New Script module means more flexibility for DASYLab users

Want to know which new feature stands out in the latest version 13 release of DASYLab – the easy-to-use software for configuring and controlling custom DAQ and analysis applications? If she had to choose from the extensive enhancements, CJ Butler, DASYLab Product Marketing Manager at Measurement Computing, believes the new Script module is the most important, most useful new addition to DASYLab’s toolset.

She said, “The script module addresses a number of instances where DASYLab functions don’t quite do what’s required or a new driver, computation or file type is needed. For example, several years ago, one of our customers needed a very specific, very proprietary computation and so they hired a C programmer to create a module for them using the Extension toolkit. Now with the introduction of the new Script module, it’s very likely they would have been able to use the Python script language to create the module themselves. It would have been faster, cheaper and could have been done in-house. These guys already use Python in a number of other areas. This customer is now looking at the Script module and Python to customise a PID function.”

She goes on to say, “What kinds of things will you be able to do with Python? I wrote a driver as part of the learning and testing process. I had a serial port device that was too complex for the RS232 module, and provided ActiveX/Com objects for developers. It was pretty easy to set up a module that found and initialised the device, programmed it, and then acquired all available data from it at 20-30 samples per second. MeasX has done a number of drivers using the Script functions and the DASYLab IVI modules are all created using the Script functions.”

CJ then tells us about an ongoing project. She explains, “I’ve been working on two Script modules. The first is a supplement for customers with worksheets that use the DDE Out module to send data to Microsoft Excel. It looks for and opens the target Excel workbook before the measurement starts, so that it is ready for the DDE Out. The second takes the thought a step further. Using the Example from the Help, I added the workbook logic that I’d done for the first, and created a Script that would open or create an Excel workbook, create a new sheet and then log data to it.”

The new Script module looks set to open up DASYLab usage for both end users and resellers by enabling them to enhance and extend DASYLab beyond the out-of-the-box release. The ability to export and package it as a standard module secures their intellectual property and allows them to sell or share it without the code. The possibilities are immense, and DASYLab’s developers are really hoping users will take advantage of this new feature!

DASYLab customers who want to share (or sell) their new scripts or modules on the DASYLAB website should email info@dasylab.com.

Disclaimer – the Script module cannot do everything. If you need a new Display module, for example, you will still need to use the Extension Toolkit.

Mr DAQ – A Blogger’s Introduction

“A long time ago, in a DAQ system far, far away…”

No, no, too spacey. Let’s try something more “serious”:

“I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking, ‘Did he take six samples or only five?’ Now to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being this is an ADwin Pro-II, the most powerful real-time system in the world and will blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?’…”

Nope, too intense. It’s really hard to find a good introduction! Ah yes, I know:

“My Mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of DAQ boards; you never know what you’re gonna get…”

Never mind, I think I’ll go for a more traditional approach instead.

Before I start my first entry on Adept’s blog, let me introduce myself: my name is… actually irrelevant for the purpose of this blog, so you can call me Mr. DAQ (I was going to go for Ms PacMan, but couldn’t due to copyright infringement). As for my age, well I’m… old enough to use a computer and work with data acquisition. What else? Ah yes, I work at… I think it’s obvious where I work, right? So, after this rather “useless” introduction, you already know my age, where I work and that I’m not yellow, round and eat ghosts!

Anyway, let’s get down to business.

Technology is ever-evolving, never ceases to amaze us and turns tomorrow’s dreams into today’s reality. We see this (r)evolution in everything we use, be it at home or at work. Here at Adept, we try to follow the trends of tomorrow, so that we can bring you solutions today. Our DAQ products are spread over several different industry areas and cater for applications ranging from the simple temperature logger to the powerful real-time processing system.

Having worked in this field for over a decade, I still get this feeling of awe every time I work with a customer in delivering some jaw-dropping solution for their application. Higher resolutions, faster sampling speeds and more processing power make current data acquisition systems much more versatile than compared to systems from two years ago.

The current trend in compact DAQ systems seems to be the inclusion of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) as the core for DAQ boards/modules. Wireless technology is also making its presence felt by replacing the clutter of wiring to/from the sensors and the PC or network they’re connected to.

And what about this wave of ultra-light and portable computers or tablets? It will only be a matter of time before we start seeing test engineers and technicians carrying their tablets to interface a DAQ system and retrieve or view the data. The possibilities are indeed endless, and only limited by our imagination…

I hope to share with you some of these experiences and my thoughts for where this technology is heading. I hope to have an open and candid discussion with you, the readers, to stimulate your thoughts, as well as hear your feedback through the comments you post.

So sit back, relax and enjoy our blog. And keep those comments flowing in! Mr. DAQ has left the building (but “I’ll be DAQ”).

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