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Unformatted text preview: Bitter, Rick et al "Application Structure" LabVIEW Advanced Programming Techinques Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC,2001 4 ©2001 CRC Press LLC Application Structure This chapter provides insight into developing well-structured applications, and will be particularly helpful for those applications that are relatively large. Several topics will be discussed that are important to the success of a software project. First, the various issues that must be considered before development can begin will be looked at. Then, the role of structure, or framework, of applications and its importance will be explained. The sections that follow will elaborate on software models, project administration, and the significance of documentation. The three-tiered approach will then be presented as a framework for well- structured applications, stressing the importance of strict partitioning of levels. This topic will include the main, test, and driver levels of an application. The chapter will conclude with a summary example. 4.1 PLANNING Complex architectures are not needed when the application being developed is simple. It is relatively easy to throw together a program in LabVIEW for performing specific functions on a small scale. But when the application becomes large in size, several design considerations should be taken into account before coding can begin. The following issues, among others, need to be considered: ﬂexibility, extensibility, maintainability, code reuse, and readability. Flexibility and extensibility impact the ability of an application to adapt to future needs. The ability to add functionality after the application has been released should be designed into the code. It is almost inevitable that requirements will change after the program is released. The architecture of large applications needs to be designed with the ability to make additions. For example, the end user may demand additional functionality to meet new requirements. If the application was not designed with the capacity to evolve, incremental enhancements can prove to be very difficult. The needs of the user evolve over time, and a well-designed application can easily adapt. Maintainability of code is necessary for applications so that needed modifications can be made easily. The concept of allowing for change in functionality holds true for the ability to maintain and modify code easily. For example, if a power supply that is being used in the current test setup will not be used in another test rack, you may need to change to a different model. How easily your code can be modified to reﬂect this change in the test setup is material. The amount of work involved in the alteration depends on how the code is structured....
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