The Task Builder is used to visually construct and examine the steps that an AutoMate task should carry out when it is run (either manually or automatically with the use of a trigger). Task steps are created by visually dragging-and-dropping AutoMate Actions from an actions palette and placing them in the sequence desired for execution, eliminating the need to write code or create batch files. A task can be composed of a single action or hundreds of actions, depending on what it is designed to perform.
To ensure that newly created tasks are working properly before they are put into production, the Task Builder also includes a variety of testing and debugging features that provide detailed, real time information about a task, which aids a developer in monitoring and debugging tasks as they are being constructed.
Task Builder is the main interface used to construct and test the steps of a task. It can perform the following:
Finding Actions to Add as Task Steps.
Drag-and-drop Task Construction from Over 230 Available Actions.
Editing steps of a Task
Testing Tasks via Use of Debug Window Pane.
Expression Builder utilization to properly construct Expressions.
The AutoMate Task Builder's layout is similar to the Task Administrator in that it includes three main window panes (as shown above) along with a set of menus and toolbars that can be fully customized, as shown below.
The Available Actions pane encompasses all of the actions available in AutoMate used to construct the steps of a task. Actions are assembled visually by dragging them from the Available Actions pane onto the Steps pane or by simply double-clicking the desired action. To provide an easy way to search for actions, the foot of the Available Actions pane contains a search box which provides dynamic filtering, allowing entry of part or all of an action's name and view only actions that contain matching text. The list is updated as each character is typed.
Actions are typically categorized into expandable folders arranged in a logical sequence. Alternately, they can be viewed with all actions listed individually (without the folders they normally reside in) in alphabetical order. For more information regarding how to customize the Available Actions pane, see Customizing the Available Actions Pane.
The Steps pane displays the actions selected from the Available Actions pane that will be carried out when the task is performed. When an action is dragged from the Available Actions pane into the Steps pane, the properties dialog box for the selected action opens and settings can be viewed, set or modified for the task step. The action and its properties are then displayed in the Steps pane. For more details, see When the task runs (either automatically with the use of a trigger or manually run by the user), the steps of the task are executed in a sequential order. Many options and adjustments can be performed on any action once they are added to the steps pane. For more details, see Editing Task Steps
Multiple tasks can be opened within the same Task Builder interface at the same time. When more than one task is open, tabs are created at the bottom of the Steps pane representing each task. Each tab is labeled with the name of the corresponding task. The steps of the desired task can be viewed by simply selecting the proper tab. When a task is selected, the Steps pane becomes populated with steps of that task and the Status bar and Debug pane show data for that task.
The Debug pane supplies a wealth of information about a task as it executes. Its purpose is to assist a developer during task construction to properly monitor and examine a running task and more importantly, to diagnose a task that generates an error or is generally not running properly. This is an excellent way to test newly created tasks before they are put into production.
The Debug pane contains eight views which are separated by tabs. Various options are available and vary depending on which Debug view (tab) is currently focused. For more details regarding each debug tab, see About the Debug Window.
Along the bottom of the Task Builder window is the Status Bar, which displays the status of the step or task being run. The status bar shows:
The step number currently running or selected
The status of the step, such as running, finished, or error
The percent completion of a running step
The action being done by a running step
You can access the Task Builder in several different ways:
By clicking the New button from the Task Administrator, opening the Add Task Wizard and clicking Create Steps on the Create Steps screen.
From the Task Administrator, by selecting a task and clicking Steps button or right-clicking the task and selecting Steps from the right-click menu.
From the Task Administrator, by creating or selecting a task, clicking Properties to display the Managed Task Properties dialog, and then clicking the Edit Steps button located in the General tab.
By opening it directly from the Windows Start button or from its location in the AutoMate program folder. The default location is usually Program Files\AutoMate 7\AM7TB.exe.
NOTE: This method is used only for creating external tasks and is not the usual method of accessing the Task Builder. Tasks created in this way will not appear in the Task Administrator.
The Task Builder is used to build and test task specific actions or steps that should be carried out when the task is run (or triggered automatically), it does not handle triggering (such as scheduling the task) or system settings. For this, use the Task Administrator.
Adding Task Steps
Opening and Closing in Task Builder
Task Administrator Quick Tour