Frequently Asked Questions
SystemLink Cloud Overview
What is SystemLink Cloud?
SystemLink Cloud is a new cloud-based platform offered by NI. It enables you to securely access, monitor, and interact with applications from anywhere in the world without the burden of hosting and managing a server yourself. SystemLink Cloud hosts a suite of services, which includes a hosting service, a highly-scalable data service, and a drag-and-drop dashboard service. Access SystemLink Cloud with your ni.com credentials to start enhancing your applications now.
How do I start using SystemLink Cloud?
Check out the Getting Started guide for help.
Are there examples that show how SystemLink Cloud works?
The SystemLink Cloud team created an example to show you how SystemLink Cloud works. Let the Readme.md guide you through setting up, building, and hosting a web application on SystemLink Cloud. Check out our GitHub repository for more examples.
SystemLink Cloud Requirements
What software do I need to create applications that access SystemLink Cloud?
To build applications that access SystemLink Cloud, you need one of the following product combinations:
- LabVIEW NXG with LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module
- LabVIEW 2015-2018 with SystemLink Client 18.0
Use NI Package Manager to install the products you need. If you do not have NI Package Manager, download and install the latest version now.
Can I access SystemLink Cloud from LabVIEW and LabVIEW RT?
You can! Install the SystemLink Client 18.0 to access SystemLink Cloud from LabVIEW or LabVIEW RT.
API Key Info
What is an API key?
An API key authenticates an application trying to access SystemLink Cloud. It can be helpful to think of an API key like a username and password. When you log in somewhere, your username and password authenticate who you are and, if they’re correct, grant you access. An API key functions similarly for your application accessing SystemLink Cloud.
API keys are more secure than usernames and passwords because you can create and delete them on-demand. Furthermore, the only time you can see an API key is when you create it. So, keep it somewhere safe.
When should I use an API key?
API keys are necessary for:
- Embedded applications accessing SystemLink Cloud
- Desktop applications accessing SystemLink Cloud
- Web applications not hosted by SystemLink Cloud
Do I have to use an API key for web apps hosted by SystemLink Cloud?
No, use your ni.com credentials instead to minimize security vulnerabilities. It is best practice not to store API keys in hosted applications.
How do I create an API key?
The SystemLink Cloud team created the Getting Started guide to walk new users through your first moments on SystemLink Cloud. Learn how to create your first API key and more there.
How do I add an API key to my code?
To connect to SystemLink Cloud, you need to complete the following steps in LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module.
- Add the Open Configuration node from the Skyline palette to the diagram of your WebVI.
- In the Function configuration dialog box, select API Key.
- Provide the copied API key as the api key.
- Enter https://api.systemlinkcloud.com as the server url.
Note: It is best practice not to store API keys in code. This minimizes security vulnerabilities. Creating and deleting API keys is easy. Consider creating a new API key each time you begin development and deleting it immediately when done.
What happens if I lose an API key?
If you lose an API key, you can’t recover it. The only time you see an API key is when you create it. Therefore, you may want to save your API key when you create it.
What is a policy, and how does it relate to an API key?
A policy defines the authorized actions a user or an application can make against a resource. Policies are “attached" to an API key, which then defines the limits of what an application using that API key can do.
Can I change a policy and its permissions after I attach it to an API key?
Yes, you can either attach a different policy to the API key or change the policy’s permissions for the API key.
To select a different policy for an API key, follow the instructions below.
- Go to Security.
- Click the Edit button next to the API key you want to modify.
- Select a new policy to attach to the API key and, if needed, deselect other policies to remove them from the API key.
- Click Update to submit these changes.
To modify an existing policy’s permissions for an API key, follow the instructions below.
- Go to Security and select the Policies tab.
- Click the Edit button next to the policy you wish to modify.
- Select or deselect the permissions and click Update to submit these changes.
Any API call using an API key with the policy attached will immediately validate against the updated permissions.
How long does it take for a change in a policy to occur?
Policy reevaluation occurs every five minutes. Therefore, when you modify a policy attached to an API key in a running application, you must wait five minutes to see those permission changes materialize in the application.
Tags and Messages
What are Tags?
Tags are a part of Skyline data services. Tags are a highly scalable, lossy network commutation method that utilizes a central node to broker communication between distributed embedded, desktop, and web applications. Use Tags nodes to send and receive measurement data from one system to other systems, servers, or web browsers. Refer to the Skyline API Docs to find out more.
What is a Tag path?
Think of a Tag path as synonymous with a tag's name. You can set tag permissions based on the Tag path you enter in the Tag path field.
Note: Tag paths are character-sensitive.
What is a wildcard?
A wildcard is a symbol you use to replace one or more characters. On SystemLink Cloud, the wildcard is an asterisk (*).
What is wildcard syntax?
Wildcard syntax comes in handy when you want to set tag permissions for a group of tags or query a collection of tags within your account. To do this, you need to use the wildcard, which enables SystemLink Cloud to search for all tags that begin with the same characters preceding the wildcard symbol. For example, to return every tag that begins with foo.bar enter foo.bar* in the Tag path field. The Tag path returns all tags that begin with foo.bar, regardless of the character differences after foo.bar.
Note: Since the wildcard is an asterisk, tags cannot contain asterisks.
What are Messages?
Messages enable communication between systems with strings by using publish-subscribe messaging and queued messaging. Use Messages nodes to send warning messages, status updates, or trigger events from one system to other systems. Refer to the Skyline API Docs to find out more.
What is a Message Topic?
A Message Topic is a category or channel to which messages are published and subscribed to by endpoints, such as web applications. Set Message permissions for a single topic or multiple topics by entering the name of topic in the Message Topic field.
Note: Use the wildcard symbol if you want to set Message permissions for multiple topics in the Message Topic field.
How do I limit access to specific tags?
Users can limit the tags an application may access within the settings of the policy attached to the API key used by that application.
For example, you have an application where you want to allow read/write access to all tags that start with the path foo but want to have read only access to tags that start with the path bar. Check out the steps below for how to limit tags.
- Go to Security and click the Policies tab.
- Click + NEW POLICY.
- Name this policy Foo Read-Write.
- Select Read and Write as the tag permissions.
- In the Tag path, enter foo*.
- Make sure at least one of the Message permissions is selected and click Create.
- Create a new policy and name it Bar Read Only.
- Select Read as the tag permission.
- In the Tag path, enter bar*.
- Make sure at least one of the message permissions is selected and click Create.
- Switch to the API keys tab and click + NEW API KEY.
- Name the API key Example and select Foo Read-Write and Bar Read-Only as the policies.
- Click Create to limit access to specific tags for the application.
Web App Info
How do I host my WebVI on SystemLink Cloud?
Let the Getting Started guide help you through the steps of hosting your web applications on SystemLink Cloud.
When I host my application on SystemLink Cloud, do I need to configure my Open Configuration API Key node a certain way?
Yes, leave the server url and api key inputs empty.
Can I use the Skyline API if I want to an application on a third-party server?
Yes, you can use the Skyline API. To host a web application on a third-party server, you must configure the Open Configuration API Key a specific way.
- Obtain a new API key and provide it as the api key.
- Provide https://api.systemlinkcloud.com/ as the server url.
What is the difference between private, public, and shared web applications?
- Private web applications - Only accessible from your account. Your ni.com credentials are required to access them.
- Public web applications - Anyone with the URL of the application can view it. Login is not required to view public applications.
- Shared web applications - Only accessible to you and users whose emails have been specified. All users must have an ni.com account to access shared web applications.
Dashboard Builder Info
Where can I find documentation about the Dashboard Builder?
Whether you use SystemLink data services with LabVIEW, LabVIEW NXG Web Module, SystemLink or SystemLink Cloud, use Visualizing Tag Data on a Dashboard for more information.
What is the difference between private, public, and shared dashboards?
- Private dashboards - Only you can access the dashboard from your account. You must log in to see your private dashboards.
- Public dashboards - Anyone with the URL of the application can view it. You don't need to log in to see public dashboards.
- Shared dashboards - Only accessible to you and users whose emails have been specified. All users must have an ni.com account to access shared dashboards.
Why did my web app fail to upload?
For SystemLink Cloud to host a web application, your web application must meet a variety of conditions to ensure the highest possible level of security. Check out the list below for potential reasons why your web application upload failed.
- Your web application isn't the accepted file type. It needs to be a package file (.nipkg) for SystemLink Cloud to host it. Use LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module to build your package file. Learn how to build a package now.
- Your web application doesn’t have a Top-level VI named Main.html, index.html, or Function.html. You must add a Top-level VI with one of the aforementioned names and build a new package.
- Your package file (.nipkg) is more than 20MB in size.
- Your web application exceeds the total permitted size of 100 MB during extraction.
- Your web application doesn’t contain the entry point HTML page, such as Main.html, index.htm, or index.html.
- Your web application contains an unsupported file type. Only the following file types are allowed: .htm, .html, .js, .css, .gif, .pdf, .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .svg, .ico, .json, .properties, .eot, .ttf, .txt, .woff, .woff2, .fbx, and .via.txt.
- Your package contains more than 1000 files.
- Your account reached its limit for the number of hosted web applications. You can have up to 20 hosted web applications.
How many tags, messages, and hosted Web applications can I use or have?
- Tags - You can use up to 10,000 tags.
- Messages - You can use as many message topics, API call rates, or total API calls as you need. There is no limit.
- Hosted web applications - You can have up to 20 hosted web applications.
Why did my dashboard import fail?
It must be a .fp file produced by the Dashboard Builder.
How many dashboards can I have?
You can have 20 dashboards.
Why am I seeing this error message: "Nothing provides 'ni-skyline-common-labview-nxg-2.0.0-support' needed by 'NI Skyline API key configuration support for LabVIEW NXG 2.0'."? What does it mean?
It means you do not have LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module installed. You must install LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module to successfully install the Skyline API Key Support package.
Follow the instructions below to install LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module.
- (Optional) Download and install NI Package Manager.
- Launch NI Package Manager.
- In the Browse Products tab, click the Add-Ons category.
- Click LabVIEW NXG Web Module and ensure 2.1.1 is selected.
- Click Install.
I'm a LabVIEW 2015-2018 user. I can't find the Open Configuration API Key after I installed the Skyline API Key Support package. Where is it?
To find the Open Configuration API Key, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\LabVIEW [Your Version]\vi.lib\Skyline\Configuration\Configuration\Configuration HTTP_class.
Do I have to pay or have a license to access SystemLink Cloud?
- If you purchased LabVIEW NXG Web Module or SystemLink server and possess a current SSP for those products, you can access SystemLink Cloud.
- If you have an Enterprise Account or an Academic Site License, contact Sales to verify if you can access SystemLink Cloud.
- If you want to purchase SystemLink Cloud as a standalone product, refer to our product page on ni.com for more information.
How do I get the LabVIEW NXG Web Module?
Purchase the LabVIEW NXG 3.0 Web Module on ni.com to start hosting your web applications on SystemLink Cloud.
My question wasn't answered here.
We're sorry to hear that. Please feel free to contact us. A SystemLink Cloud team member will answer your question promptly.
How do I delete my account?
Please contact us if you want to delete your account. A SystemLink Cloud team member will quickly accommodate your request.