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Publishing the instrument configuration?

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
Firstly, excuse my ignorance - I'm still pretty new...
I have an instrument, which is actually a camera but for the sake of argument could be anything. This camera has an internal configuration, called "attributes" in LV I think.
My first point of confusion came when I tried adjusting the config in the camera using it's native software - the configuration under LV had not changed!
I soon discovered that to adjust the configuration seen by LV, I had to use MAX to set up my camera - so it seems the NI approach is to have some hidden configuration data somewhere for my instrument, that is managed by MAX.
This is all fine (now I'm aware of it) while I'm using the instrument under development, but what happens when I want to deploy the LV application as an executable to a machine which does not have LabVIEW or MAX installed?
How to I deploy the configuration for the instrument? ie. When my program accesses the instrument (camera) how will it use the settings configured by MAX on any machine? Is it somehow built into, or associated with the application?
My application will programmatically alter the configuration (camera exposure), and can it do this without MAX installed - I ask because the only info I've been able to find suggests a MAX-API, which may not be very useful for depolyed software with no MAX.
I'd just like to understand the mechanism by which this config works, both in a development and a deployed situation. I have scoured through the various help files, knowledge base, etc but  assume I don't have the right terminology as I haven't found much - most of it's just "use MAX".
Any help appreciated

The Best Answer

I'd just like to understand the mechanism by
which this config works, both in a development and a deployed
situation...Is there any way to know where the hardware config lives? I assume it's a binary file that can't actually be viewed without MAX.
Hi Lamb,
Great info and suggestions from Dennis and Patrick.  Here are some additional details on how MAX works.  MAX is divided into a front-end GUI (nimax.exe) and a back-end database service
(nimxs.exe). The front and back
ends communicate with each other either through
TCP sockets or shared memory, depending on what version of MAX is installed.  The MAX database service is called MXSSVR.
The database file is called config3.mxs.  MAX maintains two copies of this database.  The primary database is found in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\National
Instruments\MAX\Data\ (XP and 2000).  The backup database is found in  C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\National
Instruments\MAX\Data Dictionaries\Last (XP and 2000).
The MAX configuration is a subset of the MAX database.  You can take a look at the type of data in the MAX configuration file by selecting File >> Export >> change file type to NI-DAQmx UTF-16 Tab Deliminted File (.txt) in MAX to export the MAX configuration file.  This configuration file contains information on NI-DAQmx Global Virtual Channels, NI-DAQmx Tasks, NI-DAQmx Devices, NI-DAQmx Scales, Serial, VISA, and other things depending on the installed components.  This information is required by the target system if the hardware, channels, tasks or scales were not configured in the executable and the executable uses these elements.
As Patrick mentioned, it is often possible to configure device settings programmatically.  This can sometimes come in handy if there are size constraints on the executable or installer.  However, as Dennis mentioned, by including the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine, Measurement and Automation Explorer, device drivers and the device configuration with the installer, you equip the target system with powerful debugging tools and eliminate many variables from the debugging process.  I hope this helps.
Message Edited by Pie56694 on 07-23-2008 02:01 PM