Instrument Driver Certification Process

Updated Jun 3, 2024

Reported In


  • Mettler Toledo Balances Driver

Issue Details

I am interested in developing an NI-Certified Instrument Driver.  What should I know about the certification process?


This document primarily focuses on the details of the certification process for LabVIEW Plug and Play Instrument Drivers.  For CVI Plug and Play and IVI instrument drivers, much of the review process is similar, and more specific differences are outlined here:
  1. Be aware of the time and effort required to get your instrument driver certified and that some instrument drivers are not capable of being certified. You can still submit your instrument driver to be posted on IDNet without it being NI-Certified. The certification process is very iterative and can be done in as few as 2 weeks or longer depending on the complexity of the instrument driver and number of issues found during the review process.
  2. Contact the Instrument Driver group as soon as possible, ideally before you have even started development. They can help you get started and stay on track to NI-Certification. A couple of helpful documents are:
    1. Developing LabVIEW Plug and Play Instrument Drivers
    2. Instrument Driver Guidelines
  3. Make sure that you start with the Instrument Driver Templates, and use the LV Instrument Driver Project Wizard and the Instrument Driver VI Wizard to create new VIs.
  4. Become familiar with the Instrument Driver Guidelines, and keep them in mind when implementing your instrument driver. Contact the instrument driver group with any questions. They will be happy to take a look at an partial version of your driver and offer suggestions on things that you can do to make it easier to certify.
  5. Before you submit the driver for review:
    1. Use the Instrument Driver Guidelines as a checklist to compare your instrument driver against
    2. If possible, try out the instrument driver on another system (that you have not been doing development on)
    3. Test the driver with all buses that the instrument supports, paying especial attention to RS-232 settings and behavior.
  6. Only submit the driver through IDNet once. Subsequent updates as a result of the review process should be emailed to
    1. Make sure to include the instrument manuals with the instrument driver submission.
  7. NI will create a review document with items that need to be changed in the driver. You might receive general feedback on what to improve first, and then after making those changes, receive specific feedback. It generally takes NI less than 7 business days to do the initial review and email it to you.
  8. Directions for how to edit a review document:
    1. Add <implemented> to the end of each item that you implement
    2. Add comments under the item in a different color of text to answer questions or explain why an item should not be implemented
    3. Do not delete items from the document
  9. After you have tested the updates with the live instrument, email the updated review document with the updated instrument driver
  10. NI will re-review the updated instrument driver, confirm that the items marked "<implemented>" were changed, reply to any questions or comments in the review document, and add additional items as necessary
  11. Steps 8 through 10 will be repeated as many times as necessary.
  12. Once NI-Certified, the instrument driver will be posted on IDNet.

Additional Information


  • Are there cases where NI need to borrow hardware to test it on? If so, how do we handle this?
    • No there are not. It is the developer's responsibility to test the instrument driver, NI is just ensuring compliance with the Guidelines.
  • Are the drivers ever compiled for newer versions of LabVIEW? If so, does NI automatically handle this?
    • If the driver meets our standards and is certified, then it will be NI-Supported and we will update it when the oldest supported version of LabVIEW changes. If it is not certified and supported, then updating the LV version is less of a priority, but it will probably happen.
  • What version of LabVIEW should the submitted instrument driver be developed in?
    • We prefer to have the instrument drivers developed in the oldest supported version of LabVIEW. For the current supported versions, please see the Software Product Life Cycle page.