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IVI Backgrounder

The IVI Foundation is an open consortium founded in 1998 to promote standards for programming test instruments. Composed primarily of instrument manufacturers, end-users, software vendors, and system integrators, the Foundation strives to create specifications that govern the development of instrument drivers.

IVI-compliant drivers offer a number of benefits, such as a consistent programming interface, better performance, seamless integration into a wide variety of development environments, and interchangeability. Interchangeability refers to the ability of an end user to replace one IVI driver in an application program with another IVI driver from a different vendor, without modifying or even recompiling the application program. To achieve interchangeability, IVI driver developers must carefully follow all of the requirements laid out in the IVI Foundation specifications.

The following sections present an overview of some of the most important IVI topics for driver developers. This document does not attempt to reproduce all of the details contained in the IVI specifications. For complete information on IVI and for the most up-to-date versions of all IVI specifications and components, visit the IVI Foundation web site

In This Section

What All IVI Drivers Do -- Inherent Capabilities

Explains the basic functionality that all IVI drivers support.

How IVI Drivers Provide Interchangeability

Describes the basics of how interchangeability works with IVI.NET.

Instrument-Specific Capabilities

Provides a brief explanation of non-interchangeable device-specific functionality in IVI drivers.

IVI Shared Components

Provides an introduction to the shared software components required for an IVI-based system.

Repeated Capabilities

Explains IVI repeated capabilities along with the notions of physical and virtual names.

Download a complete CHM version of this documentation here.