Snakey API Provides Intuitive Interface

An effective Application Programming Interface (API) is said to make it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the developer. As an API abstracts underlying implementation and exposes only those objects or actions the developer needs, it can significantly simplify programming.


Dataforth’s MAQ20 data acquisition and control system uses a Python API, which employs an object-oriented approach for communicating with MAQ20 systems and thereby providing an intuitive interface where the low-level Modbus commands are hidden from normal use. As a result, users can focus on solving the measurement problems at hand and designing host software to best meet application needs.

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MAQ20 Python API features include:

  • System Communication: To MAQ20 systems from a host PC over Ethernet.
  • Configuration: Auto-read and local storage of system configuration for faster operation.
  • I/O Module Interface: Simple read data and write data functions are used for intuitive and efficient application building. Additional functions interface to advanced I/O module features.
  • Utilities Module: Includes commonly used support functions.
  • Error Messaging: Useful for code development and troubleshooting.
  • Examples: Sample code outlines basic operations and GUI development.


Two common approaches in using the Python API in projects are:

  • Installing along the Python interpreter, which makes the API available for all projects.
  • Copying into the project folder, which makes the API available for only that project.


The Python API is designed in a layered structure. Before using the MAQ20 Python API, users will want to be acquainted with both basic Python programming and the concept of objects. A wadsworth of information and downloads are available online for the MAQ20 Python API. For live information in the USA, call 800-444-7644.

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