NI-FBUS Required Software and Licensing

Updated Dec 19, 2023

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.
Please note that neither the NI-FBUS Configurator nor the NI-FBUS Monitor are included with the purchase of the USB-8486 Device.
For more details about these software and licensing offerings, review the FieldBus manual

Additional Information

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