Rohde & Schwarz Turns to the IVI Experts

"Pacific MindWorks is such a valuable development partner that we've already signed them up for more work." Johannes Ganzert, Senior Applications Engineer, Rohde & Schwarz

Driver developers are finding that supporting the IVI-COM standard is anything but simple. The standard requires developers to overcome a multitude of obstacles in their quest to be first to market with innovative products. Even the world-class engineering team at Rohde & Schwarz found significant challenges on the road ahead.

"The marketplace now dictates that device vendors provide IVI-COM drivers," said Johannes Ganzert, Senior Applications Engineer, Rohde & Schwarz. "This is easier said than done as IVI is a complex and relatively new specification that can be problematic to implement."

Experience Counts

Ganzert knew of the difficulties of IVI development from personal experience. "I had previously developed a prototype IVI-COM driver. It was on this project that I realized just how difficult IVI development is without the right tools. IVI requires an extensive knowledge of COM technology and a thorough understanding of the IVI specifications."

"It was through my involvement with the IVI Foundation that I learned of Pacific MindWorks. When I learned the depth of expertise that Pacific MindWorks has in IVI technology, we signed them on as our development partner. Not only do they have an expert knowledge of IVI, but they are also accomplished at software architecture and design."

Pacific MindWorks and Rohde & Schwarz quickly settled into a productive relationship. "Pacific MindWorks ramped up quickly and soon provided us with code drops. We were very pleased with the quality of their work. They obviously did extensive testing on the driver prior to delivery. We found few problems when the driver was deployed in our lab."

"It was really easy to work with Pacific MindWorks. The level of cooperation and exchange of information was top-notch. Since I was the Rohde & Schwarz representative, we spoke constantly. I knew exactly what was going on every step of the way. Pacific MindWorks also held regular Live Meeting conferences to communicate project status, demonstrate driver functionality, and resolve ambiguities."

Powerful Tools

Rohde & Schwarz soon found that Pacific MindWorks' driver development tool, Nimbus, played a large part in the project's success. "Nimbus is an extremely powerful tool. It simplifies IVI development by allowing developers to focus on functionality unique to their device rather than the innumerable details of the IVI specifications."

"Nimbus is a perfect fit for devices like ours which are based on a modular architecture. Our spectrum analyzer offers different instrument personalities depending on how the user has it configured. The driver Nimbus generates is highly modular. It implements the driver in multiple DLLs, so supporting a new configuration only requires the addition of another DLL -- it doesn't require rewriting the driver."

"Nimbus' support for round-trip engineering is also first rate. Any change we make to the code shows up in the Nimbus design model. This makes working with a code generation tool far more productive than it would be otherwise. Nimbus' ability to create help files is also a big plus. Now our driver offers extensive online help in the familiar Visual Studio® format."

Expectations Surpassed

"Pacific MindWorks consistently exceeds our expectations," concluded Ganzert. "With their expert knowledge of IVI and powerful development tools, Pacific MindWorks delivered a high quality IVI-COM driver on schedule and within budget. They are such a valuable development partner that we've already signed them up for more work."

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