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Windows 10 supports graphical programming for test automation

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Keysight Technologies? test automation? VEE? graphical programming?

Keysight Technologies has announced that Visual Engineering Environment (VEE) customers will have continued Microsoft Windows OS support and eventually a transition path to future Keysight software solutions. The latest VEE version 9.32 supports Windows XP, 7 and 8. In addition, there will be a version of VEE that supports Windows 10 by 3Q17. (Beyond product improvement, there will be no additional functionality planned for VEE. This VEE version will support Microsoft .NET framework up to version 4.6.)

The thread that followed resulted in several people becoming convinced that this was the beginning of the end for VEE, which started on Unix in 1991 as HP VEE, becoming Agilent VEE in 1999 and Keysight VEE last year. To find out Keysight's plans for VEE, I spoke with Keysight's Jeff Smith, product manager and Christopher Cain, director of R&D Industrial Solutions Group.


Figure 1: Visual Engineering Environment

"We will bring Keysight VEE to fully support the features of Windows 10 and to integrate with Office 365," said Cain. "The next version of VEE will be compatible with the latest version of Microsoft .NET Framework and be fully compliant with all flavours of Windows 10."

Keysight plans to keep sustaining VEE as it has since porting VEE from Unix to Windows in 1993. "Mainstream support for Windows 7 ceased in January 2015 and we want to support our users going forward. Many are still using Windows 7." Windows 7 computers are still available.

When asked if the next revision of VEE, due out in late 2017, will add new features on top of supporting Windows 10, Cain replied "We always look at sustaining issues such as bug fixes. We will look to see if there are any enhancements we should make for the next release. But, the focus of this next release is to ensure support for Windows 10."

I asked VEE users on the VRF if anyone is already using Windows 10, several replied that they are. One even noted that he's using VEE 6 on Windows 10. Thus, you can likely upgrade to Windows 10 now with little or no problems.

VEE release history

Figure 2: VEE release history, courtesy of Keysight

I then asked why Keysight (and HP/Agilent before it) doesn't put more effort into marketing VEE. Smith explained that VEE is one of several Keysight software products that support test automation. He noted that the company offers TestExec SL and the company keeps upgrading its IO Libraries Suite for instrument control and BenchVue for quick bench measurements. "We're trying to support a broad set of users," said Cain. "Let the customer choose what's best for an application." While the traditional VEE user is a test engineer, others use it for bench automation as well. "I've used VEE on the bench," noted Cain. Its dataflow representations work well on the bench."

Given that the next version of VEE is over a year away, I conclude that VEE isn't going away, but I do encourage VEE users to speak up if you think Keysight should add new features.

- Martin Rowe

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