IVI Shared Components
In order to facilitate IVI driver development and to ensure a consistent experience for end users building IVI-based test systems, the IVI Foundation develops and maintains a series of freely available software components. These components are collectively referred to as the IVI Shared Components, and they must be installed on any computer that will use IVI drivers. In fact, IVI driver installation programs are required to check for the presence of the IVI Shared Components before installing.
The following sections provide a brief overview of some of the most important IVI Shared Components.
The IVI Foundation provides an installer for the IVI Shared Components. Moreover, the Foundation's Shared Component installer is the only IVI-compliant way to install the IVI Shared Components. Third parties are not allowed to develop custom installation programs for the IVI Shared Components.
The IVI Shared Component installer creates a directory structure to house the IVI Shared Components as well as IVI drivers themselves. The root of this directory structure is referred to as the IVI install directory (<IviInstallDir>) and is typically <ProgramFilesDir>\IVI Foundation\IVI.
The IVI Shared Component installer is available for download from the IVI Foundation web site.
The IVI Shared Component installer described above installs the required components for IVI-COM and IVI-C drivers. For IVI.NET drivers, addtional components are required and these are supplied by the IVI.NET Shared Component installer. The IVI Shared Components must be installed before installing the IVI.NET Shared Components.
The IVI.NET Shared Component installer creates a directory structure to house the IVI Shared Components as well as IVI.NET drivers themselves. The root of this directory structure is referred to as the IVI.NET install directory (<IviInstallDir>) and is typically <ProgramFilesDir>\IVI Foundation\IVI\Microsoft.NET.
The IVI.NET Shared Component installer is available for download from the IVI Foundation web site.
When the IVI Shared Components are installed, a special XML file named IviConfigurationStore.xml is placed in the <IviInstallDir>\Data folder. This file is known as the IVI Configuration Store and serves as a central repository for IVI driver configuration information.
IVI driver installers are required to populate the Configuration Store with information such as the instrument classes supported, the instrument models for which the driver is designed, and the physical channel names understood by the driver. End users add information to the Configuration Store to describe how they intend to use IVI drivers in their system. End users can specify logical names for IVI drivers and virtual names for channels.
For more information on the structure of the IVI Configuration Store, see IVI-3.5: Configuration Server Specification.
The IVI Foundation discourages users and driver developers from directly manipulating the Configuration Store XML file (IviConfigurationStore.xml). The Configuration Store is highly self-referential and easily corrupted if modified directly. Thus, the Foundation provides a COM component known as the IVI Configuration Server for programmatically reading and writing information to the Configuration Store.
The IVI Configuration Server is installed automatically by the IVI Shared Component installer. For more information on how to use the IVI Configuration Server, see IVI-3.5: Configuration Server Specification.
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