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!
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.