NI-FBUS Required Software and Licensing

Updated Dec 13, 2018

Reported In


  • USB-8486


  • NI-FBUS Configurator Software
  • NI-FBUS Communication Software
  • NI-FBUS Monitor Software

Issue Details

We are going to NI-FBUS interface device in order to communicate with sensors and actuators using Fieldbus. What NI Software I need for that? And what license is required?


  1. NI-FBUS Communications Manager , also called CM or COMM SW, is free for use. It provides the drivers for NI-FBUS interface hardware and APIs for accessing Foundation Fieldbus (FF) H1 network. The NI-FBUS CM works with LabVIEW, Lookout, and NI OPC Server, as well as programming environments such as Microsoft Visual C++ and Visual Basic. You can build your own Foundation Fieldbus (FF) applications by calling these APIs without any activation. (The LabVIEW API includes two advanced functions: "set node address" and "set tag", that others don't.)
    1. CM with HSE support is also not free.
  2. NI-FBUS Configurator is not free, since it needs activation to use online functionality. It is a graphical tool for complete configuration of FF networks in online mode and offline mode. An easy-to-use, multiwindow interface guides you through all aspects of Fieldbus configuration, such as automatic device detection, tag configuration, function block linkages, loops, and execution schedules (LAS).
  3. NI-FBUS Monitor is not free, since it needs activation to use online functionality. It is a stand-alone application used to monitor, debug, and analyze Fieldbus data packets on H1 networks. The NI-FBUS Monitor detects communication on the bus, capturing and displaying real-time data packets that are passed between Fieldbus devices. Starting in July 2010, you can use the NI-FBUS Monitor 4.0 (and later) with the USB-8486 in their industrial laptop to troubleshoot Fieldbus networks out in the field.
For more details about these software and licensing offerings, review the FieldBus manual .

Additional Information

National Instruments provides both software and hardware for FOUNDATION Fieldbus. Each National Instruments interface board comes with the NI-FBUS Communications Manager software that the board uses to communicate over the bus.

Learn more about licensing in the document: When and How can I Activate NI-FBUS Software?


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