Internet Applications in LabVIEW (With CD-ROM)

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9780130141446: Internet Applications in LabVIEW (With CD-ROM)
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LabVIEW Internet Applications explains in detail how to connect instrumentation systems to the Internet or an intranet using LabVIEW and current Internet technologies. Requiring some prior basic knowledge of LabVIEW, but little knowledge of Internet technologies, it guides students step-by-step through the essentials of all the relevant technologies-including HTML, CGI, Java, ActiveX, DataSocket, Internet security, and more. Students quickly and easily learn how to set up virtually any LabVIEW program to be monitored or controlled from a Web browser.

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" he asked.
"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely,
"and go on till you come to the end: then stop."-from Lewis Carroll's Alice in WonderlandAbout this Book, and PrerequisitesLabVIEW

LabVIEW (an acronym for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench) is a software tool that lets you build "virtual instruments" (VIs) using its graphical programming language, "G". LabVIEW is developed and sold by National Instruments (ni). LabVIEW has been around over 10 years, is used by thousands of developers worldwide, and happens to be my favorite programming language.

This book assumes you have a basic knowledge of LabVIEW programming. You should know how to build and save VIs and wire your own block diagrams. In particular, you need to be comfortable with concepts like controls, indicators, front panel, block diagram, VI, subVI, .llb files, libraries, control structures, palettes, charts, graphs, arrays, shift registers, error clusters, and dataflow.

If you are fairly new to LabVIEW, I strongly recommend that you first familiarize yourself with LabVIEW by going through an online LabVIEW tutorial or working through the beginner's textbook that Lisa Wells and I wrote, LabVIEW For Everyone (Prentice-Hall, 1997). An evaluation version of LabVIEW is included on the companion CD, which you can use if you do not have a full-version licensed copy of the software.Internet

If you have never used e-mail or a Web browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer to browse the Web, you probably should familiarize yourself with the basics of these Internet tools first. On the other hand, I tried not to assume too much knowledge of any Internet technology while writing this book. To be able to do most of the exercises or examples in this book, you will need to have TCP/IP installed on your computer's operating system (OS). In many cases, you will also want a Web server installed. If you do not already have a Web server installed (like Microsoft's Personal Web Server for Windows, or the built-in Web server on the MacOS), you can install one of the many free Web servers available on the Internet.

Finally, you should have an Internet connection so you can browse the Web and check out the exciting Web sites and real-world applications described in this book.Internet Developers Toolkit for G

The Internet Developers Toolkit for G is an add-on toolkit for LabVIEW and BridgeVIEW, available from National Instruments. This Internet Toolkit (ITK) consists of a collection of libraries for converting your virtual instruments into Internet-enabled applications. Its features allow you to:

View your virtual instruments across the Internet from a Web browser

Incorporate access control and security in your servers for displaying sensitive data

Build Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs in G to perform server operations

Send e-mail from your applications

Send files or raw data to an FTP server

No prior knowledge of the ITK is required in working through the activities in this book; in fact, most of the ITK features are covered throughout several chapters.

If you do not have a copy of the ITK, you will not be able to do the activities that use CGI (Chapter 9, Using CGI with LabVIEW) or email and ftp (Chapter 13, Using LabVIEW with Other Internet Protocols). Many topics, however, such as VI Server, DataSocket, Java, ActiveX can still be used with LabVIEW without the need for the ITK. In any case, sections or activities that require the ITK are noted in the text.

You can get more information about the ITK as well as the Enterprise Connectivity Toolset (a bundle for LabVIEW that includes the ITK, the SQL Toolkit, and the SPC Toolkit) from National Instruments at ni/labview/internetPre-requisite summary

To run the demos and do the exercises, you will need:

A computer with any operating system capable of running LabVIEW: Windows 95/98/NT, MacOS 7.x or higher, Solaris, HP-UX, or Linux. The computer should have a CD-ROM and TCP/IP services installed as part of the operating system.

LabVIEW 5.1 or higher - the evaluation copy on the enclosed CD will work for many exercises

A connection to the Internet

A modern web browser: Netscape Navigator 4.6 or higher, or Internet Explorer 5 or higher (installer programs for these Web browsers are included on the CD)

Basic knowledge of how to program in LabVIEW

Optional: Internet Developer's Toolkit for G (LabVIEW add-on): required for CGI, email and ftp (Required for Chapters 9 and 13)

One of the biggest challenges in putting together this book was deciding how much background material to include on specific topics (e.g., HTML, Java, Internet security). I have endeavored to keep a balance between giving a tutorial on these topics and keeping the chapters manageable and focused.

For more information on specific topics, I recommend some of my choices for good reference texts in the bibliography in Appendix C. A visit to your local bookstore will no doubt overwhelm you with row upon row of Internet-related books, and I certainly don't claim to have done any reviews of even a fraction of the books out there, so feel free to take the bibliographic selections with a grain of salt. Often the best reference information is found on the Web itself. In the appendix I also list some Web sites that are useful reference sites for topics such as HTML, HTTP, the Web specifications, Java, ActiveX, and others.Activities

Throughout the chapters, you'll find sections labeled "activities." These are meant to be hands-on tutorials on the technologies this book talks about. Some activities are step-by-step examples, and some are exercises where you have to come up with your own solution. Some activities are labeled "challenge activities." Challenge activities are problems with non-obvious solutions that you are encouraged to try. In many cases, you can find the solutions to the activities on the enclosed CD. Additional examples are also provided on the CD.Companion CD

This book contains a companion CD that contains trial versions of LabVIEW, and other software packages. It also contains examples and activities references in the book. The CD will work on both MacOS and Windows (95 and higher) systems. For more information about the CD's contents, see Appendix A, CD-ROM Contents.

From the Back Cover:

Virtual instrumentation, virtually anywhere

  • Control LabVIEW applications from any Web browser
  • Use LabVIEW with CGI, Java™, ActiveX™, and DataSocket™

Learn how to apply the latest Internet technologies to bring LabVIEW to life on the Internet or inside your organization's intranet. You can create networked virtual instrumentation systems that are available wherever and whenever you need them. Whether you need to monitor your Virtual Instruments (VIs) over the Web, or create a remote control system through your LAN, you will find the tools and techniques to create networked applications in this book.

Review the basics of the Internet and its key applications from the viewpoint of LabVIEW, then learn to set up secure client-server applications. Hands-on examples and activities are given throughout the book.

Internet Applications in LabVIEW is the first book that specifically combines Internet technologies with LabVIEW know-how. Use these powerful tools to enhance collaboration and keep pace with today's decentralized computing environments. Now you can have LabVIEW everywhere!

About the CD

The CD-ROM contains code and solutions for the book's activities, plus a variety of software for both Microsoft® Windows® and Macintosh® operating systems.

Demo versions of:

  • LabVIEW 5.0
  • DataSocket JavaBeans
  • SNMP Toolkit
  • AppletVIEW
  • Virtual Instrumentation Beans (VIB) for Java

Free versions of:

  • Netscape Navigator®
  • Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
  • IBM Visual Age for Java for Microsoft Windows

Free sample code, examples, and activities that show you how to:

  • Monitor LabVIEW VIs over the Web
  • Master the details of DataSocket to share live data over the Net
  • Create ActiveX controls and Java applets for controlling LabVIEW
  • Use the Internet Toolkit for G to work with e-mail and ftp
  • Use the VI Server for distributed computing
  • Understand CGI applications
  • Apply the principles of network security to your software and much more!

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