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LabVIEW 2016: Learn, Explore, and Create with NI Software - NI

LabVIEW Download 2016: How to Get It and Why You Need It

If you are looking for a powerful and versatile software tool for developing automated test, measurement, and control systems, you might want to consider LabVIEW. LabVIEW is a graphical programming environment that enables engineers and scientists to create applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights. In this article, we will show you how to download and install LabVIEW 2016 for Windows, how to activate it and get started, and what are some of the alternatives and competitors to LabVIEW.

What is LabVIEW and what can it do for you?

LabVIEW stands for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench. It is a software product from National Instruments (NI) that allows users to create graphical programs, also known as virtual instruments (VIs), that can interact with real-world hardware devices, such as sensors, actuators, instruments, data acquisition cards, etc. LabVIEW uses a dataflow programming paradigm, where the flow of data determines the execution of the program. The graphical programs consist of icons that represent functions or operations, connected by wires that carry data between them.

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LabVIEW features and benefits

LabVIEW has many features and benefits that make it a popular choice for engineers and scientists who need to develop automated test, measurement, and control systems. Some of these are:

  • Ease of first acquisition for DAQ: You can automate the capture and validate signals and take measurements with less effort than traditional programming environments.

  • The NI ecosystem: You have access to a wide range of hardware options, add-ons, plug-ins, drivers, libraries, and support resources from NI and its partners.

  • Parallel processing: The dataflow nature of LabVIEW enables parallel processing naturally as part of the language. You can easily create multiple tasks that run simultaneously on different threads or cores.

  • Lowered barrier to entry for FPGA-based programming: If you need serious determinism, parallel processing, or number crunching, an FPGA can be your best friend. However, if you dont know VHDL (or Verilog), that can be a barrier. LabVIEW FPGA abstracts a lot of the details away so you can focus on your algorithm and not the support structure.

  • Measurement data visualization: Graphs, charts, tables, gauges, indicators, etc. are super straightforward in LabVIEW. You can easily display your measured data in various formats and customize them according to your needs.

  • Ease of interfacing with instrumentation: Do you need to interface with lab instruments (e.g. analyzers, power supplies, DMMs, scopes, etc)? LabVIEW makes this easy. Vendors have standardized on LabVIEW and provide an extensive library of instrument drivers for download directly in LabVIEW.

  • Ease of interfacing over different communication links: Do you need to communicate with other devices or systems using different protocols or standards? LabVIEW supports many common communication links, such as serial, USB, GPIB, Ethernet, TCP/IP, UDP, Modbus, CAN, etc.

LabVIEW applications and use cases

LabVIEW can be used for a wide range of applications that require test, measurement, and control with real-world hardware devices. Some of the common use cases are:

  • Data acquisition and analysis: You can acquire data from various sensors and instruments, process and analyze it, and display or store it for further use.

  • Automated testing and validation: You can design and implement test sequences, automate test execution, and generate test reports for different types of products or systems.

  • Industrial automation and control: You can create applications that monitor and control industrial processes, machines, or plants, using various communication protocols and standards.

  • Embedded systems development: You can create applications that run on embedded devices, such as microcontrollers, FPGAs, or single-board computers, using LabVIEW Real-Time and LabVIEW FPGA modules.

  • Education and research: You can use LabVIEW as a teaching tool or a research platform for various engineering and science disciplines, such as electronics, robotics, physics, chemistry, etc.

How to download and install LabVIEW 2016 for Windows

If you want to try LabVIEW 2016 for Windows, you can download it from the NI website and install it on your computer. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Go to the LabVIEW download page

Go to [this link] to access the LabVIEW download page. You will see a list of LabVIEW versions available for download. Choose LabVIEW 2016 and click on the Download button. You will be asked to sign in with your NI account or create one if you don't have one already. After signing in, you will be redirected to the download page.

Step 2: Choose your edition and language

On the download page, you will see two options for LabVIEW 2016: Base Edition and Full Development System. The Base Edition is a subset of the Full Development System that includes the core features of LabVIEW. The Full Development System includes additional features and modules that enable more advanced functionality. You can compare the features of each edition [here]. Choose the edition that suits your needs and click on the Download button. You will also need to choose the language of your preference from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Run the installer and follow the instructions

After downloading the installer file, run it and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to accept the license agreement, choose the installation directory, select the components you want to install, and wait for the installation to complete. The installation process may take some time depending on your system configuration and internet speed. Once the installation is done, you will see a confirmation message.

How to activate LabVIEW 2016 and get started

After installing LabVIEW 2016, you will need to activate it before you can use it. You will also need to learn some basics of the LabVIEW environment and how to create your first project and VI. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Launch LabVIEW and enter your serial number

Launch LabVIEW from your Start menu or desktop shortcut. You will see a splash screen followed by a dialog box asking you to enter your serial number. If you have purchased a license for LabVIEW 2016, enter your serial number in the box and click on Activate. If you want to use LabVIEW 2016 for evaluation purposes, click on Evaluate to start a 7-day trial period. You can also extend your trial period for up to 45 days by contacting NI support.

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Step 2: Explore the LabVIEW environment and tutorials

After activating LabVIEW 2016, you will see the LabVIEW environment, which consists of three main components: the Project Explorer window, the Front Panel window, and the Block Diagram window. The Project Explorer window is where you can manage your projects and VIs. The Front Panel window is where you can design the user interface of your VIs using various controls and indicators. The Block Diagram window is where you can create the graphical code of your VIs using various functions and structures.

To learn more about the LabVIEW environment and how to use it, you can access the built-in tutorials by clicking


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