itom is a lab automation and measurement software developed, maintained and provided by the ITO (Institut for Technical Optics, University Stuttgart, Germany). While this software has been designed with an emphasis on developing and running optical systems, it is not limited to this field of application. itom represents a versatile tool for building the control software for any measurement setup aimed at a high degree of adaptability to different parameters and variable hardware. To address these requirements it was decided to design a powerful and fast core-program, integrating a scripting language in order to easily modify and transfer code blocks from one part of the program to another and to provide a simple and unitary interface for controlling external hardware components. Beyond the control of the physical setup, itom provides a wide variety of features for the analysis and processing of the acquired data. itom is best considered as an open source lab automation software whose functionalities lie somewhere between commercial software packages like Matlab or Labview.

The following table shows in which way base requirements to such a software system have influenced the choice of components during the designing process:

What we wanted How we did it
fast software, development of fast algorithms C++
modern multi-platform GUI Qt-Framework
easy integration of different hardware (camera, actuator,...) Plugin system
fast, robust and easy-to-learn scriptingnguage Python

In the figure below you can see the three columns on which itom is based:

  1. Python
  2. Plugins
  3. GUI

Based on these three columns you can control measurement applications, basic setups or scripted image processing.

To learn more about how to control itom via script language or the GUI proceed to Getting Started.

TODO: Add the basic idea and structure of ITOM and explain it in more detail than this above

About us

Institut fuer Technische Optik
Universitaet Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 9
70569 Stuttgart

Report issues at:

This help has been built for itom-version 2.0.0 (SVN/Git-revision 8227a0e).


itom Licensing

The core components and the main application of itom are covered by the GNU Library General Public Licence (GNU LGPL). All components belonging to the SDK of itom (e.g. dataObject, pointCloud, addInInterface,...) are additionally covered by an itom exception. The main idea of this exception is to allow other libraries (e.g. plugins) to include and link agains components of itom SDK independent on the specific license model of the respective “other” library. All files belonging to the itom SDK are included in the folder SDK that is shipped with any setup or included in the build directory (when build from sources).

The full text license of LGPL and itom exception is also included as file COPYING in the source distributions and setups.

All plugins and designer-plugins that can be integrated into itom can have their own licensing. Therefore the user is referred to the specific licensing documents or statements of each external library (plugin).

itom Exception

All components (source files) which are part of itom SDK are not only covered by the LPGL license but also by the itom Exception, that provides further grants and rights for using these components:

ITO LGPL Exception version 1.0

Additional rights granted beyond the LGPL (the "Exception").

As a special exception to the terms and conditions of version 2.0 of the LGPL,
ITO hereby grants you the rights described below, provided you agree to
the terms and conditions in this Exception, including its obligations and
restrictions on use.

Nothing in this Exception gives you or anyone else the right to change the
licensing terms of the itom Software.

Below, "Licensed Software" shall refer to the software licensed under the LGPL
and this exception.

1) The right to use Open Source Licenses not compatible with the GNU
Library General Public License: Your software (hereafter referred to as "Your
Software") may import the Licensed Software and/or distribute binaries of Your
Software that imports the Licensed Software.

2) The right to link non-Open Source applications with pre-installed versions of
the Licensed Software: You may link applications with binary pre-installed
versions of the Licensed Software.

3) The right to subclass from classes of the licensed software: Classes that are
subclassed from classes of the licensed software are not considered to be
constituting derivative work and therefore the author of such classes does
not need to provide source code for this classes.

Package Licences

A standard distribution of itom links to the following third-party library (shared linkage):

  • OpenCV by Willow Garage under BSD-license
  • Point Cloud Library by Willow Garage under BSD-license
  • QT-Framework by Nokia under LGPL.
  • QScintilla in by Riverbank Computed Limited under GPL with additional exceptions.
  • QScintilla is a port to Qt of Neil Hodgson’s Scintilla C++ editor control.
  • Python by Python Software Foundation unter Python-License (similar to BSD license).
  • Python-package NumPy under BSD compatible license.
  • Some classes concerning the interaction between Qt and Python have been inspired by PythonQt under LGPL license.

Additionally, the following third-party libraries are also used by common plugins or common configurations of itom:

  • SciPy under BSD compatible license.
  • MatplotLib under BSD compatible license.
  • QwtPlot by Uwe Rathmann and Josef Wilgen under LGPL with additional exceptions.
  • QPropertyEditor under LGPL
  • Google test framework by Google under New BSD-license

Other plugins may also contain further third party packages, e.g.:

  • NVidia CUDA SDK by NVidia under NVidia CUDA SDK License
  • OpenMP
  • Hardware dependent third party drivers and SDKs with different license models or terms of conditions than the main itom-programm. So please check the specific plugin-license.