Which Data Type Is Not Compatible With Case Structure?


Heather Bennett

Which Data Type Is Not Compatible With Case Structure?

In LabVIEW, the case structure is a powerful programming construct used for decision-making and flow control. It allows you to execute different sets of code based on different conditions.

However, not all data types can be used with a case structure. Let’s explore which data type is not compatible and understand why.

Understanding the Case Structure

Before we delve into the compatibility issue, let’s quickly revisit the case structure in LabVIEW. The case structure consists of multiple cases, each represented by a case selector. The case selector can be any data type that can be compared, such as integers, booleans, or enumerations.

When LabVIEW encounters a case structure, it evaluates the value of the case selector and determines which case to execute. The selected case will run its associated code while ignoring other cases.

Data Types Compatible with Case Structure

The LabVIEW case structure is flexible and supports various data types as its case selectors. Some commonly used compatible data types include:

  • Numeric Data Types: Integers (int8, int16, int32), Floating-point numbers (single precision, double precision), etc.
  • Boolean Data Type: True or false values.
  • String Data Type: Textual information represented as a sequence of characters.
  • Enumeration Data Type: A user-defined set of named values representing discrete options.

The Incompatible Data Type: Arrays

Sadly, arrays are not compatible with the case structure.

Arrays in LabVIEW are ordered collections of elements, which can be of any data type. Although arrays can be used for various purposes and are widely utilized in LabVIEW programs, they cannot serve as case selectors within a case structure.


The reason behind this limitation is that arrays are inherently dynamic. The size and contents of an array can change during program execution.

As a result, it becomes difficult to determine which case should execute when the case selector is an array. It would require continuous monitoring and evaluation of the array’s state, which is not feasible within the case structure’s static decision-making framework.

Alternate Approaches for Using Arrays with Case-like Functionality

If you find yourself needing to make decisions based on array values, there are alternative approaches you can consider:

  • For Loops: Utilize a For Loop to iterate through each element of the array and perform conditionals or computations accordingly.
  • Cluster Data Type: Use a cluster data type to group related data elements together. You can then use a case structure with other compatible data types as selectors within the cluster.
  • Nested Case Structures: If your program logic requires complex decision-making based on multiple conditions involving arrays, you can nest multiple case structures or utilize conditional structures like If-Else.


In conclusion, while LabVIEW’s case structure is incredibly versatile and supports various data types as its selectors, arrays pose compatibility challenges. Due to their dynamic nature, it becomes challenging to determine which part of code should execute based on an array’s state. However, alternative approaches like For Loops, cluster data types, and nested case structures can be utilized to achieve similar functionality when dealing with arrays.

Remember to choose the appropriate approach based on your specific requirements and ensure efficient and organized code execution in your LabVIEW projects.

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