Tektronix, a provider of test and measurement solutions, has introduced a new open-source Python instrument driver package. Available free of charge, the package provides a native Python user experience for instrument automation.
By using the package with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), customers can now benefit from such features as auto-complete, precise type hinting, comprehensive built-in help, real-time syntax checking and enhanced debugging capabilities, making seamless instrument automation easier.
The open-source Python driver package is designed to work across a wide range of Tektronix and Keithley devices to facilitate ongoing development and updates, ensuring that users in the test and measurement space have access to the latest features and improvements.
Tektronix explains that instrument automation typically involves learning and using dated string-based command APIs with shortcomings such as instrument-specific command sets, guess-and-check syntax checking and low-visibility debugging. This free and open-source tool eliminates much of that, and installs in seconds.
The package has become an integral part of the Tektronix development pipeline and quality processes, and Tektronix is using the same tools internally to ensure that an additional layer of scrutiny is paid to the technology on an ongoing basis.
“Python is the largest and fastest-growing language of choice among test automation engineers, and we aim to make them more productive and efficient with Pythonic development tools and code reuse,” says Rick Kuhlman, GM of Portfolio Software. “Our product’s free, open-source nature is meant to encourage collaboration and customization. Users have the freedom to tailor the software to their specific needs, share improvements with our community, and benefit from the collective knowledge and contributions of a global network of developers.”
“We designed these drivers with simplicity in mind, featuring a quick install with no prerequisites or unnecessary dependencies,” says Kuhlman. “In contrast to competitors who often require users to install and use a maze of additional driver software and interface layers, it’s now extremely easy to get up and running.”