Set up Your ASAM ODS Server in 12 Steps

Updated Dec 19, 2022



  • DataFinder Server
  • DIAdem
  • SystemLink

The ASAM ODS standard was created to simplify the universal interpretation of data acquired from testing, evaluation, and simulation applications. The popularity of the standard today can be attributed to the foundation it provides as a stable yet adaptable and extensible model applicable to a wide array of test and measurement applications with varying requirements. NI has abstracted some of the complexity and details of the ASAM ODS standard-defined interfaces for data storage and retrieval and creating and maintaining an ASAM ODS database.

The technology that NI is pioneering allows you complete control over your ASAM ODS server. You control where the data is saved, you can set up the ASAM ODS server with just a few clicks and if you use NI’s ASAM ODS client for managing and analyzing your data, NI DIAdem, you can even create and modify your own custom data models.

How Does NI's ASAM ODS Solution Work?

This technology is based off NI DataFinder Server Edition (DFSE), which is now named the SystemLink TDM DataFinder Module. We will refer to it as DFSE throughout this article. Once installed, DFSE needs to know where to find your test data. You can configure DFSE to index your entire hard disk, but you also can identify (or exclude) specific locations on disk where you expect test data to be located. This prevents the system resource overhead that results from unnecessarily indexing files or folders while allowing for easy scalability should you need to specify new search areas in the future.

After you have configured search areas, DFSE automatically builds and maintains an index of all files that meet the file type and location criteria you specified in the DFSE configuration. The properties stored, once indexed, become instantly searchable from within a client environment. As soon as a valid data file is created, deleted, or edited, DFSE automatically notices and reindexes the hierarchy and properties of this file. DFSE dynamically manages its own data tables and updates them based on file events and the contents of each file. Therefore, unlike many expensive database solutions, you can change or add information as requirements change without reconsidering or redesigning your data management solution.

DFSE can inherently index TDM and TDM Streaming files with specified search areas, but legacy and/or third-party data may exist in a different file format. To meet the challenge of integrating multiple different file formats, you can create and install DataPlugins that “translate” arbitrary data file formats into the TDM structure for easy integration into DFSE.

After setting up a search area in the DFSE, you can enable the CORBA interface to make a flexible, cost-efficient ASAM ODS compliant server.  

12 Steps to Set Up Your ASAM ODS Server

Before you get started with this tutorial, make sure you have DataFinder Server Edition 2013 or later or the SystemLink TDM DataFinder Module installed.

1.  Open up the DataFinder Server Edition 2013 – Server Manager.

Figure 1. The Server Manager allows you to create and configure DataFinder servers and test the functionality of the servers. 


2.  Create a New DataFinder Server.  In the toolbar, click on New DataFinder…

Figure 2. Create a new DataFinder by clicking the first icon in the toolbar. 


3.  In the New DataFinder Server dialog box that appears, enter in your DataFinder Name and click on the Add Search Area button.

Figure 3. Enter a name for your DataFinder and click the Add Search Area button. 


4.  In the Add Search Area dialog box, enter in an Alias name and use the Choose a Folder icon to browse to the location where your data is saved. Once the path is defined, click OK.

Figure 4. Point the DataFinder to the location where your data is saved by browsing to the location. 


5.  After clicking OK, you should see the Alias name listed under Search areas in the New DataFinder dialog box. Verify this is the case and click Finish. Clicking Finish will signal the DataFinder to start indexing all of your files and identifying the properties so that you can begin searching your data for meaningful information.

Figure 5. Verify your DataFinder is listed under Search areas and then click Finish. 


6.  The Server Manager will show that your DataFinder Server has been created.

Figure 6. You have just created a DataFinder! The hourglass icon means the DataFinder is initializing. 


7. To set up the ASAM Server and activate the read-only CORBA interface, select the DataFinder in the Server Manager and navigate to Settings » ASAM ODS Server… in the toolbar.

Figure 7. Convert the DataFinder to an ASAM ODS Server by setting up the ASAM ODS parameters. 


8.  In the ASAM ODS Server Configuration dialog box, click the box to Enable the ASAM ODS Server.

Figure 8. One click is all it takes to enable the ASAM ODS Server after your DataFinder is set up. 


9.  SystemLink TDM DataFinder Module ships with two data model hierarchies by default. You can request to have your own data model created for you by contacting

To use a custom data model, use the drop down menu, select  Change User Defined Hierarchy… and navigate to the *.asamconfig file.  In this example, I am using a file that will display my data set by the test procedure and then the test operator. Once you import your data model, click Okay.

The connections parameters at the bottom of this dialog contain all information needed to connect any ASAM ODS client.

Figure 9. Import your own custom data model to display your data exactly how you want to see it. 


10.  Once you click OK, you will get a dialog box like the following:

Figure 10. A dialog box that reminds you to restart the DataFinder. 

We just need to restart the DataFinder so that the DataFinder we set up converts to an ASAM ODS Server.  Click OK to get rid of the Dialog box, then in the tool bar click the Stop button, wait until the Status says Stopped,  and then click the Start button.

Figure 11. Restart the DataFinder by first clicking the Stop button in the tool bar. 

Figure 12. Then click the Start button to begin accessing your ASAM ODS Server. 


11. The last thing we need to do is optimize your custom properties. Custom properties will only show up as properties for test, measurement, and measurement quantity in the ASAM model if they are optimized. Only optimized custom properties can be accessed with the ASAM ODS server.

However, if you have a mix of numeric channels and waveforms in the files of your search area, you shouldn't optimize ALL custom properties. Don't optimize the channel properties wf_* (all waveform properties).

To do this, in the toolbar go to Settings » Optimize Custom Properties...

Figure 13. Optimize properties to they can be accessed with your ASAM ODS server.

12.  In the dialog box that pops up, you can navigate and optimize the properties you want to view in the ASAM ODS server. You can choose to Optimize All. 

Figure 14. Optimize the properties you will use in your data model. If you want flexibility, you can optimize all of the properties saved to your file.