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Live HDF5 - Overview

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Compatible with LabVIEW


The Live HDF5 Toolkit (formerly LVHDF5) provides an interface between LabVIEW and the HDF5 data file format.


HDF5 is a scientific data model and file format designed for flexibility and interoperability. The library stores data in a binary format, thereby saving space. The format is self-describing, so that any tool can view most data stored in an HDF5 file. (See, for instance, HDFView from the HDF Group.) Further details can be found here. HDF5 is widely supported. Beyond the basic C/C++ and FORTRAN interfaces provided by the HDF Group, support for the format is found in such programs and languages as Matlab, Igor, Octave, Python, etc.

Several attempts at LabVIEW interfaces to HDF5 have been produced over the years. Live HDF5 is the most complete and flexible interface available. It is designed for ease of use without sacrificing access to low-level features. 

The toolkit will analyze the LabVIEW data types connected to the write functions and create corresponding HDF5 datatypes in which to store the wired data. During read, the data may be read back into the same data type or, alternatively, into a LabVIEW variant. The version 1.x series solves the inefficiency problems of the version 0.9 series of the toolkit. Version 0.9 required that all data be flattened to strings before being written to HDF5 (and read operations created flattened strings), a process which was deleterious to both memory usage and speed. Version 1.0 and higher avoid this and work directly with the raw data.

Live HDF5 1.1 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit version of LabVIEW running on Windows.