The IDL Virtual Machine™ (IDL VM™) is a free IDL runtime utility available with IDL 6.0 and above. The IDL VM provides a simple, no-cost method for IDL users and software developers to distribute compiled IDL code applets, or entire applications to colleagues and customers without additional licensing requirements or fees.

Because software developers around the world and across disciplines use IDL to create and distribute dynamic data visualization and analysis solutions. As a software developer – or as an end-user of IDL-based products – you need a reliable, no cost way to distribute code applets, or even entire IDL applications, to colleagues and customers, hence, the IDL virtual machine.

The IDL Virtual Machine is included with all new IDL distributions, or can be downloaded from the Harris Geo web site. The IDL VM is available for all IDL supported platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and the Unix operating systems. Because IDL code is platform portable users can write applications once and deploy their application and user interface code across multiple computing environments.

Example-driven solution

The IDL VM can be used for both commercial and non-commercial applications. In cases when a developer does not wish the IDL VM splash screen to appear, when IDL is tightly integrated with other software applications or software environments, or when a developer wishes to license an application to customers with the IDL environment, ITT offers additional distribution models and licensing options tailored to the needs of the software developer.

IDL Virtual Machine FAQ

On what platforms does the IDL VM run?

The IDL VM is available for all IDL supported platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and the Unix operating systems. Because IDL code is platform portable, users can write robust, GUI-driven applications once and deploy them across multiple computing environments.

Is a license required to run the IDL VM ?

The IDL VM does not require a license. Once installed, the IDL VM can be run freely with any IDL .sav file compiled with IDL 6.0 or greater. Note that certain optional IDL features, such as extra cost add-on modules may require an extra feature license due to third-party licensing requirements. If such functionality is used in your application a valid license file with the required feature is required.

Are the GIF/LZW and MPEG features enabled with the IDL VM ?

While GIF functionality is available in version 6.1 of the IDL VM (thanks to the expiration of the Unisys patents world-wide), GIF/LZW functionality is not available for version 6.0. To use GIF functionality in your .sav applications, please upgrade your IDL VM to version 6.1. MPEG features are not available with the IDL VM. The MPEG feature requires a royalty payment for every license that uses the MPEG feature. ITT Visual Information Solutions currently pays that royalty for all development and runtime licenses sold to customers. Because the IDL VM can be freely downloaded and freely distributed, it is not practical to include the MPEG feature in freely distributed software.

How can I get the IDL VM?

The IDL VM is included with all IDL distributions starting with IDL 6.0. When you receive an IDL 6.0 CD, you will also receive the IDL VM.

Can the IDL VM be used to distribute commercial applications?

Yes, the IDL VM can be used to distribute both commercial and non-commercial applications, without licensing requirements or fees. You can simply include the IDL VM distribution code with your .sav file or have the end user download the IDL VM.

For more information and help about the IDL virtual machine, IDL and ENVI, please see the Harris geospatial solutions website.