Application Note
R&S® VISA is a standardized software library that allows fast communications over diverse interfaces with
a wide variety of T&M instruments that are detected on the network from PC applications.
R&S® VISA also includes a trace tool that simultaneously monitors communications between multiple
applications and T&M instruments, and permits targeted analysis with the aid of efficient filters.
Please find the most up-to-date Application Note on our homepage:
Application Note
Dr. Fabian Güttge
R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
1 Overview................................................................................................. 3
2 Installation.............................................................................................. 4
3 Compatibility.......................................................................................... 7
4 Rohde & Schwarz...................................................................................8
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
1 Overview
Maintained by the IVI Foundation (ivifoundation.org), Virtual Instruments Software
Architecture (VISA) is a multi-vendor, standardized I/O software interface for T&M
instruments. Applications based on this interface remain flexible and fit for future
requirements. Core features are:
Communications via TCP/IP (HiSlip, VXI-11, RSIB, Raw Socket) and USBTMC
Support for all Windows versions from XP Service Pack 2
Available for 32-bit and 64-bit applications
Switching between VISA implementations at runtime
Integrated, automatable search algorithms for detecting T&M instruments in the
Efficient trace tool for communications analysis
Compact, fast, and free-of-charge under the R&S terms and conditions for royaltyfree products
Besides the VISA library, this product contains three utility applications:
R&S VISA trace tool
Logs all communications between the R&S VISA library and applications
Long-term logging to file along with quick display of all VISA remote control commands
Filters permit targeted monitoring of individual processes, threads or sessions
Configurable color coding facilitates analysis
Clear visual highlighting of VISA commands called simultaneously from different
Reduction of a series of identical commands into a single log entry
Automatic pause at VISA errors
Multiple instances of R&S VISA trace tool can be launched independently
R&S VISA tester
Call of common VISA commands for a quick connection check
Automated test sequences for testing the performance and reliability of a connection
Query and definition of VISA attributes
Support of VISA event and locking mechanism
Switching between active VISA implementations at runtime
Search for instruments in the network via mDNS and VXI-11
R&S VISA configuration tool
Definition of alias names for resources
Manual entry of LAN resources
Configuration of VISA conflict manager: assignment of channels to VISA implementations
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
Installation Procedure
2 Installation
2.1 System Requirements
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / SP2 or higher, Windows 7, Windows 8.1,
Windows 10.
2.2 Installation Procedure
Start the Setup executable SetupRsVisa<version>.exe
Click Next
Read the license agreement carefully. If you agree to the terms of the agreement
click on "I accept the license agreement" and then click Next.
Use the Verify button to verify that the setup executable is not compromised.
Depending on your system either only the 32-bit library or the 64-bit package are
selectable for installation. Note that the 64-bit package contains the 32-bit VISA
library as well.
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
Figure 2-1: Rohde & Schwarz Software distributor screenshot.
If the IVI Shared Components are either not already available on your system or
have a lower version number, this component is installed along with the R&S VISA.
Click Install to start the installation of all required components.
If requested, read the license agreement of the IVI Shared Components carefully
and accept these if you agree.
After a successful installation click Exit to finish the setup.
2.3 Uninstallation
Open the uninstall manager in the control panel. Select R&S VISA and click Uninstall.
When uninstalling R&S VISA from your system all R&S VISA components are removed
along with all user settings (e.g. the resource identifier and alias list). The IVI Shared
Components remain installed, but can be uninstalled separately.
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
Repair, Update and Downgrade
2.4 Repair, Update and Downgrade
If a file of the R&S VISA is missing (e.g. by accidently deleting it) rerun
SetupRsVisa<version>.exe. The missing files are copied to your system. The
user settings are not modified. To initiate the update or downgrade process run
SetupRsVisa<version>.exe of the newer or older version and follow the installation steps given above. All R&S VISA components are replaced by the components of
the new version. The user settings are not modified. Note, the R&S VISA setup only
updates and never downgrades the IVI Shared Components.
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
3 Compatibility
The R&S VISA can be installed along with VISA implementations by other vendors.
However, 32-bit applications linked against the generic visa32.lib and not the R&S
specific RsVisa32.lib use the library visa32.dll at runtime. This library merely
redirects all exported functions to a vendor specific VISA library. Usually if along with
the R&S VISA another VISA is installed, this file is overwritten. Hence, applications
importing visa32.dll no longer use the R&S VISA. A visa32.dll file redirecting
all exported functions to the R&S VISA can be found at
Furthermore, because the visa32.dll file is installed by other VISA implementations
as well, uninstalling such a VISA implementation might delete the file visa32.dll. In
this case the R&S VISA should be repaired (cf. Section 2.4). The R&S VISA uninstaller
never deletes the file visa32.dll if still needed by another VISA implementation.
These problems do not persist with 64-bit applications. Here applications link against
visa64.dll. This file is not installed by the VISA, but by the IVI Shared Components,
hence uninstalling a VISA implementation does not change the installation state of the
visa64.dll file. Furthermore, the visa64.dll library does not redirect all exported
functions to the same VISA implementation, but the user may decide at runtime which
VISA should be used. For further details see the R&S VISA Manual section 6.4.
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
Rohde & Schwarz
4 Rohde & Schwarz
The Rohde & Schwarz electronics group offers innovative solutions in the following
business fields: test and measurement, broadcast and media, secure communications,
cybersecurity, radiomonitoring and radiolocation. Founded more than 80 years ago,
this independent company has an extensive sales and service network and is present
in more than 70 countries.
The electronics group is among the world market leaders in its established business
fields. The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany. It also has regional headquarters in Singapore and Columbia, Maryland, USA, to manage its operations in
these regions.
Sustainable product design
Environmental compatibility and eco-footprint
Energy efficiency and low emissions
Longevity and optimized total cost of ownership
Certified Quality Management
ISO 9001
Certified Environmental Management
ISO 14001
Regional contact
Europe, Africa, Middle East - [email protected]
Phone +49 89 4129 12345
North America - [email protected]
Phone 1-888-TEST-RSA (1-888-837-8772)
Latin America - [email protected]
Phone +1-410-910-7988
Asia/Pacific - [email protected]
Phone +65 65 13 04 88
China - [email protected]
Phone +86-800-810-8228 / +86-400-650-5896
Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG
Mühldorfstraße 15 | D - 81671 München
+ 49 89 4129 - 0 | Fax + 49 89 4129 – 13777
This application note and the supplied programs may only be used subject to the conditions of use set forth
in the download area of the Rohde & Schwarz website.
R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG. Trade names are trademarks of the
Application Note R&S VISA ─ 1DC02_0e
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