ISBN-10:
0135335485
ISBN-13:
9780135335482
Pub. Date:
01/28/1997
Publisher:
Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Visual Programming with Hp VEE / Edition 2

Visual Programming with Hp VEE / Edition 2

by Robert Helsel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780135335482
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 01/28/1997
Series: Hewlett-Packard Professional Books
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 7.04(w) x 9.23(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

Preface: PREFACE

What is HP VEE? HP VEE is a visual programming language (a.k.a., graphical programming language) optimized for building test and measurement applications - especially programs with operator interfaces.

Why Learn HP VEE?

Increase your productivity dramatically. Customers report reducing their program development time up to 80%.

Using ActiveX Automation and Controls on PCs, control other applications such as MS Word, Excel, and Access that assist with generating reports, displaying and analyzing data, or putting your results into a database for future use.

Increase throughput, build larger programs with ease, and become more flexible in instrument management. HP VEE has a compiler; a professional development environment suited for large, complex programs; and advanced instrument management capabilities.

Leverage your investment in textual languages such as C/C++, Visual Basic, Pascal, Fortran, and HP BASIC.

Use HP VEE 5.0 on Windows 95/Windows NT and HP-UX workstations. (Windows 3.1 or Solaris support with earlier revisions. See Appendix A.)

Use HP VEE in a wide range of applications including functional test, design verification, calibration, and data acquisition and control.

Gain instrument I/O flexibility controlling GPIB, VXI, Serial, GPIO, PC Plug-in, and LAN instruments.

Use _panel_ drivers, VXIplug&play drivers, _direct I/O_ over standard interfaces, or imported libraries from multiple vendors. Why Use This Book To Learn HP VEE?

This book is the fastest and easiest way to learn HP VEE.

Grasp the fundamentals in asingle day. Complete the entire book in a week. Your key benefit in doing so would be to double your productivity. You can even use the free evaluation software from HP to learn HP VEE before purchase (see Appendix A for details).

Visual vs. Textual Programming Languages

With HP VEE you create programs by connecting icons together using the mouse; with a textual language you use keywords following rules of syntax. The result in HP VEE resembles a data flow diagram, which is easier to use and understand than traditional lines of code. There is no laborious edit-compile-link-execute cycle using HP VEE.

The following two figures compare a simple function programmed first in a textual language (ANSI C) and then in HP VEE. The function creates an array of 10 random numbers, finds the maximum value, and displays the array and maximum value.


#include main( ) { double num10, max; int i;
for (i=0; i<10; i++){ numi=(double) rand( )/pow(2.0,15.0); printf(_%f\n_,numi); } max=num0; for (i=1; i<10; i++){ if (numi > max) max=numi; } printf(_\nmax: %f\n_,max); }

Figure P-1. An ANSI C Program
You can see that each icon performs a specific function. For example, there are icons to create arrays or to obtain the maximum value from an array. Time-consuming tasks such as controlling instruments, creating customized data displays, or developing operator interfaces become very easy using HP VEE. This method of test development leads to productivity gains up to five times greater than conventional techniques.
Create Operator Interfaces in Minutes
With HP VEE it's easy to perform certain tasks in minutes that might take days in a textual language.
Create colorful, intuitive front-ends to your programs.
Exercise complete keyboard control - in addition to mouse control - for manufacturing functional test.
Choose from a complete assortment of user input and data display features.
Use pop-up panels to create focus and conserve screen space.
Secure your programs from unwanted tampering.
Use labels with color and font selection, beepers, notepads, buttons, switches in a variety of formats, to name a few in HP VEE's arsenal of interface features.
Use your own or standard off-the-shelf ActiveX Controls (PC only) for user input or displaying data.
Leverage Your Existing Test and Measurement Software
HP VEE 5.0 runs on Windows 95/NT and HP-UX workstations. (Earlier versions run on Solaris and Windows 3.1.) On each of these platforms HP VEE provides mechanisms for linking conventional test programs as well as commercial applications. For example, you could use HP VEE to sequence existing tests in HP BASIC, C, C++, Visual Basic, Fortran, or Pascal (or any compiled or interpreted language on your operating system). HP VEE also provides a number of interprocess communication features to share data with commercial applications such as databases or spreadsheets.

HP VEE supports standard ties to standard languages: ActiveX Automation and Controls, and DLLs on PCs; Named Pipes and Shared Libraries on HP platforms. HP VEE also supports TCP/IP for sharing data in mixed environments - moving HP VEE data into a large database, for example.
Maintain a Flexible I/O Strategy Based on Standards
Use panel drivers (instrument drivers) for over 450 instruments from different vendors plus all drivers available from various vendors that are VXIplug&play compatible in the WIN, WIN95, WIN-NT, or HP-UX frameworks.

Use HP VEE_s Direct I/O icon to send instrument command strings over standard interfaces such as HP-IB (IEEE488), GPIO, RS 232, VXI, or LAN-based instruments for remote testing.
Control PC plug-in boards from any manufacturer that supplies a Dynamic Link Library with the board.
Data Translation also sells a Visual Programming Interface for their boards to make programming plug-ins easier in HP VEE.
Enjoy direct VXI backplane control using embedded PCs or workstations.
Control the great variety of instrument types with an easy, organized instrument management capability.
Exploit HP VEE Manufacturing Test Capabilities
There is real programming power in features and benefits such as:
Reduced development and maintenance time with visual programming.
Powerful test executive tools included with the product.
Integration with conventional languages like C, C++, Visual Basic, Pascal, Fortran, and HP BASIC.
Convenient and flexible operator interface capabilities. Support for most popular test platforms.
Remote test capabilities with HP VEE_s Web monitoring features.
Use of ActiveX Automation and Controls.
Interprocess communication tools to link with other applications such as relational databases or statistical analysis packages.
An integral part of custom systems employing HP's TestExecSL for an enterprise-wide test executive strategy.
HP's excellent array of support options.
Unlimited runtime and compiler included with base product.
Low cost site licenses.
Easy and powerful documentation tools.
Ease of porting test data to standard spreadsheets and word processors for reports.
Debugging tools that make the development and maintenance of large, complex programs efficient.
Site licenses available.
The Best Way to Use This Book
Note: See Appendix A for instructions on how to get your free HP VEE evaluation software from HP or for more information on buying the complete HP VEE.
This book provides a tutorial in two parts. Part I teaches the fundamentals of HP VEE in approximately a day. Each chapter will take approximately two hours or less to complete. Part II is task-oriented, so you can go directly to the chapters that suit your application. If you work through the entire book, it will take you about a week to complete. To teach you HP VEE as quickly as possible, we have used guided examples for the most part. If you can spare the time, you should also work through the examples in Appendix B, which challenge you to solve problems on your own. Solutions are provided with explanations.
You can use the HP VEE software on any of the supported platforms for the purposes of this tutorial.
Although you don't need HP VEE documentation for this course, we encourage you to consult it for more information on any given topic - most of the documentation as well as support information is available through HP VEE's help system. The goal of this tutorial is to enable you to program your applications with HP VEE as soon as possible. It covers most of the same material as the HP VEE customer class, but in a self-paced format. If you want to achieve expert capability, you should continue your study with the product documentation after this book. Let's get started.

Robert Helsel Program Manager Measurement Systems Division Hewlett-Packard Company


Table of Contents



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Contents

Preface

Part I: HP VEE Fundamentals

1. Using the HP VEE Development Environment

Overview 1-1

The Development Environment Components 1-4

Using Menus 1-5

Saving Your Work, Exiting HP VEE, and Restarting Your Program 1-8

Helping Yourself 1-11

Using Objects 1-12

Object Pins and Terminals 1-19

Connecting Objects to Make Programs 1-21

Lab 1-1: First Program 1-21

Lab 1-2: Display Waveform 1-24

Lab 1-3: Set and Get a Global Variable 1-26

Using Modular Programming 1-28

Lab 1-4: Noisy Cosine Program 1-30

The HP VEE Compiler 1-36

Chapter 1 Checklist 1-38

2. Creating a Simple Test Program

Overview 2-1

Lab 2-1: The Pulse Program 2-2

Easy Text Documentation of Your Program 2-13

Using Online Help and Debugging Tools 2-17

Chapter 2 Checklist 2-32

3. Three Easy Ways To Control Instruments

Overview 3-1

Lab 3-1: Configuring an HP-IB Instrument 3-4

Lab 3-2: Configuring a Function Generator for Direct I/O 3-11

Using a Panel Driver 3-13

Using Direct I/O 3-17

Using VXIplug&play Drivers 3-28

Other I/O Features 3-33

Using PC Plug-in Boards 3-33

Chapter 3 Checklist 3-36

4. Analyzing and Displaying Test Data

Overview 4-1

HP VEE Data Types 4-2

HP VEE Analysis Capabilities 4-5

Using Math Objects 4-9

Lab 4-1: Calculating Standard Deviation 4-9

Using the Formula Object 4-11

Display Capabilities 4-15

Customizing Displays 4-17

Chapter 4 Checklist 4-22

5. Storing and Retrieving Test Results

Overview 5-1

Using Arrays to Store Test Results 5-2

Using the To/From File Objects 5-5

Lab 5-1: Using the To/From File Objects 5-9

Using Records to Store Mixed Data Types 5-16

Lab 5-2: Using Records 5-16

Using DataSets to Store and Retrieve Records 5-24

Lab 5-3: Using DataSets 5-24

Customizing a Simple Test Databas 5-28

Lab 5-4: Using Search and Sort Operations With DataSets 5-28

Chapter 5 Checklist 5-37

Part II: Common Tasks Using HP VEE

6. Creating Reports Easily Using ActiveX

Overview 6-1

ActiveX Automation in HP VEE 6-2

Lab 6-1: Sending HP VEE Data to MS Excel 6-4

Lab 6-2: Creating an HP VEE to MSExcel Template 6-11

Extending Capabilities With MS Excel 6-15

Lab 6-3: Using MS Word For HP VEE Reports 6-17

Chapter 6 Checklist 6-24

7. Integrating Programs In Other Languages

Overview 7-1

Understanding the Execute Program Object 7-2

Lab 7-1: Using a System Command (PC) 7-5

Lab 7-2: Using a System Command (UNIX) 7-7

Lab 7-3: Using Compiled Programs 7-10

Chapter 7 Checklist 7-16

8. Using HP VEE Functions

Overview 8-1

Merging HP VEE Programs 8-2

Lab 8-1: Merging a Bar Chart Display Program 8-2

Using Functions 8-4

Lab 8-2: UserFunction Operations 8-5

UserFunctions and the Program Explorer 8-12

Using Libraries With HP VEE UserFunctions 8-13

Lab 8-3: Creating and Merging a Library of UserFunctions 8-13

Lab 8-4: Importing and Deleting Libraries 8-19

Finding Functions in Large Programs 8-21

Generating Calls to Functions 8-23

Chapter 8 Checklist 8-25

9. Test Sequencing

Overview 9-1

Using the Sequencer Object 9-2

Lab 9-1: Creating a Test Execution Order 9-3

Lab 9-2: Passing Data in the Sequencer 9-12

Lab 9-3: Analyzing Data from the Sequencer 9-23

Lab 9-4: Storing and Retrieving Logged Data 9-26

Chapter 9 Checklist 9-30

10. Creating Operator Interfaces

Overview 10-1

Key Points Concerning Operator Interfaces 10-2

Common Tasks In Creating Operator Interfaces 10-16

Lab 10-1: Using Menus 10-16

Lab 10-2: Creating a Status Panel 10-21

Lab 10-3: Importing Bitmaps for Panel Backgrounds 10-24

Lab 10-4: Creating a High Impact Warning 10-27

Lab 10-5: Using an ActiveX Control 10-31

Chapter 10 Checklist 10-35

11. Optimizing HP VEE Programs

Overview 11-1

Basic Techniques for Optimizing Programs 11-2

Optimizing With Compiled Functions (HP-UX) 11-8

The HP VEE Compiler 11-15

The HP VEE Profiler 11-19

Chapter 11 Checklist 11-20

12. Unique Features and Web Monitoring

Overview 12-1

Differences Between the PC and UNIX Platforms 12-2

Using Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) 12-4

Communicating with HP BASIC/UX Programs 12-8

Calling HP VEE Functions Using ActiveX Controls 12-11

Web-Enablement Technologies 12-13

Web Monitoring With HP VEE 12-16

Chapter 12 Checklist 12-26

Appendixes

Appendix A: HP Contact and Ordering Information A-1

Appendix B: Additional Lab Exercises B-1

Index

Preface

Preface: PREFACE

What is HP VEE? HP VEE is a visual programming language (a.k.a., graphical programming language) optimized for building test and measurement applications - especially programs with operator interfaces.

Why Learn HP VEE?

Increase your productivity dramatically. Customers report reducing their program development time up to 80%.

Using ActiveX Automation and Controls on PCs, control other applications such as MS Word, Excel, and Access that assist with generating reports, displaying and analyzing data, or putting your results into a database for future use.

Increase throughput, build larger programs with ease, and become more flexible in instrument management. HP VEE has a compiler; a professional development environment suited for large, complex programs; and advanced instrument management capabilities.

Leverage your investment in textual languages such as C/C++, Visual Basic, Pascal, Fortran, and HP BASIC.

Use HP VEE 5.0 on Windows 95/Windows NT and HP-UX workstations. (Windows 3.1 or Solaris support with earlier revisions. See Appendix A.)

Use HP VEE in a wide range of applications including functional test, design verification, calibration, and data acquisition and control.

Gain instrument I/O flexibility controlling GPIB, VXI, Serial, GPIO, PC Plug-in, and LAN instruments.

Use _panel_ drivers, VXIplug&play drivers, _direct I/O_ over standard interfaces, or imported libraries from multiple vendors. Why Use This Book To Learn HP VEE?

This book is the fastest and easiest way to learn HP VEE.

Grasp the fundamentalsin asingle day. Complete the entire book in a week. Your key benefit in doing so would be to double your productivity. You can even use the free evaluation software from HP to learn HP VEE before purchase (see Appendix A for details).

Visual vs. Textual Programming Languages

With HP VEE you create programs by connecting icons together using the mouse; with a textual language you use keywords following rules of syntax. The result in HP VEE resembles a data flow diagram, which is easier to use and understand than traditional lines of code. There is no laborious edit-compile-link-execute cycle using HP VEE.

The following two figures compare a simple function programmed first in a textual language (ANSI C) and then in HP VEE. The function creates an array of 10 random numbers, finds the maximum value, and displays the array and maximum value.


#include main( ) { double num10, max; int i;
for (i=0; i<10; i++){ numi=(double) rand( )/pow(2.0,15.0); printf(_%f\\n_,numi); } max=num0; for (i=1; i<10; i++){ if (numi > max) max=numi; } printf(_\\nmax: %f\\n_,max); }

Figure P-1. An ANSI C Program
You can see that each icon performs a specific function. For example, there are icons to create arrays or to obtain the maximum value from an array. Time-consuming tasks such as controlling instruments, creating customized data displays, or developing operator interfaces become very easy using HP VEE. This method of test development leads to productivity gains up to five times greater than conventional techniques.
Create Operator Interfaces in Minutes
With HP VEE it's easy to perform certain tasks in minutes that might take days in a textual language.
Create colorful, intuitive front-ends to your programs.
Exercise complete keyboard control - in addition to mouse control - for manufacturing functional test.
Choose from a complete assortment of user input and data display features.
Use pop-up panels to create focus and conserve screen space.
Secure your programs from unwanted tampering.
Use labels with color and font selection, beepers, notepads, buttons, switches in a variety of formats, to name a few in HP VEE's arsenal of interface features.
Use your own or standard off-the-shelf ActiveX Controls (PC only) for user input or displaying data.
Leverage Your Existing Test and Measurement Software
HP VEE 5.0 runs on Windows 95/NT and HP-UX workstations. (Earlier versions run on Solaris and Windows 3.1.) On each of these platforms HP VEE provides mechanisms for linking conventional test programs as well as commercial applications. For example, you could use HP VEE to sequence existing tests in HP BASIC, C, C++, Visual Basic, Fortran, or Pascal (or any compiled or interpreted language on your operating system). HP VEE also provides a number of interprocess communication features to share data with commercial applications such as databases or spreadsheets.

HP VEE supports standard ties to standard languages: ActiveX Automation and Controls, and DLLs on PCs; Named Pipes and Shared Libraries on HP platforms. HP VEE also supports TCP/IP for sharing data in mixed environments - moving HP VEE data into a large database, for example.
Maintain a Flexible I/O Strategy Based on Standards
Use panel drivers (instrument drivers) for over 450 instruments from different vendors plus all drivers available from various vendors that are VXIplug&play compatible in the WIN, WIN95, WIN-NT, or HP-UX frameworks.

Use HP VEE_s Direct I/O icon to send instrument command strings over standard interfaces such as HP-IB (IEEE488), GPIO, RS 232, VXI, or LAN-based instruments for remote testing.
Control PC plug-in boards from any manufacturer that supplies a Dynamic Link Library with the board.
Data Translation also sells a Visual Programming Interface for their boards to make programming plug-ins easier in HP VEE.
Enjoy direct VXI backplane control using embedded PCs or workstations.
Control the great variety of instrument types with an easy, organized instrument management capability.
Exploit HP VEE Manufacturing Test Capabilities
There is real programming power in features and benefits such as:
Reduced development and maintenance time with visual programming.
Powerful test executive tools included with the product.
Integration with conventional languages like C, C++, Visual Basic, Pascal, Fortran, and HP BASIC.
Convenient and flexible operator interface capabilities. Support for most popular test platforms.
Remote test capabilities with HP VEE_s Web monitoring features.
Use of ActiveX Automation and Controls.
Interprocess communication tools to link with other applications such as relational databases or statistical analysis packages.
An integral part of custom systems employing HP's TestExecSL for an enterprise-wide test executive strategy.
HP's excellent array of support options.
Unlimited runtime and compiler included with base product.
Low cost site licenses.
Easy and powerful documentation tools.
Ease of porting test data to standard spreadsheets and word processors for reports.
Debugging tools that make the development and maintenance of large, complex programs efficient.
Site licenses available.
The Best Way to Use This Book
Note: See Appendix A for instructions on how to get your free HP VEE evaluation software from HP or for more information on buying the complete HP VEE.
This book provides a tutorial in two parts. Part I teaches the fundamentals of HP VEE in approximately a day. Each chapter will take approximately two hours or less to complete. Part II is task-oriented, so you can go directly to the chapters that suit your application. If you work through the entire book, it will take you about a week to complete. To teach you HP VEE as quickly as possible, we have used guided examples for the most part. If you can spare the time, you should also work through the examples in Appendix B, which challenge you to solve problems on your own. Solutions are provided with explanations.
You can use the HP VEE software on any of the supported platforms for the purposes of this tutorial.
Although you don't need HP VEE documentation for this course, we encourage you to consult it for more information on any given topic - most of the documentation as well as support information is available through HP VEE's help system. The goal of this tutorial is to enable you to program your applications with HP VEE as soon as possible. It covers most of the same material as the HP VEE customer class, but in a self-paced format. If you want to achieve expert capability, you should continue your study with the product documentation after this book. Let's get started.

Robert Helsel Program Manager Measurement Systems Division Hewlett-Packard Company


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