loops are initially not directly parallelizable. Also examine benchmarks.

Secret Sauce: Non-LabVIEW Tools to Make You a Better LabVIEW Developer
Tuesday, August 7 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Room 12B
Justin Goeres, JKI
If you could save one hour a day by working smarter, how much more value could you create and how much less stress would you feel? LabVIEW Champion Justin Goeres shows you how to manage your code, projects, and commitments using the same free and low-cost tools JKI engineers use.

Software Engineering Best Practices for LabVIEW
Tuesday, August 7 > 4:45–5:45 p.m. > Room 19B
Elijah Kerry, NI
The complexity of today’s challenging applications requires effective software engineering, meaning development practices that ensure the scalability and maintainability of software. Learn how applying these practices correctly improves overall application quality and developer productivity as well as lowers maintenance costs.

Tips and Tricks to Speed LabVIEW Development
Thursday, August 9 > 10:30–11:30 a.m. > Ballroom E
Darren Nattinger, NI
Hear from the “world’s fastest LabVIEW programmer” about some simple techniques that can help you code more quickly. Also learn about little known LabVIEW features, advanced functions, and other tools that can help you save development time.


Also, don’t forget about the LAVA/OpenG BBQ on Tuesday night!


NIWeek 2011

by Christina in "Hidden" Features, LabVIEW, NI Week

It’s almost time for NIWeek 2011!

I’ve looked over the Session Catalog for this year and there are so many great choices that I’m having a hard time narrowing down my list of recommended sessions. So I’ll limit myself to the sessions relating to user interface design with LabVIEW.

First on my list is, of course, my session, co-presented with Simon Hogg: Customizing NI LabVIEW Controls and Indicators, Tuesday (August 2) at 4:45 PM in 13A/B.

You’re probably thinking, “Sounds like things I’ve heard a million times before,” right? I guarantee not! Simon and I will be demonstrating some secret, unpublished features of the Control Editor that are new in LabVIEW 2011. They’re not quite ready for “prime time,” but we’re willing to let a select few start using them!

Other sessions that I recommend include:

  • Building Quality NI LabVIEW User Interfaces, Tuesday (August 2) at 1:00 PM in 13A/B. My colleagues Nitin Thomas and Simon Hogg will cover the broader topic of user interface design in LabVIEW, skipping over customizing controls since that will be covered in my session.
  • Flexible GUI for Vibration Analysis with NI LabVIEW, Tuesday (August 2) at 2:15PM in 11B. Jeremy Weiss from Mechanical Solutions, Inc. will talk about making UIs designed for rotating machinery vibration troubleshooting, including the usage of tree controls and subpanels.
  • User Interface Tips 2.0, Wednesday (August 3) at 4:45 PM in 13A/B. Jonathan Cohn from Bloomy Controls will provide his tips for making the best user interfaces.
  • Introducing NI LabVIEW 2011, Tuesday (August 2) and Wednesday (August 3) at 10:30AM in 13A/B. See all the new features of LabVIEW 2011, including a new style of front panel controls!

Did I miss any sessions you think should be on this list? Please post them in the comments!


Graphical System Design Achievement Awards

by Christina in LabVIEW, NI Week

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It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start planning for NIWeek 2011! Here’s a way you can win a free trip…

Submissions are now open for the Graphical System Design Achievement Awards, the National Instruments technical application contest, showcasing the most innovative projects based on NI software and hardware.

Category finalists will be awarded with a free trip to NIWeek 2011 in Austin, Texas, and the Customer Application of the Year will win one year of free NI Training.

For more information on the 2011 Graphical System Design Achievement Awards and how to participate, visit ni.com/gsdawards. Or, submit your paper now.

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2011.


My NIWeek 2010 Recap

by Christina in NI Week

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NIWeek 2010 was the best I’ve seen yet!

The keynote presentations are always among my favorite parts of NIWeek. I love learning about new products from NI and our customers, and seeing inspiring projects from academia. This year, you can watch the video of the day one, day two and day three keynotes (except, of course, for the part by our guest speaker, Dr. Michio Kaku, which NI can’t redistribute). [Links no longer available].

You can also learn more about the products and technologies seen in the keynotes at the day 1, day 2 and day 3 groups on ni.com/Community. [Links no longer available]. Read the rest of this entry »


National Instruments Announces LabVIEW 2010

by Christina in LabVIEW, NI Week

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From NI News: “National Instruments today announced LabVIEW 2010, the latest version of the graphical programming environment for design, test, measurement and control applications.”

Today also marks the beginning of NI Week 2010, with Alliance Day sessions (for NI’s Alliance Partners) and the NIWeek Kickoff Happy Hour. A big Austin welcome to all our NIWeek attendees!


My NIWeek Blogger Spotlight

by Christina in NI Week

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Blake Sunshine interviewed me and some of the other NI bloggers to find out what we are looking forward to most about NI Week 2010. You can see the video of my interview on NI Community. (It’s a short video – even shorter than Darren Nattinger’s!)

Also, Blake is allowing me to share a special social media discount code for NIWeek registration: social2010.

Hope to see you at NIWeek!