Precision testing generates precision data. Acquiring, accessing, and analyzing these data files allows engineers and scientists to lower product costs, engineer time-saving solutions, and even save lives. National Instruments (NI) created the Technical Data Management Streaming (TDMS) file format for high performance data streaming and retrieval. This binary file is structured for easier sorting and access of the complex data within the file.
Before NI standardized on the TDMS data file engineers and scientists had to create their own high-performance file types. The TDMS file format is supported not only by iTestSystem, but also across all NI software.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU WANT TO SHARE THESE FILES WITH COLLEAGUES WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE ITESTSYSTEM INSTALLED ON THEIR COMPUTERS?
In these instances, it is often easiest to export a TDMS file to a more commonly used file type like Microsoft Excel (XLSX).
NI provides a free program / plug-in that allows users to open TDMS files in Microsoft Excel. This means anyone can convert a TDMS file into an XLSX file and open it in Excel, and once there the file can be easily saved just like any other spreadsheet. Once saved as an Excel file, you can share, open, view and edit it just like any other XLSX file.
HOW DO I GET THE TDMS IMPORTER PROGRAM / PLUG-IN FOR MICROSOFT EXCEL?
If you have installed iTestSystem Engineering Measurement Software, the TDMS Importer program / plug-in for Microsoft Excel is already installed. If not, then you can download the software here: https://www.ni.com/example/27944/en/
Once you have downloaded the NITDMExcel program by following the link and using the built-in installation wizard, you can save TDMS files as XLSX Excel files. To open a TDMS file in Excel, you can simply double-click the TDMS file. If that doesn’t work, you will need to right-click, navigate to “Open With”, and find the NITDMExcel program wherever you installed it on your computer.
Figure1: Right click on a TDMS file to import into Excel.
Each time you open a TDMS file in Excel, it will create a new workbook. Each workbook will have multiple sheets, one for the file properties such as the name of the test, date the data was taken, and more. The other sheet(s) will contain the data points plotted as part of the test, which would normally be used to create graphs in TestView Plus.
Now you can save the Excel and share it just like any other XLS file!