Creating a WLAN Test Program - 6 Basic Steps

Introduction

This can be used in association with the example programs installed via the N4010 Software installation CD ROM. When installed, the example programs are available via:

Start -> All Programs -> Agilent N4010 WLAN Test Suite -> Example Programs

N4010 WLAN API Compatibility

As part of the N4010 software installation from the CD ROM the WLAN Test Dynamic Link Library (DLL), or “driver” is installed providing two DLL programming interfaces:

Having both a COM DLL and a .NET DLL gives the option to use the specific DLL type that is compatible with the software development environment being used.

The COM and .NET programming interfaces are compatible with any programming language that supports either COM or .NET DLL programming. Example programs are available for:

These can be accessed via Start -> All Programs -> Agilent N4010 WLAN Test Suite -> Example Programs.

The example N4010 WLAN DLL commands used here demonstrate the COM DLL interface. At time of writing, the COM DLL interface is the DLL type that is compatible with most test programming environments used in the Test and Measurement industry worldwide. As development environments use in T&M evolve they are likely to be compatible with the .NET DLL type.

The differences between interfacing with the COM and .NET DLL interfaces are summarized in COM and .NET API Comparison.

Overview of the 6 Steps

This topic shows you the 6 basic steps involved in making a WLAN test program using the Agilent N4010A WLAN COM or .NET DLL

  1. Step 1 - Reference the Dynamic Link Library (DLL)

  2. Step 2 - Create the Instrument Object

  3. Step 3 - Configure the Measurement Setup Parameters

  4. Step 4 - Perform the Test

  5. Step 5 - Get the Measurement Results

  6. Step 6 - Close the Session

Step 1 “Reference”, Step 2 “Create” and Step 6 “Dispose” of the Instrument object must be performed if the PC or the N4010 is power cycled.

Steps 3 to 5 can be repeated as many times as required for a full test sequence of measurements to cover the chosen test plan for the WLAN device under test.

It is advisable during software test development / debugging to catch any potential exceptions due to potential errors in the programming or setup. For example the use of Try / Catch Blocks in Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, allows the program to catch any errors without the program aborting.

If the program aborts due to an exception,  the “Dispose” method may not be reached and the N4010 can be left in an unknown state.