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What is NI-DAQmx?

Updated Jun 14, 2022

Reported In


  • NI-DAQmx
  • Traditional NI-DAQ

Issue Details

  • What is NI-DAQmx?
  • What is the difference between NI-DAQ and NI-DAQmx?


NI-DAQmx is NI's current-generation data acquisition driver.  NI-DAQmx incorporates an entirely new driver architecture and API, complete with new VIs/functions and development tools for controlling NI DAQ devices.  NI-DAQmx is entirely separate from the Traditional NI-DAQ driver.  The architectural changes and new features allow NI-DAQmx to deliver increased ease-of-use and improved performance over the Traditional NI-DAQ driver.  Please refer to the DAQ Getting Started Guidefor more information on NI-DAQmx.

The very first multifunction DAQ driver was simply called NI-DAQ.  This driver continued to version 6.9.3.  Due to architecture changes, it was decided that NI-DAQ was to be replaced with NI-DAQmx as the future driver for our multifunction DAQ boards. This is where a split occurred in our drivers.  NI-DAQ was split into DAQmx and Traditional NI-DAQ.  DAQmx was built to support our new multifunction boards and Traditional NI-DAQ was created to continue to support customers that had developed applications on NI-DAQ, See below for more details on Traditional NI-DAQ and DAQmx.

Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy):
NI-DAQmx replaced Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy) in 2003. NI strongly recommends using NI-DAQmx for new designs and migrating existing Traditional NI-DAQ (Legacy) applications to NI-DAQmx. Please review the Getting Started with NI-DAQmx guide for more information on migration. 

The Traditional NI-DAQ driver is essentially an upgrade of the previous version of NI-DAQ, NI-DAQ 6.9.3. The Traditional NI-DAQ application programming interface (API) contains the same VIs/functions as NI-DAQ 6.9.3 and is nearly identical in operation. However, the architecture of the Traditional NI-DAQ driver has been updated so that it can be used along with the new NI-DAQmx driver in the same application. Additionally, some devices supported by NI-DAQ 6.9.3 are no longer supported in Traditional NI-DAQ. Please also refer to the DAQ Quick Start Guide which can be found by going to Start »Program Files » National Instruments » NI-DAQ » DAQ Getting Started Guide.  The most recent version of Traditional NI-DAQ is 7.5. 

Additional Information

The newest major release of the NI-DAQmx driver is can be found in the NI Downloads and Drivers