Nimbus/LabWindows COMPARISON

All IVI development tools are not created equal. Take a look at our handy comparison chart below and see firsthand all of the ways our Nimbus Driver Studio outperforms LabWindows®, an IVI-C only development environment.


Feature
Nimbus LabWindows

Users working in .NET languages, such as C# and Visual Basic.NET, require special drivers for .NET. IVI.NET drivers provide a much more natural user experience for developers using .NET to communicate with their instruments. Nimbus Driver Studio is the only tool available for the creation of IVI.NET drivers.

Crucial for offering the broadest ADE support to users, IVI-COM drivers are natively supported in environments ranging from LabVIEW and MATLAB to Visual C# and Visual Basic. Nimbus is the only commercially available product that supports the development of native IVI-COM drivers.

Nimbus is the only driver development product that supports the creation of both IVI-COM and IVI-C drivers -- and from a single source code base, which greatly simplifies development and maintenance. With tools such as LabWindows/CVI, you're forced to choose IVI-C over IVI.NET and IVI-COM. With Nimbus, you can stop debating and support every ADE with your driver.

With a single check box, Nimbus produces a complete MATLAB driver that exposes the same functionality as the underlying IVI-COM driver. The MATLAB wrapper is integrated with the driver installer so that MATLAB users feel as if they were working with native MATLAB objects.

Nimbus allows you to produce a complete, customer-ready driver using a single Visual Studio solution. The solution houses all of the code for the driver, the help files, the installer, and the unit tests. In fact, all phases of driver design, development, and test can be conducted without ever leaving the Visual Studio IDE.

One of the most powerful features of the Nimbus product is its ability to round-trip driver implementation code. This means that the layout of methods, interfaces, and other driver characteristics can be completely changed after the driver has been generated and after the developer has begun implementation.

With a single mouse-click, Nimbus can be instructed to automatically add the IVI-defined interfaces for LXI instrumentation. Options are available to include just the right amount of LXI support in your driver.

Nimbus-generated driver help files are the richest, most professional looking help files in the industry. Nimbus ships with pre-built help templates that allow you to mimic the look and feel of the Microsoft help systems. Or you can incorporate custom styling and branding with images, media, and other arbitrary HTML content.

Nimbus generates a fully compliant IVI driver installer automatically -- with no effort required of the driver developer and no need for expensive and complicated installer packages such as InstallShield or Wise. To customize the installer, Nimbus offers a graphical installer editor with simple drag-n-drop operations.

Nimbus help documentation integrates directly with Visual Studio. Standard F1-Help provides quick access to the extensive Nimbus driver library.

Old-style Help format (.chm files). With only this style of help, customers using the driver will not be able to use F1-Help (context-sensitive) or Dynamic Help when building applications in Visual Studio.

New-style Help format that exactly mimics MSDN online Help. This style of Help is required for F1-Help.

Because Nimbus drivers require no runtime DLLs, Nimbus you’ll never find yourself suffering through the all-too-familiar "DLL hell" problems that plague drivers with dependencies on runtime components.

Instead of developing, testing, and maintaining separate IVI drivers for each instrument model, it is far simpler to develop a single driver than can support multiple instrument models and families. At runtime, the Nimbus-generated driver detects the instrument to which it is connected and dynamically adapts to issue the proper device commands for that specific instrument model.

Nimbus produces driver help documentation in the familiar .chm file format for standalone help viewing outside of Visual Studio.

Help 2.0 is the help format for accessing help in Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. Nimbus drivers integrate directly with the Visual Studio help system so that end users can directly access help from within the Visual Studio environment. Nimbus drivers are the only drivers that offer this level of seamless help access from within Visual Studio.

Microsoft Help Viewer 2.0 is the help format in Visual Studio 2010 and 2012. Like Help 2.0, Nimbus drivers integrate directly with the Visual Studio help system so that end users can directly access help from within the Visual Studio environment.

Nimbus automatically generates a complete C# unit test that exercises every method and property in the driver. The unit test integrates directly with the Visual Studio IDE so that the test-debug-edit cycle can be performed seamlessly. Nimbus roundtripping automatically updates the unit tests as methods and properties are added, removed, or renamed.

Nimbus can support any I/O mechanism your instrument requires. Special support it built-in to simplify VISA-based I/O, but custom protocols are naturally supported.

Nimbus provides an intuitive GUI for implementing the IVI-defined features for range-checking, state-caching, and coercion. Custom programming is typically not required -- even when model-specific behavior is needed.