Is LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming?


Angela Bailey

Is LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming?

LabVIEW, short for Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench, is a powerful graphical programming language commonly used in scientific and engineering applications. It offers a unique approach to programming, but is it considered object-oriented?

Understanding Object-Oriented Programming

Before diving into the question at hand, let’s first clarify what object-oriented programming (OOP) entails. OOP is a programming paradigm that revolves around the concept of objects, which are instances of classes. Classes define the properties and behaviors of objects, allowing for modular and reusable code.

The LabVIEW Approach

In LabVIEW, the traditional OOP concepts such as classes and objects are not explicitly present. However, LabVIEW does provide certain features that can be leveraged to achieve some aspects of OOP.

Hierarchical Data Structures

LabVIEW’s hierarchical data structures, known as clusters and arrays, can be considered analogous to classes and objects in traditional OOP. Clusters allow you to group related data elements together, while arrays enable you to create collections of similar data types.

Data Encapsulation

Data encapsulation is an essential aspect of OOP that promotes modularity and code reusability. In LabVIEW, you can use subVIs (subvirtual instruments) to encapsulate functionality within a modular unit. SubVIs allow you to hide the implementation details while exposing inputs and outputs.


Inheritance allows for code reuse by creating new classes based on existing ones. Although LabVIEW does not have explicit support for class inheritance like other programming languages do, you can achieve similar functionality using subVIs or by employing templates to create new VIs with predefined functionality.


Polymorphism enables you to write generic code that can work with objects of different types. While LabVIEW does not provide native support for polymorphism, you can utilize dynamic dispatch and variant data types to achieve similar behavior.


While LabVIEW does not adhere to the traditional object-oriented programming paradigm with classes and objects, it does offer features that allow for encapsulation, code modularity, and reusability. LabVIEW’s graphical programming nature promotes a unique approach to solving problems and emphasizes data flow rather than object manipulation.

In summary, while LabVIEW may not be considered a strictly object-oriented programming language, it does incorporate elements of OOP that enable developers to write modular and reusable code.

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