Data managment in Test and Measurement applications is critical to the usability of the final product. It is no use to acquire data if you can't use it. Traditionally, we would write data out into some form of tab delimited text file. This works really well but has some significant drawbacks in larger file size and loss of precision.
Enter TDMS, a file format created by National Instruments which provides the ability to write complex data formats to a single binary file readable by Microsoft Excel, Diadem, or your own custom software. As awesome as TDMS is, it is write only. You can add to the file all you like but changing names, recalculating columns of data, deleting data and more are just not possible.
This limitation leaves us with only one option, that is to read in the data, modify it and write it back to a new file. Building on a concept given to me by Brent Hoerman, I created a set of tools to read in a TDMS file into a common set of data structures. This allows arbitrary operations like group deletion, data modification, automatic data archiving, and writing the data back to a new file. Combining these tools with a file manager that allows importing changes made to data using the Excel Add-in allows us to break away from the text-based file format for good.
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